Red Giant takes on the Universe

If you’ve been wondering what Red Giant has been teasing for the last few days, wonder no more. The filmmaking and motion graphics software developer today announced Red Giant Universe, a library of many of its popular tools and plugins to be available via free and paid memberships.

Above: watch Red Giant’s explanation of Red Giant Universe.

So what exactly is Red Giant Universe? Essentially, it’s a membership-based offering of Red Giant effects and transitions. The company is offering 50 new plug-ins for free on release, all of which will be GPU-accelerated, Mac and Win compatible and work with the usual brand of tools: AE, Premiere Pro, FCP X and Motion. Joining Universe gives you instant access to these plug-ins.

Users who upgrade to a Premium membership of Red Giant Universe will then have access to new effects and transitions, plus existing tools such as Knoll Light Factory EZ, Holomatrix, Retrograde, and ToonIt.

In a sense, this is ‘the cloud’ now at at ‘cosmic level’…well…it is at least the Red Giant solution to transitioning their products from being traditional ex-shrink wrapped products to also being available via subscription. Unlike most cloud solutions, the aim here is to build community, user feedback and popularity via free content and then use this as the gateway drug to longer term monthly or yearly fees. The plan is sound and more creative. As one might expect from a company such as Red Giant who has been known for understanding well the needs of the independent filmmaking community much more than their competitors. The frequency of new content and the growth of meaningful social media style communication will be key. This launch will attract a lot of users, the question is – having downloaded the free stuff, will people come back?

Tech-wise, the app behind Universe is an in-house tool called Supernova which lets Red Giant turn ideas into plug-ins. It’s discussed in the video below.

The key to success long term of the Red Giant Universe will be its community aspect. The company says that Universe members will be able to choose the effects and transitions that Red Giant works on next – this will be done through a component called Universe Labs. And premium members will be eligible for invites to early betas of product releases.

“It’s rare we get to introduce technology that is entirely new,” said Sean Safreed, Red Giant co-founder and CTO in a press release. “Universe is an entirely new foundation for tools. It marries the simplicity of Javascript with the power of the GPU to deliver speedy renders and pixel-perfect results. Users are going to love how quickly we offer new plugins.”

Price wise, Red Giant Universe has the free option that starts today. Premium membership will be available to sign up for in March and start at $10 (monthly), $99 (yearly) and $399 (lifetime).

You can find more information at

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