Profound Effects, Inc. has launched version 1.2 of Useful Things for Adobe After Effects. In addition to more than 40 new or improved effects, version 1.2 focuses on improving ease-of-use. Among these improvements is a keyword search function that lets users quickly find the effect they want. With about 200 effects already available, and more being added continually, finding effects had to become "a quick and easy" task according to Perry Kivolowitz, CEO of Profound Effects, Inc. For example, typing keywords such as "particle and snow" lists effects that create snow storm-like particle system effects. With Useful Things, new plug-ins can be created by users or downloaded free from the Internet. In addition to those that come with Useful Things, about 50 more plug-ins are currently available online for free download. Among the new effects provided with version 1.2 are video tools that render in an After Effects layer, making them into effects themselves. For example, a Vectorscope that actually tracks a specific AE layer can be inserted into an on-set monitor using After Effects' compositing and perspective functions. Other new plug-ins include self-animating lines and transitional effects. Useful Things has a retail price of US$395 and is available for Windows and Mac OS operating systems supported by After Effects software, including OS X. Purchasers of previous versions of Useful Things can upgrade at no charge. For more information, visit www.profoundeffects.com.