I’ve been using Adobe Creative Cloud for about a year now. For a flat fee monthly subscription I get every Adobe product. It’s awesome! Instead of forking out thousands of dollars for everything, and then paying for upgrades every year, I pay one flat fee and I always have the latest and greatest.
And it’s that last part that makes CC awesome. The newest big upgrade to After Effects is its deep integration with Cinema 4D using a new plugin Cineware. If you don’t know Cinema 4D is a high end 3D program. It’s been used in lots of movies and TV programs. It also has a lot of motion graphics uses.
Like any program there’s a learning curve but it is one of the industry standard 3D programs and it’s not exorbitantly priced so it’s a good one to learn. Since it is a standard there are many resources out there to learn from. GreyscaleGorilla.com is one worth checking out.
With the recent CC upgrade After Effects now comes with Cinema 4D Lite, for free! With the Lite version you get a lot of features and you can get your feet wet in the world of 3D software without any extra investment.
Cineware eliminates the need to render out before sending things to After Effects. This makes the whole process a lot faster and a lot easier! Plus if you need to make a change you just go back to Cinema 4D and make the change. Those changes then go to After Effects in real time, no re-rendering!
While you may not use Cinema 4D for everything it is very powerful. Even if you’re not making 3D movies it’s still a great compositing tool for creating stills. Once you try it and learn the basics you’ll find lots of uses for it.
On a side note I recently made a couple of things with Cinema 4D, check them out!