Review by Steve
associated with Noise Industries plug-ins and software, CoreMelt
has branched off and gone on its own separate path. In doing
so, the folk at CoreMelt have further developed their own collection
of transitions, filters and generators and, with that development,
produced some outstanding and exciting new features all designed
to work in Final Cut Studio, Express, Motion, and Adobe After
Effects CS3/CS4. To that end, you no longer need FX Factory installed
to be able to purchase and use any of the CoreMelt collections.
The CoreMelt V2 Complete is a collection,
and serious enhancement, of their previous PolyChrome Transitions,
Image Flow FX, Motion Graphics Box, Editing Tools and VeeYou.
In total, the complete set arrives with 180 GPU accelerated plug-ins
enabling you to achieve most any transition or video effect you
could ever want. For anyone having purchased any of Core Melt's
licenses after March 6th, the upgrade will be free to their equivalent
V2 software. In addition, any one of the individual sets may
be purchased separately and each set arrives with additional
new plug-ins, filters and transitions from the original Version
In the Image Flow FX V2, 8 new
plug-ins alone have been added to the original ten with additional
editing options such as random crop and new scaling types. In
fact, Image Flow now works on movies and compositions as well
as still images, and motion blur and is now supported in all
hosts, Final Cut Pro, Motion and Adobe AE. Additionally, the
CoreMelt graphic multi sliders make for intuitive and quick parameter
adjustments. Upgrades for just the Image Flow from ImageFlow
Fx to ImageFlow FX V2 are $59 as an introductory price until
May 1st, and then $79 after that. The upgrade from the previous
'Complete' package will be $129.00 For those without the prior
CoreMelt Complete, the introductory price is $299.00 which will
go up to $399.00 after May 1st. Keep in mind that with the Complete
set, you are getting 180 different transitions,filters and generators...not
bad at all.
The new graphical
sliders arriving with many of the effects plug-ins, were easy
I experienced that they could be manipulated with a great deal
Adding to that development, in FCP, motion blur is turned on
using the new "globals" window which is accessed from
the button next to registration in all plug-ins. Motion blur
is turned on or off for every plug-in on the time line with one
click, so you can build and preview everything with faster rendering,
then turn on motion blur for the whole time line for your final
render. And while the new graphical mask/frame pop ups menus
make it much easier to see which styles you are applying, all
the masks and frames in ImageFlow Fx have now been replaced with
vector versions which are rendered on the fly at your native
project resolution. You can add your own vector or bitmap masks
and frames to the new graphical menus, by going into your home
directory Library/Application Support/CoreMelt/Assets/. You can
then add new files to any of the directories there and have them
appear in the appropriate Mask/Frame chooser. One note on using
ImageFlow Fx with movies, CoreMelt does not recommend you attempt
to use a folder of HD movies with any of the plug-ins which can
display up to eight layers at once. If you are creating HD output
they recommend you use PAL/NTSC or 640x480 content as each movie
will be only filling a portion of the HD frame. This makes sense
to me and, in use, all worked well though whether you will be
able to preview in real time or not is dependent upon the horsepower
of your editing bay. Usually, I could not do a real time preview
on my dual core 3GHz Mac Pro, Radeon X1900 card and 5.5 gigs
ram. However, even a stuttering preview prior to rendering gave
me a good sense of my progress.
Premiering in the C2 Pigment- Color Tools
collection of filters is on-screen curves overlays, which appear
in the canvas. Why didn't anyone think of this sooner? As many
use the Final Cut Pro video scopes to be as exacting and safe
as possible when color correcting, being able to see the color,
hue, and saturation curves as you adjust them is a real boon.
With the curves set to 'always on', the curve boxes enlarge in
the canvas as you play the clip before rendering.
From the C2 Pigment
RGB Levels & Curves color set, the use of visible curves,
which appear in the canvas
as I adjust the parameters in the filters folder, provide me
with additional visual cues for fixing the original, poorly shot
clip of these two African eagles in Kenya.
Two of the new plug-ins within the Image Flow set are the 'Circle
Around' and 'Fall Forward' plugs upon which you can set both
a variety of frames and blur. The Fall Forward brings up your
image and naturally drops it down revealing a new one behind
it. With the blur added, it creates a very cool effect and is
a great way to transition from one image to the other. The Circle
Around allows you to bring different images or moving clips,
with or without a mirror effect, displaying themselves in a circular
motion across the stage.
The Circle Around plug in. CoreMelt has now added the ability to choose the source aspect ratio for all plug-ins in Imageflow when working with movies. At the moment you have to tell Imageflow the aspect ratio and you can't mix and match clips of different aspect ratios in the same folder, however, that should be an additional feature with the next version coming soon.
Very cool are the ten Veeyou meters, which react to the audio
by simply choosing the file from the hosts. You do not need to
link audio behaviors as, once the audio file is chosen, you are
good to go with many options within each of the many types of
meters as to their appearance and placement. I had a marvelous
time playing with these just imagining ways I would eventually
use them. Be careful, as you could kill more time than you ever
expected just by being memorized by the blinking diodes, LEDs
Choose the folder
where the music is kept and the Veeyou meters will automatically
be aligned with the audio.
