Particular Meets Form in this Major Update with OBJ Sequence Support and 3D Particle Control

Trapcode Form 2, released yesterday by Red Giant, arrives with some exciting 3D particle controls that should give regular After Effects users a number of novel creative options for their particle-based composites. This version of the After Effects plug-in is certainly much faster, with near real-time response rates. But Form 2’s biggest new feature is support for OBJ models and sequences, which greatly expands After Effects’ existing 3D camera and lights tools. Now, using Form 2, you can import animated 3D models into AE and use the mesh to place your particles. New tools inside the upgrade include orthographic viewing, Shading and Layer Maps and augmented Spherical Field features with new X, Y and Z controls.
The lovely and loose underwater feel to this experiment from Tim Clapham, a Form 2 beta tester, illustrates how liberating the new 3D effect can be.

Those who aren’t at ease creating 3D animated models in other programs first can draw from any number of alternative sources like Poser or other 3D stock model collections. As soon as the company released Form 2, Red Giant posted this example using a basic Poser animation.

A Trapcode Mashup

A good portion of Form 2’s new features come directly from sibling Particular 2. Red Giant is calling it a “Trapcode Mashup,” but any user of Particular who is new to Form will recognize the new controls, including Textured Polygons, which you can rotate in 3D space, World Transform, Shadowlets and Motion Blur. Trapcode founder and developer Peder Norrby used several of these tools in this test he posted online earlier this month:

Norrby also used Layer Map to bring in text as the base for his furry strings, which you can watch here on Vimeo. Motion graphics designer Harry Frank, who has created a number of presets for this version, posted this tutorial introducing the key new features and the techniques they enable.

Trapcode Form 2 lists for $199 or $99 for an upgrade from the first version. The full Trapcode Suite 11, which includes Form 2, is available for $899.