Boris FX Particle Illusion – Free Standalone App for Motion Graphics and VFX

August 3rd, 2020
Boris FX Particle Illusion - Free Standalone App for Motion Graphics and VFX

The new Particle Illusion Standalone app from Boris FX complements the company’s plugin with the same name. Available for free, the app enables users to create easy-to-use motion graphics and particles that can be quickly rendered. It includes a large library of customizable particles that can be added to titles, lower thirds, and motion backgrounds.

I suppose most of our readers already heard about Boris FX. Founded in 1995, the company offers VFX, compositing, titling, video editing, and workflow tools for broadcast, post-production, and film professionals. Through partnerships with Adobe, Apple, Avid, Blackmagic Design, Autodesk, Foundry, VEGAS Pro, and other video editing software developers, Boris FX can integrate its software in most NLEs.

The company’s portfolio of plugins includes for example SapphireContinuum, and Mocha Pro (planar tracking tool). Boris FX now launches a free standalone Particle Illusion app. What can it do?

Boris FX Particle Illusion Standalone App

Particle Illusion is not entirely new – Boris FX has been offering the software for a while in form of plugin (supporting Adobe, Avid, and OFX hosts) as part of its Continuum package. The plugin stays in the package, but Boris FX now additionally offers Particle Illusion as a free standalone app as well.

Particle Illusions example. Source: Boris FX 

Particle Illusion is a real-time GPU-based particle generator. It includes a large library of photorealistic effects like explosions, fire, smoke, dust, snow, fireworks, abstract organic elements, or retro video game-inspired graphics. Users can choose to render out a preset as is or tweak the particle’s parameters to create custom animations. The created particles can then be added to titles, lower thirds, and motion backgrounds.

In addition, Particle Illusion’s saved emitter libraries and projects can be freely shared among users of the plugin and the free Particle Illusion Standalone application.

Particle Illusions library. Source: Boris FX 

The Particle Illusion 2020.5.1 release adds the ability to “pre-render” particle effects as exported ProRes movies on Windows and Mac platforms. The new ProRes export makes rendering complex particle animations directly inside the Particle Illusion Standalone or plugin much faster than rendering within a host application. Exported movies can be added to any NLE or compositing project for real-time playback. In addition, projects saved in the Particle Illusion Standalone can be used inside the Continuum plugin to render in any host.

Particle Illusion Standalone Features:

  • 2500+ particle presets
  • Unlimited hardware-accelerated particles
  • Unlimited particle emitters
  • Add forces and deflectors to create organic movement
  • ProRes rendering with alpha
  • Integrated motion blur
  • Supports up to 8K projects
Particle Illusions example. Source: Boris FX 

According to Boris FX, the company released the free standalone app to democratize particle creation and make the app more accessible to artists who might now be financially challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Particle Illusion – Free Training

To help users better understand Particle Illusion, Boris FX also released free training to go along with the app’s launch. The training series offers tricks and tips on how to best take advantage of particle creation. It is available on Boris FX Youtube channel and right now there are 18 videos.

Particle Illusion Standalone App Versus Premium Plugin

It is worth noting that the new free standalone app does not offer all functions known from the Particle Illusion plugin. There is a nice comparison of the functionality on the Boris FX website. In short, Particle Illusion Premium Plugin includes added-benefits such as the ability to view and composite particle animations directly over source footage, utilize Mocha planar tracking, and masking tools, the audio-driven Beat Reactor tool, and more.

Particle Illusions – Standalone App versus Plugin. Source: Boris FX 

Price and Availability

Particle Illusion Standalone app can be downloaded here free of charge. There are both Mac and Windows versions available. To download it, you only need to login to the Boris FX account or create one for free.

Particle Illusion as a plugin (Adobe, Avid, Apple FCP X, OFX hosts) is included in the full Boris FX Continuum suite (prices vary by the host) and it is also available as a multi-host Continuum Premium Filter for $295 or within the Continuum Particles Unit for $399.

Do you do motion graphics? Do you have experience with Boris FX? Did you try the free Particle Illusion app already? Let us know in the comments below the article.

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