Creative Cow: Boris Continuum Complete - The New “Swiss Army Knife” of VFX?

by Ryan Salazar, July 2012


Meet the Boris Continuum Complete (BCC) ... or what their clients call "the Swiss Army Knife of Visual Effects."
Boris FX , founded in 1995, is one of the leading software development companies for 3D compositing, titling and vector graphics applications. Their integrated motion graphics, VFX solutions and workflow technologies are used by broadcast media companies (BBC, CBS, ABC, Discovery, ESPN, Turner and others), filmmakers ("The Hurt Locker"), editors, effects artists, post-production facilities ( The Ant Farm , Digital Kitchen , Troika Design Group and others), multi-media production companies and even educational and government institutions like Columbia College, the US Army and the US Air Force.
According to the Boris FX website, "the company's success lies in its ability to tightly integrate and leverage technologies through strong partnerships with industry-leading developers of video editing software and hardware including Adobe, Apple, Avid, Autodesk, Corel, Grass Valley, Nexidia, and Sony."
The BCC is the only plug-in collection that allows easy VFX migration with more than 10 editors on both Mac and PC platforms. From stunning light effects to high-quality cinematic visual effects; and from stylish broadcast elements to award-winning and eye-catching title effects, the BCC is second to none in the video editing market.

With a trial copy of BCC, Sean Lee was able to cut out the subject without the blocky edging aftermath (illustrated above).

Touted as "The World's Most Comprehensive VFX Plug-in Collection," the BCC delivers easy-to-use filter tools in the following categories: 3D Objects (creation and animation); Art Looks (simulating pencil-sketches, charcoal drawings and more); Blur and Sharpen (emulating defocus, motion blur effects and more); Color and Tone (adjusting bright, mid and dark regions of an image clip and more); Film Style, Image Restoration (upscale to HD, remove/repair bad pixels, smooth imperfections and more); Key and Blend, Lights (lighting effects, flares and reflections); Match Move (through recovering motion data and reusing creatively); Particles, Perspective (converting scanned images into 3D DVE video effects); Stylize, Textures (generating realistic textures); Time-based effects (retime clips for temporal effects); Transitions (wipes and other transition effects); and Warp (animated morphs, bulges, ripples and waves).
The BCC is an artist's best friend. A case in point: a recent green screen job presented video editor (and founder of The Voice Mechanic ), Sean Lee, with some difficult editing and less-than-desirable results. The overall video resolution was low and the lighting was poor; so successfully separating the subject from the background was proving to be more than a simple challenge. With a trial copy of BCC, Sean was able to cut out the subject without the blocky edging aftermath (illustrated above). "As an artist," he commented, "I love creating, and that's what I do when I'm editing ... Boris Continuum Complete gives me a virtually limitless toolset to unleash my creativity."

From Showtime's "Weeds"

David Helfand - an Emmy-winning film editor and also twice Emmy-nominated for his work on Showtime's "Weeds" - agrees with Lee's assessment. "I am a big fan of Boris Continuum Complete," comments Helfand. "I've used BCC effects to temp out a number of big VFX scenes over the years." For the final season premiere, Helfand used BCC's filters to design lens flare, sunlight and motion effects in SD, then duplicated perfectly in HD on Avid DS. "I was pleasantly surprised that I could lock a precise look in SD without the need for hours of high cost HD adjustments on another VFX platform." The image below shows the original image on the left and the filtered image on the right using BCC Lens Flare and BCC Rays Puffy tools.
During a interview, Founder Boris Yamnitsky says he became "very passionate about visual effects" when working at Media 100 in the early 90's. At that time, Media 100 and Avid were the only companies in the visual effects industry space. Yamnitsky explained "there was a great deal of interest in software-based DVE's and visual effects" despite the fact that all transitions and visual effects were done on slow, analog hardware-based (and expensive) systems. Yamnitsky goes on to credit the environment at that time in giving his company - and portfolio of innovative products - a strong "kick-off" due to the expressed needs and requests from this new fledging industry.
But even today, as both the demand and the technology continues to move forward at lightening speed, Yamnitsky reiterates that Boris FX's focus remains squarely on what their clients need in the studio. "We always strive to bring the maximum possible functionality while easing the use." And obviously their present following of over a million artists worldwide agree, dubbing the Boris Continuum Complete as the "Swiss Army Knife of Visual Effects."


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