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Plug-ins & Filters

We all have a love-hate relationship with our editing system because as much as we love the one we use for all it allows us to do, we hate that it’s missing a few things. We may know what those “few things” are, but where do we find them exactly? Is there one, two or three that will do all we ask of them, without a lot of redundancy and fit within our budget? Look no further than this Videomaker Buyer’s Guide for Plug-ins & Filters Software.

Not only can you get more mileage out of your editing program using compatible plug-in and filter software, you can upscale just about any aspect of your system’s capabilities from audio, to compositing, to 2D and 3D title treatment; you can even apply popular filters from Tiffen that used to require a king’s ransom in glass kits that you had to lug around while shooting. Now, much of what you desire to do can be handled in post-production.

Sure there are still great glass and film filters you want and need but Tiffen also offers more with creative digital effects software. What you can do with their optical filters you can also accomplish with Dfx Software, says Tiffen. Try before you buy? Check out the free trial – prices start at $170 and there are bundle options starting at $310.
 
Video Beyond Your Wildest Imagination
 
GenArt’s Sapphire plug-in software offers more than 240 visual effects for Adobe, Autodesk, Avid, Apple, Nuke and Sony Vegas Pro. At $1,700 it may come close to maxing out some plug-ins’ budgets but review GenArts’ Customer Showreel, Demo Reel and Motion Graphics Reel for some eye-opening possibilities that bring your investment into perspective.
 
Download Noise Industries’ FxFactory 4.0.2 for a trip into creative options you only wish your editing software provided. This company offers a host of special effects for most popular video editing programs and tutorials for many of them. You can also try before you buy their FxFactory Pro, $399, to examine the filters, generators and transitions to enhance your production quality. 
 
Boris FX (www.borisfx.com) brings a huge bump up to video editors seeking to enhance their options. What’s great about this company are its free trial options for pretty much its entire line and for most popular editing systems. Boris calls its Continuum Complete the “Swiss Army Knife of Visual Effects” with more than 140-200 filters (depending on editing platform) and transitions as well as a stand-alone version. The company also offers text, transition and advanced composite options, motion graphics, real-time 3D compositing and more with Boris’ customized applications: Graffiti, RED, Blue, and FX. Pricing runs from $299 to $995, or for those with more available discretionary funds, boxed sets are $1,995, and about half if you’re cross-grading. Many in the industry have said that Boris FX provides all the additional plug-ins options they need for production work.
 
Videomaker offers a broad range of related software reviews at www.videomaker.com/reviews/software, and while you’re there, we have a good collection of How To articles that provide information on topics ranging from post production to production and technology, which is a great place to start. 
 
Plug-in Options for Audio Editing
 
Maybe your editor falls short delivering on audio beyond the basic levels, duration and simple equalizer adjustments. You want to simplify level adjustments using keyframes or automatically compensate for certain noise issues due to established hum, buzz or other problems occurring during the shoot.
 
Another site to check out is Waves. The company offers a variety of plug-ins for Pro Tools, Cubase, Nuendo, Ableton Live, the Logic series and more, individually or in bundles. Audio editing plug-ins range from simple but fast — adjustments that you’d have to do a lot of manual settings to control from your editing software — to music creation software, loops, themes and more to enhance virtually every aspect of your audio production experience. And don’t overlook Sony Creative Software’s Sound Forge Pro, $400, and Sound Forge Audio Studio, $70. Download the free trial to see if this is something that will enhance your audio editing experience.
 
One more place (of many) to visit for some basic but serious plug-ins is Wave Arts where you’ll find tools for cleaning up, adjusting and sweetening dialog. The extensive, TrackPlug 5, is $149, while Power Suite 5 costs $499, and provides for all-in-one processing of equalization, spectrum analysis, multi-mode compression, noise gate, peak limiter and more.
 
For a more intensive look at what plug-ins can do for you, check this story’s accompanying manufacturers’ list on page 24 to find many companies offering plug-ins, and you’re bound to find the extra audio and video options you’re looking for.
 
Everything You Want or Need
 
The myriad of plug-ins available and what they can do can easily overwhelm, but Videomaker makes it much easier to find something that fits your needs and your pocketbook. Many of the listed plug-ins offer free trial downloads, some with limited usage, others with unlimited trial periods. It is always a good idea, when possible, that you use a free trial to be sure you are investing in a solution and not plug-in-bloat, powered more by want than need. Plug-in software runs the gamut from simple and easy to the complex with a steep learning curve, but what you want is out there, starting here.
Free or for fee, you’ll be able to identify the plug-ins you need, and also those you want that will save you time and money, as long as you also kick the tires first, taking advantage of any free trials.
 
Contributing editor Earl Chessher is a veteran career journalist, independent video producer and author of video marketing and production book.
 
Manufacturer Listing
 
Adobe Systems Incorporated
 
Alien Skin Software
 
AlphaPlugins LLC
 
Apple Inc.
 
Astralax
 
Autodesk Inc.
 
Avidion Media
 
Boris FX, Inc.
 
Cayman Graphics
 
Corel Corporation
 
CoreMelt Pty Ltd
 
Creation Engine
 
Creative Video Products
 
Creative Videography
 
Dashwood Cinema Solutions
 
Digieffects LLC
 
Digital Anarchy
 
Digital Film Tools
 
Digital Juice, Inc.
 
eyeon Software Inc.
 
fnord software
 
frischluft.com
 
GeeThree Software, LLC
 
GenArts
 
Glue Tools
 
Grass Valley
 
Imagineer Systems Ltd.
 
Irudis
 
LookLabs
 
MAXON Computer Inc.
 
McQ Productions/Software Systems
 
MotionDSP Inc.
 
MotionVFX
 
Neat Video
 
NewBlue Inc.
 
Noise Industries
 
Pixel Tools Corporation
 
Pixelan LLC
 
proDAD Inc.
 
RE:Vision Effects, Inc.
 
Red Giant LLC
 
Ripple Training, Inc.
 
StageTools LLC
 
Strata
 
Synthetic Aperture
 
Synthetik Software, Inc.
 
Technicolor
 
The Foundry
 
The Tiffen Company
 
Ultimatte Corporation
 
Video Copilot
 
Zaxwerks
 
Tags:  May 2013
Earl
Chessher
Tue, 04/23/2013 - 10:05am