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I don't think AlamDV should become like AE..

Posted: Fri, 28th Jun 2002, 5:54pm

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MechaForce

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Ok, since Sidewinder hasn't posted this yet, I think it's time that I did.

As we all know, AlamDV is great for special effects (duh). BUT! the problem with it right now is that it's turning more and more into After Effects. Yes, yes, I do know that AlamDV2 is sort of supposed to be like a cheap version of AE, but for those who have AE, AlamDV2, the program, is next to useless. I'm not saying it's bad . . . .it's GREAT! But as of now, I'd rather use After Effects instead of AlamDV.

Sidewinder and I originally bought AlamDV because it was the quickest way to put in lightsabers, small explosions, and muzzle flashes and such, but now, with AlamDV moving towards "plugins" which are basically pictures moving across the screen, we are just using AlamDV plugins in after effects.

About a month or two ago, I spent about a half hour doing a 5 second clip of just machine gun fire in AlamDV2. With AlamDV1, it could of taken me at least HALF THAT TIME!!

Please make AlamDV useful for the pros too! Please!

That's all folks.
Posted: Fri, 28th Jun 2002, 5:58pm

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Hajiku_Flip

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The thing is , I don't think Alam is meant for pro's. IMHO it was made for the people who couldn't afford 3D programs, and visual effect programs such as AE, which cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars. Most people here DON'T have access to these types of programs, so Alam is an absolutley FANTASTIC alternative.
Posted: Fri, 28th Jun 2002, 6:13pm

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X

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It also does what it does great. I was using 3dmax and went to add engine flames. What a pain! In no time I added it with ALAMDV. And Hajiku_Flip is right, alot of people can't afford AE and won't steal it so it is not an alternative.

Mechaforce, I will say I am alittle surprised at you. You know how these guys work. You could have put this in a bit nicer way. "MORE than a suggestion?" what is it a demand? I mean I know that you have asked Schwar and Malone for features before and they put them in! Can you say that you can get on the Adobe forum and do the same? What about Chat with the makers of AE? And I hope you checked with Sidewinder before you included his name. By the way you posted it you left him no choice but to agree. I don't want to get into any kind of flap with you but try to remember when you first started to learn these skills these guys where helping and with each release of ALAMDV it gets better.
Posted: Fri, 28th Jun 2002, 6:39pm

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Kid

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Heh, haven't you read any of mechaforces posts before, they are always brutal smile

I do agree some things are slightly less quick to do in alamdv2 as they were in version 1 but thats the price you pay for becoming more flexible.

The fact that it tweens makes a lot of things much much quicker. Hopefully in version 3 schwar can reincorporate some of the speediness of the original version without losing functionality. I think he is a little limited because he is pushing Director to its limits.

PS oh no you changed your avatar! yours and sidewinders were always the coolest cos they make you look like a team.
Posted: Fri, 28th Jun 2002, 8:19pm

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MechaForce

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yeah . . .that's cause my imac got fried!!!! WITH ALL OUR FREAKING MOVIES ON THEM!!!!!!

once it's recovered, NEW TS ICONS!!! For both of us cause i think they're getting old.
Posted: Fri, 28th Jun 2002, 8:42pm

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malone

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The plugins are almost totally dictated by the users. We only make a small percentage of them ourselves (which have been mainly effect plugins that you like). We have covered the object vs effects plugins debate over and over again, to the point where it is just getting stupid. We accept almost all plugins we are sent, it would be crazy not to let them in because some people (well mainly you razz ) have no use for them. Theres not a limited number of plugins you can have, a 3d plugin does not mean an effect one wont be made. Plugin makers do so of their own accord, they have, and always will make the plugins they want to make. Prehaps you could direct your energies to starting a new trend of effect plugins. Start by making a plugin you want every week or something?

At the end of the day, it comes down to the message thats been repeated a bjillion times before "if you dont want a plugin dont download it". So lets not make it an issue again!

