Product Review: Page (1) of 1 - 09/20/04 Email this story to a friend. email article Print this page (Article printing at page facebook


New motion background collection for editors By Stephen Schleicher

As more producers seek ways to decrease their budgets, there has been an increase in the number of stock footage and graphic collection libraries.  broadcastGEMs enters the race with their first offering for the DV professional.  Have I found a hidden diamond?

One way to keep costs down is to use pre-built graphic elements for backgrounds.  broadcastGEMs (Graphic Elements in Motion) created by producers and designers who know what demands are being put upon editors and other creative professionals, have come up with a collection that have a variety of uses in your tech-centric productions.

The clips in this collection are broken into three categories; complete animated backgrounds, customizable backgrounds, and looping elements.  The complete animated backgrounds are what you would expect from seasoned professionals.  I would classify these backgrounds as full of subtle action.  There is a great deal going on, but they are subdued enough so as not to distract from content in the foreground.

There many clips in this collection that are grayscale animations, and as such, can be customized to match the style of your production.  A good example is the GEMs Flash motion background.

By bringing the clip into After Effects and applying the Colorama effect to it, a near infinite number of variations can be created

In addition to the standard animation backgrounds and the customizable backgrounds, broadcastGEMs also includes several looping elements.  These too can be customized to match your color scheme or resized to be used as part of a corner bug or ID.

A unique feature of this first collection is each clip comes in formats that will best fit your project.  This includes both AVI DV NTSC, and QuickTime DV NTSC.  If you are someone working in the PAL format, fear not as broadcastGEMs Pro series comes packaged with a DVD for PAL too.  The variety aspect ratios, file and broadcast formats is something you dont usually see from other collections.  This means that you should not have to do any extra rendering in your NLE system providing you are using the correct file.

So how do the clips stack up?  There are 30 animated backgrounds, 10 customizable backgrounds,  and 17 looping elements.  While the animated backgrounds are not easily customizable, the looping elements and grayscale backgrounds can create a wide variety of backgrounds for your project.  One shouldnt complain as you get 50+ clips for a great price ($159US), but I was really hoping for more.  Since this collection is labeled as Volume 1, I am confident that other volumes will soon follow.

The problem with this collection (as with any stock library) is the clips can quickly become dated.  While this collection is of high quality, I feel some of these clips could have a short use life (three years).

Bottom Line
broadcastGEMs DV Pro collection has an assortment of clips that are ready to be used in your next production.  Created by professionals who know what the client is looking for, these clips should score points in your next production.  Users should be aware that because there are a relative small number of clips, repeated use could quickly become tiresome and identifiable.  Still at a better than average price, the investment makes the collection worthwhile.  I give broadcastGEMs a Good Buy Recommendation.

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Stephen Schleicher is a well known writer, visual effects artist and media guru! You can see more of Stephen at and
Related Keywords:Broadcast GEMS, schleicher, motion graphics, stock footage, library

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