Plexus Render


I recently just got my four wisdom teeth removed, and while in recovery I had the time to finally mess around with Plexus. This my first time using Plexus so by no means is this anything fancy, although I will cover briefly how I created this.

Besides Plexus, I never really had the chance to mess around with vintage looks and elements so I decided to go for it this time while I was messing with Plexus. The four neon colors somehow reminded me of the retro style so that’s what inspired me to mess with the vintage stuff.


For Plexus, I used four light emitters generating a bunch of Plexus replication particles all colorized by using the lights’ colors. I added the Noise Effector to generate some randomness and added a Container to contain Plexus in the beginning (with the rectangle). I then added Plexus Transform and a Camera to add some random movement to the scene.


As for the depth of field, the default Camera’s depth of field made Plexus look very weird and gave it this inner ‘black glow’, so I decided to fake my own depth of field which turned out a lot better. To do this, I duplicated the whole Plexus system, pushed it back in Z space, scaled it up, and added Frischluft Out of Focus plugin for a more realistic out of focus/bokeh (much better and faster than the Lens Blur effect). To touch things off, I added Reel Smart Motion Blur to quickly add some motion blur which made a large difference in the final render.


For the vintage look/elements, I used Magic Bullet Misfire that came with my Canon T3i B&H bundle. It’s a fantastic plugin for adding a vintage look to your projects, unfortunately it gave me a big headache. Misfire kept giving me ‘dead frames’ which I could not RAM Preview or Render out, so every time a frame died, I had to uncheck an element in Misfire (Splotches or Dust), then re-render that frame again, then recheck the element in Misfire. Quite a drag, if you guys experienced this issue, let me know!

In the end, I had about 5 different files of different places in the animation which I had to stitch together in Premiere due to the fact that I had to keep re-rendering parts of the animation due to Misfire. This was a really great experiment though and aside from the re-rendering, Plexus rendered pretty fast! Great plugin and very versatile, I’d highly recommend it for abstract and mograph renders. I may perhaps create a longer Plexus animation in the near future.

23 comments
  1. really cool. this one has a lot of style + subtle elements going on. also good call on using that film reel sound, really added to the feel of it

  2. this reminds me, there’s a plexus version of a dance set to billy jean here: http://vimeo.com/34724636

    the creator said he manually keyframed it but i’m wondering if it could just motion track some marked points on a body (pieces of tape or something) and then if those track points could be converted or copied to mask paths/points or lights?

    1. Wow, that’s a pretty awesome animation, thanks for sharing! Yes, you could just replace tracking nulls with lights instead. I think he just didn’t feel like filming and would rather animate it πŸ˜‰

    1. Thanks for the compliment Albert! I would love to do tutorials for Plexus, but after I figure this thing out πŸ˜‰ Expect a few tutorials coming up though!

          1. I never good at lighting in After Effect, it’s just hard for me :/

            and I tried to use Motion Blur (Time Warp effect and stuff like that) but the Plexus suddenly not rendered, and I need to turn off the plug in to make Plexus render the point again

            Do you know how to enable blur on it?

          2. Since motion blur can be applied as a finishing effect, you should just add it in the end. Precompose everything into a new composition and on your render comp, just add CC Force Motion Blur. Sometimes, motion blurs don’t work as it doesn’t take the previous effect into consideration, so you need to flatten it (precompose) and apply motion blur that way.

          1. I actually tried to pre-comp it first by combining both of the Plexus Layer, but the result is same
            I’m thinking to just raw render just the Plexus and put it back to AE but it’s just too much work to do :/

            I might tried your technique later, I’m currently making a project for someone

            Thanks for answering πŸ™‚

  3. Hey dude, your page is Amazing but i have a question, Finally i finish all your tutorials, you know Similar pages to this?????

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