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Forums Apple Motion Motion vs After effects -Feature Comparison

  • Motion vs After effects -Feature Comparison

     Jeremy Williamson updated 4 years, 5 months ago 12 Members · 14 Posts
  • jim bachalo

    June 26, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    If I invest in FCPX, it only makes sense to get Motion as well for round tripping. But I already have After Effects and was wondering if there is a good feature comparison of Motion vs After Effects.

    Don’t they both do essentially the same thing?
    I’d like to invest my time in learning wisely.

    Local is the new global

  • Jay Carr

    June 26, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    I can’t really speak to a comparison test or anything like that. But lets clear up one quick misconception. As of right now (and I really hope this changes) there is no round tripping between FCPX and Motion. In fact there was another thread written a just yesterday where a guy was trying to figure out how to round trip and it sounds like an absolute pain. You basically end up exporting back and forth.

    So…yeah. Until they fix that, I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

    (FYI– I basically use Motion as a stand alone, that’s why I have a pretty cavalier attitude about this particular topic…)

  • Fabiana Cruz

    June 26, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    They essentially do the same thing, but the workflow is kinda different..
    I like to use both, but it all depends of what you need done.

    After Effects is an amazingly complete full featured FX program, and what’s amazing about it is the control you have over everything. If you know how to use it in depth, it can become this giant mix and matcher that lets you literally make an infinite combination of effects to create pretty much anything you can think of. You also can’t neglect the fact of the amazing interaction with other Adobe CS applications like Photoshop and Illustrator. The down side (wich is not one, really), is the time and experience required to make the most out of this software.

    Motion, on the other hand, is a very intuitive, easy to use, quite complete effects program.
    Its main strength is the simplicity of some tasks, that in a more complex software (like AE) would maybe take a little more time or getting used to.
    The other amazing thing showing in the horizon is the role it’s going to play with FCPX. Maybe it’s not really obvious right now.. But in the very near future, when FCPX and Motion have a sleeker workflow, it’ll give FCPX the control that people are asking for, and probably go even further.

    So my humble advice is, if you’re thinking about working on FCPX, pay the extra bucks (it’s a bargain really) and get started with Motion as well as AE (as you already have it, it may come in handy).
    If you’re gonna be editing in Premiere Pro, stick with After Effects.

    PS: I’d like to state that this is just my opinion and experience, and there are people out there (probably much more experienced than myself) that would differ, and that’s perfectly fine 😉

  • Burt Hazard

    June 26, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    I’d just add that both AE and Motion are excellent pieces of software of course. And AE has had lots of years of development behind it as well as thousand of plugins etc. developed for it. Having said that I personally had weaned myself off of AE a fair while ago because I realized that I do all my motion graphics within Motion. One of the core differences is that in Motion you have the incredible flexibility to work with Motion’s procedural Behaviors as well as the established keyframe methods. In fact, you have the ability to bake Behaviors into keyframes in order to perform specific adjustmentts and work with Behaviors alongside keyframes, a pretty incredible way to work. With the power of the Particle Emitter, Replicator, Paint tool (which allows you to choose between a myriad of Shape Styles), and a quasi-3D motion graphics environment (“2.5D” really), you have an incredibly fast tool for creating motion graphics. Actually to be fair AE is sort of “2.7D” ’cause it gives you even more 3D capabilities like being able to import actual scenes from 3D apps like Cinema 4D.

    I seem to remember that Apple had originally used former Discreet/Autodesk engineers to design Motion, which of course would explain anomalous features such as the Flame-style Gestures, but in a way I think they did an incredible job of devising a new motion graphics paradigm. But who knows if Apple will ax this app in the future!

  • Jimmylee Remillard

    June 27, 2011 at 3:32 am

    Cinema 4D can export to Motion now.

    Jimmylee Remillard
    Partner / Production Manager
    iMotion Video Corp.

  • Shawn Miller

    June 27, 2011 at 6:49 am

    “…it gives you even more 3D capabilities like being able to import actual scenes from 3D apps like Cinema 4D.”

    To be clear, AE doesn’t actually import scene files from C4D as in 3D geometry, textures, lights etc. C4D can export 2D render passes(color pass, ID mattes, depth mattes, vector blur, global illumination, etc.) + position data into special project files for AE, Motion, Fusion, Shake and Combustion (for compositing). The only way to (sort of) get 3D geometry into AE is via the Zaxworks plugin or through Photoshop… but even then, you’ll still only get 2D layers, the 3D models will be manipulated by Zaxworks or Photoshop.

    To the OP: “Don’t they both do essentially the same thing?”

    Yes and no (though, not being a Motion user, you may want to take my opinions with a grain of salt)… there is some overlap in features (keyframes, blending modes, built in effects, etc). But where they part ways (IMO) is in design philosophy. Motion is designed for editors and folks who don’t want to get into the nitty gritty of VFX and motion graphics… you want something fairly slick very quickly, Motion is for you. After Effects is designed for motion graphics and VFX professionals (mostly mograph folks though). If you want to build complex animation systems, 100+ layer composites and complex VFX, then AE is for you. Some will say that Motion has 90% of AE’s functionality, but folks I know who have used both (with advanced AE knowlege), tell me it’s more like 50%.

    Again, I could be wrong… I haven’t used Motion before, so I rely on what I’ve seen in tutorials and what other advanced AE operators have told me. 🙂



  • jim bachalo

    June 27, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Thanks for all the replies. Anyone care to comment on the particle emitter and how it compares to AE plugins like Trapcode’s Particular?

    Local is the new global

  • Stephen Smith

    June 27, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    As Jay mentioned, you can no longer round trip if you have FCPX. I feel that is…I mean was a really strong feature and used it daily. Doing a Round Trip is what got me to start playing with Motion and saved me so much time I started using AE less and less. But that is one of the many problems with FCPX.

    Stephen Smith
    Utah Video Productions

    Check out my Motion Training DVD

    Check out my Motion Tutorials

  • Stefan Buhrmester

    June 28, 2011 at 3:43 am

    In my opinion, the biggest differences are these:

    – After Effects is a lot more powerful than Motion because it allows you to script anything and drive everything through expressions. Motion does not have any scripting capabilities.
    – Motion is much better for 3D, particles and motion graphics, because in Motion everything lives in a real 3D world instead of layers.
    – You can use After Effects compositions directly in Premiere Pro, while Apple has removed the functionality to directly import Motion files into FCPX. Hopefully they’ll re-add this rather soon.

  • Kai Ludge

    January 29, 2012 at 7:56 am

    Thank you so much for your videos but please stop pronouncing Xs in words that don’t have them, e.g. there is no such thing as an “exscape key.” Otherwise really great videos.

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