Boris Red 1.5

Most video producers live in editing applications such as Adobe Premiere or Apple’s Final Cut Pro. These are great programs, but they lack the rich palette of motion-graphics effects found in Adobe After Effects. As a result, many producers turn to After Effects to produce footage, and then import it into their editing projects – this is hardly efficient. Boris FX’s Boris Red 1.5 is the cure for After Effects-envy. The program lets you create gorgeous 3D motion-graphics, titles and transitions directly within an editing program. Boris Red works in Premiere and After Effects, Final Cut Pro, and several Avid and Media 100 systems. At £1,295, Boris Red costs more than many of the programs it plugs-in to. It’s worth it. Indeed, Boris Red out-effects After Effects in many areas. Boris Red’s many talents fall into several overlapping categories: motion graphics – spinning, rotating, and stretching video-clips, complete with motion blur – 3D effects and transitions – page peels, rotating cubes, and video clips mapped onto shapes. It also supports text and titling – with 2D or 3D text – keying, and filters – for adding spotlight and lighting effects, exploding particle effects, and more. When you invoke Boris Red, it takes over the screen, replacing your editor’s menus with its own. Boris Red’s interface loosely resembles After Effects’ – a timeline window visually depicts your project’s flow and lets you set keyframes, which specify effect parameters at a given point in time. You position and size clips in the Composite window, which also displays a preview of your project. The Controls window is packed with dials and sliders for specifying everything from scaling to rotation speed, to motion blur. Boris Red does many things well, but it excels at Z-space control – the ability to determine what happens when elements overlap in 3D space. It’s easy to create dramatic 3D-effects in which elements intersect or travel through one another – great for animated logos. Text is often an afterthought in effects packages, but it’s a star player in Boris Red. A Microsoft Word-like text-editor window lets you create and animate 2D or 3D text. You can apply textures, gradients, static images, and even movie clips to 3D-text characters. And you can animate text to create everything from crawling credits to flying logos. Boris Red includes a stand-alone program, Boris Red KeyFramer, that provides access to all of Boris Red’s features, but lacks rendering abilities. You can use KeyFramer to build motion-graphics projects that you’ll later render in an editing application. Better yet, the Boris Red licence agreement lets you freely copy KeyFramer to all your Macs. On top of all this, Boris Red lets you use many popular After Effects plug-ins within editing applications that wouldn’t otherwise support them.

OUR VERDICT

Boris Red is the most capable video-effects plug-in available. There’s no better way to add motion graphics and 3D titling to a video-editing program.

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