Click image for a comparison of features between Commotion DV and Commotion Pro.






June 29
Pinnacle Systems Ships Commotion 3
Stand-alone app adds compositing

by David Nagel
Executive Producer

Pinnacle Systems today announced that it's finally shipping version 3.0 of Commotion, an effects and compositing application for digital video. (Commotion was originally developed by Puffin Designs, which was acquired by Pinnacle earlier this year.)

The software is now available in two versions: Pro and DV. The DV version has fewer features than the Pro version and sells for significantly less. Click here for a comparison of features between Commotion 3 Pro and Commotion 3 DV.

Key features in version 3.0 include:

Timeline and Keyframing, including full controls for compositing, sorting and keyframing multi-layer moving images. Users can combine an unlimited number of layers using Adobe Photoshop-compatible blend modes. Additionally, the compositing engine features a new motion blur for photo-realistic rendering of motion.

Composite Previews allow users to preview and move independent layers with direct controls over position, scale and rotation. NTSC and PAL preview output support is included with support for the built-in FireWire ports on Apple's G3 and G4 systems and some Pinnacle Systems capture products.

Two-Way Paint allows users to paint on a clip and see immediate results in the Composite Preview window. Paint can also be applied directly in the Composite view, and results will also appear in the clip. Elements can be cloned between layers and frames using Commotion's SuperClone tools, and the brushes are sub-pixel accurate.

Super Cache Disk Playback extends the RAM playback capabilities of previous versions of Commotion to include playback from disk. Long clips that will not fit into RAM can be played back using a RAID 0 disk array, with as few as two Ultra2 SCSI drives.

Effects Filters: Commotion Pro 3.0 includes more than 75 effects filters. Primatte Keyer generates mattes by isolating images from any colored background. Composite Wizard filters include automated color correction, blur and feather edges, and the ability to remove unwanted artifacts. Image Lounge includes style tools for text and motion graphics effects. Included in the set of filters are fractal particle systems to simulate natural elements such as fire, smoke, water, shadows, displacement and accurate camera blur.

Commotion Pro 3.0 is available for $1,995. Commotion DV is available for $795. For more information, visit or

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