Your opinion on Digital Effects or CGI
Programs like MAYA and 3D Studio max offer lots of great plugin effects such as rain and fire and smoke.
Plugins for 3ds like Afterburn have very realistic smoke and fire effects for partical systems.
with the right blur motion and post production touch ups i have created some realistic smoke effects in the past.
I personally think that 3D is a blessing for the indie person who cant afford to buy cars to smash up or hire stunt people to wreck them when all you have to do is film a backroad somewhere and compisition them into the picture.
add a little shake and blue and the right shadow and it blends in real nice.
though i have not perfected these skills and some of the stuff i do is kind of cheesey at the moment i have friends who work with 3D studio max that do some incredible stuff.
Anyways buying lightwave or MAYA or 3ds max is a good investment if you want to do alot of action films involving explosions. You may want to think about investing in it and learning basic rigging and modeling as Im about to do.
there is a program called Animation Masters which offers alot of the professional tools as MAYA and 3ds max offer for 299 dollars.
i will check for his link if you like or you can google it.
also using poser 5 is good to use if you want alot of human background motion. its fairly easy to use. like if you wanted to have people walking on the bottom floor of a space ship in a longshot.