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 ( 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, 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.
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
GeeThree Software, LLC
Glue Tools
Grass Valley
Imagineer Systems Ltd.
MAXON Computer Inc.
McQ Productions/Software Systems
MotionDSP Inc.
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
Synthetic Aperture
Synthetik Software, Inc.
The Foundry
The Tiffen Company
Ultimatte Corporation
Video Copilot