By Jason Scrivner

Regarding Red Giant Software’s Trapcode Particular 2.0 (, I could basically end the review with an emphasis on the “2” (meaning 2 is better than 1) but I’d really get in trouble with the layout team. Seriously though, if you use Adobe After Effects, you know about Particular. Well, Red Giant has taken this seemingly endless super plug-in, which we thought was nearly perfect, and proved that it was far from it.

One of the major tweaks is the multi-core processor support that brings the obvious speed boost in rendering time, as well as the ability to handle more particles. It also opens more control as well; for instance, now there’s more realistic shading, which allows the lights in After Effects to illuminate particles as they move in 3D space, in addition to the particles’ ability to produce shadows. Also improved are the physics controls (more detailed turbulence and expanded air resistance) and the ability to have depth. If you’re new to Particular, that’s okay, as there are numerous presets installed to get all kinds of cool projects up and running.

Particular 2 is one of the most powerful plug-ins ever connected to After Effects and I’m convinced its only limitations are just in my own imagination. As a single plug-in, the price tag is quite steep; however, anyone who is serious about After Effects most likely has Particular 1, and therefore the price is only $99 for an upgrade. Red Giant took what many thought couldn’t get better and cranked it up a notch with Trapcode Particular 2.

It costs US$399; upgrades from previous versions are $99. Trapcode Particular 2 requires Mac OS X 10.4.11 or higher.

Rating: 10 out of 10

(This review is brought to you courtesy of “Layers Magazine”: