Collection of timesaving 2D visual effects plug-ins

tinderbox4Many video editors can edit a video in a matter of minutes, blindfolded, but they may be lost when adding special effects. This is where plug-ins can come in handy: Not only do they speed up your workflow, they also let you add special effects to your projects that you may not know how to do manually. One of these is the latest release from The Foundry Visionmongers, Tinderbox 4—an Adobe After Effects plug-in that comes with 20 effects, including cartoon, fire, line drawing, muzzle flash, rain, and more.

The plug-in is easy to use and the quality of the effects is excellent, but you can only use them with Adobe After Effects 7. Tinderbox 4 doesn’t work with earlier versions of After Effects. All of the plug-ins included are multiprocessing and support 8, 16, and 32 bits. At $500 for the download version, Tinderbox 4 isn’t cheap; however, the tradeoff is time saved and, for many, the ability to deliver client projects incorporating cool effects.

Unfortunately, the licensing policy for Tinderbox 4 isn’t user friendly. The plug-in is tied to the unique ID of the system upon which it’s installed. This software security scheme prevents editors from continuing to work on a project on their laptop while on the road unless they buy an additional full license. The Foundry Visionmongers would do well by its customers if they switched over to another method of security, such as a hardware key (dongle). This would at least allow legal users the flexibility of working with the software while in their studios or on their laptop while on the road.—David Singer

PRICE: $550 ($500 for download)
FROM: The Foundry Visionmongers Ltd.
FOR: Mac and Windows

HOT Excellent quality results
NOT User “unfriendly” software security