If you don’t have what you need in your toolbox, getting a friend to loan what you need makes sense. That’s one way to look at the announcement this past week that Adobe and MAXON have crafted a strategic alliance to work on bettering the interoperability between their product lines. This just puts an official affirmation on a relationship between apps that’s become increasingly common.
Why is that? Almost every regular user of Adobe’s Creative Suite–particularly After Effects–have come to rely on MAXON’s CINEMA 4D for their 3D needs, whether they create motion graphics, character animation, moving matte paintings or broadcast design. The 3D app delivers advanced capabilities, yet doesn’t face users with as much of a steep learning curve as other 3D programs.
Until now, users have relied on MAXON’s After Effects plug-in to exchange 3D data and multi-pass renders seamlessly between the two programs. This announcement means that things are about to get a lot cozier between the two companies.
I am not too surprised at this alliance. Adobe has been steadily listening to users in order to build its status in the professional post-production space, much as it did in the graphic design arena where it met its early success. After Effects, of course, has long been an app found in production studios around the world. Next, the effort Adobe has poured into Premiere has been paying off as the NLE has seen tremendous growth among full-time editors. Add to that last year’s debut of SpeedGrade as a truly capable color grading solution for everything from commercials to feature films, and you can see the San Jose-based company has gone a long way towards making a top spot in pro motion media creation.
Yet even with all these incredible tools, there still was a big hole in Adobe’s Creative Suite line up, namely a professional 3D animation solution.
Meanwhile, almost from its very beginnings in 1993 as an Amiga app, MAXON’s Cinema 4D, continues to gain converts to its ability to combine world-class 3D capabilities with an intuitive and easy to grasp user interface. It has been used in and around Hollywood on motion pictures such as Life of Pi, Prometheus and The Avengers. You’ll also discover that it’s one of the most common 3D apps here in New York studios.
In my opinion, the choice to collaborate with MAXON is not only great news, but also a completely logical decision. The relationship was already a symbiotic one, and now it’s official.
Who knows what this relationship will ultimately deliver for both product lines. Adobe and MAXON have only promised a pipeline between CINEMA 4D and After Effects to give users a seamless 2D/3D foundation. Besides the official announcement about their collaboration, it’s more interesting to read someone like Adobe product manager Steve Forde on his blog. While he doesn’t give any more info than the press release, his excitement is catching:
After Effects works really well with CINEMA 4D. CINEMA 4D works really well with After Effects. The current interoperability exists between these two applications but, at a fundamental level, don’t really talk to each other in a way that’s super productive.
I’m a HUGE believer in a simple philosophy – ‘do what you know, and be the best at it’. Hand in hand with this idea means that you DON’T do a whole lot of stuff you don’t know. With this relationship announcement you have two companies who focus on being the very best at what they do.
The alliance between Adobe and MAXON allows us to be very creative in how After Effects and CINEMA 4D work together now and in the future. Both MAXON and Adobe care very deeply about our respective users and see great opportunities in terms of workflow, time savings and creative flexibility. I wish I could go into more detail right now – but stay tuned. This area is about to get very exciting.
It will be very interesting to see how this alliance between these very important companies in our industry will develop in the long term. NYCPP will be attending NAB in just a few weeks where we’ll be on the lookout for some more info on what this important development means to you and the other professionals who value After Effects and Cinema 4D together as much as I do.