For a long time it seemed as if the time of the big compositing programmes was coming to an end. While at the turn of the millennium numerous expensive and powerful applications were vying for the favour of motion designers and compositors, the hour of open source and inexpensive offers came.
Not only Natron, Ramen or Blender suddenly offered a large part of typical compositing capabilities, but Apple also introduced many real-time features at a bargain price with Motion. When Adobe suddenly made After Effects, which had previously cost up to 2,000 euros, available for a low monthly price in the Creative Cloud, Blackmagic went one better with Fusion, giving you the full version of Resolve Studio for free.
The probably most lively classic Nuke, on the other hand, still reminds us of the old price structure. A simple annual licence still costs a hefty 2,700 dollars. But even here, freelancers with non-commercial and student licences can use the programme very cheaply or free of charge. And especially to get to know the programme for free.
But now a newcomer is entering the scene: according to its website, Autograph wants to become nothing less than the new leading application for creating digital moving image content and revitalise the motion design and visual effects industry. Since this programme found us via the Twitter timeline, we naturally wanted to know from which stable this development originated. Because in the rarest of cases, such programmes come from newcomers to the VFX industry.
And indeed: The Autograph development is led by Alexandre Gauthier-Foichat, the inventor and main developer of Natron, a powerful open source Nuke clone.
Anyone who has already reprogrammed Nuke and then developed a new composing programme from scratch can be trusted with small revolutions. The company behind it, Left Angle, seems to be very self-confident about this: Because the prices for the licences remind us strongly of the "good old days": At around 1,800 dollars for a licence, or 600 dollars for 12 months, the programme needs very good arguments to persuade motion designers and compositors to switch. There is a free trial, but it is limited to 30 days.
In any case, we are curious to hear how Autograph will develop - and whether the programme is really as revolutionary as the price suggests. In any case, the feature list itself hardly looks any different from the range of functions of current competitors.
If you are curious, you can have a look at the interface of the new compositing programme here: