Video Gogh 3I didn’t expect much from RE:Vision’s Video Gogh 3 effect, a plug-in for After Effects and similar applications. I’d already seen effects that turn videos into faux impressionist paintings and my feeling was that you’ve seen one; you’ve seen them all. But two hours after installing Video Gogh, I was still playing with it! After a quick read of the well-written manual (a PDF), I realized the effect is more than a painterly-look effect; it’s a complex particle system in which the particles are brush strokes. There’s a somewhat steep learning curve; however, there are out-of-the-box features you can use almost instantly.

Video Gogh ships with three preset brushes, but it also allows you to create your own using any artwork as a brush shape. (And, yes, brushes can be animated!) Your brushes are then used to repaint the source video. There are a couple of ways you can control brush strokes:

• By letting Video Gogh calculate brush orientation, in which case it will follow the contours of the source image; or
• You can use another image (or video) as a map to control orientation. This can be a direction map from a 3D application.

Because Video Gogh is really a particle system, you have control over the birth and death of the particles (the brush strokes) as well as Photoshop-like brush properties, such as brush spacing, size, and opacity.—Marcus Geduld

PRICE: $119.95 (Upgrade $39.95)
FROM: Vision Effects, Inc

HOT A painterly effect with a ton of power features
NOT Somewhat steep learning curve