Funky Fresh: Boris Continuum Complete 8 Review
27 June 2012

Boris Continuum Complete 8 is an extremely useful plug-in suite of visual effects available for major NLE platforms offered by Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Avid and Sony. Depending on your NLE of choice, Continuum Complete 8 provides anywhere from 145-200+ effects. But more importantly the effects are useful and inspiring if not a bit intimidating with comprehensive controls that allow truly infinite possibilities.

Boris FX has been around since 1995 and this is the first time we've immersed ourselves in their plug-ins. At first, it's a bit overwhelming. There's a lot to digest in this suite and every plug-in has lots of sliders and settings to tweak. We highly recommend checking out some of the tutorials by John Rofrano on YouTube, especially the Beat Reactor tutorial which we found extremely helpful.

The lineup of effects includes motion tracking, image restoration, cartoon, film effects, 3D particles, HD "UpRez", lighting effects and a lot more. Each plug-in includes a variety of presets. For example, if you want the "Charles Schwab" cartoon look, you can quickly dial that in.

We were able to figure out most of the effects by playing with the controls until we started to see something we liked on screen. The online tutorials are very helpful to jumpstart this process. If you're the type of editor that prefers presets and a few knobs to play with Continuum Complete may frustrate you but if you prefer maximum control you'll appreciate the option to tweak every setting. There are lots of presets but we'd like to see even more practical staring points.

This first example combines two lighting effects triggered by the Beat Reactor. The Beat Reactor only works with AIF files which was a minor inconvenience. This is one of our favorite new tools and we'll be spending a lot of time perfecting its use. This sample shows what you can do with very little effort.

This next example is from a mini-DV shoot several years back that we wanted to repurpose in HD. The UpRez filter was very helpful and the results are convincing. We have hundreds of episodes of a technology show we produced on Beta back in the day and we'll see if UpRez can help us archive it in "HD."

In this next video we used both screen capture software and the camera to grab screen shots.  We noticed an additional flicker in the video we didn't see on the monitor while shooting.  The Boris "Flicker Fixer" plug-in was super handy to help clean this up.

As with any effects package, the best approach is to simply download it and start experimenting. Boris Continuum 8 will keep you busy for days just getting familiar with this powerful suite of plug-ins. The value of the package will become apparent once you start to identify your "Go-to" plug-ins that help clean up, add sizzle and generally bring your visuals to life.  We found the performance and preview capabiiity of Continumm Complete 8 to be good on a test Superrmicro workstation with dual xeons, 12 cores, 24GBs, a quadro 2000, running Win 7 Pro 64bit. We had a frozen screen here and there but found the experience mostly stable and predictable.
We're just getting started and we'll share more as we peel back the layers of this suite. Certainly put this on your list of plug-in suites to consider for your NLE of choice.
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