Red Giant creates or publishes some of the most kick-ass plugins for After Effects, Premiere, FCPX and Motion.
Their new product (if you can call it a “product”) strays a bit from the typical “buy-and-install” routine.
Universe is not really a plugin. If it becomes what Red Giant hopes, Universe will be a living community of plugins that will constantly evolve based on user feedback. Its a great concept. Instead of discovering a plugin and adding it to your workflow, in theory you can discover a NEED for a plugin and hopefully have it created.
Right now Universe is still considered a Beta product. The initial collection consists of 50 plugins. 31 are free and the other 19 are considered “premium”. As a Universe user you will always have access to the existing free plugins and whatever new free plugins are added to the community. The premium plugins are accessible with a $10/month subscription plan (or $99/year).
Yes you read that correctly. The dreaded “subscription” word. This seems to be the business model of choice for software companies these days. Following the path blazoned by the cell phone industry, the cable companies and many others before them. Basically these companies are trying to discover a way to generate a consistent and perpetual influx of cash. I don’t like it at all. I didn’t like it when TiVo did it. I didn’t like it when Adobe did it. Unfortunately I feel like we are going to see more of it.
Before you throw Red Giant into the heap of dreaded subscription loving companies, read on.
Red Giant also offers another option for premium members. Spend $400 now and you become a Universe Premium member for the rest of your animating days!! If you think you are going to be using Red Giant Universe plugins for at least the next four years this is a no brainer!! $400 is consistent if you consider the pricing of the other plugin suites in the Red Giant lineup. Universe (in theory) will also continue to grow causing the value of your initial investment to appreciate over time.
Red Giant has a great track record. Their plugins are kick ass. Their updates are consistent. Their pricing is reasonable. Many of their plugins are GPU-accelerated including EVERY plugin in the Universe collection.
I’m going to type that again …
EVERY plugin in the Universe collection is GPU-accelerated.
I gave a few of the plugins a quick look in Premiere CC. They do feel very snappy when scrubbing through the timeline on my Retina MacBook Pro.
I’m very curious how the feedback between the users and Red Giant will be handled. This could become a great set of tools especially because the users will have a direct say in the direction of its growth. We shall see …
Check out the Universe product page for more information.