Boris FX | Sapphire Plug-ins for After Effects (2024)

Sapphire Plug-ins v2022.0 for After Effects,General User Info

What's New In This Version

New Effects:

  • ColorFuse: A new effect that allows artists to get a stylized look by combining up to three LUTs.

New Features:

  • Photoshop Support: Sapphire 2022 adds new host compatibility to its lineup with support for Adobe Photoshop, available with any new or upgrade license. Featuring over 270 filters and thousands of cross-platform presets, Sapphire for Photoshop brings the power of post production’s most loved filters to new artists, letting them create effects unachievable with native filters, and enabling a more streamlined workflow through the different design stages of production and between various teams and software.
  • Sapphire Effect Designer: New tool inside Builder for getting stylized looks with S_ColorFuseLooks.
  • UltraZap: UltraZap now supports Zaps along Mocha Splines in a mode called UltraZapMocha.
  • Support for NVIDIA Ampere cards (eg. A4000, A5000, A6000).
    • Windows required driver: 460.82.
  • UltraGlow: Improved Alpha support for UltraGlow.
  • LensFlare Improvements:
    • High Priority Elements: LensFlare now has a new parameter called "Performance". Elements can now be labelled "Priority Elements".When the performance parameter is set in the S_LensFlare plugin, non-priority elements will be skipped for a faster render.
    • When animating elements in the Flare Designer, elements can now have a minimum size and brightness set.
  • Performance and UI improvements in Sapphire Effect Builder, Sapphire Flare Designer, and Sapphire Preset Browser.
  • OpenColorIO version 2.
  • New Presets for a variety of effects.
  • New LensFlares.

Known Issues:

  • In After Effects, 2022, the Preset Browser, Flare Designer, and Effect Builder may play back slowly on the first use. To resolve, return to the host and allow After Effects to finish caching the timeline.
  • UltraZapMocha: Sometimes, a straight line will apear in the zap. To fix this, add an additional control point in mocha in the part of the mocha spline that corresponds to that straight segment. Adjust the control point until the straight line segment goes away.
  • Sometimes Mocha tracks slowly. If this happens, close mocha, re-open mocha, then play through the clip inside mocha. After the clip is cached in mocha, tracking will proceed smoothly. Sometimes if the clip is tracking slowly an "unable to track" error will also pop up.
  • If Sapphire 2021.5 OFX is installed at the same time as 2021.0 (either AE or AVX), lensflare presets may not show up inside 2021.0. To fix this, all Sapphire plugins installed on a single machine should be 2021.5. If the second installation of Sapphire cannot be upgraded to 2021.5, the Sapphire 2021.0 plugins may be re-installed to restore the 2021.0 compatible LensFlare presets.
  • Dongle Licenses are not currently supported on Mac M1 machines.
  • Mac OS, Big Sur: if you open mocha and then open the preset browser, the preset browser will fail and generate an error. If this happens, the host will have to be restarted to fix the preset browser.
  • UltraZap: On an open spline zap may do unexpected things when mixing vary-endpoint and looping parameters.
  • S_ZComp: The preset browser can't open unless an input is connected to the DepthB input.
  • Premiere: The new shadow on LensFlare elements may be squished in Premiere if applied to interlaced footage.
  • Premiere: Point widgets may respond slowly in Premiere after a Mocha point track has been created.
  • Mocha: The Mocha UI does not correctly locate the default OCIO config file shipped with Sapphire. To use the default OCIO config file shipped with Sapphire, use the OCIO environment variable to locate said the config file.

