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Purchasing Help? Effects Lab v Composite Lab.

Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 12:35am

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Airsoft Studios

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Hello,

I feel like I really should purchase an Fxhome product. I love the demos, great for trying the product out, but I am getting annoyed by the watermark and such. Just to let you know, I am a pretty low budget filmaker, 15 years old, and my mom thinks I should save up for college instead of buying editing software. I was actually thinking of buying effects lab pro, I need the effects. But I was intriged by composite labs greenscreen chroma key abililty. I know you all are thinking that I should really just buy Visionlab. But my mom would freak if I told her I wanted to spend 500$ on editing software. I really want the greenscreen ability, but I really need the effects. What do you think would be the most important? Well here is a little bit about what my movie will be... (so far)

Alright it's just basically a video of myself and my two cousins running around like idiots with airsoft guns. biggrin . Ok, we haven't really designed the plot fully, but this is basically what we got so far. Myself and my cousin Ryan are designing a war scene. It's not going to be an aimless war scene though, our plot so far is basically my other cousin Logan goes against the fraternity... so basically treasons. She's on a mission to kill me and Ryan, but in the middle of that me and Ryan are in teh middle of destroying each other.

Ok I know you are thinking this is ridulously childish, but we actually thought of this a few days ago, (and my cousins haven't been on AIM to discuss the plot). I know the story isn't good at all so far. Please don't leave a comment telling me it sucks ridiculously. smile . But you have any ideas, suggestions, please let me know.

Ok so what would be the best for this? Effects Lab or Composite Lab? It will have a ton of fire fights so I think I'll go with effects lab. But without the greenscreen it'll kill us. I should just create it on the Visionlab demo, but I really really don't want the watermark.

Eh, one more thing, is it possible to green screen it on visionlab and move it to effects lab? Or when I render it will I still be stuck with the watermark? (probably)

Wow if you are still reading this I thank you. biggrin . Please give me mroe suggestions for a cool story plot. We need a good story more then anything.

Thank you.

Airsoft
Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 2:21am

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Axeman

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You can't switch from a demo to another app and not have the watermark. If you get CompositeLab, you can still create many effects with stock footage, such as muzzle flashes, explosions, smoke, etc. in addition to having greenscreen abilities. With EffectsLab, you can create the effects, but no compositing. Nada. In that sense, CompositeLab is the more powerful of the two, but it requires a decent array of stock footage to work with as well. Luckily, there a nice assortment in the AlamDV plug-ins, and some excellent new pack available at a reasonable price from FXhome.
Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 2:26am

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Airsoft Studios

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Axeman wrote:

You can't switch from a demo to another app and not have the watermark. If you get CompositeLab, you can still create many effects with stock footage, such as muzzle flashes, explosions, smoke, etc. in addition to having greenscreen abilities. With EffectsLab, you can create the effects, but no compositing. Nada. In that sense, CompositeLab is the more powerful of the two, but it requires a decent array of stock footage to work with as well. Luckily, there a nice assortment in the AlamDV plug-ins, and some excellent new pack available at a reasonable price from FXhome.
How many effects are on composite lab? The demo doesn't have any. Is it about the same as effects lab? But anyway, when I go to the presets download page, most of them are for effects lab and visionlab. So I can't download the cool presets for compositelab. If there is a wide array of presets I can download, you bet I'll go with composite lab.
Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 2:29am

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FXstudios99

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Like Axeman said, I would probably go with CompositeLab and then just by the stock footage.

But if you just need then green screen capability, you could get EffectsLab and then buy something like Adobe Premiere Elements 4 to do green screen. I got premiere along with photoshop (new versions) for around 100$ and I think you can get just premiere for a relatively low price.
Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 2:33am

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Airsoft Studios

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FXstudios99 wrote:

Like Axeman said, I would probably go with CompositeLab and then just by the stock footage.

But if you just need then green screen capability, you could get EffectsLab and then buy something like Adobe Premiere Elements 4 to do green screen. I got premiere along with photoshop (new versions) for around 100$ and I think you can get just premiere for a relatively low price.
Ok. By stock footage you mean presets right? So if I buy those stock footage cd's do they have the presets on the webiste? Cuz some of those presets on the website are just awesome looking.

How many presets are on the stock footage cd's?

Thanks.

