ShapeShifter Render: Transforming Text


I recently got my hands on Mettle’s ShapeShifter plugin for AE. Although this isn’t a review post on ShapeShifter, let me start off by saying that the plugin is absolutely fantastic, fast, and versatile. This was my first time really digging through and messing with ShapeShifter. The goal was to create something very abstract similar to the videos I saw all over Vimeo using ShapeShifter.


By no means is this anything mind shattering (get it?), but it really does expose me to what’s possible in the After Effects environment. Although I will probably do a tutorial over this very soon, I thought I’d break it down a little bit for those who are interested. Basically, it’s text with the pixelstorm preset applied to it. I then added a height displacement using Fractal Noise as a map, then proceeded to animate the height. I dropped Trapcode Shine on there to give it a brief luminous feel to the shattering, applied Friscluft’s Out of Focus to give it the nice depth of field, and added some motion blur using Reel Smart Motion Blur. As you can see, ShapeShifter looks amazing with motion blur applied (either with CC Force Motion Blur or RSMB). After some basic camera work, color correction, and some additional keyframes/tweaking, the abstract text really came out quite well.


All in all, this plugin has been very great to me, it’s blazing fast for what it does and is easily able to create nice organic 3D shapes. After a few more days of messing with ShapeShifter, I think I will do a personal review over the product, it’s that amazing. There is still quite a bit I need to learn with ShapeShifter, so don’t expect a full review too soon. What are your thoughts about this plugin? How do you feel about a 3D generating plugin in AE? Feel free to leave your thoughts down below!

  • hosenmahjob

    not bad.
    more try.

  • mark

    looks pretty good, wondering if it supports the camera very well? does look like fun though. this one and element 3d (once it comes out) are two plugins that seem worth looking at

    • VinhSon Nguyen

      Hey Mark, thanks for your feedback! The plugin supports the camera natively (very well) and acts as a normal camera similar to a camera in a 3D application. I agree, once Element 3D comes out it will be very interesting to see these two plugins collaborate! If only Andrew would release more info on what the plugin actually does haha.