Abstract Objects and Quick Tips with Trapcode Mir

Today, after much request, we’re going to be taking a look at Trapcode Mir. This plugin is fantastic for generating abstract elements and backgrounds, especially for motion graphics. We’re going to be talking about some ways to get started with Mir, some general tips such as achieving fluid organic movements, as well as taking a look at building some basic abstract elements.

Check out Peder Norrby’s tutorials on Mir:

Trapcode Mir Example 1

Additional Tips

Currently, Mir does not support native camera DoF or motion blur in AE, but by adding them in manually you can achieve some very interesting and unique results. You can add motion blur with ReelSmart Motion Blur or CC Force Motion Blur. To create some DoF, you can try faking it by using another instance of Mir as a depth map and using a plugin like Frischluft’s Lenscare (Depth of Field) or Lens Blur effect.

You can drastically change the look of Mir by playing with the lighting and color grading, so definitely play around with those to get a unique look. To get interesting geometry, try bending things around and twisting them. You can hide all the imperfections using lights and shadows. Play around with the different types of Shaders, each shader is great for a particular task.

Don’t forget, everything in Mir is animatable, so you can create some awesome growing objects very easily. Combine that with some camera moves, particles, and flares, and you can get something sweet looking.

Hopefully this tutorial gave you guys a basic idea on how to get started with Mir, it’s definitely a fantastic, fun, and fast plugin. If you guys create anything cool, feel free to share it down below!

17 comments
  1. Thank you VinhSon! I was looking for some Mir tuts. It’s great. I just purchased Flame Painter app and it seems it can make showy abstract backgrounds too.

  2. How about ‘Please’ do some tutorials on the other Trapcode suite products. Like I have zero idea how to use Horizon. I’d love to know how to use that. And how to use it in different projects in different ways. Also, some great ways of using Stroke. I know how to use that one. Just can’t think of many really creative ways to use it. I’m new to all Red Giants products so I kinda need some help figuring out with real-world examples..

  3. Cool tutorial, would like to see you use trapcode mir to try and recreate a nebula. I’ve seen it in other videos but without tutorials. I’m really curious what settings would make mir into a nebula:P

  4. How hard do you think it would be to take this effect and somehow apply it to a 3d model or something similar to get it to look like it’s being projected on?

    1. You mean wrapping this effect around an OBJ model? Anything dealing with OBJ other than simple particle generation or Element 3D will probably need to be done in C4D or other 3D applications.

  5. Mir isn’t really meant to be animated in a path, it’s more of an abstract thing. Best thing you can do is bend it in the direction you want. Can’t really do complicated motions yet.

  6. just starting to work with TC mir right now. i know it’s a long shot, but i’ve completely changed the material options to be flat shaded, 100% opaque, low polygon “mountains” and for the life of me I can’t figure out how to project shadows onto it (so that the shadow of text, for instance, wraps around the geometry of the mir effect). Mir applied to standard solid layer. creating a standard spot light source and arranging the layers in Zspace doesn’t seem to work, and nothing is precomped.

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