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REVIEW OCTOBER 3 , 2000
Boris Continuum

[Page 4 of 4]

Fun with Z and DVE
The Continuum package also includes some filters for working in three dimensions. Actually, some pretty nice ones at that—3D Text, DVE, Z Space I and Z Space II.

The 3D Text filter is sweet, with a ton of parameters for adjusting features on the face and bevel, leading, kerning, tracking, etc. It also has all the 3D tools you'd expect for generating 3D text effects, from cameras and lighting to tumble, spin and rotate to pivot, scale and distance. It also offers antialiasing oversampling (4 x 4 to 16 x 16) and all the regular options you'd want in a filter (compositing controls, opacity, etc.).

Z Space I and Z Space II provide options for manipulating layers in three dimensions, including the ability to intersect layers in true 3D space. Z Space I has support for up to three planes (with timeline layers as sources) and a background, with two spotlights and settings for shadows. The 3D container can also be manipulated just like each individual plane—scale, tumble, pivot, etc. Z Space II is similar, but it has support for up to five planes and three backgrounds, with no controls for spotlights.

Like Z Space I and Z Space II, the DVE filter allows layers to be manipulated for 3D effects (but through the camera, not a 3D container). It can manipulate a layer's geometry and add a motion blur. It also has ambient light and three individual lights, with an insane amount of controls for each light, including type; X,Y and Z sources; width; intensity; specular; color; falloff; sweep; apply mode; and apply mix.

And the rest
Believe it or not, I've actually left out seven filters in this set—Jitter, Looper, Posterize Time, Sparks, Sequencer, Trails and Velocity Remap. They're all pretty self-explanatory, and each one performs its function admirably. (In case you can't figure it out from their names, Jitter jitters the picture; Looper makes loops; Posterize Time posterizes time; Sparks makes sparks; Sequencer creates looping sequences from clips; Trails makes trails; and Velocity Remap creates various effects by manipulating the flow of time within a layer.)

It's an awful lot to offer in one package—certainly one of the more eclectic collections of filters I've seen in recent memory. The natural filters are, as I've said, quite compelling. The 3D effects are sophisticated—kind of a sample of what you'd find in some of Boris' other packages. And the particle system does an incredible job. At $395 for natural filters, 3D effects and a particle system, it's a bargain. Our recommendation is a "Buy."

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Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac; host of the Creative Mac, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion and Synthetik Studio Artist WWUGs; and executive producer of Creative Mac, DCC Designer, Digital DTP, Digital Pro Sound, Digital Webcast, Hollywood Industry, Presentation Master, Plugin Central, ProAudio.net and Video Systems sites. All are part of the Digital Media Net family of online industry hubs.

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