BorisFX Continuum Complete: "Pan and Zoom" Problems
Hello! I am currently evaluating the Boris FX Continuum Complete package, and I am particularly interested in the Pan and Zoom filter for documentary purposes. I am using both Adobe After Effects, and Adobe Premiere. However, I have encountered two problems that are perplexing me, for which I would like to request help:
1. In Adobe After Effects, I am confused by the use of the "position parameter". If, while using the GUI of the Pan and Zoom effect, I place the position in the upper-right quadrant, the final viewport is placed in the lower-left quadrant. If I place the poistion in the upper-left quadrant, the final viewport is placed in the lower-right quadrant. The position and the viewport seem to be inverted, moving in opposite directions with respect to the Anchor point. Why is this?
2. In Adobe Premiere Pro, the GUI of Pan and Zoom filter seems to be non-functional. Though I have the "Preview Mode" selected and can see the red box, I am unable to modify the red box (and thusly transforms settings) via the GUI; instead, I have to manually modify the various position/scale/rotation values themselves within the Effects Controls panel. The red box is completely non-functional. Furthermore, even though the "Rotational Control" box is selected, there is no rotational control within the Pan and Zoom GUI. The functionality appears to not be equivalent to the After Effects version. The BorisFX website advertises the Premiere version as being the same as the After Effects version, but it does not appear to be so. Furthermore, the following website shows a BorisFX project manager using the Pan and Zoom GUI in PP as being the same as in AE:
I follow the directions precisely, yet I still cannot use the "Pan and Zoom" GUI within Premiere Pro, and the GUI is still non-functional. I shows up simply as a red box within the Program tab. Is all of this simply a limitation of the Premiere version of the plugin, or am I just missing something?
I would greatly appreciate any help that you can offer! Though I am interested in purchasing this software, these two problems cause me to hesitate. Furthermore, the BorisFX website offers little help (in fact, no help for people who have yet to purchase the software). Thank you for your assistance.
(NOTE: I am using AE7 and PP2)
I'm glad to hear that you have decided to look at BCC 5 as a potential effects solution for the hosts that you use. I'd like to help you understand some of the things that you are seeing while working with the Pan and Zoom filter. And by the way, have you seen the built-in PDF help and tutorial system that is installed with the BCC software? You can access this system by clicking the help button which is located at the top of each filter in the product. This action will launch Acrobat and display the PDF file for that particular filter. And now on to the answers for your questions:
(1) You note that when you move the position point in AE the region of interest moves in the opposite direction. This is known and unavoidable. We suggest that you click anywhere within the region of interest in the comp window and simply drag the whole box as opposed to moving the center position point. You can also scale and rotate the box using the on-screen controls.
(2) Although the Pan and Zoom filter does indeed function in the same way in all hosts, each host API has it's own set of rules that plug-in manufacturers are forced to follow, which means that while we have full run of the on-screen controls in some hosts, others do not allow for this. This is what you are seeing when you compare the use of the BCC Pan and Zoom filter in AE and in Premiere Pro. In AE we are given on-screen controls for everything however in Premiere Pro the API does not currently allow for this and therefore all transforms must be done using the parameters in the effects control window. The functionality of the filter is identical in both of these hosts, however the user interaction differs between these hosts with AE giving the user on-screen controls but not Premiere Pro. In both hosts if you use the parameters in the effects control window to control the pan and zoom the user experience is identical.
I hope this helps to answer your questions and please feel free to contact me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any further questions or concerns regarding use of this or any other filter in the BCC set.
I am now evaluating Pan and Zoom in FCP. It is perplexing. I have some horizontal panoramic images. These images will import into FCP with no problems. I can create a pan and zoom move on them within FCP, but of course also with the limitations of FCP moves. When rendered within FCP, apart from the lumpy starts and stops, the quality is very good. When imported into P&Z, I seem to be stuck with choosing Position A and Position B at the same box proportions as the original image. In other words, if my original image is in the proportion of 5:1, then I can change the box size but not the box shape, and so cannot select an area of 16:9 from that image, only an area of 5:1, which is not very useful. It would also appear I can only ask for preset moves - a simple two section track across an image, for example, is not possible. When I get to larger files, say 28,000x2,500px, then they will not import at all, even though these images can be worked with within FCP. With Boris I get a black screen. The preview monitor is usually way out of my selected area, in fact, the whole thing doesn't seem to work, except with quite small images, where at first evaluation it appears to work OK. The included pdf user guide does not offer anything in the way of help.
Am I missing something? I am desperately seeking a way of creating simple rostrum moves on cumbersome original artwork. I thought this part of the project was going to be the easy bit. Motion won't do it (can't handle large files), AE is too scary (I fought my way into Motion only to find it wasn't up to the job) Stage Tools is too lumpy, Pan CanvasPro likewise. The only contender now would seem to be Digirostrum, but that's on Windows and is not exactly easy to work with, although it can, allegedly, handle the large files.
Here are the steps that I would recommend for generating the Pan and Zoom effect that you are looking for:
• create a project and sequence to the desired output size
• generate a slug - set the length to the length that you want to have for the pan and zoom effect
• apply the BCC Pan and Zoom filter to the slug
• in the Pan and Zoom filter controls, import the media that you want to use from the system drive directly into the filter
• set the workflow to transform A
• set the preview to floating viewport
• use the filter controls to set the start size, rotation and position
• set the workflow to transform B
• again, use the filter controls to set the start size, rotation and position
• set the preview target to mix
• set the workflow to auto-animation
• you can then tweak the various animation controls to adjust the speed and smoothness of the animation
• then set the preview mode to none to see the final result
I hope this helps,
Thank you Peter for your amazingly swift response. That solves my box shape question - the key here seems to be to use slug rather than an image dragged from the browser. Unfortunately that is not made clear in the included help files. I'm still struggling with the large files - they do not show up at all. Is there a maximum size to the file size that Boris can handle? Also, am I limited to A-B moves? I need to do A-B-C moves occasionally.
Another point - the final rendered files from the smaller images I have tried have an unsatisfactory "wriggle" to them during the move. This seems to be caused by low resolution, or fine lines being aliased and having a step effect. This is apparent both on the computer monitor and on a PAL/NTSC monitor.
You can work in full manual mode of operation and perform ABC moves if you prefer. It's all just a matter of keyframing.
Regarding the max file size ... I think it's something like 40k in any one direction but I'll have to check to be sure about that. I'll send an email to someone in engineering as I'm out of the office all week.