Escape Motions' Amberlight 2 in Review
Staff Writer By: Nick Sorbin (nickcharles)
I have only recently found out about Escape Motions and their unique digital art tools, and I was floored. This company has 3 excellent and unique products on offer, and they are all very reasonably priced. Their new Amberlight 2 product is the focus of this review, but I will briefly touch on their other 2 products in the conclusion.
Amberlight 2 is an incredible program that you can use to create beautiful still imagery and animations. It is actually a visualization of an algorithm based on magnetic fields, which was developed by Peter Blaškovic. The animation part is actually the new feature in version 2 of this program.
When you first start up Amberlight 2, you are asked to choose your image size, while a random variation is already rendering in the main window. You can jump in right away and manipulate what you see, or hit a 'random' button to get a different, interesting starting point.
At first, the interface looks a bit daunting, but there is a starter tutorial you can access to show you all the controls and what they do. Even with this help, I didn't fully understand it until I got in and had a play with everything...and there is a lot. Honestly, the Amberlight 2 interface becomes extremely easy to understand once you actually dive in.
In order to create and manipulate the particle-based imagery in Amberlight 2, you use circular 'fields' that each have 3 points of adjustment. Using from 1 to 12 of these fields, you can push millions of particles into unique creations. Each small adjustment re-renders the image, and you can even stop or adjust the amount of 'steps' in the rendering when you are happy with the results.
There are an abundance of other options available to use as well. You control everything from modifiers of variation and waves (circle, square, vertical, and horizontal), to tint and glow filters, and you can even bring another image in to layer under your Amberlight 2 creations.
There are also some preset gradients to choose from, but you can fully customize your own. You can even change background color if you wish.
I found the animation controls very easy to use, and had my first animation set up to render within a few minutes. You have the option to render out an image sequence or animation in up to 4K resolution. A dialog box allows you to set your start and end frames, quality, and frames per second.
Amberlight 2 is infinitely useful, as you can easily create fantastic still backgrounds and incredible looping video for motion graphics and film projects. But, aside from that, Amberlight 2 is just incredible fun.
I really love Amberlight 2. The only thing that I found a little disappointing was that you cannot keyframe color changes. I would imagine, however, that this will be available in a future version. In any case, if you are looking for something to create excellent and visually stunning backgrounds, or incredible animation for video work, Amberlight 2 is an outstanding tool.
My sincere thanks to Escape Motions, and especially to Andrea Vachova, for the review product.
Amberlight 2 is available for both Windows and MAC at the price of just $59.99 (USD). For what Amberlight 2 is capable of, this really is a fantastic price. And don't forget, you are able to render out spectacular high-res imagery and animation with Amberlight 2.
Flame Painter 3 and Rebelle
Escape Motions is also home to two other unique, creative software applications: Flame Painter 3, and Rebelle.
Flame Painter 3 is a fantastic program that allows you to paint with procedural brushes - like painting with light. There are an incredible number of unique brushes to choose from, and you can even create your own. Flame Painter 3 is available in two options: Personal, retailing for $29.99 (USD), and Professional, at $89.99 (USD).
Rebelle is an absolute gem of a program, where you can paint with great realism in digitally-simulated acrylics and watercolor, and even have control of the drying process! Rebelle is priced at $59.99 (USD).
Be sure to check out the Escape Motions website and download and test out the free trials of all 3 of their products. I'm quite sure you'll find something you'll love.