Field Test: Get Those Throwback Looks with Red Giant Universe 2.2
We get hands-on with Red Giant Universe 2.2, now with Media Composer support.
I recently got the chance to take Red Giant Universe 2.2—a set of GPU accelerated plugins for editors and motion graphics artists—for a spin. I swear by Red Giant’s Plural Eyes, but I have not used Universe before, so I tested it out without having experienced the previous versions. I used it in Premiere Pro CC 2018 and AVID Media Composer 8.6.5 on a Mac Pro running Sierra 10.12. The new release of Red Giant added support for Media Composer, and since that is my primary NLE I was excited to see how it worked in that environment.
Whats new in Universe 2.2?
Red Giant Universe 2.2 offers a toolbox of 76 effects and transitions for video editors and motion graphic artists. It’s an affordable option for stylizing footage in a variety of ways. If you’ve found yourself sitting at the computer with that cuddly kitten supercut you’re getting paid the big bucks to edit and thinking, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could use a transition that is shaped like a star, but more controllable than starwipe!?" Well, you can with RGU’s new shape wipe transition.
There are several other neat new transitions and effects added in this version. I enjoyed using the Channel Surf transition that impersonates the distortion that occurs when changing the channel on a cathode ray tube TV. I also liked the look of the new VHS stylize effect. The effect is loaded with different noise samples and function icons like play, FF, and rewind. When I dragged the effect onto the clip, I was able to see the change in real time. There are also lots of customization options I could try out and view immediately.
Compatibility with Media Composer
Along with 11 new transitions and improvements to the VHS transition and retrograde effect, this latest update introduces compatibility with AVID Media Composer. I was particularly excited to delve into these effects in AVID MC because I edit a lot in this NLE. There are some differences between using RGU in MC and Premiere. RGU offers 73 of its plug-ins in MC and only 60 of these plug-ins are real-time effects. I ran into a snag when applying one of the text effects to a title. In Premiere, you just drag the text effect onto the title et voilà, but in MC you have to “step-in” to the title and then drag the effect onto one of the title effect layers. A little extra work there, but once you apply the effect, you can make tweaks in the effect editor and see the change real-time. To be clear, this appears to be a result of how MC handles plug-ins and not a Red Giant flaw. Considering that plugins frequently come late (if at all) to MC, its inclusion here is particularly appreciated.
Overall, I enjoyed using Red Giant Universe 2.2. I work in several NLE platforms and it’s really useful to be able to save time creating certain looks in MC or Premiere Pro without having to open up another program to apply a specific effect. There appears to be a trend these days in entertainment with “throwback” looks from the ‘90s and ‘80s like Stranger Things and GLOW on Netflix. RGU is a convenient option for stylizing your footage in a multitude of ways.
Available now from Red Giant.
Note: Red Giant Universe requires a GPU to render plug-ins.
- Adobe After Effects CC (2014-2018)
- Adobe Premiere Pro CC (2014-2018)
- Apple Final Cut Pro X 10.2.3 or later
- Apple Motion 5.3.2 or later
- Avid Media Composer 8.2 or later Magix VEGAS Pro 14
- Davinci Resolve 14
- HitFilm Pro 2017
Windows 7 64-bit Home or Professional Windows 8
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