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Class on Demand: Complete Training for Boris Continuum Complete 4

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Class on Demand: Complete Training for Boris Continuum Complete 4
A Creative COW Training Product Review

Tim Johnson looks at Class on Demand: Complete Training for Boris Continuum Complete 4

Tim Johnson Tim Johnson
Salt Lake City, Utah

© 2006 Tim Johnson and CreativeCOW.net. All rights are reserved.


Article Focus:
Over the years, some of the most-used After Effects plug-ins on my computer have come from Boris. Recently, Boris Continuum Complete 4.0 came out.  Hot on its heels was Class on Demand's latest training on Boris:  "Complete Training for Boris Continuum Complete 4,"--designed specifically to get people up to speed on those filters. In this article, CreativeCOW's Tim Johnson takes a look at the training and concludes that this training from Class on Demand is a solid training DVD with a couple of nice extras.

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Over the years, some of the most-used After Effects plug-ins on my computer have come from Boris.  Not only do they have some awesome stand-alone apps, but when you HAVE to use AE, the Boris plug-ins do an excellent job.  Recently, "Boris Continuum Complete 4.0" came out.  Hot on its heels was Class on Demand's latest training on Boris:  "Complete Training for Boris Continuum Complete 4,"--designed specifically to get people up to speed on those filters.
 
James Rankin, the creative director of Light Space and Time, LLC, hosts about 3.5 hours of instruction and tutorials on one DVD (Windows-only, Quicktime 6+ required).   The content is divided into nine categories as shown in the graphic below:
 
 

Also included in the deal is a 39-page PDF file with detailed instructions on a dozen tutorials, and a motherload of presets for BCC 4.  The PDF is a nice addition--for those who like to have a print companion, or don't have a laptop to set next to your computer.

 
Getting Started
With 160+ filters and transitions in BCC 4, Class on Demand comes right out and says they're not going to go over every one of them.  Instead, they go over some of the more oft-used filters and the similarities between these and other BCC filters.  {They all use the common AE interface and share many settings, so the workflow is similar.)


 
Having a bunch of the Total Training discs, I've been accustomed to loading up AE project files and following along in AE with the training.  This is not the case with this DVD.  The video content is edited well and, in many cases, presented well to keep retention up, but it might be something for Class on Demand to consider next time—include the project files.

 
Cool stuff
One of the things I like about this training is that they walk through using the filters in Premiere Pro 2, too.  For those who primarily edit, and don't know much about After Effects, this DVD will help you see the common elements in both programs.  I spend most of my time in AE, but it was nice to see that I could apply the BCC 4 effects directly within PPro if necessary.

 

I also liked the section where James gives a recipe for film-look, going step-by-step with the BCC plug-ins. 



His workflow tips at the end are especially useful to AE newcomers or veterans who haven't taken advantage yet of the "Reduce Project" and "Collect Files" commands.  The "Minority Report"-type effect at the end of Chapter 8 was pretty cool, too.

Another thing nice about the DVD was the simple installer that added 500 BCC presets.  (You can never have enough presets.)
 
James Rankin does a nice job guiding viewers through the chapters.  His delivery isn't the most polished, but he comes across pretty well in a "guru-next-door"-sort of way.  It's not hard to tell that he knows his stuff.
 
 
Gripes
 As with many training DVDs, this volume sometimes misses out on the see-and-say end of things.  We hear the narration talking about something, but we're not seeing it on-screen.  For instance, there's a nice section on pulling a key from green screen footage.  While talking about spill suppression, though, it'd be nice to zoom in on the edge of the key to be able to see where the spill suppression will take place.
 
Another time they use AE's checkerboard background in a comp when checking a matte for cleanup.  It would probably be better to switch to the comp's alpha channel settings when doing this—the contrast of white-on-black will help more so than white-on-checkerboard.  It's a small thing, I know, but in a way it takes away a bit from the credibility.  I'm not sure if they were in a rush to get this volume out or not, but it might be a good idea to show the DVD to a couple heavy-duty AE users before shipping.  They might be able to tighten things up a bit and help the viewers understand a little better.
 
 
Bottom Line
"Complete Training for Boris Continuum Complete 4" ($99 suggested retail) by Class on Demand is a solid training DVD with a couple of nice extras.  It wasn't what I had hoped it would be (more real-world projects, included AE project files, etc.), but it did help me to wrap my head around a terrific set of plug-ins.  Three cows out of five.
 
  


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