Compositing Software
Issue: Volume: 27 Issue: 11 (November 2004)

Compositing Software

Eyeon Software has unveiled Fusion 5, the latest version and tenth major incarnation of its desktop compositing software. Fusion's core architecture has been updated with a full 3D environment, OpenGL acceleration, B splines, a new mask node feature, and support for editing flows in ASCII. The company also offers DFX+, an 8-bit expandable version of Fusion. Fusion Version 5 is scheduled to begin shipping at the end of this year for $4995. Eyeon Software customers purchasing Digital Fusion 4 between August 10 and the release of Fusion 5 are able to upgrade for free.

Eyeon Software;

Pinnacle Systems recently previewed an upgraded version of its Liquid Edition video editing software. Liquid Edition 6 enables real-time, multi-format editing, compositing, effects, audio, and DVD authoring from a single, redesigned Windows-based user interface. Version 6 gains not only real-time, native HDV editing functionality, but also SmartRT and SmartEdit technology, a new audio effects engine with an audio mixer, and compatibility with Pinnacle Studio. Users benefit from expanded Multicam support of up to nine camera angles, new Track Matte and Mosaic real-time effects, and improved control via parameter-based Bezier keyframe compositing. The Pro edition includes a professional analog and digital I/O breakout box and USB 2.0 technology. Liquid Edition 6 and Liquid Edition Pro are priced at $499 and $999, respectively.

Pinnacle Systems;

Adobe Systems has upgraded its After Effects motion graphics and visual effects software, part of the new Adobe Video Collection 2.5. Offering tighter integration with Adobe's other video programs, After Effects 6.5 has been enhanced with new Animation Presets, including more than 250 text animations and over 60 new effects. An advanced clone tool with five customizable presets, three grain-management utilities, support for OpenGL and scripting, one-click controls, and color correction via Color Finesse from Synthetic Aperture round out the updated offering. The company's motion graphics and visual effects software for Mac OS.X and Windows 2000 and XP, After Effects 6.5 is offered in Standard and Pro-fessional versions priced at $699 and $999, respectively.

Adobe Systems;

Apple has released Shake 3.5, an updated version of its visual effects and compositing solution for film, HD, and commercials. Newly added shape-based morphing and warping utilities take advantage of industry-standard spline tools, enabling advanced compositing and "shape-shifting" special effects. Upgrades include support for 16-bit RGB and 10-bit YUV QuickTime formats and an improved Rendevous-enabled Shake Qmaster network render manager. Now shipping, Shake 3.5 for Mac OS.X is priced at $2999, whereas Linux, and Irix versions cost $4999 each.


Avid Technology has announced the availability of Avid Studio Tools, a suite of content-creation programs. Included in Studio Tools is Avid FX software, based on the Boris Red compositing and titling system. In addition to offering advanced compositing features, Avid FX.boasts more than 1500 customizable title, effects, and transition templates and more than 110 filters, including Wire Removal, Light Zoom, Light Warp, Z Blur, Grain Match, and Motion Blur. Additional features include integrated dynamic compositing, true 3D DVE, motion tracking, and more. An AVX plug-in for the Windows platform, Avid FX is available separately or as part of Avid Xpress Studio and Avid Studio Tools.

Avid Technology;

QEffects compositing software is designed to complement the company's range of DI and HD systems, including its iQ DI system. Whereas the iQ is involved with assembling, editing, color grading, and versioning full-resolution digital film material, QEffects brings non-client attended tasks onto the desktop. When used with the Quantel eQ editing, effects, grading, and mastering system, QEffects saves time by delegating time-consuming tasks to an assistant. QEffects has the same interface and compositing toolset as the iQ and eQ. Version 2 boasts a new multi-view compositor, and the compositing environment is 3D Aware, fully understanding 3D space.


Ultimatte offers AdvantEdge 1.5, the latest version of its professional-level blue-screen matte extraction plug-in. For use with Adobe, Apple, Discreet, and other popular video tools, AdvantEdge enables the automatic and accurate compositing of such elements as fine hair detail, water, shadows, smoke, glass, reflections, and blurred edges. Priced at $1495, Version 1.5 offers faster setup and render times, user-defined system preferences, a DV Video Correction filter, and more.


Discreet's product portfolio encompasses four visual effects design and compositing tools: Combustion 3 desktop compositing and motion graphics software, and the Inferno 6, Flame 9, and Flint 9 range of real-time visual effects systems. Targeted at digital artists designing for video, film, broadcast, DVD, and the Web, each provides a full 3D compositing environment, creative tools, integrated paint, advanced animation capabilities, and an integrated, design environment for interactive, client-supervised sessions.