Digieffects' latest plug-in bolsters After Effect’s 3D toolset
- Excellent, high quality 3D mesh warp tool, displacement map support for advanced mesh creation and animation
- Pricey for a single function plug-in.
Our only criticism of Freeform AE is that it’s pricey for a single function plug-in. However, considering its power and the time it can save you on 3D compositions, it’s more than worth it.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
Note: Pricing for this product is in US$.
Digieffects' latest plug-in, Freeform AE, aims to bolster After Effect’s 3D toolset, allowing you to warp layers in 3D in a way that’s just not possible using the core application. It combines a 3D version of After Effects’ own Mesh Warp tool with the ability to distort layers in 3D using an image as a displacement map, creating a cohesive whole that many motion graphics artists will love.
The simplest way to use Freeform AE is like the Mesh Warp Tool. The filter divides your layer into horizontal and vertical zones in the Comp window — up to 20 in each direction. As with the Mesh Warp tool, you can drag each vertex point to warp the surrounding zones — but with Freeform AE, you can drag the points in Z as well as X and Y. This has uses from adding a 3D spin to traditional sports-style motion graphics — literally if you wish, as the warp can be keyframed — to fine tuning lighting VFX by pulling and pushing how it flows over your comp. To make it simpler to use, you can limit the warp to one dimension.
As well as using the same on-screen controls as AE, Freeform AE is also integrated with AE’s 3D system, so you can use the standard set of cameras and lights. This makes including ‘Freeform’-ed layers in complex compositions of 3D layers very easy indeed.
To fine-tune your mesh, you can adjust the smoothness of your 3D mesh by setting the number of subdivisions in each zones (see below). The more subdivisions you have, the nearer to a curve your warp will appear. You can also the level of anti-aliasing and image filtering. Depending on the power of your workstation and the resolution and complexity of your project, you’ll probably want to set these low when working and ramp them up for the final render.
You’ve also got controls over the positioning of the mesh in 3D space, and over what appears on the rear of the layer if it comes into shot — which could be a mirrored version of the front, or even a separate layer.
Modifying a mesh by hand can be time-consuming, so Freeform AE can warp a layer based on a displacement map in a similar way to the Displace function in Re:Vision FX’s RE:Map plug-in. Freeform AE’s power is that you can then use the grid to fine tune this — so for example you could use a radial gradient to bulge a layer in the middle and then distort this manually. For more complex results, you could keyframe the gradient to create a ripple effect.
Digieffects says that Freeform AE ships with ‘dozens’ of presets to make using it even faster, but these weren’t included in our review version.
Join the newsletter!
Apple iPhone X
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
cloudandco Smart Cane
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Toys for Boys
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Bose SoundLink Micro
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Xbox One X
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Officeworks hops on voice interface bandwagon with Google Assistant integration
- Amazon confirms early 2018 Australian launch for Alexa and Echo
- JBL join smart speaker arena with the portable, waterproof and (Google-powered) JBL Link range
- University of Sydney Signs World-First Agreement with Dropbox
- Microsoft delves deeper into AI with new kit bag of tools
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- LG V30+ review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- Xbox One X review: Brave new world
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTEnterprise Lean Agile CoachOther
- FTSAS Solution DesignerOther
- FTLevel 1 Application Support (POS)QLD
- CCLinux Platform/Development SpecialistACT
- FTRiggers / Telecommunication RiggersOther
- FTInfrastructure ArchitectOther
- CCSenior Development DBA - OracleNSW
- FTSenior Project Manager - Telco - App DevOther
- FTLevel 2 Support Engineer | 12mth FTCOther
- CCDynamics CRM Functional Consultant - BrisbaneVIC
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Business AnalystOther
- FTSalesforce DeveloperOther
- CCTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- CCData TesterNSW
- FTData AnalystOther
- FTJava J2EE DeveloperOther
- CCTechnical Support OfficerNSW
- FTSharePoint DeveloperACT
- FTAutomation Test ManagerOther
- CCProject ManagerNSW
- FTBusiness AnalystACT
- FTDigital ProducerQLD
- FTBusiness Analyst- Windows 10 SOE rollout projectOther
- FTETL/Data EngineerOther