Particle Illusion is described as an easy-to-use GPU-based particle generator for motion graphics that render in real time, and now Boris FX has made it available as a free Particle Illusion Standalone application.

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Boris FX: Creating motion graphics using the Particle Illusion interface

The existing plug-in version, which supports Adobe, Avid and OFX hosts, remains part of the Boris FX Continuum package.

The new stand-alone product gives motion graphics designers, visual effects artists and video editors access to thousands of professionally designed, drag-and-drop particle emitters from its massive Emitter Library - which features photorealistic effects to easily add explosions, fire, smoke, dust, snow, fireworks, abstract organic elements and even retro video game-inspired graphics to titles, lower thirds and motion backgrounds. Users can choose to render out a preset as is or tweak parameters to create custom animations.

The latest 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 plug-in much faster than rendering within a host application. Exported movies can then be added to any NLE or compositing project for real-time playback. Projects saved in the Particle Illusion Standalone can also be used inside the Continuum plug-in to render in any host.

“Particle Illusion’s preset-based particle system will come in handy in every editor’s and compositor’s toolbox. We decided to release the fantastic standalone application free of charge to help out the many artists who might not otherwise be able to afford new software due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” explained Boris Yamnitsky, Boris FX’s founder and CEO.

“To facilitate this new standalone workflow, we’ve introduced export to ProRes, an industry-standard intermediate codec. In addition, Particle Illusion’s saved emitter libraries and projects can be freely shared among users of the plug-in and the free Particle Illusion Standalone application.”

To help users get up-and-running quickly, Boris FX is also releasing free training alongside the launch. This offers top tricks and tips on how to best take advantage of Particle Illusion’s many creative options. “We’ve created a comprehensive series that takes new users from a basic understanding of the interface and presets to creating custom compositing elements and motion backgrounds,” said John Dickinson, director of motion graphics. “The series is perfect for anyone just starting out in post-production or pros looking to update their Particle Illusion skills.”

The free package includes: 2,500+ professionally designed particle presets; unlimited hardware-accelerated particles; unlimited particle emitters; the ability to add forces and deflectors to create organic movement; ProRes rendering with alpha; integrated motion blur; and support for projects up to 8K.

The Particle Illusion plug-in (for Adobe, Avid, Apple FCP X and OFX hosts) gives users added benefits, such as the ability to view and composite particle animations directly over source footage, Mocha planar tracking and masking tools, the audio-driven Beat Reactor tool and more. Particle Illusion is included in the full Boris FX Continuum suite and is also available as a multi-host Continuum Premium Filter ($295) or within the Continuum Particles Unit ($399).