Build Your Own Futuristic 'Trapcode Planet' with After Effects
2012 saw effects plugin company Red Giant blur the line between advertisement and compelling short film with Plot Device and Tempo. But as good as both those shorts were, if I'm honest, the demonstrations which really raise my excitement levels are those that are developed in bedrooms with a mighty staff of one. Cue 21 year old Russian motion artist Philipp Pavlov, whose 'visual experiment' Trapcode Planet does a pretty good sales job of highlighting some of the capabilities of Red Giant's Stockholm plugin suite partner Trapcode:
Pavlov's experiment may not be narrative in nature, but that doesn't mean that it couldn't form a convincing narrative element in a wider story -- I for one can picture the sequence opening up a futuristic news broadcast or resolving into a highly advanced star chart ala Fuel VFX's Prometheus map. In fact, Pavlov took his initial inspiration for the project from software artist Joshua Nimoy's Tron Legacy breakdown. Where Nimoy and Digital Domain's CG artists used a mix of Adobe software, Cinema 4D and C++ using OpenFrameworks and wxWidgets, Pavlov created Trapcode Planet solely in Adobe After Effects, augmenting the software with Magic Bullet Looks and Trapcode Form and Particular plugins from which his planet drew its name.
Passing on the knowledge he picked up on the project, Pavlov has put together a 47 minute step-by-step tutorial you can follow along with, for which he's been providing impromptu support in the Vimeo comments. Note: The tutorial is intentionally silent, but none the less easy to understand, as English isn't Pavlov's first language.
So what do you think of Pavlov's homebrew interpretation of a high end Hollywood produced effects sequence? Have any of you re-worked sequences you've seen on screen with cheaper, more accessible tools?
Link: Trapcode Planet