Cineware Redux

On the After Effects mailing list Chris Meyer asked about the use of Cineware since they want to include a chapter on it in a revised edition of their After Effects Apprentice books (which are actually a lot more *meh* than the original Creating Motion Graphics IMO) and the responses were probably not what he expected. Cynical little me of course once more pointed out that it’s nothing more than just another attempt to keep up the illusion that After Effects actually has 3D and in practice it’s not really useful for “serious” work, but others also stated that they don’t use it. I’ve pointed out some of the issues quite a while back, but let me summarize some of the thoughts posted on the list again (including some of my own).

  • Lack of performance. Yepp, the absence of an OpenGL realtime viewport is an absolute killer aside from the simplest of scenes.
  • Incomplete features in Cinema 4D Lite. A lot of issues come from the fact that you cannot manipulate certain aspects of the scene, be that cleanup work on imported stock models or lack of some stuff entirely. The consensus seems to be, that it only makes sense with a full Studio version.
  • Technical issues. After several versions one would think they have worked out all kinks, but alas, there are still enough situations where Cineware won’t connect or initialize. and then of course the usual Cinema stuff where things like Hair just won’t render and you never know why.
  • For me the integration is still one of the main shortcomings. The previously mentioned viewport is one thing, but the lack of interaction with the 3D data is the other. By that I really don’t mean the lame shuffling around of tracked cameras and Null objects, but rather the real compositing part where you want your After Effects layers to intersect with the other stuff.
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