Compatibility Notes:

  • Sapphire 2022 has been updated to use CUDA 11 in order to support NVIDIA's latest Ampere cards. (RTX A4000, A5000, and A6000). As a result some cards from 2012 are no longer supported. Sapphire 2022 works with CUDA compute capability 3.5 and higher.
  • LensFlare: A bug was fixed in Sapphire 2022 in LensFlare, where the saturdation parameter inside the plugin didn't apply correctly to all elements. Fixing this means that some elements will look different in 2022 if saturation is set to a value different than 1.0.
  • ParallaxStrips and StripSlide: These effects may look different from older versions due to a change in the position calculations.
  • FilmDamage: Stamps in FilmDamage were upside down in OFX-compatible hosts when compared to Adobe Products and Media Composer. A parameter called flip_stamps_vertically was added to allow for projects to be both backwards compatible and compatible between hosts. When opening an old project, it will look the same as it did in a prior version. If compatibility between host products is desired in an old project, change the value in flip_stamps_vertically on the OFX host to get a result that matches Adobe and Avid products. New projects will match between hosts by default.
  • LensFlare: In previous versions of Sapphire, the saturation parameter did not affect texture elements. This has been fixed with Sapphire 2022, however this means that texture elements in old projects will look different if the project had a saturation value different from 1.0.

Loading a Plug-in

Once Sapphire Plug-ins have been installed and the host applicationhas been restarted, the new plug-ins should appear in the hostapplication's effects menu just like any other effects.

To load a plug-in in Adobe After Effects, go to the Effects menu andopen one of the Sapphire folders. You can double click on an effectto insert it into your current layer's effects, or drag it onto thedesired location in your current layer.

Color Management with OpenColorIO

OpenColorIO (OCIO), is the open-source color management solution fromSony Picture Imageworks, Sapphire 2020 can apply and read a color profileto provide consistent colors across internal applications, such as thePreset Browser, Flare Designer, and Effect and Transition Builder. TheFlare Designer and Builder applications now feature an OCIO panel toconfidently manage the color output to any monitor. Also, Sapphire 2020features a new effect called S_OCIOTransform, which allows Sapphire toapply an OCIO transform inside of any application, bringing OCIO ColorManagement to many applications that have yet to adopt the OCIO standard.

All OpenColorIO information below applies both to Color Management within the Sapphire Preset Browser, Sapphire Effect and Transition Builder, and Sapphire Flare Designer as well as to the new OCIOTransform effect in Sapphire 2020.

To use OpenColorIO in Sapphire, there are three ways to specify the OpenColorIO configuration file.

  • By default, Sapphire will use the config.ocio file found in Sapphire's installation directory.
  • To set OCIO system wide, set the OCIO environment variable to point to the desired config.ocio. This will ensure that all host applications and plugins that use OCIO will use the same OCIO settings.
    • We strongly suggest working with an IT department or IT professional to help setup environment variables, as there can be underlying conflicts with pre-existing settings.
    • Windows:
      • Open "File Explorer"
      • Right-click on "This PC" and select "Properties"
      • On the left, navigate to "Advanced system settings"
      • At the bottom, click on "Environment Variables"
      • In the top section labelled "User variables for...", click "New"
      • In the dialog that pops up, enter "OCIO" in the "Variable name" box, and the full path to the config.ocio file in the "Variable value" box.
    • Mac OS:
      • Open a Terminal - This can be found using Spotlight
      • Type: "launchctl setenv OCIO /full/macos/pathway/config.ocio" (without quotes). Note: this will not remain set after a reboot.
      • To set the environment variable so that it persists through a reboot, the above command needs to be called through a .plist file in /Library/LaunchDaemons.
  • To set OCIO for Sapphire only, set the ocio_config flag inside the s_config file that shipped with Sapphire and can be found in the Sapphire installation directory.
    • Windows: C:\Program Files\BorisFX\Sapphire 2022 Adobe\s_config.text
    • Mac OS: /Applications/BorisFX/Sapphire 2022 Adobe/config/s_config.text

Browsing and Selecting Presets

You can load and save presets for effects using the Load Preset and Save Preset buttons near the top of the effect controlwindow in all Sapphire effects.


In the preset browser you'll see all the presets available for thecurrent plug-in, both Boris FX-supplied presets and the ones you'vecreated yourself. You can filter by tags on the left side to quicklyfind the look you're interested in.

