I recently wrote a review for a new filter called Continuum Cartoon Look for Layers Magazine. Here it is.
Everywhere you turn, you’ll spot the “look”: video footage transformed to look like a cartoon. In a traditional workflow, the process involves rotoscoping. An artist literally traces animation frame by frame over the original source. The technique was invented by Max Fleischer around 1915, and has been used by animators on classic films such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and Cinderella, as well as modern movies such as Titan A.E. and Waking Life.
The process is very tedious, however, so many video pros and motion graphics artists have been on a quest for an easier solution. These days you’ll find several products on the market to transform your video footage to look like it’s a cartoon. Early options such as Studio Artist ($379; www.synthetik.com) and market leaders like ToonIt ($399; www.redgiantsoftware.com) have all seen heavy use.
While they’re not new to the plug-in market, Boris FX has released their own take on cartoon filters. The Boris Continuum Unit: Cartoon Look breaks out four filters from the larger plug-in package Continuum Complete. The set is only $199 (significantly less than competitors) and runs in several host applications including Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro, as well as Apple Final Cut Pro and Motion. The four filters for stylizing your footage include: