As of now, i have no experience at all with after effects or any other VFX/CG program, we could say im starting from 0, i will soon buy after effects to start actually learning, so i was wondering if there anyplug-ins i should think of buying along to make my learning process easier and faster.
Some plug-ins that caught my eye, and that i've read alot of positive feedback about, are Elements 3D and Trapcode Particular.
Would these plugins be useful to my cause? Is there any other plugins i should be aware of?
I would like to give more detail about what i actually want to learn, but as a newby i cant really say that, for now i probably just want to overally get a grip of the program, learn al the terms and meanings of the various features in after effects and only once i've learned what every feature does ill be able to describe what i actually want from the program.
For now, we could say that i would like to move towards the Visual effect production and 3D animation. (thats why im also thinking of buying 3ds studio max, but thats not really adobe related >.>, Edit: Just checked the price, so i doubt ill buy it, as its out of my current budget, would the 'CameraTracker' Plug-in from videocopilot or the software 'Blender' be a good alternative to 3ds max?)
About this last part, as i said I am new to the VFX world, so i dont really know at the moment most of the vfx terms and meanings of many of the tools present in AE, i saw many tutorials so far and i am able to follow them, but many of the words (meanings) are new to me, 1st of all not beign english but Italian slightly slows the learnign and understanding process, but thats not really the problem as with a good dictionary and internet i can learn all of the meaning of the words and tools used in AE (and all other programs aswell, as they all use pretty much the same language), its like never having used PS for example and you then decide to check it out, you see alot of features that you dont know how to use as they have a meaning you dont understand, well, this is my main problem with AE so far, so i was wondering if anyone could lead me to a book, or a full beginners guide that actualy desribes all of the tools present in the program, so that once i study it, ill actually theoretically know what to expect from every tool and feature.
Also i was thinking that once i've got a grip of AE, i would actually like to go to London to the Escape Studio Courses, so i was wondering if anyone has gone throught the Escape Studio courses and could maybe give me their feedback about it, the course/courses im interested in are Visuall Effect Production (whih we could say its step 1), Visual effects Professional (which would be step 2), and then theres also VIsual Effects Animation Professional, if someone could give me feedback on these courses, and on what they achieved afterwards, it would be great to know
Then if you have any other useful tips for a beginner like me, id be more than glad to listen to them .
Thank you for your time reading all this, i wrote this much as this is probaly a life changing step in my life, so it is really important for me to get the correct information in order to take the right path.
Well, let's cut it short, shall we? In so many words: You're getting ahead of yourself. You're talking about third-party plugins without even having a basic grasp of AE itself much less some advanced concepts, which, no offense, is ridiculous. What would you hope to achieve with Particular, when you can't even do a simple layer animation? It's utterly irrelevant at this point. Download the AE trial, watch tutorials, start working. The rest will fall into place after a while or you might find it's not for you, after all. Your journey starts here:
Similarly, simply watch making-ofs of movies/ TV series/ commercials to understand some concepts like green screen work or 3D CG compositing.
I agree with Mylenium.
Extra plugins would just give you extra things to try to learn and actually understanding After Effects is hard enough. Mylenium gave you a link to a great, free learning resource. Here is another one. If you want a better and more in-depth education, this is a great resource. It's not free, but it's worth it.
I wouldn't worry about any 3d stuff until you get a good foundation in After Effects. After Effects is pretty difficult to learn, but a 3d program is even harder. It is much more complicated. Things you learn in After Effects about keyframe animation, frame rates, mattes, etc. will be very useful when you do decide to learn 3d. A good learning process is to get good with Photoshop, then get good in After Effects, then get good in a 3d program. Each one introduces concepts that you'll use in the others.