One last thing. I checked the prices. Each cd is like 35 dollars! When the presets are free. Ah, so hard to decide. Does anybody know exactly how many presets are on the cd's? The site just says a "bundle". (I think they could be more specific)
Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 2:39am

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RodyPolis

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stock footage is not preset. presets are saved info of features within the program. Stock footage is footage you use to blend into your footage
Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 2:50am

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Airsoft Studios

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Alright, I will probably buy composite lab. But does composite lab have engines: muzzle, particle, optics... that sort of stuff? So once I install the program onto my computer, does it already have the same engines as effectslab? Do I have to purchase the engines? This is important to me! Thanks.
Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 3:02am

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RodyPolis

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what u see in the demo is what you get. without the watermark. so if you don't see something then it's not there
Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 3:19am

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Axeman

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There are no effects engines in CompositeLab. None. Not even one. Zero. Less than any. You cannot purchase or install any.

Stock footage is completely different from presets. Stock footage is pre-rendered video or image sequences that you can composite into your project. The stock DVD's FXhome just released, for example, or the stuff at www.detonationfilms.com, or any of the stuff in the AlamDV plug-ins library, which you can download for free once you have purchased a program. Presets are a file containing a bunch of numbers that serve as settings for the various controls in an effects engine. Any effects presets available on the site will require either EffectsLab or VisionLab.
Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 4:05am

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Airsoft Studios

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Well I think we all know I am going to buy...

Last thing, in EffectsLab Pro, is there still the grade engine??? In the demo it includes that, but in the overview the grade engine isn't mentioned. Thank you.
Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 4:27am

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spydurhank

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Yes the grade filters should be there since it's a compositing program but as Axemen stated... Check out the AlamDV plug ins. There's tons of stuff in that sewction, that you can use with your footage.
I know you already made your choice but I would highly suggest that you try and save some cash for vision lab. If you can't, it's cool because I believe that you can always upgrade later on to vision lab at a reduced price. I think?
But yeah I think you should talk the flick over with your buds and write yourselves a script. It's good practice for you, and you all get to contribute to the cause. I don't mind watching some mindless violence "on the screen" every now and then. Good luck. biggrin
Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 6:01am

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Terminal Velocity

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Well, I'd go with EffectsLab for a slightly lower cost. It's not that hard to use camera tricks to simulate whatever you need. Unless it's an extremely clear view of someone jumping like a hundred feet in the air.

But if you have enough of a budget, then go with CompLab and stock footage. It'll probably give you better results. That's if you have a greenscreen...?

The ideal combination, of course, would be VisLab and stock, but then again that would cost mega.

But Elab is a good starting point.
Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 8:19am

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Atom

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Rating: -2

Airsoft Studios wrote:

my mom thinks I should save up for college
I think we both know you're not likely going down the collegiate route...
Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 2:51pm

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Bolbi

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Atom wrote:

I think we both know you're not likely going down the collegiate route...
ouch.
Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 3:01pm

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Axeman

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There is nothing in the demos that isn't in the full version. Yes, there is an assortment of grading filters in EffectsLab. A fairly decent assortment, too. But there are quite a few more in CompositeLab, and even more yet in VisionLab, which has loads.
Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 4:10pm

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Airsoft Studios

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Atom wrote:

Airsoft Studios wrote:

my mom thinks I should save up for college
I think we both know you're not likely going down the collegiate route...
That hurt. sad Why even say things like that? That's not the way to earn respect. neutral

Last edited Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 4:45pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 4:34pm

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No Respite Productions

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I have seen your pain.
Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 4:40pm

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Airsoft Studios

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No Respite Productions wrote:

I have seen your pain.
I guess I am not the only one that was berrated by Atom. smile .
Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 5:09pm

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Airsoft Studios

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spydurhank wrote:

Yes the grade filters should be there since it's a compositing program but as Axemen stated... Check out the AlamDV plug ins. There's tons of stuff in that sewction, that you can use with your footage.
I know you already made your choice but I would highly suggest that you try and save some cash for vision lab. If you can't, it's cool because I believe that you can always upgrade later on to vision lab at a reduced price. I think?
But yeah I think you should talk the flick over with your buds and write yourselves a script. It's good practice for you, and you all get to contribute to the cause. I don't mind watching some mindless violence "on the screen" every now and then. Good luck. biggrin
Thanks spydurhank. That was really helpful. When I write the script I will post the summary on here just to have some comments/critisim/advice. Thank you. biggrin
Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 8:43pm

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Mellifluous

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Why do you need Composite Lab? All the descriptions you write indicate you'd benefit from Effects Lab mainly.
Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 9:24pm

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Airsoft Studios

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Mellifluous wrote:

Why do you need Composite Lab? All the descriptions you write indicate you'd benefit from Effects Lab mainly.
Oh, I was intrigued by composite labs green screen benefits. But all in all, in my video the muzzle flashes and explosions are the big thing. And I thought the stock footage was like presets. So I was going to get composite lab. But oh well.
Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 10:43pm

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jawajohnny

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You can see a comparison of what each software does here.

