The Sapphire 9 VFX plugin suite
GenArts, a creator of special visual effects software for the film, broadcast and video industries, has announced Sapphire 9, the latest version of their VFX plugin suite and replacing version 8, which was released in December of 2014. The new version marks the shortest time between version releases in Sapphire’s history. 
 
Sapphire 9 provides for new effects as well as substantial improvements to the Effect Builder. For effects, there is BokehLights to animate patterns of defocused lights along with NightSky, which renders an astronomically accurate star field, Aurora to mimic the Aurora Borealis and InfiniteZoom for creating a continuous spiral effect. There are also new tools such as CutToDissolve, replacing a straight cut with a dissolve through the generation of missing frames using optical flow technology, and RepairFrames, automatically cleaning up picture flaws such as bad pixels, drop-outs and random noise. 
 
Effects Builder now includes multiple transition modes and animation curves for customizing effects. According to Brian Fox, Product Manager and Creative Director for GenArts, Builder is now a more comprehensive tool, with workflow enhancements guiding you to advanced levels once the basics have been mastered. "We've added new compositing tools to better facilitate the creation of complex effects, including easier ways to blend images, work with alphas, and offset elements over time,” he says. “We've also added animation graphs to all parameters in S_Effect, to take care of basic key-framing needs. And in S_Transition, you can now combine multiple transitions for more creative results. Overall, Builder continues to produce professional and distinct looks from simple to complex effect combinations."
 
Sapphire 9 is available for compositing and editing platforms, with cost depending on the host software. Permanent licensing is available (both new licenses and upgrades) as is both subscription and monthly rentals. The flagship product is a free of charge upgrade for current subscriber and active Upgrade and Support customers.

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Marshal Rosenthal
Marshal Rosenthal is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and journalist specializing in technology, consumer electronics and pop culture. Past accomplishments include editing of home theater and video gaming publications domestic and international, operating a NY photographic studio specializing in children/product and providing graphic imaging for video game box art, manuals and related.