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wondertouch Particle Emitters for Motion

COW Library : Apple Motion : David Saraceno : wondertouch Particle Emitters for Motion
wondertouch Particle Emitters for Motion

A Creative COW Product Review

David Saraceno reviews wondertouch Particle Emitters for Motion

David Saraceno David A. Saraceno
Spokane, Washington, USA

©This edition copyright 2005 David Saraceno and Creativecow.net. All Rights Reserved.

Article Focus:
wondertouch’s Particle Emitters for Motion, is a high-performance emitter package based upon the company’s particleIllusion software technology. In this article, David Saraceno reviews the product for CreativeCOW and concludes, "This particle system constitutes an exceptional, sophisticated native enhancement package for Motion that provides a plethora of creative alternatives for any motion graphics designer --- all within the context of the new paradigm in motion graphics workflow established by Motion..."


wondertouch’s "Particle Emitters for Motion," is a high-performance emitter package based upon the company’s particleIllusion software technology. Rather than acting as a standalone app, the emitter package utilizes Motion’s built-in particle system and installs its own particle images within the Motion content folder. Performance was consistent with the Motion’s supplied emitters using my stock DP G5 with an upgraded video card. What differentiates this package from the stock emitters in Motion is the sheer breath and diversity of the package.

More than 300 preset emitters are provided in the fifteen category “large” package, including fire, smoke, water, sparkles, space, text, toon, tunnels, creatures, backgrounds, and motion graphics elements. (The other two packages – small and medium – have the same number of categories, but fewer emitters in each category). There are fifty plus emitters in the “abstract” category including sixteen variations of “light dots,” and six of “light transits.” The “fire, smoke, sparks” category includes emitters from “birthday sparkers” to “wispy,” and just about everything in between. Nine separate categories for text effects are supplied together with the capability to create emitters using simple shapes, space, nature, and water. A separate category for “explosions” adds emitters from “blasts” to “flash gordon.” Virtually every category in the “large” package boasts a good number of modifiable preset emitters.



Besides the sheer enormity of this emitter package is its capability to be customized to meet just about any creative endeavor. Most emitters include multiple particle “cells” that can be tweaked to your heart’s content, or replaced with other emitter content from Motion’s library and further stylized. While the emitters are not resolution independent, they scale well for just about any project preset you are working in. And any of the particle emitters can be replaced and tweaked to meet your particular needs.



All of Motion’s parameters are available in the Inspector when using wondertouch’s emitters. Emitter shape, source, alpha controls, angle, angle, value, and render order can be changed and keyframed. In addition, the “master controls” for birth rate, number, scale, speed, and life span can be adjusted. The image wells for content will receive different particle images to further tweak the overall look. By using the emitter Inspector in Motion rather than providing its own interface, wondertouch has provided a consistent, uniform, and simple access to all the parameters necessary to create a specific image.

Performance was good on my stock G5 DP 2Ghz with a Radeon 9800 SE 256 Mb video card and 4.6 Gbs of system RAM. Because wondertouch’s emitters work within Motion, the OpenGL capabilities of your GPU are utilized as with any Motion element. And performance correlated with the stock Motion emitters as well. For example, the screen shot below shows three emitters running at 20 fps on my representative machine.


Click graphic to view larger image.

With so many categories, and separate emitters, it’s difficult to fully demonstrate this package’s fully capability. Suffice to say, you will never have enough time to fully explore the potential of all these emitters. I spent the better part of an afternoon working with several of the supplied background emitters. The appearance of each was easily modified using different content, sprites, and tweaking the emitter parameters in Motion’s Inspector pane. I’ve never got tired of playing with the possibilities, and I suspect neither will you.



And because the wondertouch emitters tie directly into Motion’s particle emitters, they are compatible with Motion 2, as well.



In Conclusion

This particle system constitutes an exceptional, sophisticated native enhancement package for Motion that provides a plethora of creative alternatives for any motion graphics designer --- all within the context of the new paradigm in motion graphics workflow established by Motion. The package is impressive at any price point – more so for the price quoted for the large package reviewed here. wondertouch has additional plans for the Macintosh OS later this year. They include the possibility of additional Motion add-ons, and a release of a Mac OS X version of the company’s standalone particle emitter program, “particleIllusion.”

Cow Rating: 5




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Text and Graphics Copyright ©2005 David A. Saraceno

David A. Saraceno is a motion graphics artist located in Spokane, Washington. He has written for DV Magazine, AV Video, MacHome Journal, and several state and national legal technology magazines, as well as lafcpug.org and kenstone.net. David also moderates several forums on 2-pop.com


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