Getting Started With Trapcode TAO

A while back, Trapcode let loose a new plugin for After Effects, TAO. Trapcode TAO allows you to generate 3D geometry along a stroke or path, directly in After Effects. Likely this is what Peder intended 3D stroke to be, back in the day.

A simple technique to reveal a logo or text with Trapcode Tao using Paths from Masks, Offset and moving the camera

Here, Peder shows how to use TAO to create a simple logo reveal, using paths from masks, and offsetting the shapes and moving the camera for the animation.

Trapcode TAO

TAO will let you use geometric shapes, create ribbons, animated extrusions, and replicate shapes easily, all right within the viewport in After Effects.

You can quickly create geometry from masks or paths and easily ad animation and motion to your scene. TAO is aware of After Effects native cameras and lights, letting you easily integrate the shapes into your scene.

Under the hood, the Trapcode TAO plugin boasts GPU acceleration to drive the 3D shapes and strokes in the Ae viewer, so performance should feel more modern than that of 3D stroke.

As an aside — One thing is clear with After Effects and its plugin API, as plugins get more and more powerful, and take over some things (that in my opinion, really need to be written as Ae core), there needs to be a new and better way that the endless list of attributes and plugin features in Ae’s effect panel. As plugins get more powerful, such as Trapcode TAO, that effects list seems to grow, and lose it’s intended functionality.

TAO is added to the Trapcode suite, or you can purchase on its own for $99.00. Visit RedGiant to learn more about Trapcode TAO.