Red Giant Universe 3.0 introduced five new text plugins, each addressing specific needs of motion designers and editors.
The existing 10 text tools formerly offered by Red Giant’s Effect Suite were acquired technology, nearing 16 years old from when they were originally created. With such a dated UI/UX, and code base, the products greatly needed a complete do-over.
I planned a new set of tools by consolidating unnecessary or overlapping products from the group, creating a focused group of tools. Slimming the product group to 5 products, I focused on what the tools do best, eliminating superfluous features and strengthening the existing ones.
As a product designer and creative coder, I bypass the traditional route of creating a detailed product spec and delivering that to an engineer. Instead, I start with a basic spec and then switch roles to coding a prototype of the plugin. This allows me to start using and testing the tool. Placing the usability testing so much further ahead in the development cycle makes for a much more refined and useful product. Once the product is at UI freeze, the spec is finalized for QA
The final result was five plugins written from scratch, ported to Adobe After Effects & Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, AVID Media Composer and DaVinci Resolve.
I created a total of almost 100 presets, and also authored the getting-started tutorials for all five products.
Hacker Text: Creates computer hacker-style scrambled text animations. I implemented a great deal of control compared to the old version of Hacker Text, by adding features such as:
Variable scroll rate of the characters (including an option to randomize the order)
A more flexible way of choosing the random characters used, which is based on simply using checkboxes to add a certain type of character, e.g. Uppercase letters, hexadecimal characters, etc.
Prefix and suffix character options
Screen Text: Fills your screen with scrolling code. Being that does such a specific task, I was able to keep the focus of this tool to be very narrow. Included with the effect are many pre-built code examples, ranging from older languages such as COBOL, to more modern cryptominer hex logs and mobile phone crash logs.
Text Tile: This was a specific request from the FUI design community. The request to be able to make random content, quickly but flexibly. The designers make large amounts of content, often random, or just out of the main focus of the viewer. Yet, the methods available to make this content were tedious and always involved complex expressions.
Text Tile allows single or multiple columns of formatted content, such as random numbers, text strings, names, geographic locations, random words and much, much more. There are even provisions for specific formats such as IPv6, UUID and telephone numbers (with 555 formatting for tv/film.)
Before its official release, it was immediately used in the blockbuster film Top Gun: Maverick by FUI designers Jayse Hansen and David Lewandowski, both of whom had significant input in the product features.
Type Cast is tool that simplifies the task of applying transformations to individual letters and words. These functions are simply built-in, and wired to a slider that advances the transformations through the body of text.
Type-On focuses on letter-by-letter typewriter or terminal style effects. Features added to this version include randomized order, filler characters, random characters, and a greatly simplified UI.
Although, specific metrics of Universe cannot be shared publicly, as a subscription software, Universe continues to have a very high renewal rate. With the the release of version 3.0 with the new text tools, the response was very positive!