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Red Giant announce the public beta of Universe, a new community based, cross platform plugin system

Red giant universe FCPX

After a great tease video, the news is out. Universe from Red Giant is a new system for building plugins for multiple hosts on OSX and Windows machines. It's community driven and a variety of subscription plans gets you access to a growing library of effects.

It was interesting reading the comments from readers on what they thought Universe might be. Now we know. Red Giant has just announced the availability of a public beta of Universe, a subscription based, community driven, cross platform plugin system. A bit of a mouthful, granted. Good job Red Giant has produced a video that outlines how far their Universe stretches.


"It's rare we get to introduce technology that is entirely new," said Sean Safreed, Red Giant co-founder and CTO, who has been working with his team, behind the scenes, on Universe for the last year and a half. "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."

Red Giant Universe Free membership is available starting today, with the Premium membership available for purchase later in March. Premium pricing will be $10 (monthly), $99 (yearly) and $399 (lifetime).

Straight off the bat, Red Giant has put 50 new plugins out already and more are in development. All the plugins in the Universe library of effects and transitions are GPU-accelerated, both Mac and Windows compatible, and will work across multiple host applications including: After Effects, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X and Motion. The plan is to grow the range of tools in Universe as new effects and transitions will be added regularly. Existing tools will be updated often, based on user feedback.

In addition to the expanding library of free plug-ins, Universe also offers Premium membership, which gives users access to even more tools - including new effects and transitions, as well as existing Red Giant favorites ported over to the new Universe platform (such as Knoll Light Factory EZ, Holomatrix, Retrograde, and ToonIt). 

"I'm a motion graphics and visual effects artist, and definitely not a coder," said Aharon Rabinowitz, Red Giant's Director of Content and Communities. "Even so, along with the Universe development team, folks like motion designer Harry Frank and I have been secretly cranking out plug-ins for the last few months. Our new development tools have made it surprisingly easy. I'm super excited that we can finally share the stuff we've been making."

So how do you make a plugin for Universe? You'll need some Javascript knowledge for a start to use Supernova.


New products to the ecosystem are always welcome, how they will fair in the now very competitive FCPX market will have to be seen. For plugin makers, the ability write a plugin once and have that available cross platform should be a very attractive proposition.

We will be interested to see how this one develops. 

Universe at a glance:

● Tons of New GPU-Accelerated effects and transitions.

● 31 Free Tools

    ○ 22 Effects

    ○ 9 Transitions

●19 Premium Tools

    ○ 12 Effects

    ○ 7 Transitions

● Regularly updated (using our dev tool, Supernova)

● Porting of some existing Red Giant products to Universe (Premium)

● Voting on new tools to decide what gets made next

● Invitations to private betas for new tools (Premium)


OS Requirements:


● Mac OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.5

● Mac OS X Mavericks 10.9.0 and later

● Windows 7 with Service Pack 1

● Windows 8 and 8.1


Host App Compatibility:


● Adobe After Effects CS5.5, CS6, CC

● Adobe Premiere Pro CS6, CC

● Apple FCPX


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I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

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2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

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Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


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BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

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Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

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I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


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