They say “life imitates art.” And in fact, sometimes art imitates other art. That’s really the definition of pastiche, an imitation of another style of art or artist.
This makes a lot of sense as to how one of the newest After Effects plug-ins got its name. Pastiche is a plug-in that imitates a collage and it’s pretty cool.
The basic idea behind Pastiche is that it’s a plug-in that will quickly arrange a whole bunch of layers into a collage based on a mask layer. And from the looks of the promo video and tutorial videos, it does a pretty good job.
Using some good programming, or black magic, the Pastiche plug-in will let you take something like a whole bunch of icons, for instance, drop them in a comp, and then arrange them to form a letter, words, or shapes.
From the get go, this plug-in will save hours of work for anyone who ever needs to create such a collage. But, although the concept is simple enough, there are a ton of controls that will alter the outcome of your collage within the plugin.
How It Works
A user needs to first create a composition with all of the layers they wish to be part of the collage. The creators don’t specify if there is a maximum number of layers, just that you can add “many.” However, it looks like the trial limits you to 25 layers.
Next, you add in the mask layer. This can be any sort of shape or text, with varying degrees of opacity.
Then you select your mask layer and open the plug-in. Hit create to see your creation. But if you don’t like the results or you want to change the look, you have several options to do so.
First, you can choose the layer positioning to be random, grid, radial, or organic. Each will give you a somewhat different result in the way the layers are positioned.
You can also set controls for rotation of your layers, scale and opacity. Each will let you pick from mask layer opacity, center orientation, and a few other options.
If that still isn’t enough to get the desired result, you can set parameters for minimum and maximum size and opacity of your layers. Each time you make a change to your settings, you just hit Create again to see the new result.
No doubt, you’ll be able to find plenty of handy uses for this in your design. But what about animation? After all, After Effects is an animation tool.
The folks at Motion Boutique, the company behind Pastiche, have also built in an animation engine that works with the plugin. By animating your mask layer, you can organically and automatically animate how your layers move around as well.
You can choose how many frames to animate and spacing between. And Pastiche comes with its own set of interpretations and speed controls. So, you can choose to ease the movement between keyframes and even add motion blur.
As Pastiche is brand new, there is a lot to be explored, and the plug-in looks to be rich with features. That said, I’m sure the Motion Boutique team will add even more controls if they find an audience for their new plug-in.
Users are already trying it out with interesting results.
The plug-in is $89 which seems like a fair price if you can put it to good use, but aescripts+aeplugins offer a free trial so you can give it a whirl before purchasing.
The makers claim that the plug-in is compatible with AE versions all the way back to CS6, You can simply install it by dragging the plug-in file into your plug-ins folder in AE.
Here is a little more detail on how the plug-in can be put to use by the makers at Motion Boutique.
And the plug-in can be purchased here.