‘Tis the season!  This year at the Motion League we asked you what motion graphics related things where on your wish list for Christmas, and here are the most popular items on your lists:

A Semester of FXPHD– (US$359)

  • FXPHD is subscription-based online training for postproduction, visual effects, and motion graphics. You can join one or more of 4 new Terms per year starting in January, April, July, and October.

GSG City Kit (US$149), Light Kit (US$69), and Texture Kit (US$69)

  • The motionographers essential additions to your Cinema 4D workflow.
  • It’s like MoDynamics for After Effects.  Newton interprets each 2D layer as a rigid body in a real environment.  Once simulation is completed, animation is recreated in After Effects with standard keyframes.
  • Turbulence Fluid Dynamics (TFD) makes physical simulations of fire, smoke, dust and other gaseous phenomena available directly in CINEMA 4D and LightWave 3D.
  • Huge database of Cinema 4D training for beginners and some good ones for advanced users, for the price, it’s definitely worth it!

NitroBlast for Cinema4D  (~US$52)

  • A new fracturing plugin from the creator of Thrausi and Catastrophe. Allowing completely automatic, collision driven fracturing, Nitroblast is written from the ground up to be faster, bigger, more powerful and better from all angles than the previous fracturing plugins.
    Even though it’s numerous, powerful features, it was designed with simple, easy to use interface in mind. Features include:
    Autobreak: Completely automatic impact based fracturing: You don’t have to do anything, just run a dynamics simulation or even a custom animation with 2 objects colliding, and the auto-break will do the rest. It will break the objects based on their impact point. It supports:
    – Multibreak for multiple colliders on an object,
    – Deepbreak (as described below)
    – Cracks: Generate parametric Cracks for the part of the object that stays behind
Syntheyes (US$399-599)
  • SynthEyes is a 3-D camera-tracking software application, also known as match-moving, which is widely used in film, television, commercial, and music video post-production. SynthEyes can look at the image sequence from your live-action shoot and determine how the real camera moved during the shoot, and where various features are in 3-D, so that you can create computer-generated imagery that exactly fits into the shot.
  • The must have set of plug-ins for any After Effects user.  Trapcode Suite is the industry standard package for high quality broadcast design and 3D motion graphics. Its full-featured tools create beautiful realistic effects — with an emphasis on flexible 3D content — for text titles, animated backgrounds, logo treatments and VFX design. Trapcode Suite gives you 3D styled elements like a powerful particle system, volumetric lights and organic forms, all built for the After Effects 3D environment. Get nine addictive plug-ins at an affordable price for a comprehensive addition to your studio workflow.
  • Very useful when working with composites out of Cinema 4D.  Instead of waiting for the sometimes painful native motion blur in Cinema 4D/3DSMAX, do it in post inside After Effects with this plug in.  Render out your Motion Vectors out of C4D/3DSMAX and have full control over the plug using this plug in.  Renders way faster than Cinema 4D’s native blur too.

Frischluft Lenscare (US$199)

  • Like ReelSmart Motion Blur, this gives you the ability to add Depth of Field blur inside of After Effects, again cutting down on render times out of Cinema 4D/3DSMAX.

Video CoPilot Optical Flares (US$124.95)

  • Optical Flares is a plug-in for designing and animating realistic lens flares in After Effects.  For those of you that are used to using Knoll Light Factory, Optical Flares is the roid’ed up brother.  This is a robust lens flare plug-in with limitless customization to make your own kinds of lens effects that can change dynamically as it animates across the screen.  This is a must have for most motionographers out there.  Additionally, you can buy Andrew Kramers “Pro Presets” which run an additional US$25 that have a nice set of presets if you don’t feel like digging into the interface and making all your own custom presets.

Vray for C4D (~US$1,035)

  • Sure, it’s a pretty hefty price tag, but using the VRay renderer is what you’ll be wanting if you want to get ultra-realistic renders and fast GI & AO renders out of Cinema 4D.
  • Sick of using Beam effect and an expression to get objects you’re animating to be connected by a line?  Get this plug-in which does it simply and easily, plus it works in 3D space.

