Trapcode Form

Rendering Group

The Rendering group controls how the particles look when they render.

Render Mode pop-up: Defines what quality and features are enabled when Form renders a frame.

NOTE: To enable DOF, the Render Mode pop-up must be set to a DOF option AND the Comp Camera's DOF switch in the After Effects camera layer must be enabled.


  • Motion Preview: This mode renders each particle as a quick and dirty point. This mode is useful for previsualization.
  • Full Render: The default setting. Full-quality render, but explicitly excludes Depth of Field.
  • Full Render + DOF Square (AE): Full-quality render with Depth of Field. For custom particles, the DOF blur used is similar to After Effects' own DOF blur. This is a squarish look which, while faster, means less visual quality. DOF does not affect the Glow Sphere and Star particle types.
  • Full Render + DOF Smooth: Full-quality render with Depth of Field. This option will increase rendering time. For custom particles, the DOF blur used is similar to a gaussian blur, and will produce better results than the After Effects DOF. DOF does not affect the Glow Sphere and Star particle types.

Acceleration pop-up: Form can now take advantage of the additional power of your graphics card (GPU) using GPU acceleration. In the Acceleration pop-up, you can select whether to use CPU (computer) or GPU (graphics card) acceleration. Accelerating with the CPU can sometimes be more reliable, but accelerating with the GPU usually speeds things up quite a bit.

Note: GPU acceleration is unfortunately unavailable on Mac OS X 10.11. 


GPU Particle Rendering: When using GPU acceleration, there are two options, found in the GPU Particle Rendering pop-up.

  • Direct will render every particle. This will be more accurate, but the speed increases might not be as significant.
  • Streaming will usually provide a much stronger boost to particle render speeds, but this doesn’t render as accurately as Direct does.

Note that Streaming will not render some features, such as Blend Modes. When Streaming is used and unsupported features are applied, a warning will appear, and Form will use Direct rendering.

Opacity: Opacity sets the transparency of the entire Form layer. This option is active when Transfer Mode is set to any option other than None. The default value of 100 makes the particles fully opaque. Lower values make the particles more transparent.

Motion Blur Group: Motion Blur gives a smooth look to fast-moving particles, like a real world camera does. Go to Motion Blur group.