Archive for the ‘Trapcode’ Category
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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.


New Tutorial on Sterescopic 3D with Trapcode Products
By Aharon Rabinowitz
Published on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

When it comes to stereoscopic 3D, I know how intimidating it can be because I’m a beginner myself. I took some time to do a little research, and I wanted to share my explorations with you, in an episode of Red Giant TV. This is just a “basics” but hopefully it will help kick-start you.

Episode 59: Trapcode 3D Stereoscopic Workflow Basics

In this Episode of Red Giant TV, Aharon Rabinowitz explores the basics of 3D Stereoscopic Workflow with Trapcode 3D plug-ins.This tutorial is a great intro to Stereoscopic 3D in After Effects. If you have them, bring your 3D Glasses – it will help.

Watch the tutorial HERE.

And check out to get the FREE stereoscopic tools (and tutorials) for AE, By Christoph Keller.


New Tutorial on Creating a Motion Graphics Billboard Scene
By Aharon Rabinowitz
Published on Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Episode 58: Creating a Motion Graphics Billboard Animation

In this episode, Harry Frank walks you through creating an awesome motion Graphics billboard project. You’ll learn about 2 kinds of particle systems, color correction, lighting, reflections, and just generally making stuff that looks really cool.

Watch it HERE.


Odds in Favor of Trapcode
By Aharon Rabinowitz
Published on Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

With over fifteen years of postproduction experience to his credit, Compositor, Motion Graphics and Visual Effects Artist, Owain Street has lent his creative expertise to numerous commercials and title sequences for broadcast TV.

Since 2000, as a Designer and After Effects artist at, one of the UK’s most recognized post production and VFX houses, Owain has produced some stunning visual work using Trapcode Form and Particular. One commercial that really stood out for us is a 30 sec commercial for (an online bet comparison site). We asked Owain to tell us a bit more about the project.

Owain said, “The brief was to try to create a dynamic feeling sports sequence, communicate the idea of “odds” and clearly brand the commercial. I played around with a couple of ideas and then tried out using Trapcode Particular to re-create sports footage with odds and numbers. The client loved the concept & feel of the effect and ran with it”.

“One feature in Particular that made ‘Oddschecker’ possible, was the ability to use layers as particle emitters. Once I had mattes for the live action, I could use Particular to “describe” those live action elements as hundreds of particles. Also, the ability to use custom particles was essential – the sports people needed to be displayed as “odds” like 5/1 or whatever. In fact it was the ability to be able to do these two things that led to my initial concept of turning the sports people into odds in the first place. This is one of the great things about Particular – it allows the creation of a wide variety of effects. It feels like a design tool – a long way from a plug-in that has “one look”, its flexibility is one of its big strengths. As well as the ‘Oddschecker’ effect I have created snow, smoke, fairy dust and energy streams among other things and I’m sure there will be more to follow!”

Another commercial that we had to mention is one of a series made for De Montfort University. Each of the six 10 second commercials used Trapcode Particular and Form to some degree but this particular one is stands out from the others as it was created entirely with 3D Stroke.

It’s such an elegant piece of work we asked Owain why he chose Trapcode. He told us, “For me as a motion graphics designer / VFX artist Trapcode software is a fantastic addition to my tool set. They look great, they are relatively easy to use (3D stroke / Shine / Starglow), but in the case of Particular and Form have a lot more going on when you take the time to explore the various settings. For example, as well as the flexibility of Particular as I mentioned earlier I used Form in the De Montfort “Philippa” sequence to generate the “topography” she casts her hand over. This was done using greyscale images that I had created in Illustrator to drive the Fractal Strength parameter in specific areas of the Form image, all I then needed to do was keyframe the displacement amount, to animate the topography rising up from a flat surface to create the appearance of hills. It is this kind of looking “under-the-hood” that can lead to really nice, controllable effects.

You can check out the other 4 equally impressive commercials HERE.

Additional Links:


New QuickTip asks “Why Be Normal?”
By Aharon Rabinowitz
Published on Friday, July 8th, 2011

Why be normal? Because it looks cool! That’s why, fool!

