Learn Trapcode Particular in After Effects CC with These Tutorials
Trapcode Particular: A Powerful Plugin for After Effects
If you are looking for a way to create stunning organic 3D particle effects and complex motion graphics elements in After Effects, you should definitely check out Trapcode Particular. Trapcode Particular is a plugin that lets you add particles to your compositions with ease and flexibility. You can use it to create fire, smoke, water, snow, sparks, dust, stars, bubbles, and more. You can also customize every aspect of your particle system, from the emitter shape and size, to the particle color and lifespan, to the physics and forces that affect their movement. You can even use multiple particle systems together to create amazing effects.
In this article, we will introduce you to Trapcode Particular and show you how to use it in After Effects. We will also cover some of its features and benefits, as well as some tips and tricks to make your animations more realistic and engaging. By the end of this article, you will be able to create your own particle animations with Trapcode Particular and impress your audience with your creativity.
What is Trapcode Particular?
Trapcode Particular is a plugin for After Effects that was developed by Red Giant, a company that specializes in creating tools for filmmakers, editors, VFX artists, and motion designers. Trapcode Particular is part of the Trapcode Suite, which includes other plugins such as Trapcode Form, Trapcode Mir, Trapcode Shine, Trapcode Starglow, and more.
Trapcode Particular was first released in 2004 and has since become one of the most popular plugins for After Effects. It has been used by many professionals and hobbyists alike to create stunning visual effects for movies, TV shows, commercials, music videos, games, and more. Some examples of projects that used Trapcode Particular are Stranger Things, Star Trek: Discovery, Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Avengers: Endgame, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and many more.
Features and benefits of Trapcode Particular
Trapcode Particular has many features and benefits that make it a powerful and versatile plugin for After Effects. Here are some of them:
Organic 3D particle effects
Trapcode Particular lets you create organic 3D particle effects that look realistic and natural. You can choose from different types of particles such as spheres, sprites, clouds, streaks, textured polygons, etc. You can also use your own images or videos as particles. You can control how your particles are generated, such as their number, size, shape, color, opacity, rotation, etc. You can also animate your particles over time using keyframes or expressions.
Complex motion graphics elements
Trapcode Particular lets you create complex motion graphics elements that add depth and dynamism to your compositions. You can use different modes of emitters such as point, line, grid, box, sphere, circle, layer, layer grid, or lights. You can also use 3D models or text layers as emitters. You can control how your particles move in 3D space using different types of physics such as air, bounce, turbulence, wind, gravity, etc. You can also use forces such as spherical field, layer map, or light falloff to influence your particles' behavior.
Customizable presets and parameters
Trapcode Particular lets you customize every aspect of your particle system using various parameters that are organized into four groups: emitter, particles, physics, and aux particles. You can adjust these parameters using sliders, color pickers, curves, gradients, etc. You can also use the designer window to access more options such as blending modes, motion blur, depth of field, shading, etc. You can also save your own presets or load presets from the library that comes with the plugin.
GPU acceleration and multiple systems
Trapcode Particular lets you render your particle system faster using GPU acceleration. This means that it uses your computer's graphics card to process the calculations instead of the CPU. This can speed up your workflow and preview time significantly. You can also use multiple particle systems together in one composition using multiple systems. This allows you to create more complex effects by combining different types of particles with different settings.
How to use Trapcode Particular in After Effects?
Now that you know what Trapcode Particular is and what it can do for you let's see how to use it in After Effects. We will go through the basic steps of installing activating creating and modifying a particle system as well as applying presets and expressions to enhance your animation.
Installing and activating Trapcode Particular
The first thing you need to do is to install and activate Trapcode Particular on your computer. Here's how:
Downloading and running the installer
To download Trapcode Particular you need to go to the Red Giant website and click on the Products tab. Then select Trapcode Suite and click on Download Trial. You will need to enter your email address and create an account if you don't have one already. Then you will receive a link to download the installer file. Once you have downloaded the installer file double-click on it and follow the instructions on screen. You will need to select which plugins you want to install and where you want to install them. Make sure you select After Effects as one of the host applications.
Entering the serial number or using the trial version
To activate Trapcode Particular you need to enter a serial number that you can purchase from the Red Giant website or from an authorized reseller. Alternatively you can use the trial version for 14 days without entering a serial number. To enter or request a serial number you need to open After Effects and go to Window > Extensions > Red Giant Application Manager. This will open a window where you can see all the Red Giant plugins that you have installed on your computer. You can click on Activate next to each plugin that you want to activate and enter or request a serial number. You can also click on Try next to each plugin that you want to use in trial mode.
Creating and modifying a particle system
Once you have installed and activated Trapcode Particular on your computer you are ready to create and modify a particle system in After Effects. Here's how:
Adding a solid layer and applying the effect
To create a particle system with Trapcode Particular you need to add a solid layer to your composition first. To do this go to Layer > New > Solid or press Ctrl+Y (Windows) or Command+Y (Mac). You can name your solid layer anything you want but we will call it Particle System for this example. You can also choose any color for your solid layer but we will use black for this example. Then click OK.
Next you need to apply the effect Trapcode Particular to your solid layer. To do this go to Effect > Red Giant > Trapcode > Particular or press Ctrl+Shift+C (Windows) or Command+Shift+C (Mac). This will open up the Effect Controls panel where you can see all the parameters for Trapcode Particular.