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Boris Red 3GL
sophisticated compositing effects to footage will usually entail forking
out for an advanced application and, worse, learning to use it. Boris
Red 3GL works as a plug-in with a host of editing programs - and promises
results with a minimum of fuss.
programs have become pretty powerful over the years, even for creating
multi-layered effects. But for full control, a fully-fledged compositor
such as After Effects has usually been a necessary companion. The problem
is, this requires switching footage between applications, often entailing
time-consuming format conversions. If a real-time editing system is
being used for the lion's share of the work, then that can be a real
workflow inhibitor. Wouldn't it be easier if the compositor ran from
within the timeline editor directly, as a plug-in?
This is where Boris Red comes in. The original Boris Effects plug-in
was a powerful piece of software, capable of layering and 3D. But, to
satisfy professional needs, the company produced Red. Similar to Boris
Effects, but a lot more powerful, Red also integrates the titling power
of Boris Graffiti - and it works both independently as the Boris engine
and as a plug-in for a huge selection of popular editing programs. A
freely distributable keyframer can even be used on any compatible Windows
or Mac system to design effects, but it has no rendering abilities,
so the keyframe file will need to be loaded into a full system for final
output. The new 3GL version of Boris Red adds support for the Adobe
Digital Video Collection - Premiere Pro and After Effects 6 - and Sony
Vegas 4 but, unlike Red 2.5, it doesn't support Canopus Edit or Discreet
Combustion. Otherwise, the immense catalogue of possible host apps remains.
It's worth checking the online support list (www.borisfx.com/products/compmatrx.php)
but most of the likely candidates are on there.
Considering the stiff price of Boris Red 3GL, which places it beyond
even the Production Bundle of After Effects 6, only in cases where its
capabilities are needed everyday should it be awarded consideration.
It's unquestionably powerful, with some unique features, such as the
2D/3D chart animation, and an incredible, almost limitless range of
filters and compositing features, but we found in some areas that After
Effects could achieve the same effects for less money and (as bizarre
as it is to be saying this about After Effects), a little more easily,
too. Red's keyframe-level editing, for example, relies on manual Bezier-handle
editing in graph mode. Although simple keyframe-level transition options
such as accelerate or ease-in/ease-out are available on a parameter
level, they act across all the keyframes for that parameter and can't
be applied on a keyframe-by-keyframe basis.
If Adobe made it possible to import After Effects compositions into
Premiere so that they could be included on the timeline like native
Premiere nested sequences, it would steal a lot of Red's thunder. Fortunately
for Boris FX, Adobe has only built in this kind of integration for Photoshop
PSD documents and Illustrator vector files - and few other software
vendors have anything like After Effects up their sleeves to integrate
with their mainstream editing apps.
So, for now, Boris Red continues to offer unique compositing power straight
from a timeline editor, and 3GL builds on that power. However, it is
a little overpriced, now that After Effects Production Bundle and Discreet's
Combustion have been repositioned at much reduced price points, making
the plug-in convenience something you definitely pay for.
Read the full review
in April 2004's Computer Video magazine.
Reviewed in this issue:
World's fastest editing PCs
Pinnacle Liquid Edition 5.5
Pinnacle Studio 9
CyberLink PowerDirector 3
Boris Red 3GL
In April's news:
Budget Canopus MPEG suite
8x speed DVD burners
Canopus MPEG hardware
After Effects keyer
FireWire analogue/DV HDD recorder
Ready-made Canopus effects