ben3308 wrote:I think that it's alot like Wondertouch's Particle Illusion. Mostly particle effects and what-have-you, but similar nonetheless. Hope thar answers your question.
Well particleillusion is only for particle effects, like ADV3's penguin. So particleillusion is obviously going to be better at particles because it's just for that, but ADV3 does much, much more than just particles. It's also 3 times cheaper
So now let me see, for lightsabers you could use Adobe After Effects which retails for something like 800$, and is much much more complicated than ADV3, and has the same, if not worse results.
For flare the closest thing I can think of is a 3D application like Maya or 3DS Max, with some sort of particle system. 3ds max retails for 3000$ and maya for 5000 or 7000$. They're also two very complicated programs that can take years to learn properly.
But then if you get into Digigrade and Chromanator, you'd be talking abou getting either After Effects or Combustion for the grading alone, and then some sort of plugin for the keying (AE's keying is horrible for DV footage) which go for 150$+. However if you want to have preset grading options like Digigrade is rumoured to have, you'll need to look into a plugin like Magic Bullet, which is 1000$ and renders extremely slowly.