Here is where I highlight the various software applications I use to create my motion picture work. There is a lot to cover so it may take some time to get everything in here.
In addition to these main pieces that are the more full blown applications. there are many addons, plugins and helper applications that are not listed yet, but I'll be updating this as I get to them in the tutorials and articles.
In Other Software at the bottom of this page, I mention some great software that I haven't been using lately due to moving into DaVinci Resolve, HitFilm, Affinity Photo and the list will grow again as I get to them in the articles. I want to keep them on this page as well as to include them in articles, etc., because they truly are worthy tools that fit well into a workflow. Just because I went the DaVinci Resolve and Affinity Photo route doesn't mean that it's a good fit for you too,
Hype promos and the opinions of others (which may also be led by hype!) can often lead us down roads that actually burden us more than help us to fulfill our goals - our dreams. Do try to stay mindful of your needs vs the pretty hype and pressure from others. It's Your art we want to see - so do it in the best way that fits your needs. At least that's how I look at it.
3D Authoring Suite. I use it as my 3D CG film studio - create fully realized 3D scenes with lighting and atmosphere and populate them with DAZ 3D (and other) rigged figures and props - animate everything from the environment to the vehicles, people and creatures - render the results into motion pictures to assemble into a finished work. This same process may also be done quicker and simpler for sketching out brainstorming sessions - "Previsual" tests.
The only software that I know of that can do all of this (and a whole lot more):
Load Poser/DAZ 3D Rigged Figures (natively) Intact with Morphs
Vertex (polygonal) Modeler
Full-featured Animation Tools
Particles and Physics
Animation-ready 3d Primitive Effects
Plant/Tree Modeler with Animation Parameters
Animated Ocean primitive
Animation-ready Realistic Sky Atmosphere
2D (with some 3D capabilities) Paint software with Animation support. Unique art room-like paint program is created, and under constant development by Daniel Ritchie, a former VFX artist with many titles under his belt. I use Howler for many things from creating or tweaking texture maps to adding effects and color grading, imposing text, rotoscoping, fixing frames of animated renders that would otherwise require redoing in 3D (often via the use of rotoscoping), etc.,
If you follow the above link to "The Best 3D" dot com (Doggy Logo), be sure to take a look around the place. It's an immense site populated with all manner of goodies. It can be fun to just explore the multitudes of pages and do some really fun reading about art stuff!
I consider this whole marketplace to be my team of asset creators for all of my digital actor casting and scene creation needs. Following that line of thought, my assets team is made up of some of the industry's finest talent - and since they work under a cooperative collective, I only pay for what they actually make for my needs!
DAZ 3D's Platinum Club + is a monthly/yearly membership. I needed to build a library of assets fast in order to get to work on all of this. PC+ provides incredibly low prices on truly top-notch assets from amazing artists. I'm still using this and enjoying incredible benefits. With PC+, Carrara 8.5 Pro is often less $$$ than standard Carrara 8.5, at a remarkable discount.
Affinity Photo is an incredible subscription-free solution/replacement for Photoshop. I am not truly against using Photoshop, but the subscript-only model just doesn't work in my particular situation. That is what initially led me to PaintShop Pro and then Howler (which I absolutely love!).
With the advent of Daz Studio getting Iray, I am very interested in thinking outside the box toward custom HDR images for use in the environmental dome.
Of course Carrara can also use these and Iray can likely function without, I really enjoy using Carrara to create spherical background maps for my scenes and look at this whole HDR creation idea as a wonderful challenge - and Affinity Photo has incredible tools for this.
So that was part of my original intent, I find this software to be really, really good at a good many other things as well - as we'll find out in later discussions.
What used to be primarily one of the best color grading choices available has grown into a full-blown movie editor with powerful media database options on one page, movie editing timeline feature on another, a page containing the amazing Fairlight Audio tools and then another with the incredible color grading features - and now, with the release of Davinci Resolve 15 , a new page with the industry-perfect Fusion visual effects editor - a true 3d VFX package with some of the finest tools available in the convenience of a node editor for endless efficiency. And version 16 has added an exciting new Cut page for even faster editing!
All of these pages of tools update the final result systematically as we work, either individually or with a full team of artists. For example, the Media Out node from Fusion will be what is seen in the Editor page as well as coloring and deliver pages simultaneously as work is applied.
You'll see. We'll be using this software quite a lot in our journey through this whole thing.
Movie Editing - Trimming and combining video clips into an entire production timeline
VFX Compositing - From adding extra visual effects to correcting errors and combining layers
Sound - Bring soundless clips to life with sound effects and foley, complimented with music
Color Grading - Make the entire production match visibly, and have a good cinematic punch
Distributing - Rendering the final production to publicly viewable formats
The Cyberlink Software Family
Looking for software that has all the bells and whistles without breaking the bank or requiring a lifetime of study to use? Check out all of the amazing products from Cyberlink!
Check out my Cyberlink Software Family Page
I've used a few other things to get to where I am now. I still keep some of these around in case I might get a smoother workflow incorporating them into my work. I mean, I have them... might as well keep them in mind, right?
I also list them here under the idea that everybody has a different vision or feeling towards what makes the more comfortable workflow. So perhaps my notes on these might help someone discover their golden treasure.
Poser - I ended up buying Carrara and the end of my search for Poser that includes a 3d modeling solution. While we can't actually model in Poser, it's an incredible piece of software for posing and animating existing 3d figures.
Sony Vegas - (now developed/sold by Magix) - I only have the lower-end Movie HD version and I love how easy it is to use. The interface includes built-in tutorials, so if I ever needed help knowing what to do next for any specific topic, I just access the "How Do I?" button and select my options. It then guides me through, either in an empty workflow or directly on my project. It really works well, and was an excellent starting point for me. Being the lower-end offering of Vegas, it's actually quite robust with features and possibilities.
Corel VideoStudio Pro - Very much like Vegas but with extra features in certain areas, like auto-music soundtracking, camera tracking, masking... and it also has an amazing Screen Capture utility. I have both this and PaintShop Pro and like them. Corel is a wonderful company full of support and user-friendliness.