Red Giant Universe
Red Giant released their new arsenal of tools today called Universe, which is a very interesting approach towards a plugin platform and model. There’s a lot of new stuff that we aren’t traditionally accustomed to, so let’s talk about it.

What is Universe?

Red Giant Universe is a library of tools that is constantly growing and revolving around filmmakers, editors, and motion designers. These plugins run in Final Cut Pro X, Motion, After Effects, and Premiere Pro on OS X and Windows. What’s interesting is that Universe is free, so you can grab the essential plugins and effects right now at no cost at all – forever. What’s probably the most controversial idea about Universe is that it’s also subscription based, so you can pay to become a Premium member and get access to additional premium tools.

Get Universe Now! It’s FREE and you can try out the premium plugins for 30 days.

Features

  • Dozens of blur effects, glows, distortions, transitions, and many more effects that will help you create stunning motion graphics and visual effects
  • Free basic membership with premium and lifetime membership options
  • GPU accelerated effects
  • All effects are 32-bit floating-point to meet professional standards
  • Compatible with After Effects; Premiere Pro on OS X and Windows; and Final Cut Pro X and Motion on OS X

Pricing & Premium Memberships

With Universe Premium Membership, you’ll get additional effects and transitions, including Chromatic glow, Knoll Light Factory EZ, Holomatrix, ToonIt, Retrograde and much more. Premium members also get community benefits not available in free membership, such as voting on new Premium tools in Universe Labs, and eligibility for a chance to test out new tools before anyone else. Currently at launch, there are 31 free effects, and 19 premium effects.

Pricing is free for Basic Membership, $10/month or $99/year for Premium Membership, or you can pay a one time (lifetime) price of $399 and get Universe’s Premium Membership forever (which I recommend).

Thoughts

Personally, I’m not sure how I feel about Universe’s pricing platform. I am a big fan of the Basic Membership and a even bigger fan of the plugins themselves. As a long time beta tester of Universe, I know that each effect has been crafted and tweaked to the optimal settings. The pricing model is definitely affordable, and the subscription model is the direction the future is going. It will be interesting to see how many people adopt Universe, both in the Basic and Premium Memberships. It will also be interesting to see how Red Giant approaches a community-based plugin environment where customers will be actively contributing and actively deciding which plugins are created.

If you’re unsure about Universe, download the trial where you’ll get access to all the effects, including premium ones, for 30 days. Either way, I’d highly recommend downloading Universe just to grab the free effects. I may do a full review of Universe and give you my full thoughts and opinions soon, but for now, know that Universe is definitely a great new set of tools that is worth your investment.