As for you speed of placement comments, what are we meant to do with "it takes half the time in alamdv1"? It tells us nothing about why you feel it takes twice as long in AlamDV2. A constructive comment would include what specifically is slowing you down, what you found easy to use in AlamDV1 (and why), and what you would like to see changed.

Capish?

(heh, now did that reach mechas brutality level? biggrin It's fun to vent smile )
Posted: Fri, 28th Jun 2002, 9:01pm

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MechaForce

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i'm not angry!

this is why it takes less time: in alamdv1, the interface is faster because, you go to the menu, open your clip, and select an effect. You place the coordinates, and hit the arrow key for the next frame, repeating. In alamdv2, you must go through everything there, BUT you need to go through the menus and select the effect (muzzle flashes, anyways) every frame you want to use them! That's is what's annoying. It wastes time! That's the thing I don't like.

Capish.

AlamDV is still cool.
Posted: Fri, 28th Jun 2002, 9:08pm

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TMM

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how about fully stretching the muzzle flash, as in to all the frames of the gun sequence, then mask out everyother frame???

will that work? pretty quick and easy smile
Posted: Fri, 28th Jun 2002, 10:14pm

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MechaForce

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Creative . . .

BUT I'd have to mask out every-other frame, which basically makes it just as tedious. And also, it'd give me the exact same flash each time. neutral
Posted: Fri, 28th Jun 2002, 10:27pm

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TMM

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ah yeah, guess it would be a bit repetitive...

sorry just an idea...
Posted: Fri, 28th Jun 2002, 10:28pm

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av11d

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hehe, i could tell this was a mecha post as soon as i read the title biggrin

It's actually very difficult to do these types of effects in AE without special plug-ins for it. I don't think it's fair to call AlamDV a cheap alternitive to it... AE is more for the final touches, titles, compositing, and warping type effects. AlamDV is more specific type of effects, like lightabers, muzzle flashes, and explosions. Most of those you can't create in AE without plug-ins or other programs.

Your mac fried?! sad
Posted: Fri, 28th Jun 2002, 10:37pm

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malone

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Ok, now we're getting somewhere. How about copying and pasting the effect. For example you just copy the muzzle flash effect and paste it on every frame you want it. This has the added bonus that its probably already where you want it and you just have to select the variation you want.

Maybe schwar could develop a system where you can have multiple copied effects and have them pasted via a few hotkeys (eg ctrl-1 to 9 or whatever isnt already in use). That way you could quickly and easily drop in your fav effects. Dunno how easy/hard that would be for schwar to implement.
Posted: Fri, 28th Jun 2002, 10:45pm

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Hajiku_Flip

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If he can't do it, then fire him. cool EDIT: Erm.. he does work for you...right? wink
Posted: Fri, 28th Jun 2002, 11:01pm

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Joshua Davies

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Rating: +1

Ok, I've discussed this before so...

Firstly, MechaForce - you should know better than to give a post such a spammy title - I will change it.

Secondly, AlamDV is a product made for people who want AE style effect but can not afford $450+Effect (leading to 1000's $) for AE or don't want to use a stolen version of that software. I can't think of one effect that isn't as quick in AlamDV2 as it was in AlamDV1 (not including the inaccurate 2 point lightswords), infact I would say most effects are much quicker.

This isn't a suggestion - more a misunderstanding of what AlamDV2 is trying to be.

How would the muzzle flash have taken less time in AlamDV1 - just copy and paste in AlamDV2? I challenge you to make lightswords as quickly in AE as you can in AlamDV2 - as we proved on theForce.net AlamDV2 is the quickest software out there by a massive margin.

