by Heath McKnight, June 2010
Boris FX is considered a leader in effects plug-ins for major Video Production Software apps from companies like Apple, Adobe, Sony Creative Software, Avid and others. One of their popular effects set is the Boris Continuum Complete (BCC), which is up to version 6 for Apple apps, and version 7 for Adobe After Effects. It contains over 200 creative filters plus transitions, an excellent set of chroma key tools and more. We are going to focus on the set for Final Cut Studio (Final Cut Pro and Motion) and Final Cut Express.
Filters and Effects
There is a robust number of filters that come with BCC6, including some cool “film looks,” like bleach bypass and others; filters for lens flairs; a wide variety of general “looks,” like Cartoon, Emboss, Film Grain, etc.; Blur and Color effects (the Color effects also provide some “fixes,” such as Color Correcting, Brightness and Contrast, Color Choker, Safe Color, etc., in addition to creative color filters); 3D Objects; and more. Using these will greatly enhance your creativity when it comes to editing in Final Cut Pro, Motion or Final Cut Pro Express.
The filters, effects, transitions and wipes that come with BCC6 can be completely modified to create a more custom look, which is a great advantage. And it’s not hard to tweak the settings and see the results before rendering. There are other third-party filters and effects plug-ins out there that either limit the controls in their filters, or don’t allow any customization.
Editors may not use many of the filters that can change the look of a video clip completely, but some can actually enhance the look just enough to produce eye-catching results. If you do decide to produce a video or film project that will have a specific look, it’s good to do some tests. Shoot under the style of lighting the project will utilize. Then bring those clips into Final Cut Pro and experiment with the filters to get the look you want. You may have to adjust the lighting and settings in the camera, in addition to what the filter can offer.
Many of the filters and effects have been optimized to work with multi-core Macs, such as the Intel Core 2 Duo or Core i5/i7 processors found in MacBook Pros, or the Xeon processor monsters found in the Mac Pros. They also take advantage of OpenGL and 16-bit deep-color pixel processing. What does all this mean? You won’t have to worry about rendering times if your MacBook Pro or Mac Pro has a strong multi-core processor, a greatgraphics card or integrated processor and plenty of RAM (4GB minimum).
Transitions and Wipes
There are a good number of transitions and wipes, found under “Video Transitions” in the Effects tab in Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express. There are two sets, one labeled “BCC6 Wipe Transitions” and the other called “BCS Transitions.”
These are your standard wipes and transitions, and some of them do some cool effects, too. It’s always good to use transitions and wipes sparingly, because nothing says “amateur” louder than a video project with an overload of transitions.
The included chroma key unit contains the tools needed to create a convincing effect that the subject (an actor or object) was shot at an exotic location, and not actually a studio featuring a blue or green screen and a photo of the background.
The BCC Chroma Key, BCC Matte Choker (to smooth out the edges of the subject being keyed), BCC Light Wrap (to “reflect” the background image with the edge of the subject), BCC Match Grain (matches the film or video grain of the subject being keyed with the background image) and BCC Color Match (to further match color, highlight, midtone and shadows of the subject and background). This unit comes with Boris Continuum Complete, but can be purchased separately.
Apple Final Cut Pro, Motion and Final Cut Express users get an added bonus found only in those apps: the BCS Chroma Key Studio which is a stand-alone filter that contains the Chroma Key, Matte Choker and Light Wrap tools. This is great, because users won’t have to drag the three separate filters onto the clips they want to perform a chroma key. Plus, BCS Chroma Key Studio is optimized to run in real-time in the Apple video production software apps, including high definition. There are great video and illustrated written tutorials on Boris FX’s website to walk you through it.
We’ve used different chroma key tools and plug-ins, including those built into Final Cut Pro, but very few come close to the power and ease-of-use found in the BCC6 chroma key toolset. Performing some basic, moderate and complex chroma key effects went surprisingly smooth, even with an actor’s hair, one of the hardest things to key if the software isn’t good.
If the subject is lit well and as close to the background, we noticed we weren’t using the Matte Choker and Light Wrap as much. But if the original lighting isn’t as good, the BCC6 chroma key toolset really stepped up and produced fantastic results.
Boris FX Boris Continuum Complete 6 provides a comprehensive set of filters, transitions, chroma key tools and more, that greatly enhance Final Cut Pro and other Video Production Software. Users can easily create amazing video effects that will take their projects to a whole new level.