Red Giant Universe Review

There are hundreds of plug-ins on the market today to accomplish pretty much anything that you need to do.  Faster processors and GPUs have given consumers near unbridled flexibility and power rivaling capabilities of big production houses.

I’m not a saavy After effects user at all so to have this kind of power at my fingertips not only saves me time but money because I don’t have to hire someone to create sophisticated effects for me.

The problem is that many of these plugins can be just as hard to use as the software they plug into.  Sure it’s a time saver but if you struggle to use them or to find the right one to use then what’s the point of having them at all? Red Giant Universe tackles this issue head-on by placing the power of some of the industry’s most effective and useful plug-ins within easy operational and economical reach.

The Universe concept is consistent with a growing community-oriented model these days, whereby users are encouraged to offer suggestions and provide meaningful feedback. Once you register for free you have access to a wide range of no-cost and paid FX tools. The free tools include many popular blurs, glows, and transitions, so this is a good introduction to Universe for most users.

The paid premium content allows you access to a much larger range of tools with notable offerings like Knoll Light Factory.  Not every tool is offered at this point however.  I’m a huge fan of Magic Bullet which is currently not offered inside Universe.  That shouldn’t stop you though because this is still a terrific collection and as of version 1.1 which was released today, Red Giant Universe has already added more premium content.

A paid subscription is only $10 per month or at a discounted price of $99 for an annual subscription. It’s definitely well worth the price. For a full list of what’s included visit www.redgiant.com/store/universe/pricing.

Red Giant Universe Unveiled

Software company, Red Giant, just unveiled their public beta today for Red Giant Universe.  I have been a long-time fan and user of their products.  Their latest technology is sure to make a big impact for editors.

Red Giant will be offering two levels of membership:

  1. Free membership that will allow users access a free collection of plugins
  2. Premium membership at $10 per month, $99 per year or $399 for a lifetime membership.

Check out the official press release below:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 12, 2014 – Today, Red Giant, makers of Magic Bullet, Trapcode and PluralEyes, announced Red Giant Universe (public beta) – a community that gives members access to fast and powerful tools for editing, filmmaking, visual effects and motion design.

Red Giant Universe from Red Giant on Vimeo.

“It’s rare we get to introduce technology that is entirely new,” said Sean Safreed, Red Giant’s co-founder and CTO who has been working with his team, behind the scenes, on Universe for the last year and a half. “Universe is an entirely new foundation for tools. It marries the simplicity of Javascript with the power of the GPU to deliver speedy renders and pixel-perfect results. Users are going to love how quickly we offer new plug-ins.”

In total, Red Giant is releasing an unprecedented 50 new plug-ins at once – with more already in development. Every tool in the Universe library of effects and transitions is GPU-accelerated, both Mac and Windows compatible, and works across multiple host applications including: After Effects, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X and Motion. The Universe library of tools is continuously growing – new effects and transitions are added regularly, and existing tools are updated often, based on user feedback.

In addition to the expanding library of plug-ins, Universe also offers Premium membership, which gives users access to even more tools – including new effects and transitions, as well as existing Red Giant favorites ported over to the new Universe platform (such as Knoll Light Factory EZ, Holomatrix, Retrograde and ToonIt). Premium membership is available through monthly and yearly subscription, as well as a one-time lifetime membership fee.

“I’m a motion graphics and visual effects artist, and definitely not a coder,” said Aharon Rabinowitz, Red Giant’s director of content and communities. “Even so, along with the Universe development team, folks like motion designer Harry Frank and I have been secretly cranking out plug-ins for the last few months. Our new development tools have made it surprisingly easy. I’m super excited that we can finally share the stuff we’ve been making.”

What truly makes Universe unique, however, is its community aspects. Through Universe Labs, members get to help choose what effects and transitions Red Giant builds next, and premium members are eligible for invitations to early betas of new products, allowing users to give early feedback and actively help shape Universe’s expansion over time.

