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Software Review: Effects Suite 11 from Red Giant – Part I

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Effects Suite 11 from Red Giant is a group of nine effects plugins that will provide everyone from After Effects veterans to novice designers with new avenues for creativity. These effects have been used in feature films such as Avatar and Super 8 and television shows for years.

In total there are nine separate packages with over 70 different tools. The packages are Image Lounge, PlaneSpace, Text Anarchy, Toonit, Warp, Composite Wizard, Psunami, Holomatrix, and Knoll Light Factory. To do this product justice, I will break this up into several parts. In Part I will look at PlaneSpace, Image Lounge, and Composite Wizard.

Effects Suite 11

PlaneSpace

PlaneSpace

PlaneSpace is a plugin that allows you to arrange and animate 3D layers quickly and easily. Managing many 3D-enabled layers in After Effects can be a tedious process especially when you get past 75 to 100 or more layers. PlaneSpace is a collection of keyframe assistants which work in a similar way to the keyframe assistants that come with After Effects.

PlaneSpace comes with 10 primary tools divided into two groups; Distribution Assistants and Creator Assistants. Six of the tools have lite versions, which brings the total number of tools in the plugin to 16. The Distribution Assistants distribute the selected 3D layers throughout the 3D space, and the Creator Assistants are designed to create the primitives out of the layers that you select.

One Distribution Assistant is Linear Assistant, which distributes layers in a straight line on the X, Y or Z-axis of a composition. Another is Planar Assistant, which distributes in a straight line in the same way Linear Assistant does, but with the ability to distribute on a two-dimensional plane as well.

A third is Cubic Distribution, which lets you work with layers within a 3D space defined by a cube or rectangular area within the cube. Here you select the 3D layers in your composition that you wish to distribute within a cube, and the layers are placed through 3D space and along all three axes limited only by the boundaries of the cube, with restrictions added through distance values. A fourth is Spheroid Distribution, which functions on layers in a space defined by a elliptical area or sphere. It works much like Cubic Distribution, but the layers will only be distributed within the sphere.

Effects Suite 11

PlaneSpace

The fifth is Cylinder Distribution, which works on layers within a cylindrical space. Here the layers revolve around the center of the cylinder. This results a corkscrew or fan effect, which is different from the rest of the Distribution Assistants. Finally, Pyramid Distribution functions on layers within a pyramid shape, otherwise similarly to Cubic Distribution.

The first Creator Assistant is the Matrix Creator, which creates a wall of images also called a matrix. It is quite like the functionality of the Planar Assistant, but this tool is great if the desired result is a uniform wall of images.

The Box Creator distributes layers on the surface of a cube. It can be used to create cubes, boxes, tunnels and walls. This is different from the Cubic Distribution, which works inside a cube.

The Spheroid Creator works by distributing layers based on the surface of sphere or ellipsoid, as opposed to the Spheroid Distribution which works within a sphere.

Finally, the Cylinder Creator works on the surface of a cylinder, as opposed to the Cylinder Distribution which works within a cylinder.

Working in PlaneSpace is pretty straightforward and the tool is quite powerful. There really are no limits to the number of layers that you can apply it to, and in fact you can replicate your layers and turn 10 layers into a thousand easily-managed layers. Just remember that layers need memory, so if you take your thousand layers and repeat them another 10 times, you could, in theory, run out of memory.

This plugin is incredibly powerful, and for someone who does do a lot of complex animation, PlaneSpace would be invaluable. To see what I mean take a look at an example of what can be done with PlaneSpace: Watch this title sequence from the movie The Hit List.

“The Hit List” from Tami Rotchford on Vimeo:

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.