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If a video project demands more than just a few straight cuts and cross-fades and you need something a little more advanced than the old clichéd effects shipped with many non-linear editing (NLE) programs, it’s time to move onto a dedicated special-effects or compositing program. Boris FX 6.0 covers a lot of ground for an effects package, and comes with a comprehensive range of 2D and 3D effects – as well as fully keyframeable filters and compositing tools. It also makes life easier than most by working like a plug-in – so it’s directly available from within your NLE program, and its effects can be applied straight onto the timeline without the need to export any media files. Boris FX works with many popular editing and compositing packages including Adobe Premiere and After Effects, Discreet Media 100 i and iFinish, Avid Xpress, Fast, and Apple Final Cut Pro to name a few. Applying effects After Boris FX has been installed, it appears as an entry within the effects and transitions menus of the host editing application. To apply a Boris effect, you select the Boris FX icon and apply it to a clip as a filter or as a transition in the same way you would any of the native effects within the editing program. This will automatically open the Boris FX interface. Boris FX consists of three main sections: the Timeline window, the Composite window and the Controls window. The Timeline window gives reference to the duration of a clip and allows you to build up filters and animation effects, each of which are nested beneath, and are controlled by their own keyframe track. This method gives extremely accurate control over every detail. The Composite view is a preview window, and because of the RAM preview feature, gives you a reasonable idea of what the final effect will look like. The Controls window links up to the Timeline window, allowing you to select the effects, and giving general control over them. You can create almost any type of special effect with Boris FX; it comes with over 60 filters that cover everything from colour correction to keying and distortions. These can be used and run together to create interesting 2D and 3D DVEs, such as shape mapping and more conventional page turns. It also comes with Boris FX’s own Pixel Chooser Technology, which gives you the option of taking or using masks on separate colour channels. Boris FX also offers full support for After Effects plug-ins. If you don’t have time to create the effect you need from scratch, there’s also an extensive library of over 500 predefined animations for effects and transitions. These can be selected and applied to your clips, and can also be extensively modified and saved for use later. Boris also comes with a separate standalone application called Boris FX KeyFramer. This allows you to create your own custom transitions, animations and effects templates to store within the library. Although the interface and tools are the same as the main program, the templates are created using still images, not movie files. Template files can be exported and used within Boris running on a different platform. Boris is an excellent addition to any NLE, and the quality of the effects it can produce is first-rate. It may not be After Effects, but being able to work straight off your editor’s timeline has certain advantages.