After Effects offers a lot straight out of the box, but when getting serious with Motion Graphics you may want to migrate out of what After Effects gives you and invest in a supplementary suite of effects. One reason for doing this is that a lot of designers use the AE effects out of the box and end up coming up with similar looks. Migrating to a new suite can give you a new interface to work with and open your mind to new looks. In any case what you want to look for is value. Until now, I have used the Sapphire suite for my supplementary effects. I've continually upgraded functionality by adding effects plugin from Zaxwerks and Trapcode among others.
Being so used to the much more expensive Sapphire package, I was skeptical that Boris Continuum Complete 6's (BCC6) effects could be any better than what I am currently using. Upon investigation my first thought was "Wow, there is a lot here!" I was right and that was just the beginning.
|Figure 1. AdvLensFlare: This is a preset called Big Hoops. This plugin is great for adding depth with real customizable light effects.|
|Figure 1a. AdvLensFlare: Look at the breakdown of everything you can add, takeaway, or customize in just this one effect.|
Ease of Use
As I've immersed myself in BCC6, I've come to truly discover that Boris FX are GREAT at the default level. Most of them work great the minute you apply the effect. BE WARNED! You will be tempted to use these effects at default and end up a week later seeing the same look on a cheap TV spot on The CW. Boris should not be faulted for this. It seems as though they design the effects for quick-use. That being said, they add a plethora of customizable options to each effect.