The newest plugin pack from Red Giant — VFX Suite — contains a powerful one-click chroma key, advanced clone tracking features, and photo-realistic lights.
Red Giant has been making VFX artists’ lives a lot easier, for quite some time. They have a knack for taking a very complicated task that takes a seasoned professional quite some time to do in After Effects, and somehow make it accessible to amateurs and intermediate-level artists. With their famous suites — like the Trapcode Suite for 3D effects and the Magic Bullet Suite for filmmaking tools — they’ve been on top of the plug-in game for After Effects. Just this past week, they’ve added to their arsenal of AE tools with the release of the VFX Suite. This package contains some amazing add-ons and plug-ins for VFX artists. Even Adobe has given props to the team for creating such an awesome product:
“Red Giant’s VFX Suite is a fantastic, realistic toolkit to up your VFX game due to its breadth of compositing tools inside After Effects. Supercomp, in particular, is exciting as it streamlines the pre-composing process and makes it simpler to composite elements into atmospheric effects and distortions.”
– Victoria Nece, Sr. Product Manager of Motion Design and VFX at Adobe
The VFX package contains:
- Supercomp: A toolkit for realistic VFX composites in After Effects.
- Primatte Keyer 6: Fast, automatic chroma-keying.
- King Pin Tracker: The power of planar tracking, directly in After Effects.
- Spot Clone Tracker: Fast, simple object-removal, with a built-in tracker.
- Optical Glow: The most beautiful glow ever!
- Chromatic Displacement: Force fields, heat ripples, light refractions, and more.
- Knoll Light Factory 3.1: 3D lens flares for motion graphics and VFX.
- Shadow: Go for realism with complex perspective shadows.
- Reflection: Add life to your motion graphics.
PRICE: $999, $499 for Students and Teachers
Red Giant actually let us get our hands on their new suite in order to battle test all of their features. And let me just say, I’m impressed — thoroughly. These tools are incredibly user-friendly, making life so much easier when creating motion graphics and visual effects. It’d take a while to get through a review of each individual plug-in, so I’ve highlighted three of my favorites. Let’s dive into what makes this pack so great.
King Pin Tracker
To be honest, this is probably my favorite one. It takes tracking (which can be extremely tedious and mind-numbing) and puts it in a neat little package for you to use. Do you need to place a screen replacement on a laptop screen? Well, you can do that with just a few clicks. It’ll even motion track it inside of the plug-in, too. From what we’ve seen in our tests, it’s incredibly accurate when used to pin a logo or mural to a wall. You can even use it to pin digital make-up effects to an actor’s face. I’ve always hated the process of tracking, but with this in my tool belt now, I’m no longer scared.
Primatte Keyer 6
Tired of using Keylight for removing green screens in After Effects. Well, we’ve got the antidote right here. The Primatte Keyer 6 is an extremely powerful keying tool that can get you a perfect key in just a few clicks. Primatte is GPU accelerated, so its speed ramps up with the size of your graphics card. Its user interface is pretty simple, but I’ll admit, it took a little bit of getting used to. They do advertise a “One-Click Key,” but in our tests, we didn’t get one eighty percent of the time. Granted, I was keying out green screen footage that we shot in our studio (which wasn’t Hollywood quality) so that might have had something to do with it. Nonetheless, when keying that footage, it took just a few selections with their advanced tools to grab a perfect key. MUCH better than Keylight.
I’m a sucker for a good glow effect. It makes motion graphics stand out and ups your production value if you use it right. While I was perfectly content with After Effect’s glow effect, the Optical Glow somehow managed to blow it out of the water. It uses a different type of algorithm to extend and expand light coming off of your layers, and it does this well. It’s intuitive enough to produce fallout of one object’s glow onto another object — much like a lightsaber close up to a face will spill a little bit of cinematic light onto the subject. I had a blast just messing around with different motion graphics and throwing this on top of an adjustment layer just to see what happens. If you’re looking for studio-quality glow, you’ve found the right plug-in.
Honorable Mention: Shadow and Reflection
It’s one of those things that comes to your mind last when creating a vis-effect piece — the shadows and reflections of your assets and how they should interact with their environment. They may not seem like a big deal, but having them really separates your object and sells it as a functioning part of your project. These tools make it incredibly easy to add that extra layer of enhancement without having to go and copy each layer, mirroring and manipulating. It’s just one of those little things that can make your life a little easier when furiously trying to meet a deadline.
Wanna try these products out for yourself? Red Giant’s got a free trial for you to check out, so go ahead and download that if you’re feeling inclined. Trust me, you’re going to want to try this one.
Images and Videos provided by Red Giant and Zazil Media Group.
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