AlamDV2 has more effects than AlamDV1 even if you don't include the 3D ones you don't like. If you have a suggestion on how to improve the interface or a new function you would like then we are always happy to hear it but please don't bash AlamDV2 for all the wrong reasons.
Posted: Fri, 28th Jun 2002, 11:36pm

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averagejoe

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yo MEcha, I feel your pain or at least I did. Most of us beta / v1 final user had a big learning curve. I think what you describe is what I xped too. The problem is you are thinking like dv1 and not dv2. Once you open up a little and change you M.O. then dv2 is just as easy and fast as dv1(if not faster). I was one of those guys the whined about the ALAMDV1 interface for Lightswords in dv2. But once I learned how to integrate the tween functions into my Lightsword techgique I was at least 50 % faster. Back when Tarn and I did the last minute submissions to TFN sabe contest Tarn finshed the clip in like 15 minutes with DV1. I did it in like 30. But in DV2 I went back armed with my new skillz and "voila" i was done in like 15 MINUTES! It is just a different style. The more "real" tween function is a part of dv2 we old timers have the hardess time with. We are still remembering the old way and not learning the new. Sheesh, I am rambling here redface
Posted: Fri, 28th Jun 2002, 11:53pm

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av11d

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I think everyone just rambled, there is too much to talk about for just one thread!

Let's not all repeat ourselves with a DV1 vs. DV2 vs. AE type thread rolleyes
Posted: Sat, 29th Jun 2002, 12:23am

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Hobbes

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If the 2 point swords were indegrated in v2 I would be more than happy, but maybe in v3?
Posted: Sat, 29th Jun 2002, 12:38am

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MechaForce

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eh . . . forget this . . . i'm a moron . . . delete this thread!

but i bet my pants that alamdv is faster with lightsabers than anything else! honestly. . ahem. . . .i've never used the . . .ahem . . . lightsaber plugins. . .ahem . . .i will though!

sorry for the crappy title!
delete! redface redface redface

Last edited Sat, 29th Jun 2002, 12:41am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sat, 29th Jun 2002, 12:41am

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averagejoe

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Mecha, I have used the lasers and light bulbs, sparks and muzzle flashes it is all faster and more scaleable in MOST instances.... Hey, it is kinda funny that this turned into a sabers are fast kinda thing... lol
Posted: Sat, 29th Jun 2002, 12:43am

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MechaForce

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Sabers are fast! I'm going to rethink my alamdv usage, and practice. cool
Posted: Sat, 29th Jun 2002, 12:44am

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av11d

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alamdv needs no practice biggrin

(...your not a moron! you just act like one...) wink
Posted: Sat, 29th Jun 2002, 12:46am

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averagejoe

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Heh, maybe no practice but you just have to learn new ways.. READ THE TUTES MECHA! razz twisted wink
Posted: Sat, 29th Jun 2002, 1:17am

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Hajiku_Flip

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Hey guys, I wasn't around during the ADV1 era, so i don't know what the old sabers were like. Someone mind explaining it to me?
Posted: Sat, 29th Jun 2002, 3:13am

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av11d

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In the old version there was no timeline, tweening, and animation timeline. You used to go frame by frame selecting the effect, placing it, and going to the next frame. Very basic. So, to make a lightsaber in ADV1, all you had to do was select it, and make two clicks. Then you could edit the width, with the width slider. Was pretty simple.... still is though biggrin
Posted: Sat, 29th Jun 2002, 4:10am

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sidewinder

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It's about time that I step in...

First off:

Don't delete this topic.

That said, I shall continue.

About a week ago, I originally posted this message:

In a recent project I did for school, I needed to have a small battle scene taking place in vietnam. I had some problems with the plug-in loader, and couldn't get any plug-ins with many frames to load.

I ended up doing tracer bullets with alamdv, and explosions and bullet hits with After Effects.

After some work with After Effects, I realized that it allowed me to do basically the same thing as alamdv, but I could do extra things like motion blur to make the effects seem more realistic...

I still think Alamdv2 is best for short effects that require frame-by-frame manipulation, but as more and more effects come out that are basically short movies to be composited, I'm wondering if people are going to start thinking that this is basically a copy of After Effects.

Now, Alamdv1 stood out because of it's point placement that let you go click-click-click-click-done. This made it different than other programs out there. Alamdv2 simplified this by giving us better keyframe and tweening options, as well as masks and transparency...but it lost some of the uniqueness that alamdv1 had.

I know there is still the option for point placement for lightsabers, but I don't know if it's possible to make that available for other plug-ins, where it might be easier than the normal way of putting things on (Muzzle Flashes, for example)...

