Boris Continuum is a suite of plug-in effects for Adobe After Effects – the leading package for creating motion graphics. It includes 23 effects – many available for the first time.
There are three useful compositing filters that can be used to blend layers, plus several time-based filters that can be used to automatically generate loops and sequences, adjust a layer’s frame rate, create frame blending, and randomize parameter values over time. Various particle-based filters let you quickly create effects such as Snow, Rain, and Sparks. Also, a Particle System offers detailed control over individual particles as well as the overall shape and movement of the system.
There’s also a Trails filter that creates, composites, and animates trails and video feedback behind a source layer. It also lets you apply recursive effects and geometric transformations to the trails.
Several filters are based on a procedural-noise generator that produces animated effects and transitions – including Fire, Burnt Film, and Stars.
There’re more parameters to tweak than you can point a camera at. For example, many filters have a group of PixelChooser parameters. This uses the source image’s colour, or luma information, to select which pixels to filter. You can use this to apply a filter solely to the brightest or darkest areas of an image, depending on the luma values you set. A tip here is to select another image or clip to use as a Mask Layer, and use that image’s colour or luma information to selectively filter the source image.
The PixelChooser also provides region controls so you can specify which region in the source image is filtered, or apply a filter to any rectangular or oval region and animate its size to create wipes between the source and filtered images.
Designers looking for first-rate 3D tools will not be disappointed either. For example, the 3D Text filter lets you create and manipulate text in 3D space. You can independently adjust the bevels, extrusions, and front and back faces; control the lighting; map media to each of the faces; or simulate different textures on text. The DVE filter can be used to transform a plane in 3D space, apply motion blur, and add three types of lights to the effect – allowing you to produce stunning results quickly and easily.
The most powerful effects are the two Z Space filters that allow you to intersect multiple planes in 3D space, add true 3D lights and shadows, and group objects in containers to perform global parameter adjustments and animations.
The previous Boris effects have become essential buys for most designers working with After Effects, and the new selection of effects provided in Continuum looks set to become an even more essential buy.