I was surprised to see a press release today from Boris FX announcing a new $99 3-Way color grading plug-in. Arriving right on the heels of Magic Bullet’s Colorista II, the Boris Continuum 3-Way Color Grade Unit is yet another color correction option for editors to use within a number of host applications, including Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Final Cut Express, Apple Motion, Adobe After Effects and Adobe Premiere Pro. This same 3-Way color corrector is also available as part of the whole Boris Continuum Complete 7 package and, in an appealing offer, purchasers of the $99 3-Way Color Grade Unit can get that $99 back as a credit toward the purchase of the whole Continuum Complete package. The full package isn’t cheap and can run near $1,000, but since the 3-Way Color Grade Unit (as well as many of the other separate Units) is in the full package, it’s nice to see you can buy the entire set later and get a credit toward what you’ve already purchased.

What does the new 3-Way Color Grade Unit include, feature wise? From the Boris FX website:

• Primary Color and Luma Controls. Separately adjust dark, mid, and bright regions of an input clip using industry-standard lift/gamma/gain controls.

• Built-in Power Window Matte and Masking System with Motion Tracking. Isolate a color adjustment to a specific region in the image. Adobe After Effects masks and matte layers can be imported – a perfect complement to CS5’s new Rotobrush tool.

• Inside/Outside Color Grading. Separate color correction can be applied inside and outside of the mask region within a single instance of the filter.

• Built-in HSL Keyer. Isolate areas of the image based on color values for more precise color adjustment or to replace the selected color.

• Exposure Parameter. Enables fine-level exposure control; editors can globally lighten or darken an image by setting f-stops in the slider control.

• Built-in Compare Mode. Enables live-view comparison of the filtered result with the unfiltered source via either a side-by-side view or a live split-screen view.

I haven’t used this particular tool but it looks to contain the usual suspects when it comes to a good color correction tool. It’s got some stiff competition as a color correction plug-in with Magic Bullet Colorista II (which costs $299 and $99 for an upgrade) but at $99, the price certainly is right. You can get a free trial to test it out as well as check out a tutorial on the Boris FX website.

Unfortunately one big host is missing from the new 3-Way host list: Avid Media Composer, also missing from Colorista II supported hosts. If you look at the specs for the entire Boris Continuum Complete 7 package, Avid support is missing there as well. Version 6 is the only Avid AVX version. I hope that Avid can get this lack of 3rd party tool support rectified with a new release of their AVX plug-in architecture (I’m guessing that’s the hold-up for a lot of these tools) as it’s frustrating to have this great new version 5.0 of Media Composer but not be able to add a lot of these new plug-in packages. Fingers crossed.