With the introduction of FlamePremium 20th Anniversary Edition, we gained new views and new tools. For someone who used to jump between smoke and flame on a daily, if not hourly basis, it was a dream come true. One of the many big changes came to the timeline effects. Once referred to as soft fx. They are now condensed into a single button that flies out to reveal a buffet of effects and tools. Some of them familiar, if not in name then in function. Now with 2014sp2 available, the options keep on coming.
Let's quickly review the full menu of options. We have: 2D Transform, Action, Blur, Colour Correct, Colour Warper, Flip, Gmask, Resize, Spark, Stereo Toolbox, Text, Timewarp.
One big side note- YOU CAN NOW REARRANGE YOUR TIMELINE EFFECTS ( rejoice and applause!!! )
Not only can you rearrange your Timeline Effects, they no longer are interpolated when going to Batch. Effectively all of the Timeline Effects are batch nodes. So you can think of it this way - Timeline Effects are now just a different view of a batch setup.
So- Resize, Spark, Text & Timewarp to a degree remain unchanged.
The Axis effect has been supplanted by the more powerful Action. This is the same powerful tool that we all know and love from our tools menu or from Batch- with the noted exception of only allowing one media layer. If you have the preference enabled to "Use Background" (found under Preferences > Timeline FX / BFX) you will have 1 media layer and 1 background layer.
Now this doesn't prevent you from using as many instances of your media layer as you want. You can also use 3D Text, 3D geometry and any of the other tools that you would normally find in Action. Another example would be that you could use the Analyzer in a clip (ON THE TIMELINE!!!) to quickly pull a 3D track of your scene. This could then be sent to CG or brought into Batch and expanded and utilized further.
How Cool is that!
But sometimes you don't need a power tool when something more simple will do. So a couple of functions have been split out. For a simple reposition, scale or reframing you can use the 2D transform. You can even stabilize the shot in 2D transform. Want to flip a shot so your edit "flows", use the Flip tool. By splitting some effects out it has made it easier on both the artist and in getting your conform to carry over the effects from other systems. Need to blur the shot to be a background for a layer above, use the Blur effect. Again, no need to invoke a super-tool for a simple operation
Another new comer to the button selection is the Colour Warper. It is no longer left to hide behind the Colour Correct button. It has been give first class status and you can now use them both on the same clip. Maybe adjust your contrast on one and swing your colors in the next. Choice is great and you can never have enough choices when it comes to fixing or getting creative with colors.
The next tool I want to call out is the GMask. In some ways, this is saving the best for last. The GMask can have an effect on so many of the other nodes.
Depending on where you place it- do you want to limit that blur, no problem. Refine the selection in the Colour Warper, you got it. Reveal some text? It's as simple as moving that Gmask in front of the effect you want to affect.
Finally, there is the node that's not a node. An effect "button" that is persistent on all clips. The Comp button. You used to have to use an Axis effect to put a matte on a clip or enable a matte on a matte container. Again, trying to make functions as simple and lightweight as possible the Comp button will achieve this….. and much more. A simple transparency over another clip- the Comp node. Blend modes in the timeline - the Comp node.
Well I think that is a good starting point and lays a nice base for experimentation.
Check it out and enjoy the new found functionality.