If you really want both greenscreen and effects engines, and can't afford Visionlab for $499, you could buy both Effectslab and Compositelab for $298. Is that price reasonable, or are you completely limited to just buying one or the other?
Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 10:58pm

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Mellifluous

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Airsoft Studios wrote:

Mellifluous wrote:

Why do you need Composite Lab? All the descriptions you write indicate you'd benefit from Effects Lab mainly.
Oh, I was intrigued by composite labs green screen benefits. But all in all, in my video the muzzle flashes and explosions are the big thing. And I thought the stock footage was like presets. So I was going to get composite lab. But oh well.
Effects Lab does muzzle flashes and explosions (though it's a good idea to mix stock explosions with the EL ones). The effects in Effects Lab are very customisable and there are a lot of great presets (presets, NOT stock footage) that are free to download for it from here (explosions, film looks).

Composite Lab just does greenscreening and masking. Which is great, but is every film you make going to have greenscreen? And what do you intend to greenscreen? Make sure you've used Composite Lab and see what it does, and are happy with it.
Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 11:08pm

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Axeman

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Its fairly painless to download both of the demos and try them out, to see which one suits your needs better.
Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 11:22pm

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Airsoft Studios

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Axeman wrote:

Its fairly painless to download both of the demos and try them out, to see which one suits your needs better.
Oh, I have tried out both demos. But I was confused with compositelab because all it has was "grade object".
Posted: Sun, 29th Mar 2009, 11:56pm

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Mellifluous

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Airsoft Studios wrote:

Axeman wrote:

Its fairly painless to download both of the demos and try them out, to see which one suits your needs better.
Oh, I have tried out both demos. But I was confused with compositelab because all it has was "grade object".
So you're leaning towards a program you're confused by?
Posted: Mon, 30th Mar 2009, 12:23am

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jawajohnny

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Did you read my post, Airsoft Studios? I linked to a comparison chart that shows you exactly what each program can do. And, I'm also wondering about that scenario I explained to you. Can you afford the $298, or can you only spend $149 for one of them? If you can't afford both, then you should go with Effectslab, because that's what you say you need more. Hope this helps. smile
Posted: Mon, 30th Mar 2009, 12:33am

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Airsoft Studios

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jawajohnny wrote:

Did you read my post, Airsoft Studios? I linked to a comparison chart that shows you exactly what each program can do. And, I'm also wondering about that scenario I explained to you. Can you afford the $298, or can you only spend $149 for one of them? If you can't afford both, then you should go with Effectslab, because that's what you say you need more. Hope this helps. smile
Yes, I did read your post and it was very helpful! (I would give you a +1 but frakly, I'm not sure how to. Well yes I can afford the 298, but I also have my mind on another airsoft gun and smoke grenades. Thank you a ton for your help! biggrin
Posted: Mon, 30th Mar 2009, 1:35am

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Terminal Velocity

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Airsoft Studios wrote:

jawajohnny wrote:

Did you read my post, Airsoft Studios? I linked to a comparison chart that shows you exactly what each program can do. And, I'm also wondering about that scenario I explained to you. Can you afford the $298, or can you only spend $149 for one of them? If you can't afford both, then you should go with Effectslab, because that's what you say you need more. Hope this helps. smile
Yes, I did read your post and it was very helpful! (I would give you a +1 but frakly, I'm not sure how to. Well yes I can afford the 298, but I also have my mind on another airsoft gun and smoke grenades. Thank you a ton for your help! biggrin
Well build your collection slowly. Don't try to buy everything at once.
Posted: Mon, 30th Mar 2009, 2:10am

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jawajohnny

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Yeah, you definitely just want Effectslab then. And about the money, I'm in a similar situation. I need a new camera, but I've been saving to buy a surround sound system. Can't have everything I guess. smile
Posted: Mon, 30th Mar 2009, 2:16am

