Benchmark: Artel Software Boris FX 3.5 for Adobe Premiere

Turn the Page, Spin the Box

Advanced videographers sometimes want more features from their nonlinear editing system than it ships with. One of the best things about nonlinear editing systems is that most of them allow you to integrate new functions via plug-in programs. A plug-in usually installs into the same directory as the nonlinear editing software, seamlessly providing new functions. One of the most versatile plug-ins is Artel Software’s Boris FX 3.5, which plugs into a variety of nonlinear editors, including Ulead Media Studio Pro, in:sync Speed Razor, FAST’s Video Machine, Avid’s Media Composer, Data Translation’s Media 100 and Adobe Premiere. Boris FX 3.5 for Adobe Premiere is available for both Windows and Macintosh platforms. Today, however, we’ll look at the Windows version, working with Adobe Premiere 5.1.

First Things First

The first thing you’ll want to do when installing Boris FX 3.5 (or any other software) is to check whether there are any updates for the software since it was shipped. A quick check to the Boris FX Web site (www.borisfx.com) revealed a patch for Boris FX for Windows Premiere: it was quickly downloaded and was ready to install along with Boris FX.

The installation of Boris FX is similar to that of any software. You simply insert the disc, enter your anti-piracy registration number and direct your installation to your Adobe Premiere directory. After installing Boris FX 3.5, install the patch, upgrading you to Boris FX 3.5.4. You’re ready to roll.

Transition Effects

After you’ve installed Boris FX, you’ll have to restart Adobe Premiere to see the fruits of your labor. "Wait a second. Premiere looks the same," you say. Well, you won’t notice Boris FX until you go to the Transitions or Filters windows and select Boris FX transitions or filters. By selecting the Customize option within the Boris FX transition in the Premiere window, you enter the screen that really runs Boris FX. In this window, there is a stack of timelines, similar to those in Premiere, where you can mark keyframes upon which to base your transition.

One big difference between Boris FX and the transitions that ship with Premiere is that you have much more control over the speed and motion of transitions in Boris FX. For example, you can create an ease-in, ease-out motion within a transition, slowly speeding up and slowing down the image as the transition occurs.

Then there is the quality and style of the transitions. Boris FX has fancy 3D transitions such as anti-aliased page turns with lighting effects, the ability to wrap a clip into a cylinder and unwrap it into another clip and others. You can customize your transition in just about any way imaginable. You can twist, flip and bend your video in any direction you desire. Place video onto a cube with a separate video track on each of the six faces of the cube if you want (you’d better be ready to do some long-term rendering for that effect). Create page turns and water ripple effects, or just about anything else you can imagine in a 3D transition.

Not only are there innumerable permutations of transitions that you can apply, the transitions that Boris FX renders look great. The 3D effects look smooth, and are well animated.

To use Boris’ filters, you simply select a clip in Premiere, and in the Filter menu, select Boris FX filter. This, once again, will bring up the Boris FX screen. In this screen, just as with the transitions menu, you can select one of the effects, and apply it to your clip. You can set keyframes within the clip, and make the effect accelerate, remain steady or decelerate between keyframes.

You Still Have to Render

Although Boris FX creates effects that look like they came from a fancy hardware-based digital video effects (DVE) generator, you still have to render those fancy filters and transitions. Rendering is simple, and doesn’t take as long as you might expect (although using a test system’s Pentium II 450Mhz with 128MB of RAM helped speed up the rendering). Boris FX is a bit expensive for the hobbyist (at $495 for the Premiere version), making it a great transition and filter program for the serious nonlinear editor who wants more flexibility, and has the cash to fill that want. Those who have the cash will be pleased with what they get.

Tech Specs: Boris FX 3.5

Platform:: PC or Mac

Minimum System Requirements:
Adobe Premiere, Ulead Media Studio Pro, FAST 601 or VM Studio Plus, Avid Media Composer, Xpress or MCXpress, in:sync Speed-Razor, Media 100, Discreet EDIT

strengths:

  • Fancy 3D Transitions and Filters
  • Easy to Use
  • Ability to customize

weaknesses:

  • Expensive
  • Transitions and filters need rendering

summary:
Boris FX 3.5 provides expensive-looking transitions and filters at a fairly low cost, but you’ll still need to render.

Boris FX 3.5 for Adobe Premiere

($495)

Artel Software, Inc.

381 Congress Street

Boston, MA 02201

(888) 77-BORIS

www.borisfx.com

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