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Red Giant Recreates Half-Dad from Pixar’s “Onward” in New Cheap Tricks Episode

Portland, OR - March 11, 2020 - Red Giant has just released another Cheap Tricks episode, featuring half-dad, a father who is conjured back to life with only his legs and feet, from Pixar’s “Onward” - now playing in theaters. In this Cheap Tricks episode, now out on YouTube, Dan “Hashi” Hashimoto, the Action Movie Dad, shows viewers a range of techniques for erasing characters from static and dynamic shots using 3D plate projection for a live-action remake of half-dad from “Onward.” Viewers will also learn how Maxon Cinema 4D is used to create a more animated version of “dad legs.”

WATCH NOW: Cheap Tricks Episode 14 – Pixar’s Onward Half Dad Effect

“I think that knowing how to erase things from a handheld shot is a skill that could prove useful in a million different ways,” Hashi explains. “You may never need to create dad legs per se...but there are lots of reasons that visual effects are used to erase limbs in movies.”

Focusing on camera tracking, basic plate projection, masking and particle & lens flare plugins, Hashi demonstrates three levels of difficulty approaching how to erase the top part of his body while keeping his legs moving around in After Effects. Many tools from Red Giant Complete were used to help create the effect including Trapcode Particular, which was primarily used to create the magical particles coming the “magical wand” seen in the video that was used to diminish Hashi into a pair of legs. Other tools used included plugins from Magic Bullet Suite and VFX Suite. In the last 10 minutes of the tutorial, Hashi creates a CG version of half-dad by utilizing Maxon Cinema 4D and Adobe’s Mixamo.

The full set of tools used includes:

  • Trapcode Particular: Create organic 3D particle effects, complex motion graphics elements and more in After Effects. Now with Fluid Dynamics.
  • VFX Supercomp: Supercomp is a compositing environment that makes it easy to create complex, seamless composites. In Supercomp, light and atmospheric effects interact with all layers and elements of a scene in a far more natural way, and with far less pre-composing in After Effects than ever before.
  • VFX Spot Clone Tracker: Allows for fast, simple spot cleanup and object removal with a built-in tracker.
  • VFX Optical Glow: A blazing fast, drop-dead gorgeous, photo-realistic glow effect for After Effects and Premiere Pro, Optical Glow makes adding picture-perfect glow effects to projects incredibly simple.
  • VFX Primatte Keyer 6: Green and blue screens are seamlessly removed for fast and automatic keying.
  • VFX Knoll Light Factory 3.1: Creates camera-inspired, photo-realistic lens flares in After Effects and Premiere Pro.
  • Magic Bullet Looks: Magic Bullet Looks is designed to give filmmakers powerful looks and color correction, with over 200 fully-customizable Look presets and over 40 tools to customize or build new Looks. Get the best, most-intuitive color correction experience in the industry.
  • Magic Bullet Denoiser III: Magic Bullet Denoiser III quickly and easily removes all the noise and grain from footage without taking away from the detail.
  • Maxon Cinema 4D: Cinema 4D is an Academy Sci-Tech award-winning professional 3D modeling, animation, and rendering software solution. Its powerful and flexible toolset makes 3D workflows more accessible for design professionals.

Free Trial
Want to follow along? Don’t worry, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg (or even you’re upper torso)! You can download a free trial of both Red Giant Complete and Maxon Cinema 4D and have access to fully functioning versions of all of our tools!

Download the project files for “Onward Half Dad Effect” on the Red Giant tutorial page.

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About Red Giant
Red Giant is a software company made up of talented artists and technologists who collaborate to create unique tools for filmmakers, editors, VFX artists, and motion designers. Our company culture is focused on finding balance between work and life – we call it “the double bottom line” – this philosophy helps us ignore complexity in favor of building simple tools that yield giant results. Over the last decade, our products (like Magic Bullet, Trapcode, Universe and PluralEyes) have become the standard in film and broadcast post-production. With over 250,000 users, it’s nearly impossible to watch 20 minutes of TV without seeing our software in use. From our experiences as artists and filmmakers, we aspire to not only provide tools for artists, but inspiration as well. Watch our films, learn from over 200 free tutorials, or try our software at

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Megan Linebarger
Zazil Media Group
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