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Multiple Forms allow you to create significantly more powerful and complex particle forms. In a nutshell, Multiple Forms is like having many instances of Form in a single effect.
Each secondary form can contain its own set of controls over things like the form type, shadowlets, particle types, etc., and these additional forms can also “inherit” the properties and behaviors of the Master Form. For example, if your base form stems from an OBJ, you could create an additional form with particles independent of that OBJ emitter, or particles overlaying that same OBJ.
For every instance of Form, you can have up to 8 forms (one Master Form and 7 secondary forms). Multiple Forms allow for much more richness in Form than has been possible before.
In the next page, we’ll look at how to work with Multiple Forms in the Form UI (in the Effects Controls panel in After Effects). But the recommended way to both create and work with Multiple Forms is in the Designer. The Designer allows for much more flexibility and ease of use when working with Multiple Forms. Additionally, there are several features (such as duplicating forms or saving form presets) that are only available in the Designer.