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For more than 70 years, Tiffen has been a leading manufacturer of professional filters for photography and film. Generally, their premium glass filters are the first thing that comes to mind for anyone who hears the name "Tiffen." These filters would need to be applied at the time the photos or videos were being shot, but now in the digital age they can be applied in the post-production world as well with Tiffen's Dfx filter packs. Earlier this year, an update to version 4.0 was released, and we got our hands on a set to see what changes have been made.
Versions and pricing:
The Tiffen Dfx plugins come in three formats: a standalone version ($129), a photo plug-in pack ($149) that can be used with apps such as Photoshop and Lightroom, and video and film plug-ins for use with video-editing suites on both major platforms, ranging from Final Cut to Nuke Studio (starting at $499). If you are looking for more than one configuration, bundle packs can be put together with prices starting at $245. All of the packs have been updated with the new features.
For our evaluation, we tested the Dfx video/film plug-ins for use with Final Cut Pro X. It was installed on a MacBook Pro running OS X 10.10 with a 2.6GHz Intel core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and Nvidia GeForce GT 650M graphics. The minimum system requirements are a system running OS X 10.7 with 4GB of RAM (although they recommend 8GB or more) and 1GB of available disk space for caching and temporary files.
Now for the good stuff: time to dig in and see what new goodies we have to play with here. The toy box is filled with over 2,000 simulated Tiffen filters, lenses, film grains, color correctors and more. Users can choose from 131 individual filters, with thousands of customizable presets. They can also use simulated Tiffen glass camera filters, lenses and color correctors, along with a vast array of preset photographic film stocks, motion picture film stocks, and historical processes. All of these tools are available from the effects pane in FCP X after installation.
In this release, there are 12 new plug-ins that are available in all versions. We have compiled a list of these features below, with an explanation of what each one does. If a simple explanation isn't enough, no need to fret -- it only made sense to put together a demo video, showcasing what each one of these can do. The list below is in the same order as they are presented in the video.
Borders -- a selection of pre-made borders are new to this release, with the option to create your own. Choose from about a dozen pre-made borders, and then adjust them to your liking with the Dfx Interface Controls from within FCP X. This opens up a new window with a complete set of borders, along with all the tools necessary to customize and create new ones. Once the desired look has been achieved, the window can be closed, and the border will be applied to the footage in the timeline.
Cartoon -- one filter that we really liked was the cartoon filter, which does exactly what it claims to do, and turns the image into a simulated cartoon. As with the borders, the Dfx Interface Controls can be used to toggle between different presets, or customize your own.
Colorized Gradient -- this plug-in colorizes the image based off of the image's brightness value. The colors are user selectable as well, and like with the other two plug-ins, the option for opening the Dfx Interface is present.
Detail -- use this plug-in to to sharpen, enhance details and smooth edges by selecting the parameters from within Final Cut, or by using the Dfx interface.
Develop -- with the Develop plug-in, users can adjust temperature, tint, exposure, brightness, contrast and more to globally adjust the color and tonal scale of your images. Use the Dfx interface, or work directly from FCP X to achieve the desired look.
Grunge -- get a real vintage film feel with the Grunge plug-in. It adds hair, stains, scratches, vignetting, grain and flickering in any custom combination needed to make it look like this film was just discovered in a canister in the basement of an abandoned Hollywood studio.
Harris Shutter -- Kodak employee Robert S. Harris first invented the Harris filter, which was a strip of three color filters used for making color photos with different primary color layers. This filter uses images for red, green, and blue channels, then generates a rainbow of color around any moving object.
Pastel -- this is a pretty straight forward and simple effect. This filter converts softens colors into pastel and offers a selection of presets, along with the option to customize your own.
Pearlescent/Black Pearlescent -- take the edge off of ultra-high definition footage from 4K sensors with these filters. They control highlight flares, and lower contrast, providing a more delicate effect.
Radial Tint -- users can use this to tint the image with multi-colored, radially graduated filters. As with most of the other filters, this one offers total customization from color selection to radial grade and exposure. It can also be controlled through the Dfx Interface or FCP X.
Satin/Black Satin -- designed to enhance the natural beauty of on-screen talent, this plug-in adds a flare to highlights and reduces contrast, while simultaneously smoothing out facial blemishes and wrinkles. A variety of pre-set configurations are available, which can be customized to suit individual tastes.
Tone Adjust -- we really liked all the new plug-ins, but this one would prove to be insanely valuable to anyone who has ever shot anything in low-light conditions. It is able to adjust tonal values, recover and de-noise detail from darker portions. You will see in our demo video that the difference is truly like night and day.
Along with these new plug-ins, all versions of Dfxv4 include a very long list of other features such as color correction tools, diffusion, HDTV/FX, Grad Controls, Film Stock, GPU Acceleration, Floating Point Precision, and support for Retina Displays. For more information about what is available, complete system requirements for Mac and Windows, as well as trial version downloads, visit Tiffen's Dfx product page.
In all, we found this set of plug-ins and filters to be highly advanced, providing professional-grade results. Let's face it, though: we would expect no less from Tiffen. The digital filter suite provides an excellent affordable alternative to carrying around a big case full of expensive filters.
Last edited by NewsPoster; Apr 23, 2015 at 12:15 PM.