Pricing & Availability
Red Giant Universe free membership is available starting today, with the Premium membership available for purchase in March. Premium pricing will be $10 (monthly), $99 (yearly) and $399 (lifetime).

Sign up for a Red Giant Universe account today at http://redgiant.com/universe.

The Red Pledge
Red Pledge is Red Giant’s commitment to customer happiness, with no purchasing hassles. Learn about the Red Pledge guarantee at http://www.redgiantsoftware.com/redpledge/.

About Red Giant
Founded in 2002, Red Giant creates an ever-expanding universe of effects tools ranging from plug-in suites, applications and mobile apps to Guru Presets, complimentary products and sharing communities. We provide software for motion design, photography and color correction that is used for everything from major motion pictures to worldwide television programming to web production. Red Giant offers the industry-leading Trapcode tools for broadcast design; Magic Bullet Suite for color correction; and over 60 products that run in After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Motion, Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture, Avid, Vegas, Nuke, and Avid Studio. Our effects have enhanced dozens of feature films such as Angels & Demons and The Social Network, and added sparkle to networks like NBC Universal, ESPN, Disney, CNN, Comedy Central, MTV, and TNT. Join us on Facebook (RedGiantSoftware), follow us on Twitter (@RedGiantNews) and get no-charge content at Redgiantpeople.com.

Universe at a Glance:
Red Giant Universe is a community with access to an ever-expanding library of new tools for filmmakers, editors, VFX artists and motion designers. Universe includes:

  • Tons of New GPU-Accelerated effects and transitions.
  • 31 No-Charge Tools (22 Effects and 9 Transitions)
  • 19 Premium Tools (12 Effects and 7 Transitions)
  • Regularly updated (using our development tool, Supernova)
  • Porting of some existing Red Giant products to Universe (Premium)
  • Voting on new tools to decide what gets made next
  • Invitations to private betas for new tools (Premium)

OS Requirements:

  • Mac OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.5
  • Mac OS X Mavericks 10.9.0 and later
  • Windows 7 with Service Pack 1
  • Windows 8 and 8.1

Host App Compatibility:

  • Adobe After Effects CS5.5, CS6, CC
  • Adobe Premiere Pro CS6, CC
  • Apple FCPX
  • Apple Motion 5

Hardware Requirements:

  • GPU-accelerated graphics card

Pricing & Availability:
Red Giant Universe is available starting today, with Premium membership available for purchase in the next few weeks.

  • Basic Membership: Free
  • Premium Monthly: $10
  • Premium Yearly: $99
  • Premium Lifetime: $399

 

The Challenge of Telling New Stories with the Same Cast

I’m excited about this coming Thursday’s release of TALES OF LIGHT & DARK: GEOKILLING.  It has a terrific cast and was a lot of fun to make.  If you haven’t noticed by now, we’ve been slowly reeling you in and getting a little darker with every episode.  This is the darkest one yet and we have even darker stories to tell in a second season.

GEOKILLING is a straight up slasher flick with some decent twists.  This episode will tie together events that happened throughout the season.  If you liked my movie FAIRVIEW FALLS you’ll like this.  It has a similar but darker vibe to it.

You may have noticed that one of the villains in OPEN CALL had a gas mask and that the villains featured in the preview of GEOKILLING did too.  Here’s a bit of trivia for those who haven’t seen my movies.  We’ve featured movies within a movie that were directed by the fictitious twin Korman brothers (Fangoria’s Michael Gingold).  A recurring character was the Sistine Slasher (Gene Mazza) who wore a gas mask.  Gene was supposed to be the same gask mask killer at the end of OPEN CALL.

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Gene Mazza (Sistine Slasher) in NO TRESPASSING 2: NO EXIT

As a fan of Stephen King, I’ve always enjoyed sharing locations and characters throughout the Light & Dark universe just as King has done in his books. What you have been witnessing this season is the origin of a new killer.  Our staple killer has always been the Black Rose Killer but now it’s time that we pass the torch and create some new villains and some new story arcs.

