Discreet’s Combustion 3

Visual effects artists, motion graphics designers, animators and almost anyone who deals with film, video and animation have another reason to thank the folks at discreet: The new combustion 3 is a stand-alone visual effects and 3D compositing application that is both highly effective and flexible.

What I have always liked about combustion is its simple and solid interface. Although it may take a few days until new users get used to combustion’s interface, the compositing package will prove irresistible after the first few tries. Since the package offers great integration with 3ds max, you can use the vector-based paint tools of combustion to paint directly over 3ds max objects and to animate paintings. Because the color-correction tools of combustion have been borrowed from high-end discreet programs such as flame and flint, they really leave no room for complaints.

The software’s tracking tools create accurate and precise results and are also easy to use. Adding the new edit operator allows you to perform basic editing tasks without leaving combustion. You can also design JavaScript-based expressions without key frames. In addition, flash output has been added to the new package.

The Good News: combustion 3′s customizable brushes are excellent. Also, the Stained Glass feature allows users to create stunning light effects.

The Wish List: A light version of combustion with a low price tag could be a good way of getting artists new to the software really hooked on its potential.

The Bottom Line: combustion has almost all the tools you need for compositing, creating effects and vector painting.

Web Address: www.discreet.com

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The Final Score: *****