The main top window shows the preset on your footage (unless theplug-in can't access the AE layer for some reason, in which caseyou'll see a poster frame) and various information about the preset.

At the bottom you see all the presets; you can enlarge or shrink themwith the slider at the bottom. You can also switch to a table viewthere, as well as viewing the preset on your source, over black, orover the sample footage. You can also see the source all by itselffor comparison.

If you are using the S_Effect plug-in, you can browse all theSapphire presets at once.See S_Effect for more information.


Clicking Save Preset brings up the Save Preset dialog. Hereyou can name the preset, and add various other information.Particularly important is the tagging system; you can apply as manytags as you want to your presets. You can even create new tags. Tagsare grouped into categories, so all the color names appear underColors, for instance.

You can create new categories as well, by typing into the Categorydrop-down menu after clicking Add New Tag.... Boris FX recommendssticking to the shipped categories when possible, for compatibility.But adding your own tags within categories (new color names, forexample) is encouraged.

More Info:

While the preset browser, save dialog, or flare designer are open, themain AE window will be unresponsive. This is normal. Close thepreset browser or flare designer and AE will wake up again.

Certain parameters, like Lens Flare hotspot, are not saved in presets;we thought it would be less than useful for the flares to jump aroundas you load presets.

It may take a few seconds to load the preset browser if a plug-in hasmany presets. Be patient.

The Preset Browser has a "Use Static Thumbnails" checkbox in certain effects.When checked, the thumbnails use a pre-rendered image to improve performance.If "Use Static Thumbnails" is not checked, the thumbnails will render on thefootage the Sapphire effect has been applied to back in the host.

If playing through the preview window in the Preset Browser, Flare Editor, orEffect Builder, is using too much memory, "Render on Still" is availablein the view menu. This will reduce the memory usage of the preview windowby rendering all frames using the same host frame.

The preset browser may be configured to load presets from and/or save presetsto user specified locations. The load location and save location may bedifferent. If the locations are different, load will show presets from both the loadlocation and the save location. Save will only use the specified save location.

There are three options for setting the load and save paths:

  1. To set load and save paths per user, use the "Browser Settings" dialog. To do this: open the preset browser, go to the Edit menu and select "Browser Settings".
  2. To set the load and save paths for all users of the machine, use the INI file. To do this, edit the sapphire-app-settings.ini file in the Sapphire directory:
    • Windows: C:\Program Files\GenArts\Sapphire 2022 Adobe\sapphire-app-settings.ini
    • MacOS: /Applications/BorisFX/Sapphire 2022 Adobe/config/sapphire-app-settings.ini
  3. To set the load and save paths in a script, use the Sapphire environment variables: SAPPHIRE_LOAD_PRESET_PATH and SAPPHIRE_SAVE_PRESET_PATH.

Note: Values set in environment variables will override the INI file. Values set in the "Browser Settings"dialog will override both.

Editing and Designing Lens Flares andother elements

Clicking Edit Lens in LensFlare, or Edit Style in Glareor Flashbulbs, opens up the Lens Flare Designer.

The Flare Designer lets you completely customize a lens flare. Youcan add or remove elements, copy them, customize how each elementlooks, and even how it reacts to the center or edge of the image. Youcan also interactively move the flare around to see how it will lookas it moves.

All the panels of the Flare Designer are movable, so you can adjustthe user interface itself to suit your work flow. The main panels arethe view window, where you see the flare you're working on, theElements panel which lists all the elements of the flare, and theProperties panel, which lets you adjust the properties of thecurrently selected element (or elements). There's also a toolbar ofelement templates at the top.

View Panel

The main view window is where you see how your flare will look; youcan click and drag to move the flare around. You can see it over thebackground or just over black, adjust the gamma, and Solo only theselected elements. Use Plug-in Settings makes the flaredesigner import the plug-in settings currently active in the hostapp. If you have that selected, the flare will look the same back inthe host app when you're done designing it. On the other hand, if youwant to create a "reusable" flare preset, it's probably a good idea toun-check Use Plug-in Settings so the flare will look good with defaultsettings in the plug-in.

