sure - for project compatibility reasons it would be good to have OFX -
for the fx capabilities itself you got so many tools inside smoke now, that the importance of having plugins is becoming less ... - still most plugins have more usable presets than the internal tools
One of the things that makes After Effects so powerful is the multitude of plugs available. For example: Trapcode, Red Giant, Foundry Rolling Shutter and Ocular ..... I could go on. Making OFX available would make smoke incredibly attractive to the VFX and Motion Graphics community.
I don’t know why GenArts charges $4k for Sapphire. Is Flame/Smoke difficult to develop for? Is it just because it’s a smaller market? Ether way, OFX feels like a good thing to support for users and their creativity.
As a long time Genarts customer I can assure you there is no dark agenda so put the conspiracy theories away!
The reality is there was extensive recoding required for every platform they supported. The cost of doing such programming is a fixed price depending on the time it takes and the number of engineers doing the work. That cost comes to a single fairly hefty number. That number has to be amortized across the number of sales for that given platform.
In the old days the Inferno license was double the cost of a flame license based on the fact that it rendered on so many more cpus. Burn licenses were also sold… Obviously they sell a lot more AVX plugins than Flame plugins and even more After Effects plugins. The dev costs are so spread much more thinly on the After EFfects end than they are on the Autodesk end.
The OFX initiative was started to avoid the recoding which reduces the amount of work needed at the programing end, support OFX in your app and you get the OFX plugins, and the cost of those plugins is amortized across all the OFX platforms… hence cheaper plugins.
I suggested OFX as a first step as it is an open platform and causes no conflict of interest to incorporate, but OFX is a very small subset of plugins available in the real world. For tru feature parity you would need both OFX and After Effects API support.
This may or may not be impossible depending on how Adobe guard their API though there is precedent for API translation in Profound Effects Elastic Gasket (after effects - avid avx) written by Perry Kivolowitz (Elastic Reality etc etc). I asked Perry a long time ago for a Shake API translator for AEX plugins but he was pretty busy writing Silouhette Roto at the time, maybe I’ll ask him again!
All's well that ends. That's why its called finishing.