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The Foundry Brings Tinderbox to OS X

New versions free for current users; Tinderbox 3 on the way By Dave Nagel
The Foundry has brought its Tinderbox line to Mac OS X. Tinderbox, currently available in two separate collections, is a set of visual effects plugins for Adobe After Effects. The update that brings the software current with OS X is a free maintenance release for current users.

In addition to OS X support, the new maintenance releases include performance improvement, bug fixes and new features and parameters for the filters in the collections. The Tinderbox 1 filter set includes:

  • Beam, which draws a single animatable beam of light in 3D space. Controls are provided for direction, elevation, color, falloff, softness and intensity.
  • Blur, which the company says uses a fast Gaussian algorithm that works fast and animates smoothly, regardless of radius. It can also be used to sharpen an image.
  • Caustic, which simulates the reflected light patterns seen at the bottom of swimming pools.
  • Deflicker, which removes color or luminance flicker from a clip.
  • Degrain, which removes grain from film images and noise in video images.
  • Diffuse, a pixel-scattering effect with radius and aspect controls.
  • Dilate, which is used to erode edges of mattes. It can also be used to grow or generate outlines from mattes.
  • DirBlur, which smears pixels in a particular direction. Tracking information can be used to automatically set the amount and direction of blur to simulate motion on fast-moving objects.
  • Distorto , which deforms one clip using the luminance of another.
  • Droplet, a single droplet ripple effect with amplitude, wavelength, phase, speed and other controls.
  • Etch, a charcoal emulator.
  • Grad, a tools for creating linear, circular, radial and polygonal gradients.
  • HeatHaze simulates the layered rippling distortion caused by hot air.
  • Lens, a fisheye lens effect.
  • Pattern, which generates a variety of wipe patterns with softness, scaling and rotation controls .
  • Rays, a backlighting effect through a matte using streaked light rays that pick up color from the foreground image.
  • Sky, a sky simulator with controls for the 3D camera position, clouds, sun, haze, fog, atmosphere and sun flares.
  • Starburst , a lens filter that adds radial streaks of light to the highlights. It includes parameters to change the number of rays, rotation and luma clip levels.
  • Stutter randomly rearranges frames in a clip.
  • Tile translates, scales, rotates and shears clips with edge controls to provide repeating (wallpaper) patterns.

Filters included in the Tinderbox 2 collection are:

  • Bandlimit, which converts an image into Fourier space, removes or keeps user specified frequencies, then converts it back into an image.
  • Bars, which produces color bars, ramps and other test patterns.
  • Blob, which creates shaded spheres that stick and deform when close to each other.
  • BlurMasked, a sub-pixel accurate Gaussian blur that uses a mask to control the size of the blur.
  • Chromatic, which simulates the chromatic fringing (or interference patterns) seen when light is refracted through poor-quality lenses.
  • Contour, which analyzes an image and draws contours along lines of similar luminance.
  • Glass, which includes lighting effects.
  • Glow.
  • Grain.
  • Kaleid, which produuces kaleidoscope effects.
  • LensBlur.
  • LensFlare.
  • Newsprint.
  • NightSky, which reproduces the brightest 9,000 stars in the sky.
  • Paint, which creates paintings from any image.
  • PseudoColour, which creates a false colour look by mapping the luminance of an image through a color gradient.
  • RadialBlur.
  • Ripple.
  • Swirl.
  • Trail.
  • Wobble, which applies camera shake with motion blur to a clip.

In separate news, The Foundry will show off a new Tinderbox product, Tinderbox 3, at this year's NAB convention, to be held in Las Vegas in April. For more information, visit

Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at

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