By Neil Bennett | on August 14, 2008
Price When Reviewed: 455 . 455 . 1010 . 299
Pros: Huge range of flexible tools; all work as FxPlug; Pixel Chooser and Motion Tracker.
Cons: Many filters replicate AE’s own.
This review is taken from our group test of visual effects plug-ins collections.
Boasting over 180 filters, Boris Continuum Complete (BCC) covers many bases, including traditional image processors, texture and animation generators, and compositional tools covering areas like keying and motion tracking.
Many of these filters replicate functions found in After Effects CS3, but for users of less filter-heavy editing and compositing tools, BCC 5 is definitely worth exploring. It’s available in AE, FxPlug and AVX versions (though these have to be purchased separately) and supports a wide range of hosts. Unlike some collections, all of BCC 5’s filters have been ported to Apple’s FxPlug, so can take advantage of Final Cut and Motion’s real-time engines.
The filters within BCC are split into seven groups: Color & Blurs, Distortion & Perspective, Generators, Keys & Matte, Lights, Time, and Wipes. There’s also a separate group for the ten OpenGL-accelerated plug-ins, which use your computer’s graphics card to boost preview rendering performance.
Two useful tools built into all of the filters are the Pixel Chooser and Motion Tracker. The former enables you limit filters to areas of your composition using AE’s own masking tools – you can use its own cropping tool, but this doesn’t allow feathering.
The Motion Tracker is based on the high-grade tracker from the Boris Blue and Red compositing tools – though it can only track one point at a time, and in 2D only. The Match Mover filter uses the tracker, and can quickly replace areas such as signs in moving footage.
Overall, the quality of BCC’s filters is high and there is a range of parameters for each effect, but it lacks the on-screen controls of many of Sapphire’s filters, and its lighting tools aren’t as extensive. Editors, especially, will find much here to like.
Supported hosts: After Effects 7/CS3, Combustion 3/4/2008, Final Cut Pro 6, Media Composer 2.6/3, Motion 3, Premiere Pro 1.5/2/CS3