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Singwolf

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Just a heads up, if your going to buy composite lab you have some things to consider. One: most important and most obvious, your going to need a greenscreen. Now not only do you need one your also going to need a way to hang/hold it, proper lighting and a picture to use as a backdrop. Now if your making a war film, you are going to need stock footage with composite lab seeing as it cannot produce the effects that effectslab can (Hence the name). Stockfootage can be expensive, unless your downloading from here: http://fxhome.com/alamdv2/plugins Where everything is free, but if you want top quality stuff, your better off buying it at (as mentioned) www.detionationfilms.com or www.nccinema.com or some other stockfootage website. Now after reading all the posts in the forum im still not sure if you know what the difference between stockfootage and a preset is. As mentioned a preset is just a file that you upload into one of the Fxhome products and a nice little preset effect is put into your library thats made from a combination of textures and other various tools available on the programs. These presets (http://fxhome.com/presets/) are made in the Fxhome programs and are not going to do you much good with anything else. Now not all presets are available for all the Fxhome products. Ex: The lightening ones can only be used by Visionlab, and the particle and optic engines can only be used by Vision Lab and Effects Lab as Compsite lab lacks those engines.

Phew. Ok now onto the stockfootage. "Stock footage is film or video footage that is not custom shot for use in a specific film or television program." Taken from wikipedia. Now as far as the stuff your looking for (Muzzle flash, Explosions ect.) you can go to those sites that I mentioned earlier. What you will find there are clips of usualy real explosions or sparks or whatever. Once you purchase this, you will put the video directly into any Fxhome program, in your case composite lab and put it on top of your video. You will notice the footage is mostly a big black square with the explosion, ect. somewhere on it. All you have to do is change the composite from normal to screen and the black is gone leaving on the effect. Then resize it and position it. Your done.

Now if your downloading from the alamdv2 plugin library here on fxhome (http://fxhome.com/alamdv2/plugins) Then you end up getting a single frame pictures, toss that into composite lab as image stream (someone correct me if there a better way.) and work from there.

What I suggest you do is making some short test video and download one of the free AlamDV2 plugins and try it in your video, using composite lab. See how you like it. Another thing to really consider is do you have the equipment to use a greenscreen. You need to lighting, the space to do it, and a backdrop ect. which in turn can cost you money. Effectslab on the other hand has a bunch of effects which are free and you can twist, turn and manipulate into position and angle you want, something you cannot do with stock footage. Stockfootage is 2D you can move it up, down, left, right, spin it and resize it, but its not 3D like the presets in effects lab, so you have to plan you scenes accordingly to the angle of the stockfootage. Now remember you can use stockfootage in Effects lab too.

I'm not telling you to lean one way or the other, so don't go off making your final decision on this post. If you could clear up what kind of resources you have as far as greensceen goes, please tell it would help.

Hoped this helped.
Posted: Mon, 30th Mar 2009, 2:46am

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Airsoft Studios

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That just cleared up EVERYTHING...

Wow, Thanks a ton for providing this information. PERFECT. biggrin

Thank you!
Posted: Mon, 30th Mar 2009, 8:27am

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Simon K Jones

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Yeah, sounds like EffectsLab is the one to go for. You'll always have the option at a later date to get CompositeLab or VisionLab if you need it. But EffectsLab sounds like when you specifically need now for the movise you're making.
Posted: Mon, 30th Mar 2009, 8:37am

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Atom

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Awwww you're no fun, Tarn. biggrin
Posted: Mon, 30th Mar 2009, 8:39am

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Simon K Jones

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Atom wrote:

Awwww you're no fun, Tarn. biggrin
Indeed. Much as I appreciated the meme-use, it was all a bit unfriendly and was thusly nuked. smile
Posted: Mon, 30th Mar 2009, 9:13am

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Atom

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I have seen your justification of moderation and overuse of the meme.
Posted: Mon, 30th Mar 2009, 6:52pm

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Singwolf

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Airsoft Studios wrote:

That just cleared up EVERYTHING...

Wow, Thanks a ton for providing this information. PERFECT. biggrin

Thank you!
No problem, just relaying information I've learned from other users here on Fxhome. You can learn a whole lot from these guys. I wish you the best in your decision and making your film.