Red Giant Motion Graphics Bundle review
Red Giant claims this series of plug-ins are essential video tools. The plug-ins include Knoll Light Factory, Trapcode 3D Strokem Trapcode Shine, and Trapcode. The most dramatic is the Knoll Light Factory, which lets you construct any style or type of light source from 19 illumination elements, each of which is customisable. If this is bewildering, there are 70 presets in the Light Factory EZ filter to dive into. For a touch of glamour you can lock light flares to a particle source for glittery, shimmery effects.
The Light Factory is complemented by Trapcode Shine, which simulates volumetric lighting in 2D space, for example, light shining though text, sunlight shining through trees, or even the simulation of Gobo lighting.
The most intriguing of the effects is Trapcode 3D Stroke, which perhaps works best in After Effects where it can take advantage of the mask tool. 3D Stroke works by manipulating and animating vector artwork in three dimensions; the advantage of this only becomes apparent when you start to use the transform and repeater options. When the strokes are combined with Trapcode Shine you can generate dazzling backgrounds or 3D environments you can fly through.
The Radium Glow filter is the most subtle of the collection. It mimics natural light behaviour, producing glows in the highlight areas of an image (think rippling water or rotating glitter balls). It’s not as dramatic as the Light Factory but it’s valuable for brightening up a flat sequence. Radium Glow Edge, however, can add some serious dazzle to the edge of objects.
The Red Giant Warp filters are perhaps the most useful in a day-to-day workflow. Shadow and Reflection create and position highly customisable cast shadows and reflections. They work well with figures extracted from blue or green screens, though the shadows or reflections can’t extend beyond the video edge.
The filters are designed for use with After Effects, Final Cut Pro and Motion using 32-bit rendering, and with Avid and Premiere Pro using 16-bit. The suite is now CS5-ready.
For the price you get a lot of good stuff that will enhance your videos in numerous ways and enable you to create fantastic animated-light sequences. Even the Warp tools, though not jaw dropping, will save a lot of time.