Posted by Bob on 21/06/2017
Affinity Designer and Photo have shaken Adobe to the core. But we're still stuck with After Effects for Motion Graphics...or maybe an unlikely hero has stepped forward.
Last year I wrote this post about how to get Adobe CC at a discount and which apps can replace Adobe Products.
The one CC app which I still need is Adobe After Effects; the video/motion graphics app. And it drives me crazy that I'm paying a monthly subscription to use it.
With my Adobe Apologist armband on I can say: After Effects really is a different kind of Adobe app as it's strength comes from the add ons and effects created by third parties, not the parent corporation.
True Story! History is full of similar repurposing and pivoting of products. And mostly its the consumer/user who does the repurposing.
With the release of Spine 3.6 this week (and the forthcoming 3.7 release which will include audio support) I think Esoteric Software may split the atom without realising it...Spine will ultimately be able to replace After Effects for many tasks.
When learning Spine last year I jolted upright when I saw this:
(SOURCE video here)
Spine is not just for character rigs. You can use it for ALL types of animation, essentially it is a motion graphics app. That was a revelation for me.
The promo below video uses Spine animations from the game imported into After Effects...but maybe in Spine 3.7 I can sync audio, import png sequence effects and export straight to .mov without touching After Effects? Then just stitch them together in iMovie and be done.
Another factor which made me think of replacing After Effects with Spine is the new Character Animation feature. As of today it is a bit of a gimmick, a goofy thing to show your nephew and nieces but I'm sure gamedevs are already trying to use it in production.
But if Character Animator grows it just strengthens the case for using Spine instead. While Adobe spends zillions marketing this, exposing and educating the masses about animation rigs, Spine will be silently growing.
I'm going to experiment with it but the broader point is: this is another case of a small independent development team creating a quality product which is changing how people create art and could potentially slay a monolith.
This is Punk! Not since my days of creating crude and grubby fanzines in Dublin have I felt that there is an ever growing ripple leading to somewhere or something.
If you're not sold yet check me out here showing how we use Affinity Designer and Spine to rapidly create game ready assets. I put rapidly in bold so you know I mean business.