Yanobox Nodes 2 Review

The worst part about writing this review is that I have to actually stop playing around in order to write it. Nodes 2 from Yanobox is without exaggeration one of the most impressive plug-ins I’ve ever used, and I’m utterly captivated by it.

If you ever used the original Nodes then you know that it’s a neat plugin, but Nodes 2, which was rewritten from the ground up, amps things several levels beyond it’s now discontinued predecessor.

So what is Nodes? Yanobox describes it as a “Motion Graphic generator to animate objects & relationships through Nodes and Lines.” When you apply the plugin you are presented with a blank slate that can quickly be customized into some truly stunning animations; but Nodes also ships with over 100 gorgeous presets that can quickly be tweaked to fit your project. With great detail you can customize the overall shape, node count, color, connecting lines, text (with incredibly fast accelerated fonts), and just about everything else that is generated. The speed at which you can tweak things allows you to play around until you find just what you’re looking for, and then you can start animating.

My preferred platform for Nodes 2 is After Effects because the plugin natively integrates with the After Effects camera which means you can create some truly stunning animations within the rest of your project. Check out this 9 second animation that I made from scratch in Ae with the native camera.

Some other great features include the ability to work with 3D primitives, imported 3D OBJ models (Yanobox provides 49 for free), and even footage. You can even combine multiple instances of Nodes to do some really great things like extracting nodes from footage while creating a particle system for your background.

As for performance, I was incredibly impressed with performance in all four supported platforms, Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5, After Effects CC, and Premiere Pro CC. The accelerated fonts are also a huge improvement; when you have an instance of the plugin with several thousand nodes, that many pieces of text could easily be a show stopper, but accelerated fonts make performance here a non-issue. In fact, you can even toggle accelerated fonts on and off to see the difference for yourself.

Nodes 2 is available through the FxFactory platform (Mac only) which means you buy it once, and it has the ability to be supported by multiple hosts – in this case, Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5, After Effects CC, and Premiere Pro CC. This is great because for one price you get four different versions of the plugin. The price has tripled since Nodes 1, going from $99 to $299, but in my opinion, Nodes 2 is such a radically different and superior plugin compared to the original, that it’s well worth the price.

You can get Nodes and watch tutorials here.
And you can learn even more about Nodes here.