Red Giant, the maker of special effects video and motion graphics software, has jumped into community building with the launch of Red Giant Universe.

This new community, which went online as a public beta today, offers members access to a vast variety of free tools for editing, filmmaking, visual effects, and motion design. A year and a half in the making, Red Giant has released 50 new plug-ins simultaneously, with more under development, according to Sean Safreed, Red Giant’s co-founder and CTO, who spearheaded the effort.

Screen Shot 2014 03 12 at 3.48.06 PM 520x298 Red Giant splashes with new online community

New members get immediate access to dozens of free tools.

All tools in Red Giant’s library of plug-in effects and transitions are GPU-accelerated, cross platform, and compatible with recent versions of popular software, such as Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro, and Apple’s Final Cut Pro X and Motion. New effects and transitions will be added regularly, and existing tools will be updated often, based on user feedback, the company said.

Red Giant Universe offers several membership levels, including the all-important basic membership, which is free. Premium membership is available via a $10 monthly or a $99 yearly subscription, or a one-time lifetime fee of $399. Red Giant Universe free membership is available today, with Premium memberships operative in the next few weeks.

For the extra fee, Premium members can access additional new effects and transitions, as well as existing Red Giant software packages that have been upgraded specifically for Universe—such as Knoll Light Factory EZ, Holomatrix, Retrograde, and ToonIt.

The community aspect of the new venture promotes member participation in choosing which effects and transitions Red Giant will build in the future. Premium members will also get an entree into early new product betas.

Red Giant Universe software is compatible with Mac OS X 10.8.5 or later, and Windows 7  or later. The software works with Adobe After Effects CS5 or later, Premiere Pro CS6 or later, Apple Final Cut Pro 10.0.9 or later, and Motion 5.

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