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Getting Started

LaForge’s documentation is still in development during Beta. Information may change and become redundant depending on the version you have installed. We will be going in-depth on the features available in upcoming videos.

Join our Discord and discuss LaForge with us and the ProductionCrate community! https://discord.gg/E2RDdYNj9Q

Adding Effects to your Project

To get started, add a LaForge effect to your layer in After Effects. Then activate the panel by clicking “Start Panel”.

Once the panel is loaded, you will see all the presets at your disposal! These are all plugins that we built during the development of LaForge.

Select a preset, and add it to your layer by clicking “Apply preset”. You’ve just loaded in your first LaForge plugin!

You can change your preset by repeating the same action, LaForge will override the effect’s selected preset. 

LaForge – Advanced

The code editor is the backbone of LaForge. Using this, you can create your very own programmable effects. We will be taking our time to develop a cohesive, user-friendly and knowledge packed guide on how to do this, but for those with enough motivation, here’s some useful information.

All Forge Shaders are processed using compute shaders. You can define the workgroup size of the shader in the options. Each workgroup has a number of iterations which is limited to 1024 on most of the GPUs, (calculated by multiplying the x * y * z sizes). Do not go over this limit. Workgroups are dispatched randomly, so don’t expect items to render in order.

If you want the results of each invocation to work with each other, (in analysis mode), use atomic operations. For more information, you can read:
https://www.khronos.org/opengl/wiki/Compute_Shader

Effect Mode

In Effect Mode you can create an Effect Shader. Shaders return an array of pixels. A hidden part does the job. The main function is this mode is

mainRender (in vec2 fragCoord, vec4 outColor);

An effect can use stepBuffers to use multiple buffers in one effect. See the fidelityFx preset as an example. LaForge does not yet support recursive passes (these buffers render at frame -1), but it is planned for the future.

Analysis Mode

An Analysis shader returns a 1d (float) or 2d (point) or 3d value (color). It can access the same parameters as a standard effect except for stepBuffers.

Camera and lights
Camera And lights are available in After Effects only. If a preset use one of these parameters, Premiere Pro will lock access to the shader

If you want to create 3D ray tracing or ray marching, LaForge has two functions to help you load the camera:

forge_getCamOrigin() -> Returns a vec3 with the camera position
forge_getCamRayDirection() -> Returns a vec3 with the camera ray direction.

Sometimes you may have to invert the Y coordinate of the camera, especially if your shader’s up direction is Y+ (AE’s upward direction is Y-).
Vec3 rd = forge_getCamRayDirection();
Vec3 ro = forge_getCamOrigin();
rd.y = -rd.y;
ro.y = -ro.y;

Some Shaders may have a different scale value of the camera data. You can take a look at the fractal or aurora presets for real implementations.

NAME

Name can be modified

type

options

description

forgeUv

no

vec2

no

the uv coordinate with a pixel correction from vk to host app (between 0 and 1 on the screen)

fragCoord

no

vec2

no

the pixels coordonate.  

resolution

yes

vec2

no

the resolution of output shader

time

yes

float

no

Current time in seconds. In host App it’s reference to the layer time, not the composition time

framerate

yes

float

no

Frame rate of the source

timeDelta

yes

float

no

Time elapsed between two frame render. Can vary on the preview in the panel. In host app it’s 1/FrameRate

timeFrame

yes

int

no

Current time in frame

downscale

yes

vec2

no

The current downscale from the layer in the host application

appId

yes

int

no

Returns 0 if the host App is AE and 1 if it’s Premiere

camData

no

cameraDataStruct

no

[AE ONLY] Camera Data informations. See below for the cameraDataStruct

forgeNumLights

no

int

no

[AE ONLY] The number of lights in current composition

lightsData[50]

no

Array of lightDataStruct

no

[AE ONLY]  array of lightsData infos in the current composition. Limited to 50

shaderResult

no

Int int[2] int[3]

no

Used in Analysis. Depending on analysis result type choosen.

forgeStepBuffer{index}

no

sampler2D

no

returns sampler from previous stepBuffers {index} must be inferior to the current buffer index. For ex: forgeStepBuffer4 can’t load forgeStepBuffer5

texture{index}

yes

sampler2D

no

{index} is between 0 and 4

returns sampler from the texture indexed

forgeTexturesInfos[5]

no

texturesInfosStruct

no

Returns infos on each textures. forgeTexturesInfos[0] returns info of the source layer of the shader.

forgeTexturesInfos[1]-> texture1 etc. see bellow the struct infos

forgeStepBuffersInfos[9]

no

texturesInfosStruct

no

Returns ifnos in each stepBuffers of the project.

ddl_{index}

yes

int

Items name

{index} is from 0 to 9

Return the selection of the dropdownlist. 

When creating a shader, you can set name for each param of the drop down list. The size cannot be reduced for now because of an issue in Premiere

slider_{index}

yes

float

Minimum value

Maximum value

Divide result by 100

{index} is from 0 to 19

Returns the floating value of the corresponding slider.

slider_int_{index}

yes

int

Minimum value

Maximum value

{index} is from 0 to 19

Returns the integer value of the corresponding slider.

point_{index}

yes

vec2

no

{index} is from 0 to 9

Returns normalized pixel Coordonate, between 0 and 1, of the corresponding point.

rotation_{index}

yes

float

no

{index} is from 0 to 9

returns  the corresponding rotation value from users (angle param in AE). Values are in degrees

color_{index}

yes

vec3

no

{index} is from 0 to 9

Returns the color value of thecorresponding param in normalized space (0-1)

checkbox_{index}

yes

bool

no

{index} is from 0 to 9

Returns the bool of the corresponding param

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