GenArts has released the particleIllusion for After Effects (pIAE) plug-in for Windows-based compositors, with a Mac version due soon. Available as a plug-in for the first time, particleIllusion for After Effects enables artists to create particle effects directly within After Effects.

pIAE is built on the same 2D particle generation engine as its stand-alone sibling particleIllusion 3.0. pIAE provides access to the thousands of existing emitters -- downloadable presets designed to allow users to effortlessly create natural, high-quality effects such as smoke, fire, explosions, sparkles, fireworks and countless abstract effects -- without ever leaving the After Effects environment.

particleIllusion for After Effects features access to all top-level particle parameters, including size, life, number, velocity to customize the particles for each project. It offers OpenGL-accelerated rendering, support for HD content, and the ability to load most of the more than 2,800 existing particleIllusion emitters in After Effects, including the Pro Emitters.



Particle systems can be transferred to particleIllusion 3.0 to access lower-level parameters such as colour gradients, particle images, initial angle settings, and so on. Artists can also create new emitters and libraries, or move emitters between libraries using particleIllusion 3.0.

particleIllusion for After Effects costs $299 (around £185). Existing particleIllusion 3.0 users can purchase pIAE for $179 (£110). pIAE bundled with particleIllusion 3.0 can be purchased for $579 (£360).

particleIllusion was developed by wondertouch, which was acquired by GenArts in November 2009.