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Well, even in 3D these things are not easy. It takes time and effort to rig all those aniamted extrusions and bounces and some keyframes just can't be avoided. Some ideas:
Cinema 4D --> XFrog, DPIT, MoGraph module, DiTools, FusionThing, Sketch & Toon module (animated strokes)
Maya --> PaintFX, XFrog
XSI --> Particle systems
Houdini --> LSystems, Particles
Blender --> LSystems (Python-based), Cloner object
There's certainly a plethora of other tools and programs you can use pluse of course all the standard functions, but it will take time to learn and master. also understand that most of the tools I mentioned are primarily aimed at creating realistic plants or mathematically exact structures, so it will still hinge on your inspiration and creativity to make them look artsy and cool.
If you have a budget, Andrew Kramer sells a bunch of pre-animated flourishes in his Evolution package, if that's the form of "drawn on vines" you are talking about:
I dunno if this xsi plugin allows for growing trees - contact the author first ( or just try with free ModTool).
That's easy with with Max and Guruwares Ivy-generator plugin (Free!!)<br />http://www.guruware.at/main/ivy/index.html<br /><br /><br /><br /><Shaun_Kendall@adobeforums.com> wrote in message<br />news:firstname.lastname@example.orgNXanI...<br />> I've seen a number of commercials where the graphics look like plants<br />growing, and sometimes are literally graphics of vines, with leaves popping<br />up on them as if they're growing in timelapse.<br />><br />> I know this effect could be done in After Effects, but it seems like it<br />would take a whole lot of keyframes.<br />><br />> Does anyone know of a better program to do these effects in? It seems<br />something like 3d Studio Max, except 2d would be the best because then the<br />objects aren't just still images, or video clips, but something you can<br />change the properties that make it up. Is there a program that works well in<br />conjunction with After Effects to pull off these type of effects?<br />><br />> Thanks.
Thanks for all the info. I'm going to look into all of these.