Archive for the ‘Trapcode’ Category
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Grace is the Beauty of Form
By Sarah Wise
Published on Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

With a mantra that says “We don’t do annoying rubbish!” I knew Barbeque Design were going to be something a bit special, and they certainly don’t disappoint.

In April this year Barbecue produced a concept commercial for Toyota to introduce the new Yaris at the 81st Geneva International Motor Show. This elegant piece of motion graphics was developed using Trapcode Form, so we just had to ask Barbeque about their choice of software.

Managing Director Rüdiger Chmielus told us, “I think that from the moment I first used “Shine” I was a Trapcode follower. Especially the combination of Shine and Particular are essential for the typical “Barbecue” style. We use them on every project – even if it’s not obvious, they’re there. We definitely love this software!”

“The Yaris Project was finished under a very tight schedule and the final production took just under two weeks. We had one unit doing all the rotoscoping and tracking while another unit worked on the composites and the backgrounds.”

Based in Frankfurt and founded in 2007, postproduction and motion graphics studio Barbecue Mediendesign GmbH have produced consistently stunning concepts for brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Lexus and Porsche, not to mention numerous television ads, main titles and trailers.

As well as using Trapcode for commercial productions, some of their experimental work is equally impressive.

Also, check out their amazing show reel:


Scare Tactics with Trapcode Suite
By Aharon Rabinowitz
Published on Tuesday, October 4th, 2011
YouTube Preview Image

Last year, we discovered that one of our customers was using Trapcode products to help people scare their neighbors. Ghosts, zombies, and other assorted monsters were haunting houses in neighborhoods across the USA. People were seeing creepy stuff as they looked into their neighbors windows.

But have no fear… it’s all in Good Fun.

Mark Garvais creates scary and fun animations for you to project onto your windows for added Halloween festivity. The animations are available on a set of DVD’s called Hallowindow (actually, there are 4 volumes, with more on the way) and their designed to add fun for Halloween as Trick-or-treaters come to your home looking to score candy.

Mark, who is clearly a fantastic After Effects Animator, painstakingly creates each animation for maximal fun and scariness.

We asked Mark what Red Giant products are the most helpful is scaring the bejeezus out of people.

“I use Trapcode plug-ins for Hallowindow quite a bit. Particular 2 is probably the plug-in I use the most. It’s amazing for effects like fire and smoke but I’ve also used it for flocks of bats, streaks of light, atmospheric haze and leaves… the list goes on. It’s been a really reliable and indispensable tool for me. There’s also a tonne of online knowledge sharing on Particular so it’s easy to find help when your stuck, either on Red Giant People or elsewhere.

“Another great plug-in I’ve been using is Trapcode 3D Stroke. I’ve been able to create some cool lightning effects with some detailed frame-by-frame animating. It’s tedious key framing but worth it and 3D Stroke has all the control I’ll ever need.”

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Well Mark… We’ll see you in hell!!!!! And by that I mean – great stuff!

By the way, Mark was kind enough to share a spooky fire preset from Hallowindow on Red Giant People. Get it while it’s hot!

Also – don’t forget that you can get Hallowindow HERE.



Trapcode Maintenance Release: Form 2.0.1 and Lux 1.2.1
By Andrew Cheyne
Published on Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Trapcode Form

In case you missed it, we recently shipped Trapcode Form 2.0. Never content to just sit back, we spent some time post-release fixing up a few issues that we discovered and wanted to share the fixes for those issues with you today (as well as a bonus fix for Lux!). The issues we have resolved:

Lux 1.2.1:

  • If the spotlight was pointed at 90 or 270 degrees to the camera, you end up with a single line of transparent pixels.

Form 2.0.1:

  • A crash with opening some projects with OBJ models containing texture coordinates.
  • Added support for point cloud and vertex only OBJs.
  • Fixed an error when keyframing fractal field parameters.
  • Catch and return AE error when using multi-processing with low memory, now returns an error dialog instead of rendering blank frames.
  • Fixed world transform being double what it should be.
  • Added Invert Z option for OBJ models exported with a z axis opposite to that of After Effects.

You can grab the latest Trapcode Suite 11.0.1 installer here. The suite installer contains the fixes for both Form and Lux.


Red Giant Helps Deal With ‘Unemployment’
By Aharon Rabinowitz
Published on Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Every once in a while I like to put Netflix aside and look for a good short film on Vimeo (I have a Roku box, so I can watch Vimeo on my TV). There’s a lot of great stuff there, from a lot of talented people. In fact, I recently found a film called Unemployment, that was just so wonderful, I wanted to share it with you.

The hilarious, well shot, well-acted, and well written film is co-directed and acted by Chris Crutchfield and Austin Herring, two very talented guys who who’ve done a lot of great work together over the years. Trapcode Particular and Magic Bullet Suite, which are both part of Chris’ and Austin’s filmmaking arsenal, were used in Unemployment.

From Austin: “Trapcode continues to blow my mind every time they come out with a new plug in, and its no surprise that Magic Bullet is quickly becoming THE color grading software of choice for guerrilla filmmakers like us and high end Hollywood professions too. I use those on pretty much every single project I work on.”

