Trapcode Form

Working with Multiple Forms

On this page, we’re going to look at an introduction to Multiple Forms - how to set them up, and how to work with them in the Form UI in the Effect Controls panel in After Effects. It’s important to note, however, that it’s best to work with Multiple Forms in the Designer. For more information on working with Multiple Forms in the Designer, consult the Multiple Forms in the Designer page.

At the top of the Form interface, you’ll find a Show Forms area. This is where you can create new form, or select which of your forms to adjust. You can create up to 7 additional forms (8 forms total).

Creating a New Form

To create an additional form, click the Add a Form button. This will launch the Designer and create a new form. Upon accepting your changes in the Designer and coming back to the Form UI, you’ll see the form selectors in the Show Form area populated with new form. You’ll also see significantly less options in the Effect Controls panel.

Working in the Effect Controls Panel

By default, after creating a new form, Form only shows you the controls for that specific form. The name of the form you are adjusting is seen in the name of the properties (for example, “Form 2”).

Also, the form selector of the selected form is a little brighter in the Show Form area to indicate which form you are currently adjusting.

Since forms are basically a duplicate particle form in the same effect, and use the same parameters as each other, these indications are an important tool to help you know what form you’re working on.

To change forms, simply click the form selector button in the Show Form area. The Form UI updates to show you the properties for the form you’ve selected.

Note that additional forms only have 2 groups by default.

  • Base Form
  • Particle

More groups and properties can be added in the Designer, but are turned off by default initially. This is discussed later on this page in Adding Properties to Forms, and much more in depth on the Multiple Forms in the Designer page.

To show all forms, click the All Forms button at the bottom of the Show Forms area.

Hiding Forms

In addition to being able to clean up the Form UI to focus on some certain form, you can likewise hide form from the Composition panel. 

Soloing Forms

To solo a form (i.e. see only that form), you have two options. You can Alt/Opt click the eye icon for a form to solo it. You can also click on the pop-up menu on the right side of the form selector and choose Solo Form.

Note that when a form is soloed, it gets a golden circle outlining it as an indicator.

From this same form selector pop-up menu, you can also choose Unhide All Forms to show all form in the Composition panel. Note that this is different than the All Forms button in the Show Forms area, which shows the adjustable properties of all forms in the Effect Controls panel.

Alternatively, you can also click any eye icon to turn off solo.

Deleting Forms

To delete a form, simply choose Delete Form from the form selector pop-up menu.

Resetting Forms

To reset a form back to the defaults, simply choose Reset Form from the form selector pop-up menu.

Adding Properties to Forms

When a new form is created, Form only gives it a limited range of properties - those from the Base Form and Particle groups. Giving you access to only the most commonly used features helps keep the Effect Controls panel nice and tidy.

However, if you’d like to get more power, by adding something like Disperse and Twist, this can be done in the Designer.

Inherited Values

You can also use to the Designer to have secondary form (i.e. non-Master Forms) inherit attributes from the Master Form. This creates a relationship between the Master Form and selected attributes of secondary form, so that when you change a Master Form attribute, that change ripples down to all of the secondary forms that inherit those values.