Product Review: Page (1) of 1 - 08/09/07 Email this story to a friend. email article Print this page (Article printing at MyDmn.com).print page facebook

Coremelt's ImageFlow FX

Effects package for Final Cut Pro By Kevin McAuliffe

As editors know, there is normally one thing we dread doing more than anything else our job requires. Maybe it's digitizing, maybe it's compressing files for the web or maybe it's doing color correction. For me, it's creating photomontages. I always find that they take forever to do, and never really end up looking quite as good as you'd hope they would. Thankfully, that will no longer be the case with ImageFlow FX from Coremelt.

Installation
One thing to keep in mind about ImageFlow FX (IFFX) is that it runs on the FX Factory Pro (FXFP) engine, so you will be required to install FXFP before you install IFFX (the plug-in engine is free).  Much like I had stated in my review of FXFP, I really like their plug-in engine that manages all your plug-ins, license codes and registrations, as it is very, very user friendly. With the plug-in engine installed, installing IFFX is quick and simple. 

Installation: 10 (out of 10)

 


What you get
With IFFX, you get twelve plug-ins, of which I could easily see myself using eight or nine of the plug-ins on a regular basis.  Here's the rundown of what you get:

  • Dissolve Over
  • Flashcard
  • Liquify In
  • Multifader
  • Multigrow
  • Multiswoosh
  • Panels Transition
  • Polaroids
  • Random Move Over
  • Stills Grid
  • Zoom In and Stop
  • Zoom Up

Overall, I thought the lineup was pretty good, and a couple jumped out at me right away. Polaroids was a very clever effect that adds a "glow" filter to the beginning and end of each photo, as to simulate a Polaroid camera taking a photo. It's a wedding videographer's dream!

What You Get: 8 (out of 10)

Ease of use
Loading the images into any of the 12 generators is quick and easy.  Simply select the generator you want, and click the "Controls" tab.  Now, it is a simple matter of clicking "Choose" under the "Image Folder" option, and your photos are ready to go.

I was impressed at the fact that Coremelt had included a wide variety of parameters from borders (20 borders plus the option to import your own) to complete control over X, Y, Z direction (assuming the generator supports it), to image masks (12 masks plus the ability to import your own), transfer modes (over or add), and even the ability to add the file name to the montage with control over the font type, size and text position.  Most of the generators have presets for you to use to start out with, and the ability to save your own for later use. 


 
Take into account that the parameters I listed above are the ones that are common to most of the effects. Obviously, most if not all of the generators have specific parameters unique to themselves from "Rest Time" (the length of time the photo comes to a stop) in the "Zoom In and Stop" generator to "Random Spread" (how far out from centre the images go) in "Multigrow". A good variety of options that let you tweak your montage to your hearts content. 
 

There are a few things that you need to keep in mind when you sit down to use IFFX that are directly related to it's ease of use. First, IFFX is a set of generators, and that means that they will be located in the "Generators drop down menu" under your preview window in FCP, or in the Generators library of Motion.

TIP: There is a workaround to the "2 minute limitation" of FCP Generators. To create a generator longer than two minutes, first select your desired ImageFlow FX plug-in. Second, click on the "Clip Duration" window, and enter your desired value.

Secondly, the photos will be imported into the generator in the order they appear in their respective folder.  If you want to change that order, you will need to change your file names in your original folder, as you can't do it from within FCP.  A "randomize" parameter would have been nice to have just to vary things up a little, but overall, this is a limitation to Final Cut and Mac, and have relatively simple workarounds.

Ease of Use: 8 (out of 10)

Final Total: 8.5 (out of 10)

Purchase Recommendation: Buy

Pros
Great price for great generators ($99 USD)
Fast previews and renders
Lots of options to spice up your photos (masks/borders)

Cons
No "Randomize" button to change the order of your photos
Could these generators have been done as effects???

Overall, I am impressed with Coremelt's ImageFlow FX. I think that this package will come in handy for everyone from wedding videographers to corporate video editors who do photo montages on a regular basis. At $99 it's a steal (it's less than $10 per plug-in), and you will more than make back your investment considering the speed and efficiency of putting your montages together. Head on over to www.coremelt.com to download a free demo of ImageFlow FX.


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Kevin P McAuliffe is currently a Senior Video Editor working in HD post production in Toronto, Canada. He has been in the television industry for 12 years, and spends his days onlining on a Final Cut Pro HD. Kevin's high definition onlining credit list includes concerts for Coldplay, Sarah McLachlan, Barenaked Ladies, Snow Patrol, Sum41, Paul Anka, Il Divo and Pussycat Dolls, to name a few. Also, Kevin is an instructor of Advanced Final Cut Studio 2 at the Toronto Film College. If you have any questions or comments, you can drop him a line at kevinpmcauliffe@gmail.com


Related Keywords:NLE, video effects, video editing, wedding videographer, corporate video,

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