Red Giant QuickTip #46: Creating Normal Maps with Trapcode Form

In this demonstration, Harry Frank shows how to add light and reflections to Trapcode Form by using a custom particle generated from a 3D Normal Pass in conjunction with Stefan Minning’s Normality plug-in.

Watch the turorial HERE.

Download the project here:​Explore/​PresetDetail.aspx?PresetId=1835

For more information on Normality, visit​software/​normality/​


In a Tight Spot for the Coyotes
By Sarah Wise
Published on Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Promotions for sports need to be fast and one company that is keeping the pace is Flock of Pixels out of Phoenix, AZ.

Justin Katz established Flock of Pixels in 2008. Starting out in the business as a motion designer, he was soon taking on larger and larger roles and now is a talented Director, Animator, Producer and Art Director. At Flock of Pixels he is often asked to create broadcast quality spots with extremely limited time and budgets for television and web. It just so happened that one of their recent spots was for the Phoenix Coyotes NHL team and we were excited to find that this dynamic piece of editing used Trapcode Particular and Magic Bullet Colorista II, so we got in touch with Justin to tell us more.

“We had a script and hard drive full of photos delivered to us at 5:30pm on a Friday and were asked to have a full cut for sound design by Monday” Justin told us. “There wasn’t even a creative direction in place – they literally said “work your magic.” “Since the entire spot would be comprised of only still images we needed other elements to help bring further dimension to the Coyotes spot. I decided to approach the project so it would feel like everything was happening during a very brief moment in time by bringing the stills to life in ultra slow-mo.

“Since everything had to be done very fast, yet be consistent throughout, Particular was used for its speed and to help sell the effect of the super slow-motion photo-animation. In addition to the flakes of ice coming off of the skates, I layered elements of defocused dust/ice/confetti particles (made with Particular) at various depths to add dimension to the scenes and more interest. Most of the particles are the ‘cloudlet’ shapes (including the ice and dust) with the confetti being one of the few custom particles.

“We also used Colorista II to color balance and match each photo for a high contrast look/feel and to keep everything looking like they were shot at the same time.”

“I’ve been using Particular since around 2005 and it’s one of my go to tools – especially on very tight production schedules. It’s fast, gets the job done and lets you see results immediately. I had considered using stock elements for these effects, but in the end it was actually faster for me to create them with Particular than to search stock sites for the proper footage and then composite them in. This was also my first time trying to emulate super slow-motion with Particular – it’s physics time factor settings came in super handy.”

As with everything we do we wished we had more time on this project, but as my friend says “Things are never done, just due.”

You can see Flock of Pixels 2011 Showreel here:

Related Links:


Say “I Do!” to Wedding Presets for Trapcode Suite 10
By Jennifer Aust
Published on Friday, June 24th, 2011

Harry Frank’s Weddings for Trapcode Suite 10

50 Elegant Compositions for Wedding Videos

Say, “I do!” to this new wedding production Guru Preset Pack by Harry Frank. Give your event videos an elegant mix of traditional and contemporary animated design elements. Wedding bells, rings, butterflies and rose petals create the perfect mood for your client’s special day. Beautiful backgrounds, lower thirds, title pages, transitions and full screen type animations give you many options to highlight and enhance the wonderful memories. Mix and match to create hundreds of combinations that will save time and add value to your production, all before the honeymoon is over.

  • Read about Wedding Guru Pack (before the honeymoon is over)
  • Watch samples of all 50 presets (and live happily ever after)

Work fast & creatively with these helpful features:

  • 50 beautiful projects use Particular 2.0 and Trapcode Shine 1.5
  • 7 elegant design packages with 15 additional particle wipe transitions
  • Each design package includes a background, lower third, video frame, transition, and full screen title (all at 720P resolution)
  • Supports After Effects CS4, CS5, CS5.5

Looping Backgrounds for Trapcode Suite

55 Backgrounds for Broadcast & Corporate Video

Can’t get enough of Harry Frank & Trapcode? Check out his popular Looping Backgrounds for Trapcode Suite 2010. Work with speed and flexibility using a wide variety of textural designs that include glitz, swirls, maps, bokeh, fractal shapes, grids and lines.

Read about all 55 presets

Watch samples of all 55 presets


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