Red Giant Trapcode Suite Review

trapcode-presetsBy Kevin P. McAuliffe Video effects are incredibly important with any project today. There are so many visual effects in shows and movies today that may go unnoticed because of their realism. The cost or difficulty of producing an effect live may cause the effect to be produced in post-production and that's where a solid software for video effects is imperative. Red Giant released Trapcode Suite 14, the latest After Effects plug-in. For anyone specializing in video effects this article is a good read on what benefits the Trapcode Suite 14 update has. The three effects that received updates directly within Trapcode Suite 14 are: Paricular, Form and Tao.

What’s important for me to point out with the Trapcode suite, is that when a new release comes along, not necessarily all the effects are updated, so in this version the effects that are the same as the previous release include:

  • Trapcode Mir 2.1

  • Trapcode Shine 2

  • Trapcode Lux 1.4

  • Trapcode 3D Stroke 2.6

  • Trapcode Starglow 1.7

  • Trapcode Soundkeys 1.4

  • Trapcode Horizon 1.1

  • Trapcode Echospace 1.1

Particular has taken some interesting steps over the last few years, and it’s been an interesting journey for it, as well as the other effects that Red Giant make. If you’re familiar with Magic Bullet Looks, you’ll know that it was designed with a very cool interface that let’s you expose and hide all the panels you need to work with, so you can keep your work as the center of attention. Well, Particular’s toolset has been expanded to be more in line with MB Looks, as well as other effects in the Red Giant family (like Universe). Once applied, you’ll notice that the standard default particle system looks just the way it has since version 1.0 of the effect.


It’s very interesting that Red Giant decided to focus on Particular and Form for this update, as they are very similar effects to each other, but different in one key way. Particular’s particles are born, do something in their “lives” (change color, grow bigger, etc), and then they, for lack of a better term, die. They disappear. Particular also has an emitter, so you can decide where these particles will being their “life’s journey”. The difference in Form is that it, much like Particular, works with particles, but these particles are always here. There is no lifespan, and no emitter. You choose what “form” you would like the tens, hundreds or even thousands of particles to make. That’s essentially the difference between the two effects, but how you create your “forms” in Form is very similar to creating your particle systems in Particular. You have access to over 70 presets in the Form Designer:

  • GPU-Accelerated – up to 4X faster

  • Updated Designer for building effects visually

  • Multiple particle systems in the same 3D Space

  • OBJs as Emitters

  • Library of over 60 3D Objects/Models

  • Expanded Library of over 270 Sprites

  • Updated, keyframeable Aux System

  • 175 new presets (Over 300, in total)


You can create your forms, again much like in Particular, via the tools at the bottom of the Form Designer, and as soon as you click “Apply” it’s immediately available to you in After Effects. The great thing is that your Forms will interact with AE’s lighting and cameras to make them a seamless part of your compositions. Here’s a brief breakdown of what’s new in Form 3.

  • Designer for building effects visually

  • Expanded library of over 60 3D Objects/Models

  • 270 New Sprites and Polygons

  • Powerful parameter graphing keyframeable system

  • Over 70 Presets for fast motion graphics creation

Click here to read the full article.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.