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October 2015

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REVIEW 46 POST OCTOBER 2015 ith tons of plug-in packages like Boris and Sapphire, why would anyone need a "one-off" plug-in? Twixtor for Flame can address that question by offering something that no other plug-in can do — and is one of those plug-ins that you will use all the time. Re:Vision Effects, Inc.'s Twixtor is a multi-OS, multi-platform, plug-in for do- ing time remapping or "time warps." You use it for speeding up footage or slowing shots down. I'm testing it in the applica- tion I use everyday as part of my job as a finishing editor at Modern VideoFilm, Autodesk Flame on Linux. You can use the plug-in (or "Spark" in Autospeak) on the timeline, as a desktop tool, or in Batch. The two highlights of the product for me are quality and speed. QUALITY Let's dig into quality first. Twixtor is a 16- bit float plug-in that uses a proprietary tracking technology to calculate motion for each individual pixel. In the Flame, the Motion Estimation (Fluidmotion) option on the timewarp has fractional values for analyses ranging from 1/16 res to full res and the ability to add motion blur. Conversely, Twixtor has many fine-tuning options to improve the overall result. You can change the Interpolation method, the Vector Quality, Warping Method, and add in Image Prep. I usually like to leave the interpolation setting to Blend, but I always like to see how Motion Weighted Blend looks when applied to a shot to make an A / B comparison. The Motion Weighted Blend tries to minimize the softening that you can get with extreme motion. Motion Vector Quality more or less is the same as the motion analysis quality setting in the Flame. Systems are so fast nowadays and with Twixtor's GPU support, I just leave this in Best. For the Warping Method, I usually use Inverse with Smart Blend, but like the Interpolation method above, I like to tog- gle between the three options — Inverse, Inverse with Smart Blend, and Forward. Image Prep allows you to do an Edge Enhance on dark or low-contrast images. SPEED Preview and render speed are outstand- ing. On the Ctrl 2 tab in the Spark GUI, turn on Render GPU and you're life will be good, if you have a compatible GPU. One option that I find very helpful in fine-tuning an image is the Motion Sensitivity slider. It controls how much the pixels can move (warp). It rang- es from 0 to 100, where 0 is the least amount of movement. It helps to avoid turning your timewarp into an excessive- ly warping blob of goop. Although I haven't tried it, the ability to add a roto-mask to help isolate areas of the image sounds like a good thing, albeit with the expense of adding more time to calculate a separate render of the isolated foreground and background. You have the options, like in the Flame, for choosing either timing or speed for clip retiming. A cool trick is if you already have an animated timewarp from a conform, you can copy and paste the animation curve from the Flame timewarp right into the Twixtor. Twixtor really saved me when I was working on the season finale of a pop- ular TV show. I had a 4K Red raw shot that had a timewarp and my system was chugging through the shot. I was in a time pinch, so I copied the speed into Twixtor and was able to render using the GPU for a smooth shot at twice the speed. On another shot, where a bank of news cameras are sped up, panning to follow the lead character as she unex- pectedly enters a room, the Motion anal- ysis in the Flame fell apart when there were still camera flashes going off. I was able to dial in the setting in the Twixtor plug-in that gave me a good result while avoiding a time-consuming paint shot. CONCLUSION In all, Twixtor is fast and easy to use, and should be part of your tool kit. RE:VISION EFFECTS' TWIXTOR TIME REMAPPING WITH SPEED AND QUALITY VITAL STATS MANUFACTURER: Re:Vision Effects, Inc. PRODUCT: Twixtor PRICE: Ranges from $59.95 (render-only Burn — upgrade node locked) to $1,195.00 (interactive use — floating). See Website for details. WEBSITE: • Outstanding quality and speed • Many fine-tuning options to im- prove results • Motion Sensitivity slider controls how much pixels can move BY BARRY GOCH SENIOR EDITOR MODERN VIDEOFILM WWW.MVF.COM BARRY.GOCH@GMAIL.COM W Twixtor is a 16-bit float plug-in that uses proprietary tracking technology to calculate motion for individual pixels. PHOTO COURTESY OF AMY SEIWERT'S IMAG- ERY, TWIXTOR AND RE:VISION EFFECTS

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