Red Giant Software: Using Trapcode Starglow

Trapcode Starglow is produced by Red Giant Software. This can be used to create an effect in your photographs which looks like it was taken with a star filter. This is a plugin which is compatible with Adobe After effects, and this makes it very easy to create interesting effects on your images.

Shooting with a star filter on your camera is a great way to get the effect. By doing this though, it also means that you no longer have an unchanged original copy. Instead of using a filter, it's possible to shoot without any filters on your camera and then use Trapcode Starglow to create the effect. Fortunately, Trapcode Starglow is very easy to use and shouldn't take much getting used to.

Step 1: Applying the Trapcode Starglow Filter

Open the image that you want to apply the Trapcode effect to in After effects as normal. Then, apply the trapcode filter by clicking Effect from the top menu. Then, select Trapcode and click Starglow. The other Trapcode effects can also be applied in the same way. This filter will automatically pick up all of the highlighted areas in the picture.

Step 2: Adjusting Highlights

Once the filter is applied, it will automatically pick out all of the lighter areas of the picture and highlight them. At times, the effect might be too harsh and this could cause the image to be burnt out. To avoid this from happening, you will need to adjust the intensity of the effect. To do this, open the Effects Controls palette. Then, click Starglow to expand the sub section of the settings window.

Then, expand the Pre-Process section and take a look at the threshold settings. The slider can be used to adjust the effect and make it less intense. It might be necessary to play around with these settings so that you can make your Starglow effect look the best it possibly can. The effect will be updated in the preview window as you move the slider. This should make it fairly easy to find the best setting.

Step 3: Choosing Presets

Trapcode Starglow also has a number of presets which make adjusting the settings very easy. It's also possible to create new presets with your favorite settings. Select the presets from the effects settings option box and the preview window will be updated instantly.

Step 4: Adjusting Transfer Mode

The transfer mode can be adjusted to change the look of the effect. Click on the transfer mode option and then select the best option. Experiment with the different transfer modes available and find out how these will affect the look of your effects.

Step 5: Using Text

Starglow can also be applied to text to create a unique and interesting effect. To do this, type text and then click Effect, Trapcode, Starglow. This will automatically apply the effect and make your text look very special. The Presets can be adjusted again. The horizontal presets work particularly well because these are in one direction. Other settings can be adjusted to perfect the look of the text.

Trapcode Starglow is a very useful effect which can be applied to almost any photo or piece of digital artwork you have.