This also leads me to the plug-ins debate...

Schwar, be carefull what people concentrate on for plug-ins. Alamdv's greatest strength is in single-frame plug-ins, or short effects, like bullet hits, and smoke. It lets you add those with great efficiency. As we go towards larger effects, like 3d animations, explosions, and atomic bomb explosions, people might start to get the impression that After Effects is better suited for the job, since After Effects is more specialized in dealing with movies, and it gives you all those options to make the effect blend in better (color adjust, blurs, drop shadows, etc.).



I'm saying all this, because it seems that alamdv is straying from it's original goal. Many of the plug-ins I think would be better handled in After Effects, or a 3D app, and even though alamdv can pull off these effects to a certain degree, That's not what it's made for. I don't use the 3d capabilities of After Effects 5.5 to do my 3d modeling.

Lastly, to Schwar, try to keep alamdv's interface from becoming a watered down version of After Effects. If that doesn't work out, then load up Alamdv with features to compete with After Effects. The middle ground that it's in right now isn't a very good spot to be.



And to all you plug-in makers...

The plug-ins that you make determine the image of what alamdv2 does. I'm using it less and less because the stuff that people are trying to make it do is getting to far from what it can make look realistic.


This topic was deleted. I would appreciate the chance to express some of my views now that it seems another one has been established

Software won't succede just off the price alone. If you are going to try and oust After Effects from it's established spot, I would consider that very foolhardy.

Instead, I'd by trying to create a program for that spot in the market that hasn't been filled, which is what alamdv does. I don't know of any other programs speciffically built for creating lightsabers, sparks, explosions, lightning and muzzle flashes, just to name a few.

But this debate has already been done.

Instead, I'm wondering what's eventually going to be out there for those of us with After Effects.

Guess what? The copy of After Effects that we use is legal. Mecha's dad uses it for his business.

Many other people here also have AE, wether or not it's legal...I don't care.

But as Alamdv encroaches more and more on AE's territory, it ends up alienating those of us who already are experienced with AE.

There are still many things that I need Alamdv for, as shown by the comments from Average Joe, but others I can do better with AE. As Alamdv continues to encroach, I end up using AE more and more.

If I were Schwar, I'd try to reverse the direction. I'd make Alamdv more and more specialized. Things like a more efficient point placement system, as well as some feature that would prevent you from having to re-select your effect each time you need it, would be two large steps towards that other direction.

So basically, what I'm hoping for is a program that would complete my special effects library, not compete with it.

Thankyou.
Posted: Sat, 29th Jun 2002, 4:21am

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Hajiku_Flip

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Well as far as I can tell, only about 5% of people who use Alam DV have aquired and accuratley learned how to use After Effects. So basically your asking them to change the whole program to fit your needs. if you don't like the plugins that are being made, make the ones you want made and start a trend as av11d said. (or was that joe? crazy ) Even if alam was almost exactly like AE, I'd still be enthused. Why? Because it's about $600 cheaper. If you don't like alam anymore, then don't use it. No one is forcing you to use alam. And when is your movie coming out!??! razz
Posted: Sat, 29th Jun 2002, 4:33am

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av11d

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I'm in the sorta in the middle of this whole issue. I can see sidewinders point, it is a lot like After Effects. But, let's face it: AlamDV is supposed to be THE amateur video effects software. You guys are simple becoming pro-ish, and are outgrowing the program.

Also, this is supposed to be cheap software for amateurs. Most amateurs simply do not own AE, so i feel it is still important to keep the AE-capable effects included with AlamDV2.

I agree, I don't think AlamDV should become any more complicated than it is. In this amateur marked, the most important thing is the UI. DV1 had a great one, DV2 has a less easier to use one, but it is more powerful. If schwar can somehow pull-off a more powerful engine, with an easier to use interfae, and STILL keep the price the same, I think the program could please everyone: pros and amateurs. It's going to be hard, but that should be the goal for DV3: A User Interface that is simple and robust.
Posted: Sat, 29th Jun 2002, 5:36am

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sidewinder

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*sigh*

I guess I just don't want to outgrow it. It's so easy!


razz

I know all about the price difference, so you need not explain that benefit to me... rolleyes

But I wanted to post how this would affect ME...
...and other dual AE and Alamdv users for that matter.

