Review: BorisFX breaks out the cartoon filters
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Review: BorisFX breaks out the cartoon filters

Everywhere you turn, you’ll spot the “look”: video footage transformed to look like a cartoon. In a traditional workflow, the process involves rotoscoping. An artist literally traces animation frame by frame over the original source.

The technique was invented by Max Fleischer around 1915, and has been used by animators on classic films such as "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" and "Cinderella," as well as modern movies such as "Titan A.E." and "Waking Life." The process is very tedious, however, so many video pros and motion graphics artists have been on a quest for an easier solution. These days you’ll find several products on the market to transform your video footage to look like it’s a cartoon. Early options such as Studio Artist (US$379; http://www.synthetik.com) and market leaders like ToonIt ($399; http://www.redgiantsoftware.com) have all seen heavy use.

While they’re not new to the plug-in market, Boris FX (http://www.borisfx.com) has released their own take on cartoon filters. The Boris Continuum Unit: Cartoon Look breaks out four filters from the larger plug-in package Continuum Complete. The set is only $199 (significantly less than competitors) and runs in several host applications including Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro, as well as Apple Final Cut Pro and Motion. The four filters for stylizing your footage include:

° BCC Cartoon Look: This filter attempts to simulate the look of rotoscoped animation. The original colors are preserved and the edges thickened.


° BCC Pencil Sketch: The filter does a reasonable job of emulating the look of a hand-drawn, pencil-sketched image. Edges are enhanced, but most color is reduced or removed.


° BCC Charcoal Sketch: This filter quickly simulates the thick strokes of a charcoal sketch. The resulting animation is drawn with thick black-and-white lines.


° BCC Watercolor: Watercolor paint-style animation is created with this filter. These are typified by soft edges and intensified color.

For our testing, the effects were run under After Effects CS4. So the question is simple: Is it worth it? The answer is it truly depends.

First off, you’ll either love or hate the cartoon filter look as a whole. The look is very trendy and your clients may be asking for it. On the other hand, none of the filters on the market match the quality of hand-drawn animation.
 The filter offers precise controls with numerous options. What’s nice is the ability to blend the stylized image with the original, as well as control the thickness of lines.

While the effects offer presets, they don’t load with the standard Adobe preset picker. The quality of presets also varies.

The filter does render relatively quickly on modern computers. It also does a nice job of preserving edge details so the “drawn” lines don’t jitter or suddenly disappear.

After Effects CS4 already includes a very versatile Cartoon filter. While its controls don’t match the Boris filter, the price to upgrade to CS4 is only a little more and offers many more advantages.

ToonIt from Red Giant Software seems to offer solid results and is worth a head-to-head comparison for the serious buyer. Be sure to download the trials for each package and see which you find more intuitive and eye-pleasing.

Rating: 7 out of 10

This review is brought to your courtesy of Layers Magazine (http://www.layersmagazine.com).

-- Richard Harrington

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Tomb of the Mask guide - How to increase...
Tomb of the Mask is a great endless arcade game from Happymagenta in which quick reflexes and a persistent attitude can go a long way toward earning a top score. Check out these tips to see if you can give yourself an edge on the leaderboards. [... | Read more »
Smooth Operator! (Games)
Smooth Operator! 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Smooth Operator is a weird, weird two-player kissing game. Squeeze in for 2 player fun on a single iPad, creating awkward... | Read more »
Sinless: Remastered (Games)
Sinless: Remastered 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
_PRISM Guide - How to solve those puzzle...
_PRISM is a rather delightful puzzle game that’s been tailor made for touch screens. While part of the fun is figuring things out as you go along, we thought we’d offer you a helping hand at getting in the right mindset. Don’t worry about messing... | Read more »
Set off on an adventure through the Cand...
Like match three puzzlers? If so, Jelly Blast, the innovative iOS and Android game which launched last year, is worth a look. Jelly Blast sees you head off on an epic adventure through the Candy Kingdom with your friends Lily, Mr. Hare, and Mr.... | Read more »
Ellipsis - Touch. Explore. Survive. (...
Ellipsis - Touch. Explore. Survive. 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Ys Chronicles II (Games)
Ys Chronicles II 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: After a hard fight to recover the six sacred books in Ys Chronicles I, Adol is back for a sequel! | Read more »
FINAL FANTASY Ⅸ (Games)
FINAL FANTASY Ⅸ 1.0.4 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $16.99, Version: 1.0.4 (iTunes) Description: ==========●Special sale price for the FINAL FANTASY IX release! ●20% off from February 10 to February 21, 2016... | Read more »
Tennis Club Story (Games)
Tennis Club Story 1.03 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.03 (iTunes) Description: Aim for the ace position of tennis club prestige in this simulation! Your leadership decides if players make it to the big... | Read more »
Juggernaut Wars guide - How to use skill...
Juggernaut Warsis a brand new auto-RPG on iOS and Android that challenges you to build a team of heroes, send them out into various different missions to defeat waves of heroes, and level them up to increase their power. The actual combat itself... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Sale! B&H Photo offers 12-inch Retina Mac...
B&H Photo has 12″ Retina MacBooks on sale for $300 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook: $999 $300 off MSRP - 12″ 1.... Read more
App Annie Reveals Future of the App Economy:...
App Annie, a San Francisco based mobile app data and insights platform, has launched its first comprehensive app economy forecast. This new offering will provide brands, agencies, investors and app... Read more
Apple restocks Certified Refurbished Mac mini...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished 2014 Mac minis, with models available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $... Read more
What iPad Pro Still Needs To Make It Truly Pr...
I love my iPad Air 2. So much that I’m grudgingly willing to put up with its compromises and limitations as a production tool in order to take advantage of its virtues. However, since a computer for... Read more
21-inch 3.1GHz 4K on sale for $1399, $100 off...
B&H Photo has the 21″ 3.1GHz 4K iMac on sale $1399 for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP: - 21″ 3.1GHz 4K iMac (MK452LL/A): $... Read more
Apple price trackers, updated continuously
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: - 15″... Read more
Save up to $240 with Apple Certified Refurbis...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished 12″ Retina MacBooks for up to $240 off the cost of new models. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free. The... Read more
Apple refurbished 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $270 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.7GHz... Read more
Apple refurbished Time Capsules available for...
Apple has certified refurbished Time Capsules available for $120 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each Time Capsule, and shipping is free: - 2TB Time Capsule: $179, $120 off - 3TB... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (refurbished) avai...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros available for $829, or $270 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros... Read more

Jobs Board

Infrastructure Engineer - *Apple* /Mac - Rem...
…part of a team Requires proven problem solving skills Preferred Additional: Apple Certified System Administrator (ACSA) Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC) Read more
Lead Engineer - *Apple* OSX & Hardware...
Lead Engineer - Apple OSX & Hardware **Job ID:** 3125919 **Full/Part\-Time:** Full\-time **Regular/Temporary:** Regular **Listed:** 2016\-02\-10 **Location:** Cary, Read more
Simply Mac *Apple* Specialist- Service Repa...
Simply Mac is the largest premier retailer of Apple products in the nation. In order to support our growing customer base, we are currently looking for a driven Read more
Infrastructure Engineer - *Apple* /Mac - Rem...
…part of a team Requires proven problem solving skills Preferred Additional: Apple Certified System Administrator (ACSA) Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC) Read more
Lead Engineer - *Apple* OSX & Hardware...
Lead Engineer - Apple OSX & Hardware **Job ID:** 3125919 **Full/Part\-Time:** Full\-time **Regular/Temporary:** Regular **Listed:** 2016\-02\-10 **Location:** Cary, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.