I've been using the Zaxwerks 3D plug-in about as long as I've been using Adobe After Effects. The first version I ever installed came bundled with After Effects 6 - I remember I almost threw away the disk along with the empty AE packaging, thinking it was just more of the ultimately useless software that vendors seem to cram into the packaging of just about everything you buy nowadays.

But I quickly discovered that it is a very powerful weapon to have in your motion graphics arsenal. Zaxwerks-generated 3D graphics have been a part of every corporate video I've done since then.

The Zaxwerks plug has been described as 2½D because it is much simpler to use that a full-on 3D animation suite like Maya. However, the results look just as professional and it is fully integrated with After Effects. Past versions were dependent on Adobe Illustrator vector images to create the initial wireframe model and the process itself was annoyingly slow and cumbersome. Not to mention the massive render times once you finally managed to build a halfway decent 3D model! With version 5.0 Zax Dow and his team have taken their software to a whole new level. You are no longer limited to AI vector images - there's a full set of bezier drawing tools included and you can now type text in directly. This is a massive improvement over previous versions. I purchased version 5.0.7 to plug into my Adobe CS 5.5 suite and had some initial performance issues. Fortunately Zaxwerks has an absolutely amazing tech support department that identified my OpenGL problem and pointed me to version 5.0.8 that resolved the issue straight away.

I'm currently using it in a corporate video project and I'll post some of the results here soon.