Cintiq 24HD (US$2599)

  • Saved up enough of that freelance money to splurge?  The Cintiq 24HD combines the best in high-definition LCD performance with the ability to work with Wacom’s most advanced pen technology directly on the surface of the screen.
Intuos 4 (US$229-$789)
  • And for those of you who have a bit more modest budgets but still want to use a pen with you computer, there’s the industry standard Intuos pen tablet.  For working professionals and serious creatives alike, Intuos4 represents the finest pen tablet experience ever created by Wacom.

ZBrush 4 R2 (US$699)

  • For the hardcore modellers, there is this amazing plug-in for Cinema 4D.  ZBrush 4R2 revolutionizes digital modeling and unleashes your creative power by delivering a topological-free sculpting process with new tools like DynaMesh. When sculpting with traditional techniques, polygons become stretched and difficult to work with. Now with a quick gesture, ZBrush will instantly generate a new sculpting-friendly model with uniform polygon distribution. This makes it possible for you to focus only on the visual aspects of your model, without worrying about its underlying geometry.
  • Stuck on ideas for your next project?  Want to find a good font & color combination for your logo design?  These little books are nice for flipping through and sparking your creative genius!

Animator’s Survival Kit by Richard Williams (~US$24)

  • The definitive book on animation, from the Academy Award-winning animator behind Who Framed Roger Rabbit?  In this book, based on his sold-out master classes in the United States and across Europe, Williams provides the underlying principles of animation that every animator–from beginner to expert, classic animator to computer animation whiz –needs. Urging his readers to “invent but be believable,” he illustrates his points with hundreds of drawings, distilling the secrets of the masters into a working system in order to create a book that will become the standard work on all forms of animation for professionals, students, and fans.
  • This is the first book to be published on one of the greatest American designers of the 20th Century, who was as famous for his work in film as for his corporate identity and graphic work. With more than 1,400 illustrations, many of them never published before and written by the leading design historian Pat Kirkham, this is the definitive study that design and film enthusiasts have been eagerly anticipating. Saul Bass (1920-1996) created some of the most compelling images of American post-war visual culture. Having extended the remit of graphic design to include film titles, he went on to transform the genre. His best known works include a series of unforgettable posters and title sequences for films such as Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo and Otto Preminger’s The Man With The Golden Arm and Anatomy of a Murder. He also created some of the most famous logos and corporate identity campaigns of the century, including those for major companies such as AT&T, Quaker Oats, United Airlines and Minolta. His wife and collaborator, Elaine, joined the Bass office in the late 1950s. Together they created an impressive series of award-winning short films, including the Oscar-winning Why Man Creates, as well as an equally impressive series of film titles, ranging from Stanley Kubrick s Spartacus in the early 1960s to Martin Scorsese s Cape Fear and Casino in the 1990s. Designed by Jennifer Bass, Saul Bass’s daughter and written by distinguished design historian Pat Kirkham who knew Saul Bass personally, this book is full of images from the Bass archive, providing an in depth account of one of the leading graphic artists of the 20th century.
Drobo S (Starting at US$799)
  • Hard drive fails with all your work on it…aw crap, now what?  Stop that situation from ever happening and get yourself a nice external RAID backup.  Drobo S is a five-drive storage array that features a triple interface (Firewire 800, USB 3.0 and eSATA connections) and single- or dual-drive redundancy, making it ideal for creative professionals and small businesses with “set it and forget it” storage needs.  Works for both Mac & PC!

SpacePilot PRO 3D Mouse (US$399)

  • For the serious 3D modelers, this is like the Rolls-Royce of computer mice.
Vimeo PLUS Membership (US$60/year)
  • Like showing off your work but hate the long convert lines and no HD embedding?  Vimeo Plus is for you!  A plus account includes unlimited HD embedding, advanced user statistics, 1080P playback & AVCHD support, and mobile conversion of your videos!
Tell us your wish list in the comments section!  Have a Happy Holiday from all of us at MotionLeague!

[Image from Andrew Kelsall]