So far so good. The problem with using the full interface is that it will only give you a preview of a single frame, you can’t see how it affects the entire clip. Dfx doesn’t output the effects to a second monitor for a live preview either. However, if you use the Dfx interface to get the look you want and then click the Done button, you will be returned to the host application, now you can use the numeric values in the Effects Controls tab to tweak the settings and see the effect being applied to your entire clip on a second monitor.
The filters do not make use of the Mercury Playback Engine, so you will see the thin red line above the filtered clip, this indicates the clip has to be rendered for a smooth playback. The filters make use of Multi processor acceleration, rendering is very fast even with a combination of two or more filters applied.
One problem that I did encounter was when using the Special Effects > Polarizer filter, the effect was applied in the Dfx interface but when it came back into Premiere, the effect was flashing between frames. Once rendered the flashing was removed but the polarizing effect was cut down significantly. On further experimentation I found a radio button “Force 16-Bit processing” which is only available in the Effect Controls tab, numeric option, turning this on cured the problem. I would have also liked this 16-Bit option to be available in the Dfx interface. The video at the top of this page demonstrates this.
There are 100 filters in the Dfx Video plug-in, some are familiar colour correction filters such as the warming 81b, and cooling 82 series, CC filters and B/W filter favourites such as Yellow, Red, Orange, Green etc. Besides these there is a a large variety of Colour Grad® filters for adding gradient colours – a great effect when used on landscape videos. There are also many special effects filters such as Glimmerglass® which softens fine details and adds a mild glow to highlights. The Dfx soft focus filters can add an extra romantic dimension to wedding videos, I particularly liked the Pro-Mist filter.
The Rays filter effectively simulates light entering through a window, you have full control on length, intensity, colour, opacity and direction. Another favourite is the Polarizer filter, this intensifies blue skies to produce a polarized look. However, it can also darken other blue objects in an image, you may need to create a mask to protect these areas. Unfortunately the Dfx Video plug-in does not include any masking facility, whereas the Dfx Digital Filter Suite (for photos) does include an excellent masking facility.
There are plenty of filters worth experiment with including; Cross processing, Film Looks, Day for Night, Gels, Tints, Sepia, Split Tone, Color-Grad®, B/W, Pro-Mist®, Depth of Field, Nude/FX® (warms skin tones), Edge glow, plus many more. The Dfx filter collection has been well put together with plenty of usable filters whilst others will be handy for those one off special clips.
A useful feature when working with the filters parameters within Premiere or After Effects is you can add Keyframes to the effects. This means an effect can be introduced or faded over time, with creative imagination you can even blend one filter effect into another.