By Neil Bennett | on March 02, 2009
Price When Reviewed: 699 . 205
Pros: Excellent 3D extruded text and object filters that remove the need to use an external tool such as Boris Red; huge range of controls; high-end output quality.
Cons: Pricey; 3D Objects filters don’t work in Premiere or on PPC Macs; AE workflow makes extruding vector shapes fiddly.
Boris Continuum Complete isn’t quite the bargain it once was -- due in part to a price increase by Boris FX, but mainly due to the severely weakened UK pound against the US dollar. When we reviewed Boris Continuum Complete 5, the collection of almost 200 filters for After Effects
The headline new feature is a group called 3D Objects, which includes: Extruded Text, Type-On Text, Extruded Spline, and Layer Deformer. These replicate tools that could previously only be found in Boris FX’s Boris Red and Boris Blue motion-graphics applications – and it’s great to have them within After Effects>.
The Extruded Text filter allows for swift creation of comps with advanced 3D lighting effects on the text.
Extruded Text enables you to create 3D text in any font, with full control over how it’s presented. What you can modify ranges from the textures used to typographic tools such as kerning and leading to applying smoothing elements such as bevels. You can also apply 3D-animated effects such as shatter, bend and ripple.
Where Extruded Text really shines – literally – is in its integration with the rest of AE’s 3D workspace. The text interacts with lights and cameras, casting shadows if necessary, and you can use other layers to create reflection maps (for added realism) or texture maps (for ‘on-text’ video).
Extruded text can also be animated using preset 3D effects such as shatter.
If you’re an AE user who previously went out to Boris Red or Blue to create these elements, you’ll really appreciate how much quicker it is to do within AE using BCC 6. If it wasn’t for Red’s ability to import 3D models – something BCC can’t do – we’d say that this new collection makes Red redundant. Blue has a real-time system that no AE plug-in can match – but many of BCC 6’s filters are Open GL-accelerated, so preview very swiftly.
Extruded Text uses Boris FX’s traditional text-creation dialog, which makes accurate placement more difficult than typing on-screen using AE’s standard text engine.