Final Effects was pretty much the original third-party plug-in set available for After Effects. It was created by a gang in Sweden now known as Cycore, who passed it on to MetaCreations, who passed it on to ICE, who passed it on to Media 100, who passed it on to Boris, who is now selling it for $895. Meanwhile, the Cycore gang exploited a loophole in their contract, rewrote and re-released it as Cycore FX, licensed it to Adobe to give away free as CC Effects with each copy of After Effects, and sell an upgrade to it for $299 – more on that below. (By the way, we’ve reposted an old column on CC Effects in the archives; read it here for more background.)
So when the press release first came around from Boris FX that they had updated Final Effects Complete, excuse us, but we laughed. However, once we thought about it, there are some reasons why you might consider it. Namely:
- If you have an old project which used FEC, CC Effects won’t recognize the effects – you will have to manually re-enter the parameters. However, Boris FEC will act as if nothing happened. (Which is a very good thing, as for years Boris had a habit of breaking backward compatibility every time they updated Continuum Complete for After Effects – an issue so frustrating, it drove us to stop using this collection. We’re glad Boris has finally gotten the message on how important backward compatibility is; we hope other plug-in manufacturers do as well.)
- The CC Effects that come free with After Effects only support 8 bits per color channel; FEC supports 16 bpc. (However, Cycore FX HD supports 16 bpc and in some cases 32 bpc. Plus Cycore HD is compatible with CC Effects – but of course, not with FEC.)
- FEC 5 has seen some significant updates, including the inclusion of the flexible Boris Pixel Chooser, a cleaned-up user interface, over 800 presets, and other enhancements.
- FEC also contains effects (such as those from ICE FX) that are not available in CC Effects.
- FEC 5 is being ported over Avid AVX format as well as FxPlugs for Apple Pro Video Applications; Cycore FX is AE-only.
We could almost get excited again – if it wasn’t for that $899 price tag. (Far more reasonable is the $295 “upgrade from any version” offer.) Boris needs to realize this isn’t the same ball of wax as their excellent, comprehensive Continuum Complete set they sell for After Effects and other applications for $895; FEC is essentially a legacy that they’re being so kind as to keep alive – and it should be priced accordingly. Combine it with a set of scripts to convert CC effect parameters over to FEC 5 parameters (for all those with new – not legacy – projects), and they might be on to something…no joke.
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