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Matt Cavaliere ( one of several people to play the Black Rose Killer over the years)
in FEAR OF THE DARK

So how do you that with the challenge of working with the same troupe of actors?  Joe Lauria played his own father in the flashback scenes in SINS OF THE FATHER.  Sandy Oppedisano played both mother and wife to Joe in flashback and present day scenes.

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Sandy Oppedisano (Megan) and  Joe Lauria (Ethan) in SINS OF THE FATHER

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Sandy Oppedianso (Megan) in SINS OF THE FATHER

Mike Lane has played multiple characters throughout the movie series (John in FAIRVIEW FALLS and Jimmy Wayne Garrick in THE TENEMENT to name a few).  In fact, his character in OPEN CALL is supposed to be Jimmy Wayne Garrick from The Tenement.

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Mike Lane (John) in FAIRVIEW FALLS

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Mike Lane (Jimmy Wayne Garrick) in THE TENEMENT

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Sandy Oppedisano (Mary David) and Mike Lane (Jimmy Wayne Garrick)
in TALES OF LIGHT & DARK: OPEN CALL

I’ve always been a fan of Kevin Smith and if he can get away with using the same actors in the same universe as different characters then I figured so can I.  It’s also worked well for the AMERICAN HORRROR STORY series.  Hell, I’ve more than crossed the line with OPEN CALL.  Sandy Oppedisano played a pivotal character in FAIRVIEW FALLS and SINS OF THE FATHER – movies that feature the gas mask killer who appears in the same scene with her in OPEN CALL where she plays Mary David.

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Sandy Oppedisano (Mary David) and Gene Mazza (Seth/Gask Mask Killer)
in TALES OF LIGHT & DARK: OPEN CALL

The producer (Richard Redmond) at Mary’s audition in OPEN CALL is meant to be Peter Jacobs, a major character from the movies.

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Richard Redmond (Peter Jacobs) and Pete Barker (Ethan) in SINS OF THE FATHER

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Richard Redmond (Peter Jacobs/Producer) in TALES OF LIGHT & DARK:OPEN CALL

We didn’t call his character out by name because we are trying to keep the stories separated as much as possibly to avoid confusion however, there is an opportunity to bring back characters that you’ve enjoyed over the years and we will be doing it more at some point.  It’s a lot to keep track of and if I can get confused then the bigger challenge is not to confuse the audience.  That’s why this season we haven’t really emphasized the mythology of the original four movies and are moving towards new story arcs.

Why not just bring new actors into the mix?  I call the cast the Light & Dark family.  I’ve been blessed with knowing a really great group of talented people.  I have become very close with many of the cast over the years.  They know how I work and vice versa.  If something’s not broken then why fix it?  That being said, with the scale of what we are trying to do with TALES OF LIGHT & DARK we need some fresh faces too.  Rest assured though, you’ll be seeing more of our alumni cast in the future.

We would love to know what your favorite characters and stories are from the movies and this season of TALES OF LIGHT & DARK.  Do you like how some of the episodes are intertwined?  Do you think we should just stick to completely one off stories?  Your feedback will really help shape the future of the series.  More importantly, the future of the series depends on your support.  Our YouTube videos are monetized and a tip jar is available on our Vimeo channel with each video.  Watching YouTube will help generate money for the series.  Donating to Vimeo’s tip jar will help too just your Likes of the videos and the fan page on Facebook as well as word of mouth.  Help support independent film! So don’t forget to tune back this Thursday for Part 1 of TALES OF LIGHT & DARK: GEOKILLING.

GeoKilling_Killer Large Web view

And now that I’ve climbed off my soap box, I present for your enjoyment No TRESPASSING 2: NO EXIT featuring the Sistine Slasher.  This was shot in 2004 and released as an extra on the FAIRVIEW FALLS: INSANITY EDITION DVD which is available for purchase now exclusively on our web site.  This is what a group of friends can shoot on short notice in a haunted house attraction when they have nothing better to do on a weekend afternoon.