|Review: Core Melts' PolyChrome transitions
Melts' PolyChrome Transitions
www.coremelt.com - $99.00
Review by Steve
collection of Core Melts' PolyChrome transitions is a set of
40 transition effects, many of which are absolutely necessary
within the editors' arsenal of production tools. Compatible with
both Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express, the PolyChrome collection
of transitions are GPU accelerated on PPC and Intel Macs which
will help cut down on your rendering time.
The big advantage is that they
are all compatible with both 10 bit and 12-bit codec's, which
also enable them to work with footage from the new Red camera,
and 10 bit Pro Res. This will additionally ensure that you gain
the benefits from your color grading after online edits. In addition,
all the PolyChrome dissolves include in the filter tab exacting
control of your transition curves for both in and out clips.
Thus, you are allowed to change both the mix between the outgoing
and incoming clips as well as the way their luminance is mixed
into the transition.
Core Melt has designed their 'Basic'
transitions to be replacements for those that come with Final
Cut Pro. While you might think that you have no need to simply
substitute many transitions for ones you already have, that they
overcome the limitations of those in Final Cut when working with
video formats other than 8 bit YUV or 8 Bit RGB make them all
the more valuable for the editor insisting on the very finest
in final resolution. Other than Final Cuts' cross dissolve, none
of the Final Cut dissolves are capable of working in high bit
depth and only a limited number of built in transitions and effects
are capable of rendering in high precision color.
Under Mac OS X 10.5.1, all the
plug-ins in PolyChrome will render in 16 bit per channel color
format preserving your full range of high color information on
projects where this is needed. However, there are some limitations
on different hosts which apply. A fast graphics card with at
least 256MB of VRAM is highly recommended for projects where
16 bit half float color format is required (eg ATI Radeon X1600,
ATI Radeon X1900 or Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT)
The PolyChrome Transitions are
divided into 6 bins of FX plugs, CM Stylistic, Grunge, Filmic,
Distort, Blocks and Basics and, as each label tells you, each
transition is what you would expect, albeit with a few surprises.
One very new transition from the
Distort collection is the Genie transition, which simulates the
same effect we see when sending an image or document to the dock.
You can keep the background to the default swirl found on many
Apple screens or substitute your own image.
Core Melts' Genie
transition from the Distort transitions bin.
Another transition with several possible uses, and also from
the Distort selection is the Mid Dream Haze.
The Mid Dream Haze
transition is typical of all the PolyChrome transitions in that
the parameters are easy to control
and the transitions were rock steady. This one created a watery,
shower door effect good for possible use in one of my underwater
films or a topside rain sequence.
From the Filmic set within the PolyChrome transitions was the
'Film Expose' transition that, when in motion, created a very
viewable alteration of the image, and the Film Strip transition
which adds those old time film holes to both the outgoing and
A person could have
a lot of fun just trying these two out.
The Spotlight Fade In/Out transition from the Stylize Transition bin allows you to control the size of the spotlight on the outgoing clip as well as the incoming clip. It is actually pretty cool to see it. Remember that you can download a two week demo to really see these transitions in action.
Also from the Stylize
Transition bin, the Roulette transition allows you to have your
coming from the sides or from top and bottom. In this frame I
composited it over another layer.
While there were a few transitions I found to be too similar
to each other, they were in the minority. Some transitions that
really stood out for me were the Polychrome Lab Film Dissolve
and the 'Grunge' dissolve which creates a burning through effect.
Loved the ability
to affect the Luminance of each clip so that they dissolved 'just
right' from one into the other.
The Acid Blotches
transition from the Grunge Set enables you to adjust the color
to the clips or set it manually to whatever hue you like.
Most of us have seen 'video wall' effects in numerous commercials
and film as well as in a few sets of transitions made by other
companies. PolyChromes' 'Video Wall' enables you to place up
to 8 images or clips in the transition's image wells, and control
the speed and dynamics of the wall.
The Video wall on
the left and the Stylistic 'Explode and Spinback' are both transitions
that have a diverse number of uses.
Rounding out your purchase, 4 additional 'Free' transitions are
included in the PolyChrome Transitions collection, Blend Mode,
Curl Apart, Exposure Flash and Projector Malfunction. I have
used the Exposure Flash transition a great many times in the
past and if you don't own one, here it is for free. Couple it
with the audio of a camera flash for still image transitions.
Each still image
by renowned bird photographer Karen Straus came in with a 'Flash'.
Most of the PolyChrome transitions allow you to precisely change
the way the luminance is mixed between the outgoing and incoming
clips. When the Transition Curve slider is all the way to the
left then, at the mid point of the transition, both clips are
at 50 percent luminance. This is the same as the FCP "Cross
Dissolve" transition. When the Transition Curve slider is
all the way to the right, both clips are at 100 percent luminance
at the mid point. This is the same as the FCP "Additive
Dissolve" transition. Using PolyChrome you can set each
transition to any point in between those two alternatives or
adjust a seperate curve for the incoming and outgoing clips.
While most of us do not have the resources to afford the new
Red cam, that the PolyChrome transitions are capable of utilizing
all the Red cam has to offer will be a big selling point to those
that do. Most of the transition effects I have seen before, however,
the real value of the FX plugs lies in their ability to work
with codecs at the higher end resulting in an improved image.
Some of the FX plug ins have enticing names that when opened
you might say "Oh, this is just like...'substitute a name'
from another set', however, the focus of Core Melts' PolyChrome
Transitions was to set a higher standard of quality and flexibility.
My bottom line is, in that, they have succeeded.
Steve Douglas is a certified Apple Pro for Final Cut Pro
6 and underwater videographer. A winner of the 1999 Pacific Coast
Underwater Film Competition, 2003 IVIE competition, 2004 Los
Angeles Underwater Photographic competition, and the prestigious
2005 International Beneath the Sea Film Competition, where he
also won the Stan Waterman Award for Excellence in Underwater
Videography and 'Diver of the Year', Steve was a safety diver
on the feature film "The Deep Blue Sea", contributed
footage to the Seaworld Park's Atlantis production, the History
channel's MegaDisaster show and other networks. Steve is one
of the founding organizers of the San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition
and leads both underwater filming expeditions and African safaris
with upcoming excursions to Indonesia and the Coco Islands, Costa
Rica in 2008, Kenyan safari in Africa and the Red Sea for 2009,
and Truk Lagoon in Micronesia for 2010. Feel free to contact
him if you are interested in joining Steve on any of these exciting
copyright © Steve
This article first appeared on
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