So I just got my hands on Video Copilot’s new Element 3D plugin and it’s simply amazing! Render times are extremely fast, objects are very customizable, and the plugin has a lot of undiscovered potential. Check out this quick 5 second render I did using Element. It’s fairly simple, but after today, expect some more advanced stuff as I’m still trying to figure this plugin out a little.

Here are some of my first few impressions of Element:

  • Again, it’s extremely fast for what it does. Even with a crappy GPU, you should still be able to handle some pretty decently sized projects. Reflections, refractions, depth of field, motion blur, and bevels render flawlessly. This is a CS6 Ray Tracing killer. (even though Element doesn’t have full ray tracing capabilities)
  • Listen to Andrew when he says to update your graphics card. A lot of people are having crash and render issues because of this. As for me, some complex materials cause my AE to crash. Some stuff like Ambient Occlusion freezes my whole computer, making it useless for me. This is probably an issue on my end, but something to look out for.
  • The layout and organization of Element is a bit confusing and somewhat out of place in my opinion. (Probably because of all the rich features in the plugin). The actual Element UI is clean and easy, but the effects controls are a bit cluttered due to all the drop down menus. It’s going to take a little to get used to all the toggling and navigating through the submenus, etc. Pressing “U” to reveal all keyframes/parameters may seem confusing too as it doesn’t break them into Groups. Stay organized.

Again, these are all just my personal first impressions. Most of the issues are probably due to my end and I’m sure in future updates everything will be even better. Note that I do believe this plugin is completely mind blowing and that it’s definitely worth the price 2x. It’s fast and easy to create awesome looking stuff in a few seconds and I’d highly recommend it! Stay tuned for more upcoming stuff with Element. If you guys have any questions, let me know!