From Chris: “Red Giant products have been a crucial tool in my arsenal. It’s like having a Swiss army knife of plugins, where there’s always something I can manipulate or modify, with relative ease and speed, that will allow me to achieve whatever look or effect I’m going for.”

I’m not new to Chris and Austin’s work. I actually found their stuff a couple of years ago, when they were working together at IMIGpro, where they created a series of “educational” videos to explain the various facets of our industry. I never realized how little I, and the rest of Hollywood, actually knew…

Ok, maybe they’re not educational, but they’re seriously funny – and there’s a bunch more, so check ‘em out. We’re glad that our products help such talented people tell their stories.

Check out more of Chris Crutchfield’s work HERE.

Check out more of Austin’s Herring’s Work HERE.


Trapcode Kicks It for Kung Fu Panda 2
By Sarah Wise
Published on Thursday, August 25th, 2011

When Kung Fu Panda first hit cinemas in 2008 we fell in love with martial arts misfit Po the Panda and the Furious Five as they fought and defeated the evil Tai Lung. But this year the challenge for the teams at Dreamworks was how to create the second installment and build on the successes of the first film.

In Kung Fu Panda 2, not only have the characters developed, but the film itself has upped its game with more explosions, more chases and more visual excitement – all thanks to the dedicated VFX teams at Dreamworks.

Po Finds the Truth – Image courtesy of DreamWorks Animation

Lead After Effects animator at Dreamworks, Daniel Hashimoto and his close-knit team of AE artists have brought amazing impact to some of the film’s most memorable sequences, using Trapcode Particular and Form.

Po Finds the Truth (2) – Image courtesy of DreamWorks Animation

Daniel told us: “One of the film’s most dramatic sequences – “Po Finds the Truth” – pulled out all the stops. In this sequence, which involves a village on fire near the snowy woods, Form and Particular were used to create snow, embers, smoke clouds, and a highly-stylized flame effect. The customization and versatility of Particular made it a very powerful tool to have at our disposal. Our Visual Development Artists painted the stylized effects which we wanted to bring to life in the 2D sequences, but not just in 2D, but also in stereoscopic 3D.** And since Particular, Form, and Horizon all work within a 3D environment, they were ideal for the look we wanted to achieve.

Flame example Kung Fu Panda 2 courtesy of DreamWorks Animation

** Check out Episode 59 of Red Giant TV to learn about using Trapcode Software to create Steroscopic 3D effects.

Learn more about Dreamworks animation HERE.


NEW Trapcode Suite 11, featuring NEW Form 2 & FREE training
By Debbie Rich
Published on Wednesday, August 24th, 2011


The industry standard for broadcast & 3D design, featuring Form 2

Trapcode Suite 11 is the industry standard package for high quality broadcast design and 3D motion graphics. Its full-featured tools create beautiful realistic effects — with an emphasis on flexible 3D content — for text titles, animated backgrounds, logo treatments and VFX design.

Our freshly released Form 2 is the new rockstar of Trapcode Suite, with a base particle system that can take any shape imaginable, including OBJ files, 3D animated models and organic forms (read more below). Your favorite celebrity, Particular 2, continues to wow its fans as the most powerful particle system for After Effects. And in a star-studded light extravaganza, Lux has been updated to support 32-bpc for more robust color definition.

Other Trapcode tools create 3D styled elements like volumetric light effects, realistic light sources and volumetric lines, all built for the After Effects 3D environment. Get nine addictive plug-ins for a comprehensive addition to your studio workflow, all at a crowd-pleasing price. 

Save $512 when buying the Suite; costs $1,411 for individual plug-ins.

Learn about Trapcode Suite 11
Buy now for $899
Upgrade now for $99


Unlimited 3D possibilities & original organic shapes

Words dissolve into sand, a logo catches on fire, and now 3D sequences explode into particles. Trapcode Form 2 keeps the beautiful organic shapes that you love, while adding amazing 3D object support and powerful Particular 2 controls.

Give your base form endless 3D possibilities by importing OBJ models, OBJ sequences or starting with our professionally designed presets. Supercharge the form with popular Particular features like Textured Polygon particles and Shading for AE lights. With its reorganized interface and better integration into After Effects, Form 2 has grown alongside your creative needs.

Powerful new features of Form 2 include:

  • Bring OBJ’s into After Effects with Form’s support for 3D models and 3D sequences
  • Includes the Particular 2 features you love, like Textured Polygons, Streaklets and particle illumination with Shading controls
  • Expanded Layer Map and Spherical Field features include rotating the layer map and distorting a sphere into any elliptical shape
  • Get your projects started quickly with sophisticated Form presets designed by Guru animator Harry Frank
  • Oh yes! Full backward compatibility with Form 1 projects

Learn about Trapcode Form 2
Buy now for $199
Upgrade now for $99


FREE Training for Form 2, Particular 2 & more

Trapcode Suite 11 helps you get that beautiful animation done faster. Learn how to master the Trapcode plug-ins with over 50 hours of FREE Red Giant training.

