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Boris Continuum Complete

Filter effects and tools for Adobe After Effects By Dave Nagel
Expansive. That's the word that comes to mind when I think of Continuum Complete from Boris FX. Continuum Complete is a massive collection of effect filters and tools for Adobe After Effects. But the volume of filters--78 in all--is not the only thing that brings the word "expansive" to mind. There are also the controls and the wealth of functionality contained in this collection, which, amazingly, Boris has somehow managed to temper with ease of use.

When I talk about functionality, I don't just mean the new features this collection brings to After Effects. That's a given when you have a collection this large. But what I mean is the enormous thought that went into the vast majority of these tools, most including individual compositing features that, on their own, will blow you away. Just to give you an example, the simple Gaussian Blur filter in Continuum Complete not only gives you control over the blur of individual channels (horizontal and vertical), spread, iterations and clipping, it also includes mix options, region creation and matte creation with 12 different types of channel mattes and three matte types, as well as individual controls over the mattes, like threshold, softness, blur and choke. In all, the Gaussian Blur filter alone has 31 individual controls.

Now that's expansive!

But there's also quality and simplicity built into these filters. Obviously you're not going to be using all of the filters on any one project. But almost all of them are gems, and at least half of them could find their way into the daily workflow of any motion graphics or compositing professional.

The filters
The whopping 78 filters in the Continuum Complete package span the gamut of tools and effects, from particle generators to natural phenomena to keying, distortion and color correction. And more. Obviously we're not going to talk about every single filter in the collection. But we will look at the highlights from the collection in the various categories into which these filters fall. Also, since several of these filters overlap with those found in the previous release of Continuum, you can find more information by reading my review of that package here. This includes examples of some of the effects, including the Fire and Generator effects.

Before I get to some of the specific filters, a word about the collection as a whole. Continuum Complete is a merger of two packages, Boris Continuum and Boris AE. Both offered widely varied effects for After Effects, and so, as you can imaging, the two of them combined form a sort of omnibus of effects possible for this popular motion graphics package. But more than volume in this collection is professionalism. And by this I mean the quality of the tools, the sometimes amazing degree of control possible and the amount of forethought that went into the design of almost every filter to make it fit in with a demanding workflow.

We'll get to specific examples of these qualities below.

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