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Review: PulpFx Abstract, Pg. 2

Depth of Options
PulpFx Abstract is a tidy collection of 5 transition schemes named Black Reflection (al á Apple's shiny reflective surface underneath objects), Cover Flow (think iTunes cover art display), Light Slice (super cool and my hands-down favorite for filmmakers - more in just a second), Pulse and Static Pulse which provide automatically generated spinning and sliced spinning image transitions.

We all love common sense options and Abstract has them. Slider controls for adjusting different levels/components of the transition effects and tidy little auto-features like automatically display image names as pulled from the image file names. The effects aren't "over-controlled" and there is only the appropriate controls you'd expect to find for these transitions.

However, let's come back to Light Slice. This effect is probably the most "filmmaker" worthy effect that Abstract offers. You really have to see this one in action to appreciate it. Once a directory of images has been selected, you can accept the defaults of transitions or jump in and customize which transition effects are randomly called and control blurring, layers and other items. This effect is the most sophisticated and demands more memory from your system - especially if you set the layer counts (for streaking and stacking iterations of images) to create this effect and have a long list of images to use. In fact, it's a specific acknowledgment/warning in the plug-in.

As always, a little judicious tweening and spline adjustments easily takes these visual effects out of the automaton predictable timing realm and make things much more interesting.

The method named "Pulse" is the second most likely effect to be useful to micro filmmakers. There are really nice levels of sophisticated randomness - but only for still images.

As always, plugs like this exact a toll during render time - but not much. I do have plugs that take longer to render than this one for sure. It's a pretty speedy implementation with the length of time directly connected to the speed of your system. (you need a new system, right?) The sophistication of the effects is more than made up for by not having to manually create them yourself. Even for the memory intensive Light Slice, I didn't receive an out-of-memory error with a high volume of images. However, I really wasn't trying to "break" it nor was I using cinematic resolution or HD resolution files.

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