By pure chance I read a YouTube comment which informed that After Effects actually comes with Cinema4D Lite. Much like our Blood Elf-friend below, I was completely in the dark to the fact.
Legit or industry 3D Artists, this is common news ... I was oblivious; that's the slight drawback with learning completely separate things in parallel, you don't invest time in the foundation ... however this is only 24 hours apart, and the percentage of those 24 hours dedicated to the 3D stuff is maybe 5% at most... so I'm content with paying that price, at least while we have somewhat of a luxury of time due to quarantine.
Suffice to say, on an aesthetic level, things have improved dramatically... in terms of knowledge-gained, I haven't invested much time so I don't feel like I've learned a lot, but perhaps I've soaked up a bunch of 'muscle memory' type knowledge through intuition - doesn't matter, what matters is I'm many steps closer to my goal of creating cinematic-quality rendered poses of Warcraft assets ... my next stop is recreating my friend DreneyWoW from Instagram, and then rendering her (character of course) ... I should be close to the Narcissus level of render quality, and after that, I'll be on that slingshot and able to surpass anything Narcissus can do (don't let that sell the Narcissus add-on short though! It's incredible that a WoW Add-On can do what it can do... but that's the reason for this challenge; if everybody else can do it, I don't create anything that stands out from the crowd... and when I'm handling somebody else's character, as odd as it sounds, I want to treat it the way I'd treat the person, and do the project justice.
Based on "Yesterday", of course, I wouldn't use that render in a scene composition... I could arguably take "Today" render, into Photoshop, and create a scene, and I believe it would be on par with Narcissus... but that's not my goal, I need my next render to look back at Narcissus screenshots, way in the rear-view, comfortable in the knowledge that anything created from this point onwards, requires knowledge in a all this 'geeky 'stuff - most hobbyists aren't as masochistic as I am, and they won't invest the time. The actual 3D Artists are capable of much better than what I will ever be, but I'm ok with that... I'm not swimming in that pool, I'm swimming with the game players and screenshot takers, not the experience and sometimes professional 3D artists... much like they are probably not building web software, or experimenting with their computer setup to make it faster and more stable simultaneously (in other words, like a free GPU upgrade) ... or <pick one of the numerous random things I've been doing since C19 kicked in)>.
To reference a phrase I've used in an as-yet-unpublished (but 2000 words deep) blog post... I'm hijacking my ego, to make me learn this stuff... it represents other people's in-game toons, I don't want to make them look bad, that makes me look bad... it's all just ego in reality, but I'm trying to exploit my own desire to look good - and to face up to that reality that I would rather be liked, that not liked, and use what would normally be a negative ('arrogance' or 'naivety' because of a lack of 'self awareness', all seem like components in the that unwanted aspect of being 'egotistical').