Red Giant announced “Universe” today. Universe promises to be a community of artists with access to a vast array of plugins to help in the filmmaking process. Universe is a “cloud” like service in which you get a variety of plugins for free (or there is a paid-premium version with additional higher-end plugins such as Knoll Light Factory). These plugins, like most Red Giant products, will work with a variety of host apps. From what I collected in a quick glance, you make an account and get free plugins and their updates throughout the year. Sure, some of the plugins may seem simple, such as Fade In and Fade Out; however these plugins have been updated to include build in easing as an option inside the effect among other improvements. Most, if not all, have been enhanced for your GPU meaning faster effects and renders. This is great news for us artists as we get the updates as soon as they occur. No more spending hundreds of dollars for an update for that one tiny feature you have been craving. These are exciting times in that we are seeing companies offer access to high-end effects that may have been cost prohibitive in the past for a fraction of the cost.
Personally I am excited to see how Red Giant continues to update their plugins and what plugins will be added. I already jumped onto the Universe bandwagon. Plus I am a sucker for free stuff especially when it helps with my workflow.
The potential here appears to be BIG (they did name it Universe after all).
–Brant Wells – DMA