Couple pre-purchase questions...
Posted: Thu, 12th Nov 2009, 5:11am
Post 1 of 6
I've been looking at EffectsLab (and CompositeLab) and finally downloaded the demo last night. Looks good, and I like that you have various video tutorials, etc.
First question I'm pretty sure I know the answer to, but thought I'd ask to be sure. VisionLab comes with PowerPlug and MuzzlePlug, but they're only for After Effects, is that correct? If I don't use After Effects, then just purchasing CompositeLab and EffectsLab would be the way to go?
Other question is, am I right that EffectsLab hasn't been updated (other than bug fixes) since 2007? I've had a hard time even finding reviews on it after late 2007 early 2008. Not that that's a bad thing, just seemed odd it's been that long between updates - if it has.
Posted: Thu, 12th Nov 2009, 5:46am
Post 2 of 6
Hi there, welcome to the community.
PowerPlug and MuzzlePlug are completely separate from the Lab products. MuzzlePlug takes the same Muzzle Flash engine that is built into EffectsLab and VisionLab, and makes it compatible with AE, for users of that program. PowerPlug does the same for the lightning engine included in VisionLab.
VisionLab contains all the abilities of PowerPlug and MuzzlePlug, and a whole lot more. And it (and EffectsLab, and CompositeLab) is a standalone application, so you do not need After Effects to use any of its features.
Purchasing VisionLab instead of the EffectsLab/CompositeLab combo has several advantages: First and foremost, it comes with a commercial license. The license for EffectsLab and CompositeLab requires that you include a credit to FXhome in any projects you use it on. VisionLab, on the other hand, you can use in any way you want, without the credit requirement. Other advantages include a unified interface, which saves time over rendering and transferring movie files from one program to another, and additional features that are not found in the other applications. On the other hand, the significantly lower cost of Elab/Clab is an easy exchange for the credit requirement for many users.
As to the updates, the latest update to the Lab products was in September of this year. But as you mention, this was primarily a bug fix release. The release of version 1.5 in December of '07 marked the last significant release including new features, etc. The development team has obviously been spending a great deal of time on whatever is coming next...
Posted: Thu, 12th Nov 2009, 9:56pm
Post 3 of 6
Thanks a lot for the info, Axeman. As I reread the info for VisionLab I see it says it contains the 'technology' of PowerPlug and Muzzleplug, rather than the programs themselves. Makes sense now.
I agree about the commercial license, it's the way to go, and with the holiday special it's a great deal. And I do like the idea of the unified environment.
I was really curious about the length of time between major updates, but the program and the community seem to be doing pretty well. I'd have to assume, as you say, they must be working on something good.
Guess it's time to buy/learn/play. Thanks again...
Posted: Fri, 13th Nov 2009, 2:37am
Post 4 of 6
Sure thing. And when it comes to the learning stage, there are lots of resources about to help you out, not the least of which is the very helpful community here, where there are lots of users who will happily answer your questions.
Posted: Fri, 13th Nov 2009, 3:40am
Post 5 of 6
Thanks again, Axeman. Bought VisionLab about an hour ago, downloading now. The site must be busy, it's coming down at about 19kps compared to the 180-220 I usually get.
I didn't really get much chance to play with the EffectsLab demo, but enough to see it looks good. Anxious to check out the whole package. It's a little different than the standard video editors (I use Vegas mostly), but not too different. Short learning curve, but it looks like it's going to be a blast to play with.
I've been looking over the forums, knowledgebase, and anything else I can find. Don't know yet if there's an actual doc file. Will probably pick up a couple of the tutorial DVDs in the store to speed things up. Some of the YouTube tuts out there seem helpful too.
Anyway, appreciate the help. I'm sure I'll be around with the standard beginner questions eventually...
Posted: Fri, 13th Nov 2009, 5:53am
Post 6 of 6
Yeah, EffectsLab and VisionLab are a fair bit different from your standard video editors, because they aren't intended to be editors. If you were to try using any of the Lab products as a video editor, it would be pretty awkward at best. They are really optimized to work with scenes excerpted from your editor; once you have your rough edit put together, then you export a scene which needs effects, import it into VisionLab and do your thing, then export it and place it back in your editor, replacing the original version without effects. Then move on to the next scene that needs effects, and repeat.
But once you understand the interface, its fairly straightforward, so I'm sure you'll get the hang of it.