Company: The Foundry
Pros: Realistic weather, fire and security camera filters. High-quality output even at HD. Modestly priced.
Cons: Some filters don’t add much to those in After Effects.
The Foundry’s Tinderbox collections of VFX plug-ins for After Effects sit in a curious middle ground between the corporate-focused Boris FX Continuum Complete and GenArts' Sapphire set for high-end broadcast and film work. However, if you’ve outgrown Continuum, Tinderbox might just do the job for you.
As with Tinderboxes 1, 2, and 3, the new collection includes a mix of generators, colour effects, psychedelics, and other filters. The particle-based generators for fire, rain, and snow are surprisingly realistic, even at HD.
Fire creates single point flames for candles, torches, and nozzles – with presets for candle, oil, gas, and inferno looks providing a quick way to get close to the effect you want. There are many fine-tuning controls to use too – from flame activity and buoyance to separation and seed.
Snow offers realistic movements with turbulence and swirls, and rain will fool most viewers. Water, which creates rippling droplets, is less successful close up, but is perfectly usable for floor-based puddles at traditional shot distance.