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Scopo Gigio and Layer SplitterTwo very useful plug-ins for the Mac reviewed
META/DMA, a small company based in Portland, OR, has released a plug-in that not only makes the video signal levels testing process much easier but also accessible to virtually anyone. Scopo Gigio, available as a a plug-in for Photoshop and After Effects, gives you a virtual Waveform Monitor and Vectorscope that serves the same function of units costing a few thousand dollars. Scopo Gigio's functionality doesn't stop here, though. Because you can call it up from within the applications, you can see the levels instantly as opposed to having to output to video first. This not only saves a lot of time, but also makes any additional hardware unnecessary.
Both versions of Scopo Gigio perform exactly the same functions but work a little bit differently. The After Effects version works as a layer effect, displaying the video levels on that particular layer. The Photoshop version shows up as a filter. Using either version couldn't be easier - once selected, Scopo Gigio analyzes the image on the fly, displaying its parameters just like real waveform monitors and vectorscopes would, with the advantage that you never have to leave your application. If you find that your colors are too hot, for instance, you can perform adjustments and see the results in Scopo Gigio on the fly.
Because the After Effects version of Scopo Gigio works as a typical effects layer, it will analyze the image after it is affected by any effects placed above it in the Effects Control window. This makes it very easy to insert a saturation control above it, for example, and see the results of the adjustments on the fly. That way, if a color is indeed too hot for broadcast, you can adjust the saturation slider until it reaches the desired levels.
Only very expensive stand-alone scopes offer some of Scopo Gigio's options.