Elements Panel

The Elements panel shows you all the elements, with thumbnails. Ifyou mouse over them, an overlay shows where they are in the main viewwindow. When you click on an element to select it, it also flashesbrighter in the main window to help you find the element you'relooking for. Clicking Identify in the Properties panel doesthe same flashing.

To add new elements, just click the element template picture in thetop toolbar. You can then rename the element, move it in the list bydragging and dropping, or hide it by un-checking the checkbox.

To delete an elements, select it and click the trash can icon at thebottom of the Elements panel, or click Delete. There is full undo, sofeel free to experiment!

You can also duplicate an element using standard copy/pasteoperations, or select it and click the two pages icon at the bottom ofthe Elements panel. You can then adjust the copy's parameters in theParameters panel.

The gear-looking element is the "advanced element" type; it has lotsof controls and is very customizable, but it's recommended foradvanced users only. The other types get you most of the same lookswith simpler parameters.

Along with all the standard element types, you can import your ownimages to use as elements. Click the picture frame to import an imagefile. The image data will become part of the flare, so it doesn'tneed to keep a reference to the original file.

To combine two flares into one, or add many elements at once, you canimport another flare into your current flare; this will add all theother flare's elements to your current flare. You can also just openthat flare, which replaces your current flare with that one. Toimport and add to your flare, use Insert Flare (down-right pointingarrow in the toolbar), or File... Insert Flare. To import andreplace, use Open Flare (folder icon in the toolbar), or useFile... Open Flare.

Parameters Panel

The Parameters panel is where you adjust all the details of a singleelement -- or multiple elements together, if you select multipleelements in the Elements panel. (Use Shift-click or Control-click toselect multiple elements.)

There are a few common control types. Sliders with numbers to theleft control numeric params; you can drag the slider thumb, but youcan also drag in the number text field to increase or decrease thevalue. You can also click in the number field and type any value youwant.

Color controls are just a swatch of color; click to bring up astandard color picker.

Some elements have a Gradient; there's a special gradient control toadjust those. The stops are below the color swatch; you can drag themleft and right to move them. Drag down to delete. Click in the colorgradient to add a stop there. Control-drag to "stretch" neighboringcolors, and shift-drag to push neighboring colors. The trianglesabove the color gradient allow you to control the interpolation of thecolors between stops. Ring Thickness lets you easily turn a spot orfan of rays into a ring; turning Ring Thickness down from 1 hollowsout the center. This lets you still have fine control of the colorswithin the ring, even if it's very thin.

Different element types will have various parameters you can adjust,but here are some common ones:

Where the element occurs, along the line between the hotspot and pivot point. Position 1.0 is at the hotspot, 0.0 is at the pivot. Note that you don't have to stay in that range; you can use any value you like. Bigger than 1 will be past the hotspot, and less than zero will look like a reflection because it's on the other side of the pivot point.
How big the image is.
Rel Width, Rel Height
Use these to squash and stretch.
Rotates the element around, in degrees.

There's a Reset button at the bottom of the Parameters panel to resetthe current element(s) to all default settings. That's undoable too.

More Information

If you open the flare designer from the plug-in, you can just click OKto close the window when you're done; your current flare will be usedin your project and saved with it. But you can do more than that; youcan save the flare definition to disk separately, so you can recall itlater, or use it in other flares. You can also open the flaredesigner directly from the Start menu or Applications folder to createflares independent of your host product. In this case, useFile...Save Lens As... to save the flare definition. That dialogwill allow you to name the lens and tag it so it's easy to find later.

Note that saving a lens this way does not save your plug-insettings; it only saves the lens flare definition itself (the thingsyou can change in the flare designer). You can save a preset in thehost application to save everything -- the flare and all the regularplug-in parameters.

