So recently I purchased VideocoPilot.net’s Optical Flares, and I have to say it is really a beautifully designed plugin. The user interface is really unlike any other plugin I’ve ever used. It actually reminds me of Zaxwerks for AE where when you use the plugin it launches the program, the difference is with Optical Flares it is completely self contained in After Effects. After playing around with the interface for about 3 hours I realized the only down side to this plugin is well there is so many options to customize that you can get lost and forget that you have work to actually do.
I really wish there was a plugin even half this good for Apple’s Motion. Now the reason I say this is, well I use motion more than After Effects.
Ever since I moved from LA, I really haven’t had a project that really required After Effects, now Motion and After Effects have a lot of overlap, but since I edit with Final Cut Pro the ability to do round tripping and just having to render at the very end is very useful. The workflow for After Effects and Final Cut is actually really quite simple but there is a lot of back and fourth if you are dealing with a client, who really doesn’t know what they want. With Motion I can do a rough title/effect and just round trip back to final cut and show it to a client, to decide if I am working in the right direction.
But back to Optical Flares, the amount of training that comes with optical flares really is amazing, Andrew has always done a great job teaching but with optical flares you can hear how excited he is about this plugin, it really gets you excited to really jump into After Effects and work with the plugin.