The left graphic is a capture of the C2 Veeyou Analog meter, which, of course, can be resized, and on the right is the EQ Simple 3D meter with mirroring on. Any of the Veeyou meters can be easily placed over another video layer allowing for both sight and sound.
In addition, both the Veeyou meters come with an assortment of
masks and color gradients providing ample opportunity to for
experimenting with different styles and approaches when using
them. Almost all parameters may be keyframed for an abundance
There are a great many plug ins in either the V2 Complete or
one of the smaller collections that will be just thing for you
to use. In the C2 Gadget-Editors Tools set is a quick and easy
'Witness Protection' filter which allows for pixilation over
a face or license plate. With adjustable diameter and position
parameters, this will make quick work of any disguising you may
From the CoreMelt
C2 -Editors Tools Folder, a new 'Witness Protection' filter.
- From the Luminous
Glows and Blurs Folder, the 'Blowout' filter can be used dramatically.
One filter I really took a shine to was from the C2 Pigment Color
Tools collection and was appropriately titled 'Filmic Look' Below
the original clip with no color correction or manipulation on
the left and on the right, the Filmic Look with filter applied
and a mask.
On the right, I
chose a simple and transparent oval mask to highlight the lioness
looking forward to bringing me home as dinner for her cubs.
However, though you can import your own masks and gradients via
the image wells, CoreMelt's filters come with a large enough
choice to pick from.
Also with the Filmic
Look filter, a whole new look between the original frame and
the simple default settings of the Filmic Look filter.
As with the Veeyou meters, a great many of the CoreMelt filters
supply a number of different textures to chose from when editing.
I found that I could lose track of time just playing around with
all the possibilities.
Typical of the V2
Complete collection are the myriad choices at your disposal.
Here are just some of the textures one could chose as they animate
from the Grunge & Stylized-3D Image Random Spacing Generator.
From the C2 Shatter folder, the Grunge Border shown here is just one of many possible border choices. - Advanced Vignetter with Luma Curve visible
From the V2 Glows
& Blurs, the Sparkle Edges.
On the left, the
original image and from the Pigment folder, the Day for Night
A year ago, I reviewed the CoreMelt Image Flow collection of
plug-ins very favorably. My only complaint at that time was that
while you could chose a folder of images from within the plug-in's
filters tab, you could not chose specific files from within the
folder; it was all or nothing. Unfortunately, that still has
not changed and for this release, the story remains the same.
However, I have been informed that the folk at Core Melt are
currently working on this and in a near future update, you will
be able to specify which images you wish to bring in as well
as being able to change their order of appearance.
For editors who have been at this awhile,
previously purchased plug in collections may or may not have
similar transitions, filters and generators. However, CoreMelt
has added some seriously effective controls making parameter
adjustments both more intuitive and effective. A major consideration
here is that CoreMelt allows you to take advantage of their compatibility
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. For those new to Final
Cut Studio or for anyone looking to add to the assortment of
filters, generators and transitions that arrive with Final Cut,
this is just about the most diverse collection out there. What's
more, users, once they have registered the Complete set or one
of the smaller collections, are automatically notified of any
One thing I have been pointing out lately
in many reviews is that several sites have proactively begun
creating video tutorials to show clients how to achieve the effects
their promotional videos show off. However, the one video tutorial
I watched regarding the Veeyou filters went by so quickly it
was hard to keep up.
While the CoreMelt website provides full
definitions of each filters' purpose as well as definitions of
their associated parameters, there remains a serious lack of
any video tutorials enabling the new buyer to see how certain
effects are achieved and parameters are used. Not every editor
is a professional for whom these things come more naturally,
many are simply new hobbyists wishing to learn, and I would hope
that CoreMelt makes the effort to improve on that simply for
My bottom line is that CoreMelt has really come out with an almost complete package of effects that will leave you desiring little. While you can buy upgrades for any of the individual sets, I strongly recommend the CoreMelt Complete V2 Collection. CoreMelt has clearly made many improvements to what was already an excellent assortment of effects. They were easy to use, reliably worked as they should, and are very worthy of your consideration.
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, and productions for National Geographic
and the History channels. Steve is also feature writer for Asian
Diver Magazine and is one of the founding organizers of the San
Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition. He is available for both private
and group seminars for Final Cut Pro and leads both underwater
filming expeditions and African safaris with upcoming excursions
to Micronesia for the Manta Fest in 9/09, the Red Sea and Egypt
for Nov.2009, Truk Lagoon and Yap in Micronesia for July, 2010.
Feel free to contact him if you are interested in joining Steve
on any of these exciting trips. www.worldfilmsandtravel.com
copyright © Steve
This article first appeared on www.kenstone.net
and is reprinted here with permission.
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