Plug-In Round-Up

Digitalfilms by Oliver Peters

One way to spruce up your editing application is through various plug-ins for effects filters, transitions and generators. Your options range from single-purpose filters, like Magic Bullet Colorista II and Digital Anarchy Beauty Box, to full suites, like Boris Continuum Complete or GenArts Sapphire. Such filters enhance the power of your favorite editing or compositing tool by connecting through an API (application programming interface), like Avid AVX or Apple FxPlug. Not all APIs are equal. Some, like AVX, don’t permit custom user interfaces, which is why Colorista II or BorisFX’s new 3-way Color Grade are available for Final Cut and After Effects, but not Media Composer.

This has been an active year for plug-in developers, in part, due to the need to become 64-bit-compatible with Adobe CS5. Here’s a quick round-up of just a few of the more popular updates.

Boris Continuum Complete 7. BorisFX’s BCC package is one of the most wide-ranging collections of filters, covering 3D text, stylistic effects, keying, particles and much more. A big new addition is their own 3-way Color Grade filter with custom lift/gamma/gain color wheels and an innovative masking method, complete with tracking. BCC7 now includes an OpenGL-accelerated particle-based 3D generator, which is used in several filters, including the Beat Reactor, Particle Array 3D and Pin Art 3D. Another new addition is a warping engine that drives both video Warp and Morph filters. BCC offers many unique tools and effects not commonly available in other filter bundles. It’s hard to find a competitor that matches just the sheer volume of this collection. Quite a few of the BorisFX filters may also be purchased separately as Boris Continuum Units. read more...

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