• Price: 275

  • 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.

  • Our Rating: We rate this 8 out of 10 We rate this 8 out of 10

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.

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Other filters that really impress include Security, which offers the widest range of options so far from a security-camera filter: including tints, quantizing, fisheye lenses, electronic noise, EM interference and even the classic heist-movie ‘white dot’ power loss effect.
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Colourist is a filter you’ll use more often, providing swift colour balancing of highlights and shadows with or without clamping. <BR>
All of the filters offer a wide range of creative and fine-tuning controls. Many also have region controls for both input and output – so you could base a colour balance on a skin tone or set detail without factoring in the sky.
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Some plug-ins included don’t add much to what’s already available in After Effects, but at £275 it’s affordable enough to buy for the particle-based generators and Security filters alone. Then you’ll have a stack of other filters to explore <BR>
when you need inspiration.
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