The video tutorials and quick tips on Red Giant TV give you a solid introduction to every Trapcode product, from the new 3D tools in Form 2 to the Physics controls in Particular 2, and all the cool stuff in between. Learn from Red Giant industry leaders like Harry Frank and Aharon Rabinowitz, and take control of those particles!

Watch the Getting Started with Form 2 video
Watch the What’s New in Form 2 video


OS X Lion: We are ‘roaring’ through the issues!
By Aharon Rabinowitz
Published on Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Just like you, Red Giant is excited about the release of OS X Lion. These are crucial platforms for your work and Apple is an important partner for Red Giant.

It is a priority for us to ensure that our customers can run Red Giant products on the latest software. We continue to work closely with Apple to make sure our products run well with theirs.

The good news is that we have been able to test our products with OS X Lion and most of our results have been great. We are happy to report that all of our products work perfectly between Lion and Adobe host applications. With FCP, there are a few issues that have come up, primarily with some of the products in our Magic Bullet Suite (read below).

If you are experiencing any technical problems with our software, and you don’t see the issue already listed below, please contact Red Giant Support. We want to get our products working perfectly in Lion, and your reports are invaluable in helping us continue to make our products high quality and bug free.

Magic Bullet Suite
We have discovered Lion issues in Magic Bullet Suite, primarily with Looks 2 and Colorista II. Apple is aware of the issues and will address them in a future update.Unfortunately, the issues are related to essential functions in OS X Lion that cause problems with saving Looks 2 and Colorista II projects in FCP. Please be assured that we are working closely with Apple to bring resolution to this issue. More details are in this blog post.

Keying Suite
In Lion and FCP, Primatte 5 does not correctly update its view once a key is made. Again, Apple is aware of the issue and will address it in a future update. All other Keying Suite products have not shown any issues with Lion so far, but we are still testing these products to guarantee their performance.

Trapcode Suite
Our testing to date and feedback from customers show that all Trapcode Suite products work in OS X Lion across all host apps.

Effects Suite
In Lion and FCP, Knoll Light Factory cannot save and update its lens flare data. Oh yes… Apple is aware of this issue and will address it in a future update. Our testing to date and feedback from customers show that all other Effects Suite products work in OS X Lion across all host apps.


Home is Where the Art is
By Sarah Wise
Published on Friday, August 5th, 2011

We’re a pretty creative lot in Oregon. And one of Red Giant’s Portland neighbors is the award-winning production company and animation studio Bent Image Lab.

Founded in 2002, Bent Image Lab is known for its animation expertise, encompassing stop-motion and strata-cut techniques as well as CG and motion graphics. Their visual artists and animators have created characters and commercials for clients such as MasterCard, Red Bull, Kellogg’s and Reebok, to name just a few.

One particular character who became a celebrity in his own right is loveable Luchadore El Tabador, who featured in a series of commercials for Canadian cell phone company Koodo. We discovered that the artists at Bent used Trapcode software to really bring this character to life.

Brian Kinkley, 2D compositor at Bent told us, “I used Trapcode Starglow to add a nice shiny effect to the car on the Koodo mobile spot. Then I used Trapcode Shine to simulate volume light and how that light interacts with the character in front of the light source. In fact, I use Trapcode Shine on pretty much all that I do. It’s an extremely useful tool!”


Trapcode Form Experiment: Project Walk-through
By Aharon Rabinowitz
Published on Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Yesterday, I posted this video on-line and asked people to guess what software I used to generate the imagery:

There were a lot of guesses, but virtually none were right. Either folks thought it was a 3D app or perhaps an as-of-yet unreleased plug-in from Red Giant or another company. But nope. It was Trapcode Form.

Not only is the plug-in not new, but if you are a Trapcode Suite owner, you already have it, and may have had it for YEARS.

Unlike particle systems, such as Trapcode Particular, where particles are emitted and then die/disappear, Trapcode Form, is a plug-in that creates a grid of particles that live forever. And while it may not make Form the ideal tool for generating sparks or fire, it is a fantastic tool for generating fields of objects like the above.

Anyway, I got a lot of questions on how I created the above video, and while I may turn this into a full-on tutorial at some point, I wanted to share this walk-through of the project. Everything you see (including reflections) was generated in After Effects. You’ll be surprised how simple it is, and how much trickery was used. Here it is:


New QuickTip on Getting in Between Particles
By Aharon Rabinowitz
Published on

Ever wonder why you can’t put After Effects 3D layers in the middle of your Trapcode Particular particle system? They both use 3D space and react to the camera, yet the layers are either behind or in front of ALL the particle. It can be really frustrating, and can make a convincing composite impossible.

BUT DO NOT LOSE HOPE! In this QuickTip from Harry frank, he’ll explain what’s going on, and show you how to put a layer in between particles. Watch it HERE.

Also, there’s a Red Giant TV tutorial called “Better Compositing with Particles” that covers tackling the same problem, but in a very different way. Depending on your situation, you can use either of them.

Finally, if you’re ready to take on this challenge with lots of 3D layers – check out sParticular – an awesome script from which will give you real control over putting layers in your Trapcode Particular particle system.


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