October 28, 2010

Imitation is the sincerest form of competition

Aharon Rabinowitz demoans Boris FX knockoffs of various plug-ins in Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Plagiarism (much of the action is in the comments). It's surely disappointing, and often not well done or presented accurately, but it does seem to be the nature of the world of business campaigns (a martial term).

What is Windows but a continuing knockoff of the Mac OS? Apple itself has cannibalized its own hardware and software developers for many years. And would there be so many free After Effects tutorials exploding onto the scene several years ago without imitating and borrowing from the relatively expensive Total Training tapes and Creating Motion Graphics?

The big filter sets are all about being “me too!” by offering everything & the kitchen sink. That's often good enough if you don't have a big budget. Who knows, in trial evaluations buyers may find the GenArts Sapphire LensFlare as the tipping point over BorisFX, and forgo the extra expense of Knoll Light Factory at $399 or the even better Video Copilot Optical Flares at only $125.

Since they have the the advantage in quality, innovation and training, maybe Red Giant and others could make their keiretsus even more attractive by competing on price -- or just take the BMW route (which probably won't work for Automatic Duck). The whole issue makes me want another go at the Art of War, Code of the Samurai, and the Master of Demon Valley (in Thunder in the Sky: On the Acquisition and Exercise of Power by Thomas Cleary).


Navarro Parker said...

Or, I don't know... how about acutally improving the software outside of compatibility updates?? (OS X, Intel, CS5)

Look at AE's default Final Effects plug-ins vs. Boris Final Effects Complete. One is dead and hasn't changed since the late 90s, and one awesome with new features.

Outside of Particular 2, when was the last time Trapcode really improved any of their plug-ins?

Where's my SoundKeys 2.0? Starglow 2.0? Shine 2.0? Lux 2.0? 3D Stroke 3? Echospace 2.0? Form 2.0? Horizon 2.0?

Give Boris come credit for improving their products while another developer does nothing.

Rich said...

BorisFX does tweak their plug-ins and that's good.

I didn't know they did anything to Final Effects, but have a hard time imagining much new, and since the old stuff is already in AE, that's a hard sell.

I think the issue though wasn't about upgrades, or even about competition (welcomed more by consumers than the old guard), but representation.

That said I'm not sure there are many other approaches to Beat Reactor and Soundkeys given the nature of the task and AE SDK.

Anonymous said...

His post makes him come off as a real ****head. Make sure you are clean before you pick your battles

Satya Meka said...

Rich - right on. I was thinking what other possible ways can one implement beat extraction from a spectrum graph and I couldn't find a proper solution.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous work for Boris? Say me, another Anonymous. No I don't work for either company.

Rich said...

Anon II, you might check out comments on the original post at ABAO.