Image manipulation tools – Introduction to Commotion 1.5


Commotion 1.5 lets you work with  multiple video clips and is most  useful for adding special effects to  a finished product and cleaning  up images. lt offers keyframing  and other features for manipulating objects across time, along with  Photoshop-like drawing tools and  effects filters.

Uncompressed film  and video frames can be played  back in real time on a Mac. with a  frame rate limited only by the  amount of available RAM. Once  you’ve painted on individual frames or a sequence. you can see  your work play back in real time.


Realtime software playback of  uncompressed clips at 25. 30 or  variable frame rates directly from  RAM  I Support for independent frame  rates (including 24, 25/30 fps. 60-  field NTSC and PAL), image resolutions up to 720×576 and bits depths of l, 4, 8, l6 and 32 bits  per pixel.

Open and Save of subwindows  allows a portion of an image to be  opened and manipulated, then  inserted back into the area of the  picture from where it came.

Open and Save of PlCT and  QuickTime 3.0, as well as support  for Adobe’s file format plug-in format (Targa, TlFF, SGI, etc.).  THE PAINT TOOLS  The most versatile tool in Commotion is the Super Clone brush,  which allows you to toggle among up to four source images and pre-  view them against the target image before compositing.

Super Clone Brush allows cloning between various files and  differing frames in a clip. Auto-Paint can be used to repeat or animate brushstrokes  over a series of frames and create  Write On effects

Vector animation can be achieved by applying any of the paint  tools to any spline shape. Wacom pen tablet support for size and pressure values (Marquee,  Lasso, Pencil, Paint. Air Brushes, Bucket, Gradient, Eraser, Eye  Dropper. Blur/Sharpen. Srnudgef  Magic Wand, with RGB and HSV  independent tolerance controls.


Onion Skinning for reference to  pastifuture paint frames as lower  opacity overlays. Settings permit  multiple frames to be displayed at  varying opacities .

Compositing allows for quick  previewing of composites or channel math while you paint, including on-the-fly previews of composites as you touch up matte  edges. Supports masks and alpha channels.


Flip, invert and rotate images
Wiggle effects can be applied to  any brushstroke to add motion to  static objects.  image manipulation: RGB and  HSL controls, levels, lookup ta-  bles, brightness and contrast

Channel-independent blurs,  including Blur White and Blur  Black to blur mattes

Convolution filters, minimum  and maximum for choking mattes,  and custom kernels.  Sharpening filters, including  noise introduction and removal  filters  I Field interlacing and de-inter-  lacing filters for changing time  base, processing frames, and re-  versing the field dominance of a  clip.

ROTOSPLINE root  Commotion’s rotosplining function, its most useful feature, lets  you create Bézier paths around  objects over time.

By changing the  shape of the paths frame by frame,  you can create animated splines  and play them back in real time. Keyframable Bézier spline creation.

Spline playback at accelerated  rates over actual footage

Spline shapes can be interactively rotated and scaled to quickly track objects that are rotating or  changing in size

Feathering capabilities can be  set to feather spline edges in,  out or orcentered on the spline.


Hefty RAM requirements, hardware key copy protection, a lack  of text capabilities and no support  for plugins detract somewhat  from Commotion’s charm.

On the  upside, it offers speedy video  playback, professional-quality rotoscoping tools and robust masking and compositing support.  ln short, Commotion is a veiy  good reason for video profession-  als to continue to use the l/lac for  serious production work.

FIN  Paint  Choose visual frames and playback in  motion LE, painting on video  fast and intuitive  Moving mattes simply and quickly.

Create pixel-perfect mattes and revise on the fly. lnstant playback of splines over your clips  makes it possible to produce precise, accurate mattes  Superclone from any

See your effects on the spot. The Super-  Clone brush lets you combine images by  painting with pixels from any clip. With  both temporal and spatial offsets, the  SuperClone brush makes precise cloning  an easier task.

Autopaint for write-on and wiggle  Repetitive tasks can be cut down with  Commotion LE’s autopaint. You can  record your paintstrokes and play them  back on multiple frames, add write-on  and wiggle effects and see the results  immediately.

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