Post Magazine

March 2015

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Page 49 of 51 48 POST MARCH 2015 edesigned and retooled, TotalFX is a complete overhaul and re- branding of the entire line, including the robust Titler 3. This adds up to a compre- hensive and expansive collection, putting all previous suites under one umbrella and adding new tricks. For previous NewBlueFX users/purchasers, NBFX offers substantial upgrade discounts. I can't call this a wholly-new prod- uct, more of a comprehensive upgrade. Nonetheless, it has a lot of power packed into a tidier package. NewBlueFX threw out questionable oddities, obsolete and redundant effects, reorganizing the groups into descriptive categories, streamlining, retooling code, adding more control and — especially useful — adding a ton of new presets. Perhaps one of the best updates is the App Manager, similar to Avid's App Manager, which allows for easy installation, activa- tion and record keeping of all your New- BlueFX products (plus version numbers and activation codes.) Tidy! DIGGING DEEPER In a previous NBFX review, I noted many unique looks, especially in transitions that weren't seen in other packages, that could be customized to give a show its own distinct style. They are still here and more. I'm still surprised more editors and producers aren't noticing. The suite is broken down into six distinct groups: Elements: 21 compositing tools, including a powerful chroma keyer, drop shadow generator, various split screen and PIP effects, a very useful and needed camera reticle generator, clocks and tim- ers. Of note is the Active Camera filter, effectively simulating handheld camera weave. Reflection also creates popular mirror shadows. Essentials: Incorporates 24 plug-ins for common video needs ranging from color correction, lens correction, removing flashes, and enhancing skin features, to various video scopes for image analysis, and selective focus. Filters: With 22 effects with 250 presets (including Colorfast, a really nice and pow- erful white balancer), this package has a variety of image processing tricks from ful- ly-adjustable tilt shift and film stock looks to OK TV raster effects. (I would like to see future attention paid to adding more film and video artifacts, digital damage, and digital noise in this package.) Stylizers: Incorporates 23 filters with 250 presets. From subtle painting effects to esoteric cartooning, there's a vast array of looks —both surreal and edgy. Transitions: NewBlueFX offers 37 tran- sitions that run the gamut, from light rays to RGB offsets, film rolls to glows with plenty of presets. There is a lot of unique- ness here, but honestly, I'd like to see even more additions: fluttercuts, edgier transi- tions, digital noise and static, along with a greater diversity in control parameters. Titler Pro 3: When I reviewed Titler Pro in 2012, I noted that this should have been what Avid's long-standing and out- moded Title Tool should have been in the first place. It's only gotten more capable with time. Avid's decision to bundle Titler Pro 1 with Media Composer is resulting in more acceptance, and Titler Pro 3's in- tegration into TotalFX is a strong reason to buy this suite. Other filter suites have titling solutions, but in my opinion, are not as elegant, simple or feature-laden. Slick animated presets provide profes- sional titling options, and a Quick Edit function allows users to make global changes to templates quickly and easily, including color, font and animation. Add 3D text space and layers, drag 'n drop animation, the ability to add effects to layers, motion blur, reflection, multiple light-sourcing, stereoscopic output and many more options like After Effects integration, and you have arguably the best titling solution working inside Media Composer available. (And don't forget the standalone version that works inde- pendently of Avid — a great solution for graphics departments!) FINAL THOUGHTS Whether TotalFX can totally replace the top competitors, it depends. It's not an easy question to answer. As an editor, I like to have a lot of tools at my disposal. TotalFX has many powerful and oft-used effects, a killer titling app, many handy toolkit utilities not seen in other packages, and lots of unique looks. But, frankly, it does not have everything I'd like to have. I'd like to see NewBlue incorporate a preset/preview browser, more light effects, digital artifacting, timing, particle, and blur effects, as well as other contemporary transitions. Despite this, I think every editor should trial download this suite. NEWBLUEFX'S TOTALFX A PLUG-IN PACKAGE WITH TOOLS FOR TITLING, EFFECTS & MORE VITAL STATS MANUFACTURER: NewBlueFX PRODUCT: TotalFX for Avid Media Composer (supports Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, Grass Valley Edius and Sony Vegas PRICE: $1,499 (discounts for owners of previous NewBlueFX products) WEBSITE: • 1,400 presets in 129 plug-ins • Titler Pro 3 adds more power to the package • Realtime speed and power • App Manager streamlines installation R REVIEW BY JONATHAN MOSER FREELANCE PRODUCER/ EDITOR NEW YORK CITY FLASHCUTTER@YAHOO.COM TotalFX can be used with popular NLEs or as a standalone tool.

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