Game Development Reference
After Effects trainer and author, I've reached out to work with them
several times, and I've never received so much as an automated
response. Nothing. But try as I might, I just can't stay bitter at a soft-
ware company that makes such amazing plug-ins.
Perhaps their most popular and recognizable plug-in is the
Shine effect. This effect creates volumetric light that appears to
shine out from objects. You can see this in the new McDonald's
logo in their commercials, as well as a fi nancial company logo,
and a rum company logo that I can't remember the names of.
Shine is relatively inexpensive, renders quick, looks great, is easy
to set up, and has some great options for experimenting.
Trapcode also creates an entire suite of effects, almost all of
which are quite impressive, and greatly add to the effects in After
Effects. If the Cycore plug-ins are the watered down versions of
After Effects effects, the Trapcode effects might be thought of as
the supercharged versions of After Effects effects.
The Magic Bullet set of plug-ins was created by After Effects
master Stu Maschwitz. This suite of effects was created to make
video look more like fi lm, which includes changing frame rate,
colors, and more.
And Stu knows all about that. He cofounded a successful
effects company called the Orphanage and is quite the movie
maker himself. He's also written one of my favorite topics on fi lm-
making, The DV Rebel's Guide.
Red Giant Software
Red Giant Software (which now distributes Trapcode and Magic
Bullet effects) is another big player in the After Effects plug-in
game. One of my favorite Red Giant software packages is Knoll
Light Factory. This is a plug-in entirely dedicated to the creation
of lens fl ares. If that has you yawning with boredom, think again.
The light fl ares in this effect are completely customizable—to
everything from the colors of the rings to the amount of spikes
and more. You can really create some visually appealing fl ash with
this effect. They've also created a training DVD to help you get the
most out of this effect. You won't fi nd a training DVD with your
mom's lens fl are effect.
And the Rest…
Of course, there are hundreds of other plug-in makers out
there. And perhaps there's a third-party plug-in out there that
can save your life and sanity that I didn't cover here. This is by no