Wednesday, August 17th, 2016 Posted by Jim Thacker

Red Giant ships Trapcode Suite 13.1 for After Effects

Originally posted on 30 October 2015. Scroll down for news of the 13.1 update.

Red Giant has released Trapcode Suite 13, a major update to its set of motion graphics and VFX tools for After Effects, introducing a new plugin, Trapcode Tao, and overhauling existing tools Particular, Shine and Mir.

Trapcode Tao: create customisable path-based geometry
Top of the features list is Trapcode Tao (above), a new tool for generating procedural 3D geometry along a path. It’s capable of quite a range of effects, from thread and ribbon-like forms, to lattices and 3D structures.

As well as paths, you can generate geometry from mask shapes and the motion of 3D lights; and the results can be rendered using image-based lighting and ambient occlusion, with GPU acceleration.

Trapcode Particular 2.5: new Effects Builder system and presets
Particle effects tool Particular gets Effects Builder: a new tool for creating custom effects.

It isn’t a full node-based visual programming system, but it lets you create new effects by combining adjustable ‘blocks’, and comes with over 130 presets geared to common effects like flames, smoke and explosions.

It can also load the software’s existing sprite images, over 100 of which have been added in the update.

Other new features in Particular 2.5 include Over Life graphs for fine control of particle size and opacity over time, and a new explode behaviour intended to let users create explosion effects without setting keyframes.

There are also new circular and square particle types, plus an Aspect Ratio control for particles. In addition, the render limit for particle systems has been increased from 20 to 30 million particles.

Trapcode Mir 2.0: new mesh distortion and texturing options
Trapcode Mir, Red Giant’s plugin for generating 3D surfaces and terrains inside After Effects, also gets an update, adding the option to spiralise the mesh.

Meshes can now be created as quads or triangles, and there are four new Fractal Distortion options for displacing a mesh surface, plus options to set the minimum and maximum displacement.

Users can apply a second-pass wireframe to a mesh surface, for creating grid overlays; and there are three new texture sampling modes, including options to colour polygons individually, or create smooth gradients.

Again, performance has been boosted: Red Giant claims that rendering speed has been increased “up to 3x” in Trapcode Mir 2.0, and that VRAM management has been improved.

Trapcode Shine 2.0: create camera-aware 3D light rays
Light ray generation tool Trapcode Shine gets the option to link up to After Effects 3D light, creating true 3D camera-aware rays. There isn’t a separate demo for it, but you can see it briefly in the video above.

Other new features in Trapcode Shine 2.0 include new camera-aware fractal noise effects; plus 35 new presets.

Updates to Trapcode Form, Starglow and Sound Keys
A number of other tools in the suite get smaller updates. Trapcode Form 2.1 gives the particle grid-creation tool a new square particle type; while the self-explanatory Trapcode Starglow 1.7 gets a number of new presets.

Trapcode Sound Keys 1.3, the latest version of Red Giant’s tool for generating audio-driven imagery, adds the option to isolate and visually alter the plugin’s UI elements, for use as part of the motion graphics themselves.

Updated 17 August 2016: Red Giant has released Trapcode Suite 13.1, a free update for registered users.

The biggest changes in the 13.1 update are to Trapcode Tao, which gets new light modes for faster rendering, the option to use negative OAS values when offsetting properties along an animation path, and 25 new presets.

Trapcode Mir also gets new presets, bringing its total to 43; and Trapcode Form and Trapcode Sound Keys get UI updates to bring workflow in line with that in Trapcode Particular.

You can read the full list of changes in Red Giant’s press release.

Pricing and availability
Trapcode Suite is available now for After Effects running on Windows and Mac OS X. Shine, Starglow and 3D Stroke also work in Premiere Pro, again running on Windows and Mac OS X.

New licences of the entire suite costs $999, or the component tools can be purchased individually.

Read more about Trapcode Suite on Red Giant’s website