Boris FX 6.0

Boris FX has become an industry standard as a plug-in for creating digital-video effects, keying, colour manipulation, layer distortions, and particles. With Boris FX you can simultaneously spin, tumble, rotate, and resize any number of tracks of full-motion video in 3D space. You can also map video onto a flat plane, a sphere, a cube, a cylinder, or create a page turn. It works in After Effects, Premiere, Final Cut Pro and most popular video-editing applications. Filter tips
With the release of version 6.0, Boris FX moves beyond 3D DVE into full-blown effects creation. The biggest news is that you get many new particle filters - such as rain, fire, star, comet generators and other natural filters. These effects offer extremely versatile control over animation, gravity, and attraction and collision with other layers - including alpha channels - and can either act as filters on a track or be used to generate backgrounds. New Buttons on the Controls window allow one-click application of drop shadows, toggle to wire-frame view, and direct selection of the Face track in timeline layers - so users can adjust any track’s media, editing gradients, selecting still-image files, setting colours and so on. A feature I particularly liked lets you import an audio file to use as a template, and listen to it as you set up the timing of your visual effects to match that of the audio. When done, ditch the audio template and place your effect over the original audio in the editor application for a perfect match. Another great feature lets After Effects plug-ins load into Boris FX’s filter list. So you don’t have to leave your video-editing application, transfer into After Effects, apply the filter and transfer back. Supported filters include Media 100 Final Effects Complete, DigiEffects Cinelook, and many others previously unavailable inside video- editing applications. There’s lots more. The new Motion Blur feature simulates the way film handles the image capture of moving objects - giving moving layers a much-less computery feel. Adaptive Motion Blur, unique to Boris FX, takes fewer samples when images are moving more slowly - reducing rendering times without sacrificing the blur’s quality. The Heart Generator builds hearts to use as graphic elements, or to incorporate into effects with animated shapes. Bright idea
Displacement Mapping lets you displace an image based on specific properties - such as luminance - of a user-definable map image. This means you could take a movie of fire and one of a logo, then distort the logo based on the fire’s movement. 3-D Image Shatter lets you explode an image into many different particles - stars, diamonds or whatever takes your fancy. This can be used to make a logo explode into any shape you choose - setting gravity, speed and so forth - then move and rotate the fragments in 3D space. Boris FX Light filters produce 3D-modelled spotlights that shine on your image. Spotlight allows you to position and aim light by setting the position and elevation of the synthetic light source in relation to the image plane. Spotlight filters also allow additional layers to function as mattes and gels for light sources. A gel projects an image along the same plane that the light is projected over, so it’s subject to the same kinds of distortions that the light is. Mattes are revealed in the light without distortion. Edge Lighting lends a 3D-look to flat video and still images, applying highlights and shadows to edges in the image. Light Sweep creates a linear beam of light that sweeps over the image, and Alpha Spotlight simply projects into the image’s alpha channel. Compositing is another of Boris FX’s strengths. The 27 Compositing Apply Modes let you take two different images and mix these in different ways using luminance or contrast values. The unique Apply Mix From sets compositing modes to be animated in a single layer - reducing rendering times by not requiring copies of additional layers to provide the transition between composite modes. No other compositing application offers more control than Boris FX. A separate application, Boris KeyFramer, gives you the same interface as the plug-in. You can save from this as a Boris-type file. So you can work in the KeyFramer - using a laptop, for example - away from your non-linear editor. You can’t render the project in the KeyFramer, but you can import the file into Boris and complete the work. The file can be swapped between PCs and Macs.

OUR VERDICT

Boris FX is the one must-have plug-in to go with a non-linear editing (NLE) system - unless your NLE is Boris Red. The standard version is reasonably priced - given the features - and the professional version represents good value for money compared with the cost of other pro systems. Learning Boris FX takes a while, and you need lots of processing power and RAM for best results - but the results are definitely worth it.

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