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Profound Effects Updates Useful Things for After Effects

Suite gets new scripts, enhanced functionality By Dave Nagel
Profound Effects has release an update to its Useful Things Suite of tools for Adobe After Effects. Useful Things is a programmable plugin for After Effects that allows users to create their own filter effects and download and install new ones from other users. The new version, 1.1, was supposed to have been released in July but was delayed.

Useful Things ships with more than 70 functional scripts for creating special effects. According to Profound, each script is like its own plugin, able to present its own user interface and perform a custom effect. For the effects that ship with the plugin, source code is provided. In addition, when a customer registers Useful Things, he or she gains access to the Profound eXchange, which contains a searchable database of new effects contributed by other users or by the company. Each entry in the database contains a summary and preview of the effect with a link for downloading.

The new version gets speed improvements for certain particle effects and also adds the ability to process audio, including the ability to drive particle effects with audio and the ability to render a configurable audio spectrum analyzer in an After Effects layer.

Profound also says that Useful Things allows for the import of Flash files into After Effects while maintaining transparency and scalability. Useful Things can also perform image-based special effects such as those performed by other plugins.

Useful Things is available now for $395 for Macintosh and Windows, including Mac OS X. It requires After Effects 5.0 or later. For more information, visit target="_blank">

Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at

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