Boris Continuum Complete 6 AE

Studio Monthly by Marc Franklin

The latest suite of filters for After Effects adds stabilization, cartoon effects and a handy pixel fixer to the mix

When I reviewed Boris Continuum Complete (BCC) 5 two years ago, I was impressed with its wide range of effects that could be run directly from within Adobe Premiere Pro, without having to go into After Effects. BCC 6 AE adds some significant new effects, as well as new ways to purchase the suite.

The new effects in version 6 include a broad set of text and image-styling filters, including Extruded Text, Type-On Text, Extruded Spline, Layer Deformer, Extruded EPS, DV Fixer, Smooth Tone, Cartoon Look, Charcoal Sketch, Pencil Sketch, Water Color, Pixel Fixer, Lightning, Tile Mosaic, and Swish Pan.

The first new filter I tried out was the "pixel fixer,” a handy tool that aims to fix every camera owner's nightmare, dead pixels. The filter works by letting you identify up to 20 dead pixels before blurring them out. When I first saw it demonstrated at NAB, they showed it in a short dark scene with little background detail. When I discovered a large cluster of dead pixels in footage I shot on my Panasonic AG-DVC200, I tried to fix the whole 90-minute DV file at once. Maybe that was too ambitious. The result ended up looking like a blurry spot on the lens. Those with shorter clips to fix may have better luck, but I won't be using this one too often.

Next I tried the new optical image stabilizer. I've tried a number of stabilizer programs over the years and this one in BCC 6 is the best I've seen. I tried it on some HD home video and was amazed at not only how well it stabilized the video but also the quality of the output of the final product. The other stabilization software I tried was passable, at best. The results I saw here were great and didn’t end up looking blocky, either. I’ll never ask myself again, "should I leave this a little shaky or stabilize it and make it look blocky?” No blocks here. read more...

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