So I know it's selfish...but, hey, you have to address the issue sometime or other.
Posted: Sat, 29th Jun 2002, 6:28am

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jarar1

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As a user of both Alam and AE I have to ask, what's the big deal? If you have both, good for you, be happy you've got more resources than some of your peers, and get on with it.

I use whatever works best for what I need to do. If I need a muzzle flash, I use Alam, if I need a lens flare, I'll likely use AE. But when I'm adding lens flare in AE, I'm not upset that Alam does it too.
Posted: Sat, 29th Jun 2002, 9:32am

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Joshua Davies

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It would seem that you think AlamDV1 was unique because it limited you - thats never good. We are happy to be more like AE - sure if you have both programs you won't use AlamDV2 all the time, but it will still be that fastest at some things.

Oh and BTW the AlamDV1 style interface works with any plugin you want, not just the lightswords.
Posted: Sat, 29th Jun 2002, 7:30pm

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sidewinder

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It does? Well, then, that's nifty.

I'm not just trying to insult alamdv here. I'm trying to make it better. If people are going to get angry at me for suggesting that alamdv stay away from becoming like AE, then we have a problem. I'm trying to offer my insights on how alamdv could possibly be better, and how it could benefit evryone in the community, including AE owners.

P.S. Besides, I kinda want alamdv to become something unique, not an AE clone. wink
Posted: Sun, 30th Jun 2002, 12:28am

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Kid

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I dont want to start another big 3d vs 2d effects argument again, but...

I think that although I personally wouldnt use any of the 3d effects because a proper 3d package is much more suitable to the task they do have a place for users who dont have 3d programs available or the expertise to use that sort of package. I do however feel that there have been a lot of them added recently and not so many 2d effects. When it first started Jim did quite a range of different types of blasts and stuff but since then only variations on the light sabre and some new exposions seem to be submitted.

I would like to see some more different types of blasts and shields and other light based effects because this is the area I think alam is best (and most realistic) at.
Posted: Sun, 30th Jun 2002, 4:39am

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sidewinder

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I agree kid, but that's not what where debating about...

Hey mecha, do you want me to give you the original TS background? I still have it.
Posted: Sun, 7th Jul 2002, 11:10pm

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Kid

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Well my point was that the feel of alamdv is largely dictated by its plugins and it is going drastically towards shoddy 3D.

(Ok before anyone takes this personally I don't mean the plugins themselves are shoddy but doing 3D in a proper 3D package looks better than zooming a 3D plugin about the screen a bit)

I think it might be about time that Jim or Schwar or one of the plugin makers made some energy ones to bring balance to the plugins before it starts giving the impression that all it does is a cheap alternative to 3D.
Posted: Mon, 8th Jul 2002, 5:02am

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Magic_man12

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Hey All

I can see what everyone is saying that Alam is turning into an AE clone. I dont have DV2, i have 1, but i remeber seeing the plugins i had, like the force feild, and muzzle flashes, and explosions, they were great. I remember thinking "how the F*UCK ccan i do this in AE". Keep the plugins simple, and unique. the muzzle flashes, ghostbuster gun, and all the weapons and lasers are all amazing. Why not more like them? but becuae theres a few it doiesn't mean there cant be better ones. more light effects, sparks, flashes, clashes, magic (like building power up in your hands, etc, force feild etc.).


Yeah the 3d animated plugins would be cool to have etc, its jsut not what ALAM was origianlly going for (at least thats what it seems to me anyway)

Its great to have all the plug-ins, and to have all the peopel making them.
but it seems to be getting into two kinds. The original ones that are "scene additions/enrichers" and the newer ones that are "scene makers". The plgins that make a scene more beleivable (ie, swords, flashes, flares) work better than ones that make the scene (like all the ships etc..)

soprry if its confusing

-MAGIC