Trapcode Mir

Geometry group

The Geometry group defines the size, shape and position of the polygon mesh or object that’s affected by the fractal. We recommend that you set up a composition camera when working with Mir and use this together with the Position and Rotation controls.

Mir was made for taking your creativity to high speed, utilizing the GPU rendering at its core. Because of this feature, you will find that while After Effects will remain responsive even when working with larger meshes, it is still ideal to keep the number of vertices to the minimum needed to ensure fast render time. The Reduce Geometry control can also be used as a fast preview mode when working with large and complex surfaces.

When starting out positioning a mesh in Mir, it may be helpful to turn the default Amplitude, found under the Fractal Group, down to 0. Without fractal noise, Mir will appear as a flat, rectangular plane ready to be manipulated to the angle you wish to start from.

Note: Mir supports up to eight Point lights, and unlimited Ambient lights. If a Spot light is used, Mir will respond as if it were a Point light.

Base Geometry pop-up

Choose whether you want your mesh to start off as a Plane, or to model itself around a 3D/OBJ Model.

Choose Model/OBJ...

Lets you pick an 3D model from a preset gallery, or to import your own.

  • Red Giant Complete users only: Trapcode Suite 15.2 adds support for Cineware (.c4d) files for use with Mir, which can be exported directly from Cinema 4D under File > Save Project for Cineware.

    • If you want to Save Polygons or Animation in your Cineware file, you can toggle these options under:
      • Cinema 4D vR21: Edit > Preferences > Files
      • Cinema 4D vR22: Edit > Project Settings > Cineware
    • For animations, these typically have best results when:
      • The animation frame rate matches the AE Composition
        • >In After Effects, this is under: Composition > Composition Settings > Frame Rate
        • In Cinema 4D, this is under: Edit > Project Settings > FPS
      • The Point Level Animation (PLA) for the objects is baked in, which can be done by following these steps:
        • Moving your objects to the Animate timeline (Layout > Animate)
        • Select the objects, then choose Functions > Bake Objects
        • Under Include, toggle PLA and Animated Parameters
        • This creates a copy of your object. Delete the original.

Size pop-up

Lets you decide if you want to control the size of your mesh using all of the axes at once (XYZ Linked), or to adjust each axis individually (XYZ Individual).

Size X, Y, Z

Sets the size (in AE pixels) of the mesh in the X, Y, and Z axes. These dimensions correspond to the size of the mesh horizontally and vertically, as well as its depth. When scaling up in size, it may be desirable to add more vertices to the plane to create a more detailed look.

Position X, Y, Z

The X and Y position in 3D space of the polygon mesh. These values can be keyframed over time to create movement and shift perspective. There is crosshair positioning for setting the center point of the mesh.

  • Position X: Move left or right around the X axis.
  • Position Y: Move upwards or downwards around the Y axis.
  • Position Z: Move closer to or farther from the camera around the Z axis.

Rotate X, Y, Z

Rotates the mesh around the X, Y and Z axes. This does a 3D rotation.

  • Rotate X: Rotate forward or backwards around the X axis.
  • Rotate Y: Rotate to the left or right around the Y axis.
  • Rotate Z: Rotate around the Z axis.

Vertices X, Y

Sets the number of vertices used to generate the polygonal mesh along the X and Y axes. Vertices affect the speed of Mir’s render. Increase the number of vertices to create smoother, more detailed looking meshes but keep in mind that render times are directly proportional to the number of vertices. The higher the number, the longer it takes to render.

Reducing the number of vertices on Mir will improve the speed of rendering, but may create a coarser or more jagged result.

X, Y Step

Gives a zebra-like effect of skipping rows and/or columns in the mesh. Increasing the Step in either direction creates a striping effect of skipping rows and/or columns in the mesh (if used in only one direction) and square patterns if used in both directions.

Bend X, Y

Bends the mesh around X or Y axis. Higher values can produce Arc shapes, or twisting, vortex-like effects. This Bend is computed before the fractal displacement for more accurate shaping, whereas the Bend inside the Fractal group is computed after the fractal. When Bend is at 0, the Mir mesh will appear completely flat if no Fractal> Amplitude is applied.

Turning up the Bend to its highest possible numbers will cause Mir to bend in upon itself, sometimes with very interesting geometric results.

Reduce Geometry pop-up

An option to quickly reduce the number of polygons. Setting the Geometry lower is useful to quickly preview heavy meshes and complex animations. When this is set to Auto, the resolution will match the Resolution setting of the Composition window.

There are five Reduce Geometry settings:

  • Off: The default setting, which turns off Reduce Geometry.
  • Auto: Previews the geometry to whatever Resolution setting is in your Composition Window, half of the vertices, quarter, third, etc.
  • 2x: Previews the mesh as if the geometry has 2x's fewer vertices than what the mesh actually is.
  • 4x: Previews the mesh with 4x's fewer vertices.
  • 16x: Previews the mesh with 16x's fewer vertices.

Reduce Geometry is useful to quickly preview heavy meshes and complex animations.


Give you to the option of dividing the geometry of the polygon mesh into Triangles (3 point polygons) or Quads (4 point polygons).

3D Model/OBJ Settings

These controls unlock only when an 3D Model is chosen as the Base Geometry for the mesh.

3D Model pop up

Contains a list of other layers within your composition; if you chose an 3D model already from the preset gallery or imported it using Choose Model/OBJ, you do not need to adjust this. Otherwise, adjust the layer chosen here to whichever one has your 3D model.

Refresh Model

If you'd adjusted and reimported your 3D model after already mapping Mir to use it as a referencing, clicking this will update the mesh with those adjustments accordingly.


Normalize scales and moves the model to ensure it is centered around the mesh position and fits within the bounding box defined by the Geometry Size parameters. If the 3D model is an animated sequence, only the first frame is used and will be the reference for the Normalization. 3D Model animations are only supported for the Red Giant Complete version of Mir.

If you turn off Normalize, your 3D model might not be visible within the field of view or be very small or large depending on the range of coordinate values used by points in the model.

  • Red Giant Complete Users only: When this option is disabled and you’re working with a C4D file, the model is centered around coordinates defined by the C4D file. If the model is disappearing when this option is disabled, check that the imported scene aligns with the camera; the C4D coordinates may have positioned the model somewhere off screen.

    If you want your Composition to match the imported C4D scene, select the Cineware plugin on your .C4D layer and make sure Comp Camera is selected as the Project Settings Camera, then click Extract at the bottom to bring the C4D camera into your composition. This camera will have the same duration as your C4D scene (not your Composition), so it may need to be adjusted after its import.

Invert Z

Invert Z flips the model on the Z axis, turning the object to face forwards or backwards (if located at default values).

Ignore Imported UVs

3D modeling software often includes UV mapping in the model export for aligning materials on the model. This can be useful for Form in assigning order to your particles across the surface. Occasionally, these UVs cause unwanted results. If this is the case, checking ‘Ignore Imported UVs’ may give the order expected.

Create Null

This creates a null within the composition that automatically gets mapped to the Position, Rotate, and Size parameters of your Mir layer-- meaning you can adjust and animate the size, rotation, or position of the null instead of each of your Mir parameters individually.

  • Note that you will not want to delete your Null once this option has been selected, as it will result in expression errors that had been used to create the connection between the null and your mesh.