Wanted to do a shout out to 2 companies that have really been going all out in terms of their workflows with AE. In September, Autodesk released a new compositor link feature for AE that works with 3ds Max. What blew me away was it can create a link between the two applications, so if you make a change in one application, you can see the change in the other. Check out:
A few weeks ago, Maxon, the makers of Cinema 4D came out with an update to their plugin for AE which allows you to literally create a .c4d file from within AE. Combined with the ability to make a .aep within Cinema 4D – you have great interop when jumping back and forth between the applications.
What this means? Any method that can streamline the process of going from an idea to what you see on the screen, irrespective of tools is paramount in my book. Both companies produce GREAT products. Check it out.