By Neil Bennett | on June 26, 2006
Price When Reviewed: 1199 . 599
Pros: Groundbreaking real-time 3D motion graphics environment. Excellent effects and 3D object and text controls. High-quality output.
Cons: Expensive. Requires a very powerful computer. Needs more presets and effect controls.
No-one likes waiting. Working in real-time is what all creative applications aspire to deliver, and motion graphics and compositing applications are one of the last areas to gain real-time functions.
This is hardly surprising considering the number of layers and effects in the average project. But, following on from the first real-time 2D motion graphics application, Apple Motion, Boris FX has released the first truly-professional real-time 3D compositor, Boris Blue.
Applications such as After Effects, Combustion, and Boris FX’s own Boris Red use the host computer’s RAM to preview effects, but this doesn’t run in real-time. Boris Blue uses the graphics card, utilizing all of the hardcore technology developed for throwing realistic-looking soldiers and aliens around in computer games. This enables you to mix video, audio, 3D models, extruded text, particles, and effects in 3D space without having to wait.
To do this, Boris Blue requires some serious graphics hardware. Blue’s real-time graphics engine works only with NVidia’s Quadro FX 4000 and 4500 workstation-class boards, or GeForce 6800 or 7800 series boards. While the FX 4000 and 4500 are excellent high-end 3D boards, we’d recommend 7800 boards – as for the cost of an FX board you can buy two 7800s and the SLI motherboard necessary to use them together, and get a huge boost in performance.
The minimum processor and RAM specifications are pretty hardcore, too. We tested Boris Blue on a Dell XPS desktop, kindly lent to us by the company. This machine is driven by a 3GHz Pentium D 930 processor with 2GB RAM, and two GeForce FX 7800GTX graphics cards.