These days Editors/Motion Designers are under tight deadlines to create high-end looking work. This has led to the popularity of buying templates and stock elements as another tool in the toolbox.
Rampant Design makes royalty free stock & design elements for Editors and Motion Designers. You may have heard of them, as training guru Larry Jordan blogged about them last year.
It’s the brainchild of Sean Mullen, A Motion Graphics/VFX Veteran (Six Feet Under, NCIS), who before Rampant Design, also did After Effects Tutorials for Digital Juice TV.
I am going to look at 3 of their products, Style Mattes, DustFX, & GlitchFX. For this review Rampant provided me a copy of Style Mattes, and I bought DustFX & GlitchFX last year when they had a bundle sale. The example footage is Digital Juice Stock.
Style Mattes is a collection of 90 1920 X 1080 Quicktime files. They are animated white mattes (png format with alpha channel) that you drop into your editing / compositing app of choice.
They bring your video clip(s) on screen in a stylized way. They include looks like one bar scaling up, multiple mattes animating on, and grid effects.
The target audience is Editors/Motion Designers looking to quickly add style to title sequences, promos, and dvd menus. To build these animated mattes yourself would take some time, and these day time is definitely money. You can see examples of Style Mattes in use in the Promo Video.
To use them in Premiere Pro, you put the Style Matte above the Footage you want to play through it. Apply the “Track Matte Key” Effect to the Footage, and choose either Alpha or Luma. (both work as the mattes have transparency)
To use them in After Effects, you put the Style Matte above the footage you want to play through it. Pick either Alpha or Luma for the track matte pulldown for the footage layer.
You can mask the mattes and apply them to multiple clips for more complex effects.
Working with the Mattes in After Effects, as I was able to quickly mask a three bar effect and add an adjustment layer for a quick but cool opening.
For $49 this a no brainer purchase. You can create expensive/complex looking effects in a matter of minutes. I wish that the mattes were organized by type in folders, but the workaround is to open them in bridge and preview them there (and you can organize them into sub folders).
To open in Premiere Pro, select a matte(s) ,right click and select ‘Open with' > Premiere Pro. If Premiere Pro is already open they are added to your project.
To open in After Effects select a matte(s) , right click and select “Place in After Effects”. If After Effects is already open they are added to your project.
Rampant Dust FX
Rampant Dust FX is a collection of 65 of 1920 X 1080 Quicktime files. It is a mix of 40 dust elements with an alpha and 15 dust effects overlays. You can preview the clips on their website.
They are designed to add atmosphere and depth to your footage. They are basically pre-built particle systems.
In Premiere Pro, I took 2 of the Overlays (don't have alphas) and put them on top of some footage I wanted to warm up. I put one in Soft Light (Blend Mode), 50% Opacity, and the other in Screen, 60%, 50% speed (to better match the slow motion footage), and added a Tint Effect.
Dust FX is $99 for Download & $109 for a DVD.
I think Editors will find these useful, as they quickly add “production value” to your footage. It may appeal to Motion Designers under tight deadlines, others may prefer to make their own with particle systems (CC Particle World, Particular) and put them in 3D space.
I also recommend viewing DUST FX in Bridge and organizing/star/rate them there.
Glitch FX is a collection of 70 of 1920 X 1080 Quicktime files (30 Glitch Elements w mattes, 30 full-frame noise elements and 10 Glitch Streams).
Glitch Elements are designed to create distorted/glitchy looks quickly on footage as well as lower thirds and design elements. This is currently a popular look in promos and TV openings (Evolution).
They have a promo video and also a tutorial on using Glitch FX as a transition in Premiere Pro. I like the tutorial in that it shows you how to think “outside the box” and make a cool look by stacking copies of Glitch FX. Showing your customers how to use the products in interesting ways increases the value of the elements.
I quickly created some 3D text (Element 3D Plugin), added a camera, and lights in AE, and then used Glitch FX to animate the title on the screen. I used 2 Glitch FX layers as track mattes with 2 Element 3D layers.
Editors & Motion Designers creating edgy, modern, and techie looks will be able to squeeze a lot of mileage out of Glitch FX. With the variety of elements it is a good “bang for the buck” for $49 (Download).
So that wraps up my look at Rampant Design. Check out their website, and their (99 cents) sampler pack to get a taste of what they offer. Also they offer a couple big sales a year, so I recommend following them on their newsletter, Twitter, or Facebook. Happy Designing!