PluralEyes 4 addresses two minor limitations I’ve noted in the past: Earlier versions often required a bit of fiddling for best results, and could only be performed within the application itself. Red Giant has practically made the UI nonexistent here, and better yet, the entire process can now be performed directly from a panel inside Adobe Premiere CC without ever opening the standalone application.
That’s because PluralEyes now acts as an HTML5 extension, which literally makes the process as simple as dragging clips into a timeline and clicking Synchronize. Before you even have time to grab a cup of your favorite beverage, it’s all done. I actually had to do it several times in order to wrap my head around just how seamless, accurate, and fast it was to use the software this way.
Unfortunately, there’s no such integration available for my favorite editing software, Final Cut Pro X, but thankfully you can still import an XML file into PE4, sync, and send it back to a new FCPX project. Media can also be dragged and dropped directly from the Finder, but this version does remove support for Avid Media Composer, which was frequently buggy. The dark, minimalist UI looks great, adding unity and tight integration with Offload, along with a ton of ways to spot-check audio waveforms against your footage without altering the original media.
The rest of the Shooter Suite 13 lineup is comprised of a pair of $99 post-processing plug-ins that remain largely untouched from previous versions. That’s something of a disappointment, because neither Final Cut Pro nor Motion can be used as host applications. Only Adobe Premiere or After Effects CS3 and higher are supported.
Otherwise, Instant 4K does a bang-up job of upconverting standard-definition footage to HD or 4K using presets that provide higher quality results than After Effects alone. The final component is Frames, used to convert older NTSC or PAL content to true 24p (23.98) without interlacing, make sure colors are broadcast-safe, or add letterboxing for a cinematic look.
To be honest, Instant 4K and Frames have always felt somewhat out of sync (pun intended) paired with PluralEyes and Offload, which are intended for prep instead of finishing. Odd couple aside, if you own a previous version, the $99 upgrade is a no-brainer.
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