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Digital Juice VideoTraxx 2Excellent stock footage, some bordering on spectacular
VideoTraxx 2 ($599) is a collection of 3000 film and video clips from Digital Juice consisting of a huge variety of subjects. Offered as a 32-DVD library, not only are the clips of extraordinary quality, theyre easy to search using Digital Juices indexing application called the Juicer 2. Offered in the QuickTime format, this package also makes it easier to render the clips into other formats as well. We took a close look at this comprehensive stock footage package, and were highly impressed.
When you first open the VideoTraxx 2 package, youll see all 32 DVDs nestled in a smart-looking zippered binder, and alongside that is a separate disk that contains the Juicer 2 application (see screen shot below). When I installed it, I was delighted to see that before me lay a precise and well-designed search application where all of the 3000-plus broadcast quality clips are immediately searchable and viewable via smaller thumbnail versions. Its evident that the creators of VideoTraxx 2 carefully entered numerous keywords for each clip. On the right of the Juicer 2 application is an extensive list of suggested search terms, and when you click on one of those, the term is added to the search box on the left. Click Find, and stills of each clip are placed in the bin.
Click on the stills and youll receive a thumbnail preview of each clip youve found. Click Add to Batch List, and your clip is ready to output in either its native QuickTime format or in a variety of other formats such as uncompressed AVI, DV, an image sequence, or RTV for the Video Toaster. Youre also able to choose from a variety of resolutions, such as 720x480 DV, 720x486 NTSC, 720x526 PAL, 640 x 480, or 640x486. Once youve chosen all of your clips and placed them into the batch list, you can render them into the desired format with one click. If you've chosen numerous clips from different DVDs, as you go along Juicer asks you to insert the appropriate DVDs from the 32-disk library in order to work with the full-resolution versions of these clips.
|(Click graphic for enlargement) The Juicer 2 application makes it easy to search and convert the clips included in VideoTraxx2|
Sure, the clips are easy to find, but how good are they? I have to say that they are superb. Not only are they varied, but theyre also up-to-date, depicting the latest computers and cell phones, for example, shown along with attractive and realistic-looking models. The shooting for these clips is also excellent, and some of the shots are so beautiful they can be accurately described as artistic. After looking through thousands of clips, Ive determined theres not a stinker in the bunch. It was enormously entertaining just to watch these clips with some colleagues. Adding to the usefulness of the package are well-lit chromakey scenes, pictures of various objects in movement, and a variety of shots representing cultures from all over the world. The package contains numerous people shots, architectural vistas and city scenes. There are also numerous scenes that include three or four angles of the same subject, so you can edit together a sequence, for example, of a waitress bringing dinner to a couple sitting at a restaurant, and then show the cleanup afterward. Search for the American flag, and youre presented with 13 high-quality examples of the flag in a variety of contexts. Another example of the usefulness of this package is the ability to search the terms ?African-American or ?Asian, and there are numerous clips and contexts from which to choose. This kind of footage is invaluable in the edit suite. So, too, is the immediate access to it.
There are some things this package cannot do, however. For example, there is no audio on any of these tracks, so if you want to add natural sound to accompany them, with some of the clips that will be quite a challenge. This could be a particular problem with the clips which show rhythmic sequences such as music being played or dancing. Im wondering why there wasn't an audio track added to each clip?how hard could that be? The fact that all these clips are offered in standard definition may also become a problem as the transition to HD continues, but then, there will certainly be more editions that will include high definition footage. Even so, an important factor to note is that most of this footage was either shot on film or high definition, so its technical quality is consistently high throughout all the clips.
I also noticed as I was looking through this footage that it tends to stimulate ideas and accommodate editorial sensibilities. As I was searching through keywords such as red, green, blue, yellow, and purple, I was visualizing sequences that were cutting from one color to the next, establishing a color palette for a sequence of shots that was quite pleasing. A package such as this would be invaluable for someone who is beginning to learn how to edit, where a song with lyrics could be placed on to the audio track, and then clips from this package could be edited in that are appropriate with the lyrics. I also noticed many shots that would be appropriate for creating background graphics, where compositing a few of these together and adding various blurs and gradient wipes could result in some extraordinary compositions.
What about the rights to all this footage? Can you just use it wherever you want to? The short answer is yes, you can use it for any broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational or personal project youre doing, as long as its not pornographic. Digital Juice also specifies that you cant use this footage for defamatory, scandalous, illegal, or misleading productions. Technically, I suppose that would rule out a lot of things, but certainly you can comfortably use this footage for just about anything you want. Another key point is that you have a non-exclusive right to use this footage, which means especially given the high quality of these clips there will be many others who will want to use them as well. The only problem with this is that the package could become so popular that many others will possess and use the same clips that you do. So, with these kinds of stock footage packages being an early adopter is a significant advantage, because all the clips will be new for the first kid on the block to use them, and then all others who use them will be mere imitators.
I havent seen Volume 1 of this series yet, but I can imagine that combining that along with volume 2 -- totaling over 6400 stock footage clips?could represent a comprehensive library for any edit suite. Its an especially good deal since you can save $200 by bundling volumes 1 and 2 for $1000. My only suggestion would be for Digital Juice to offer the footage on a clip-by-clip basis, where you could download each one for a reasonable price from its Web site.
If youd like a firsthand look at this extraordinary footage, I would suggest visiting Digital Juices Web site at http://www.digitaljuice.com/products/products.asp, where you can view all the clips in streaming QuickTime format. Im certain youll be impressed. If youre considering stock footage, take a look at Digital Juice VideoTraxx2 as soon as possible. I cant imagine how they could have done a better job putting together a package such as this. Highest recommendation -- 10 out of 10 stars.
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