Review: Tiffen Dfx 3.0 Video/Film Plug-in

dfxboxTiffen is a well known name in the film and video world by almost everyone working in the industry. Tiffen is mostly known for their lens filters and other equipment such as Steadicam. However, beyond their camera equipment, they also have a software division that has peaked interest in the post-production world. There are many different software that Tiffen offers such as plug-ins and standalone software. For this review, I’ll be focusing on Tiffen’s Dfx for Video/Film software.

If you’re trying out Tiffen Dfx for the very first time, it’ll be handy to have the user guide open. You can do this by pressing F1 (or fn+F1 on a Mac) on your keyboard. I found myself going to this guide when I was unsure what a plug-in or affect did.

The Tiffen Dfx software has a lot to offer to many people but with it’s price point of $599 it probably wont be the first choice for many. There are other similar softwares on the market that are much cheaper such as CoreMelt, FxFactory, Technicolor CineStyle.

Luckily, there is a 15 day free trial for Tiffen Dfx so you actually play with the software and decide it’ll be something to add to your toolkit.

Pros:
• Very simple and easy to use
• I like how you can make simple changes in the inspector in FCPX or launch the Dfx
editor to fine tune the effects
• The presets in the Dfx editor are nice as well because I can simply place them on the
still image of the clip and get an idea of how it’ll look on the clip while making small
adjustments to make it my own.
• The side by side, vertical split, and horizontal split comparisons in the Dfx editor are a
nice touch since I can easily compare the before and after of the effect applied
• There are a lot of presets to choose from so if you have an idea in your head of what
you want it to look like, there is probably a preset for it or one that is fairly close and you can adjust it. To add to this, you can also click on different parameters to see the different variations for the possible outcome for your clip
• You can favor presets, so if you like a certain preset or use it a lot, you can favorite it so it’s easier to find the next time you need to use it.
• There is a 414 page user guide with images and it’s simple to get to with a keyboard short cut.
• The ability to use dual monitors and have your presets and variations on one display and your viewer and parameters on the other.
• There are seven groups of effects broken down into easy-to-understand categories
• I loved the ability to work with Gobo and Lights. It’s easy to add gobos to your clips
and the amount of gobos to choose from is outstanding. With dfx i no longer need to create a gobo in Photoshop and place it in FCP, I just have to add the affect to my clip(s) and adjust the gobo in Dfx.
• Tiffen Dfx package are several image repair tools, including DeBand, DeBlock and DeNoise.

Cons:
• Doesn’t use meta data so it has to render each time you make a change
• Cannot play or scrub the clip in Dfx while fine tuning the effects, it’s a still image so I
have to save the change then switch back to FCPX to see how the effect looks on the entire clip. Other plug-in softwares do actually allow you to scrub the clip to see how the effect works with entire clip.
• You can only select two parameters at a time to see different variations. It would be nice to be able to click at least three parameters.
• The gear at the top left means done, which I thought was a settings menu and I’m sure first time users will think this as well.
• The Price is hefty at $599 however if gets you the installer for Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut and Motion and Avid.

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