Tiffen Dfx Video/Film Plug-In Review
By : David Robillard
David Alan Photography
Tiffen is one of the leading manufacturers of filters for still and video cameras for the past 70 years and has just developed a powerful and intuitive editing suite of software tools for traditional still photography and videographers. This review will focus on the DFX version 3.0 video product.
The DFX effects package is perhaps one of the easiest to use effects package on the market today it offers an almost endless array of effects, filters and templates all crafted by a company that has a rich history of making filters and understanding what the end result should look like.
Once you open the program up for the first time it’s a little intimidating because the interace is a little scairy with endless filter choices and thousands of customizable presets available to process your images. The filers, however are organized in such a logical, intuitive and easy to use fashion and they are simply a guide or jumping off point to begin your post processing. Once you open the DFX Interface in your editing program that’s where this program really shines because you are presented with numerous presets across the top of your screen and a simple editing interface on the right with a myriad of simple to use slider based adjustments controls, see figure below.
Another examply of the intuitive interface.
DFX allows you to achieve the look of their world class glass filters applied in post without having to own or carry those filters when filming. In my opionion, the film stocks alone are worth the cost of the software especially the black and white and sepia effects.
I personally like to start my work flow process using the three way color corrector, it’s an easy way to white balance your footage to give a neutral starting point from which to begin color grading. The special effects within DFX offer almost limitless flexibility in creating the right feel for your project whether that might be drama, fashion, or a big screen blockbuster look. All are easily accomplished and easily created with the templates and filters contained within DFX.
Tiffen’s filters are all applied in post production with the added benefit of dialing up or down the intensity to your personal satisfaction as apposed to filiming or shooting your footage and being locked into that look, short of refilming. DFX is compatible with Adobe After Effects, Aperture, Apple Final Cut Pro, Photoshop & Avid Editing Systems. Simply imagine the power at your fingertips in post-production to have that many filters available, let alone the cost to purchase them as well the time savings to create those looks while color grading your projects.
The filters are categorized by filter function as follows: Film Lab, HFX Diffusion, HFX Grads/Tints, Image, Lens, Light, and Special Effects.
The illustration shows working with DFX the traditional way within Adobe After Effects, not real inspiring!
The illustration belows however shows working within the DFX interface which is so much easier to use and productive.
The example above shows the power, flexibility and ease of use within the Tiffin interface. The film stocks are listed across the top of your project. You simply select one of different templates to preview on your footage and make fine adjusments over on the right side of the user interface to taste. As I mentioned earlier the best part of the program is that those adustments are simple slider based enhancemets to tweak your footage which is so much easier and faster than making adjustments in the editing application.
Adjustments can be made to items like Film Response which are simply adjusmtents to the the color channels, colors corrections which allow you to make changes to shadows, midtones, and highlights as well as master saturation adjustments. Next are the filter adjustments which are like having a full array of Tiffen colored filters applied in post production, diffusion, blur, grain, adjustments, sharpening, vignetting, and the classic pro mist effect which is so easy and powerful and adds a real high producton value to your clips.
Summary: I can’t say enough good things about Tiffen DFX Video it makes your color grading so simple and easy with the ability to have a whole bag full of filters and special effects that would have cost ten of thousands of dollars available at your disposable. Give it a try it, you can download a trial of the software at http://www.tiffensoftware.com/products/dfx-products
Cost: Retail $599 with discounts for previous versions of Tiffen products.
Suggestion for next release: The ability to scrub the footage with the effect applied within the DFX Interface which is possible in most editing applications.