Australian Videocamera: Review: BorisFX Continuum Complete
09 August 2012

by David Hague, August 9, 2012

BorisFX call BCC the “Swiss Army knife of video editing”. I am not going to argue.

Yesterday I posted a tutorial on removing objects from a scene using Boris Continuum Complete (BCC) and its Motion Key plugin in. Because of the reaction to that piece, I feel an look at the whole package would be an idea. Some of BCC functions

Firstly, a description of BCC is in order; the overall package contains over 175 different ‘units’ that work inside your existing NLE (editing program) performing such diverse functions as 3D text, particle graphics (explosions, fire etc), noise addition / reduction, film process, glitter, lens effects and much, much more.

As required, any of these units can be called up while editing and asked to perform their magic on existing footage. You might need to do colour correction, extrude some titles, add a lens flare – there are over 1000 presets all ready to go out of the box covering a dazzling array of features, effects and corrections.

One of the major power functions of BCC is key framing. For the uninitiated, key framing involves setting parameters that change over time and letting the software work out the “in between” bits. In a very basic example, you might have some text on the screen at the top centre, and want it moved to the bottom of the screen over ten seconds and dissolve.

This would start by firstly by treating the text as a whole - a single object not individual letters. Next, the parameters of its x and y location at the start would be key framed and then the end x and y co-ordinates of its required finishing position key framed at the point on the timeline you want the text to appear there.

For example, the text might start at the very beginning of a clip and so the x and y coordinates for the first key frame would be at 0. If the text was to start moving immediately the clip started, and you wanted it to move to its end position by the end of 10 seconds, the next key frame, the final x and y co-ordinates, would be at the 10 second point on the timeline.

Once these have been set, at rendering time, BCC and the host editing package will create the interim frames automatically.

Similarly, if the text is to slowly dissolve over the 10 seconds you would set another pair of key frames for the opacity of the text object as fully visible at 0 and totally transparent at 10 seconds.

As you can see, this system allows many powerful functions to be used on existing footage or even create footage. When used in conjunction with masks, most of the effects seen in high budget movies can be mimicked easily and quickly with BCC and its effects and compositing tools. And once you have your head around this basic concept and start applying it to more complex functions such as the particle systems, lighting and film filters, chroma keying and motion tracker, then the sky is the limit.

BorisFX call BCC the “Swiss Army knife of video editing”. I am not going to argue.

Indeed it is such a comprehensive package that I quantify BCC as one of the must have packages.

Host programs that can work with BCC are numerous too; packages from Adobe, Apple, Avid, Autodesk, Sony, Media 100 and Grass Valley are all supported. A trial version of BCC can be downloaded from the BorisFX website at www.borisfx.com .

There is just one thing to remember about using a package such as BCC and that is (in my opinion anyway) once you understand the basics, a lot of what you can do relies on experimentation. And once you have worked out something really cool, don’t forget to save it as a preset!

Auscam Ratings

Performance                      8

Documentation                 7

Features                              8

Setup                                   8

Value for Money                9