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A toolkit for realistic VFX composites in After Effects
Supercomp is a compositing environment that makes it easy to create complex, seamless composites. In Supercomp, light and atmospheric effects interact with ALL of your layers and the elements of a scene in a far more natural way and with far less pre-composing than ever before. Supercomp includes more than 15 gpu-accelerated context-aware tools for integrating all of your elements into your final shot.
The Supercomp Panel
Supercomp’s dockable UI makes it easy to do complex compositing through clear visual feedback. Supercomp’s layers are easy to read at a glance, with intuitive icons for each effect. Quickly access the complete set of effects through a convenient radial menu for fast application and results.
Preview Fine Detail
Often, effects like Light Wrap are almost too subtle to see, especially with so many other effects applied to a layer. With the Supercomp Panel, you can view your full composite, or you can drill all the way down to a single selected effect, making it possible to see and alter small details for better results. Supercomp gives you a visual preview that delivers contextual feedback at every level.
Unlike standard After Effects layers and effects, in Supercomp, all layers and effects applied are aware of changes to the other layers in your composite. Adjustments will ripple throughout your composite, altering any pixels that should be affected by those changes. Swap out a background, or change the order of your layers, and all light wraps, diffusions, haze, etc., will automatically change with it — no need to hunt through multiple After Effects comps, layers, and effects.
Supercomp supports three different layer types: Normal, Additive, and Displacement. Each layer type has its own set of effects and presets. You can also specify the gamma (log, video, and more) of your layer, which makes it easy to combine elements from different sources and cameras.
Setting up a complex composite is now as simple as a single click. With Layer Presets, you can apply multiple Supercomp effects at once to get a starting point or even an instant final result. Audition presets with the visual preview, then apply. Tweak a setting or two to taste, and, if you like, save and share your own presets.
Most controls in Supercomp can be animated. Just right-click on a parameter and select Add Keyframe. The control then appears in the After Effects timeline, where you can keyframe it, or even add expressions.
32-bit Floating Point HDR
No matter what the bit-depth of your After Effects project, Supercomp always works in 32-bit float, with proper gamma management. That means that your composites will look realistic and seamless, without any clipped highlights or color artifacts.
All 17 of the effects in Supercomp are GPU-Accelerated, giving you fast feedback and renders.
Easy Pickup and Handoff
No more having to remember what you did when opening an older project, or trying to figure out what someone else did when you inherit a project. Supercomp’s clear visual feedback makes it simple to understand a project’s makeup so you can get jump right in and tweak.
Often a difference in the color of layers is what stands between you and a good composite. Supercomp offers a powerful Color Correction effect designed specifically for VFX compositing. Once you set your black level, no subsequent adjustments will alter the black values of the layer.
Supercomp’s Optical Glow tool creates a photorealistic glow that uses an inverse-square falloff, rather than the gaussian approximation used by other glow effects. The result is a natural-looking glow that adapts realistically to changes in brightness and color, and blends beautifully into the background. This context-aware effect automatically wraps around all foreground layers in a way that would be daunting to set up in After Effects. Even layers and effects that blur or displace the glowing layer are honored.
Layer Glow works exactly like Optical Glow, but without the foreground wrapping. This is effective for layers that create an atmospheric glow that should realistically be occluded by foreground elements.
Light wraps are critical for allowing background light to spill over onto your foreground elements. In Supercomp, you can pick from two different Light Wrap models: Diffusion and Encroachment. Diffusion models the kind of light spill that happens in-camera, from imperfections in the lens, or intentional on-camera filtration. The Encroachment method adapts the light spill to the layer’s level of detail, for an organic, realistic effect. Supercomp’s Light Wrap is subtle, highly customizable, and works in an optically-correct color space, so you never get that “overdone” light wrap look.
Reverse Light Wrap
Often missed in compositing, If the background light and color can spill light onto the foreground, then the reverse must also be true. Reverse Light Wrap spreads subtle color and light from the foreground onto the surrounding background layers.
Blend your foreground layer into the atmospheric perspective of the background with a heavily diffused background color. The Haze effect includes an optional shadow control to simulate the foreground layer blocking the background light that’s illuminating the haze. This shadow can be repositioned to match the light direction of the background footage, and especially helps the realism of backlit scenes.
Add realism to smoke and dust elements, or lend a backlit look to snow or rain elements. The Blur Behind effect blurs the background according to the opacity of the foreground layer. The result is most noticeable in semi-transparent areas of the foreground and also works well on fully-opaque layers that have soft edges, such as hair or fur.
Supercomp’s Edge Erode effect adds smooth transparency to the edges of your foreground layer. Use it to shave a harsh edge off an almost-perfect key, or add additional transparency to a soft-edged element like smoke or dust.
This is the ultimate tool for setting a layer into an atmospheric shot. If your element is backlit in an atmospheric scene, Volume Fog adds “god rays” of background light spilling over the foreground. The rays can also be diffused so that the lighting takes on a more subtle, natural backlit look.
The Edge Blend effect finds the sharp edges of your foreground layer and blurs it together with the background.
If the element you’re trying to composite into a shot just looks too sharp and crisp compared to the organic background plate, Diffusion is the effect you want. Diffusion functions as a more extreme version of Light Wrap and Reverse Light Wrap in one effect.
It can be a tricky thing, compositing red-orange fire over a deep blue sky. Supercomp’s Heat Blur tool allows you to blur and displace the layers below using a custom luminance extraction from the foreground. The result is realistic muzzle flashes, flames, sparks — anything hot. The displacement has all the features of the VFX Suite’s standalone Chromatic Displacement effect, and also includes controls to texturize the blur, or to add visual complexity to simple elements.
Additive Layers have no alpha channel but that doesn’t mean they should be uniformly transparent. Often what makes an additive layer pop is a soft “core matte” derived from the luminance of the foreground. The core matte tool allows you to create punchy, saturated elements that still have naturally transparent edges.
Displacement layers use the same engine as the standalone Chromatic Displacement effect, integrated into the Supercomp engine. This means you can create beautiful, light-diffracting displacement effects, and they will be perfectly integrated into the rest of your composite.
Film grain is a critical element in bringing together your final composite. Supercomp’s got you covered. Every Supercomp composite has master settings for grain, and each layer has its own grain controls. Every effect you add is automatically grain-managed, so your composites are always seamlessly integrated with your background footage.
Adobe After Effects CC 2018 and later
Mac OS X 10.11 and later
4 GB of RAM
800 MB of Hard Drive space
Windows 10 and later
4 GB of RAM
800 MB of Hard Drive space
The minimum GPU required is an Intel HD 5000 integrated graphics chip. Of course, newer and faster discrete GPU components from AMD and Nvidia will yield faster performance.
For Nvidia, we recommend 9xx series graphics cards or newer; mobile GPUs; or the professional series Quadro cards.
For AMD, we recommend 200 series graphics cards or newer; mobile GPUs; or the professional series FireGL cards.
VRAM size requirements: For HD resolution output, we recommend that your GPU have at least 2 GB of memory. If you are planning on doing high-resolution project in 4K or more, we recommend a GPU with at least 4 GB of memory.