So many photographers have recently been dipping their toes in the world of video. You can edit photos like a pro, but maybe you just can’t seem to figure out video editing; it’s very complex – like an onion, so many layers – and now you have to deal with sound design! If you’ve used presets for your photo editing, then you should definitely consider plugins for your video editing. Red Giant sent us a copy of their recently updated Universe 2.1. Jump on in and see what it’s all about.
I’ve always been a fan of Red Giant ever since I learned the Pen Tool in AfterEffects using Trapcode Suite. Later, in my first “real” job, we relied heavily on Magic Bullet, specifically Looks. So, when they sent us a copy, I was super excited to try out Universe 2.1. I only used a few plugins for this video, but it’s ridiculous how many more there are.
There are six new tools and two updates to the suite:
- AV Club: Mimic the lo-fi, noisy text you find on ancient video tapes, old infomercials, and local access cable channel shows.
- Luster: Give your text a slick 1980s retro look. Luster applies a metal sheen to text and includes a refraction-based bevel for a glassy simulated 3D look.
- Title Motion: Create text and shapes and then instantly add dynamic animations that bring them on and off screen. It’s great for titles, lower thirds, callouts, and more.
- Ecto: Create haunting, evolving titles with this glowing fractal-based effect, inspired by “Ghostbusters” and “Stranger Things.”
- Long Shadow: Apply a colored, long shadow to text, logo, or shape, for both classic and modern motion design.
- Glo Fi II: Give text an ethereal, moody look by instantly adding silky smooth, self-animating, fractal-based glow effects to titles. A simple UI makes it easy to apply evolving, organic glows.
- Line: This update adds the ability to add text at the start and endpoint of a line.
- Holomatrix II: This update includes blurred, chromatic distortions, a new strobe effect, and much more.
Holomatrix II is so much fun! While I was testing it out, Patrick suggested I drop the hologram of Tupac in the background, but we figured that would be infringing on copyright, so we went with Princess Leia instead. Not only is this plugin fun, it’s so, so easy. They give you 85 presets to choose from within the plugin (just inside of the Holomatrix II tool), or you can set the parameters yourself and control anything you want. So, I started with their default preset and was able to choose how much distortion, speed, flicker; again, you have total control.
It’s one of the reasons I love plugins: they help you save so much time when it comes to editing, and they also teach you more about the program. I taught myself AfterEffects watching YouTube tutorials and breaking down plugins, seeing what each effect did. When it comes to the type of videos most of us are going to edit, you really shouldn’t be afraid of trying basic AfterEffects!
For the ridiculous 90s montage Lee filmed, I used the VHS plugin, which again, I can’t reiterate how easy it was to use. While all of this editing was done inside Premiere Pro, Universe 2.1 can be used in most NLE programs as well, such as Final Cut X, but be sure to check out Red Giant’s Compatibility Page if you’re using a different program.
Filming and editing this video was so much fun. I was able to play around with a lot of their plugins, and you should too! Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to using these plugins: they will save you time in editing, but might add time when it comes to exporting.
Universe 2.1 is really affordable too if you’re someone who uses plugins for your work. They have a monthly subscription for $20 or a yearly for $99.
All in all, I really enjoyed messing around with these different plugins. I am going to try to work on some more videos to show you even more of the plugins. Also, let me know in the comments below if you would want a mini tutorial on how to use any specific plugin! If you’ve never tried Red Giant Plugins, at least give the free trial a go! I think you’ll be glad you did.