Friday, December 6th, 2019 Posted by Jim Thacker

Crunchy Creatives ships Physics Now! 2.0

Crunchy Creatives – aka motion designer Jakob Wagner – has released Physics Now! 2.0, the latest version of his 2D physics engine for After Efects.

The update, which is free to existing users, makes it possible to link objects together and to randomise the properties of a simulation; adds a new debug view; and improves overall performance.

Create common motion graphics effects using standard After Effects workflows
First released earlier this year, Physics Now! turns shape and text layers into rigid body physics objects, enabling them to fly around automatically under the influence of gravity or collision forces.

It has a streamlined interface – its toolbar contains just seven buttons – with the rest of the work being done by adjusting settings on standard After Effects layers and the timeline.

Users can set a set of basic physics properties for each layer, including bounce, friction, damping and density, or animate them from the timeline.

Layers can be temporarily enabled or disabled in a simulation, and the simulation can be set to take over where a conventional keyframe or expression-driven animation stops.

The plugin also adds physics capabilities to ExtendScript Toolkit, Adobe’s JavaScript development and debugging environment, making it possible to use in scripted workflows.

New in 2.0: speed up 3-6x, new options to link layers and randomise simulation properties
One key focus of Physics Now! 2.0 is simulation peformance: in the video above, Wagner says that a sim with 100 shape layers calculates in under 10 seconds, as opposed to 30-60 seconds in version 1.0.

However, the update also adds new features, including the option to link layers together.

The workflow can be seen at 09:50 in the video above: there are four linkage joint types, making it possible to mimic a range of simple mechanical assemblies.

It is also now possible to randomise some simulation properties, including bounce, friction and initial forces, to get more physically plausible results.

The update also adds a debug layer view, showing the collision cages for a simulation; and makes it possible to break up text layers into separate lines or words, as well as individual characters.

Pricing and system requirements
Physics Now! 2.0 is available for After Effects CC 2018+. The update is free to users of version 1.0. New licences cost $129.

Read more about Physics Now! on Crunchy Creatives’ website