GLE Curved Tube is a bezier curved tube with control points and many-many parameters. Easy to use, working well with iteration. I just made a quick test, but iam pretty sure that i have more rounds with this niceness.
the per pixel lighting mode let you emulate the lighting, just need to drop in a lighting patch and viola.
NI aka Noise Industries providing the FxFactory, mostly QC based filters for commercial video editor and motion graphic software .
This one is also sweet:
source: http://www.noiseindustries.com *
*this is not a commercial, just i like the tool:) thanks Vade for the info.