While the preset browser, save dialog, or flare designer are open, themain AE window will be unresponsive. This is normal. Close thepreset browser or flare designer and AE will wake up again.

Using the Sapphire Effect Builder

Builder lets you design completely new effects by combining severalSapphire effects together. The result is a new effect that does whatall the different effects you add to the workspace do, but it can beapplied and used as a single effect.

Starting Builder

To use the Effect Builder, apply S_Effect or S_Transition (both in theSapphire Builder category) to a clip, or between two clips in the caseof S_Transition. Then press the Edit Effect button to bring up theBuilder interface. Create the effect in the builder interface, thenwhen you return to AE or Premiere your new effect will be there, withall of its published parameters.You can also load effects you've defined before, using the Load Presetbutton in these effects.The builder interface is composed of several panels, described below.


The builder interface is where you create and customize your neweffect. All the panels are movable and resizable so you can customizethe layout for your particular work style.


The Components panel lists all the Sapphire effects. They're listedby category, and you can search for any one you want; you can alsoorganize them alphabetically. To add an effect to your workspace,double-click it or drag it onto a line on the node graph, or ontoanother node to add it after that one.

The Tools category contains tools that are only available in Builder:

creates a solid color
a simple premultiplied composite. Use when theforeground clip already has an alpha channel.
dissolve between two clips using a Matte input. Use when the foreground clip does not have an alpha channel.
crop to a rectangular area
crop input to an arbitrary shape, given by a Matte input. The Matte multiplies with any alpha channel that's already present.
add an alpha channel to a clip which doesn't have one, and premultiply.
Sticky Note
write notes in the workspace
Preview Window

The preview window is where you see the result of the effect you'recreating. It has a play bar so you can see any animation in thenodes you've added. You can also play through transitions if you're usingS_Transition.

Node Graph

The Node Graph is where you build the new effect. Processing flowsfrom the Source node to the Result node; you add whatever effects youwant in between to build a processing pipeline. Using multi-inputeffects like S_Layer or S_MathOps, you can also combine the outputs oftwo effects (or stacks of effects) into a single result.

In the node graph you can move, connect, disconnect, disable andpreview nodes. Right-clicking on a node brings up a context menu ofuseful items.

To connect a node to the graph, drag it onto any line. If it waspreviously connected somewhere else, this will move it. You can alsodrag a node onto another node, which will connect it after the othernode. Shift-drag a node to disconnect it.


The Parameters panel is where all the parameters for the currentlyselected node can be edited and published back to After Effects orPremiere. It only shows parameters for one node at a time; to editparams for a different node, just select it in the node graph. Youcan rename the current node here; just type a new name into the NodeName box. You can also load a preset for the current effect from theParameters panel, choosing from the Boris FX-provided set of thousandsof presets or ones you've created yourself.

The checkboxes on the right side are used to publish params to AfterEffects or Premiere; published params show up as params in the finaleffect where users can make further changes or add animation.Non-published params don't appear in AE or Premiere at all; this canbe useful to simplify the params of the effect you're creating, orprevent users from accidentally changing important parameters. Theywill still take on their correct values, but users who just apply yourS_Effect preset won't be able to see or change them.

You can adjust params using the slider, by dragging directly on thenumbers, or by clicking in the number text and typing a new value.Shift-dragging on the numbers goes faster, and Ctrl-dragging on thenumbers goes slower.

The master checkbox at the top publishes orun-publishes all the params for the current node at once;this can be useful if you've got too many params defined and builderwarns you you have to un-publish some. In that case you have toun-publish all the params of one or more effects.


Each parameter has an animation button that allows you to defineanimations. In Transition mode, most nodes will have a predefinedparameter already animated in a way that makes sense for a transition,but you can change these. There are various animations you can choosefrom:

Ramp Up or Down (starting from zero or one)
increase or decreasethe value of the parameter as the transition progresses. Usethis, for instance, to blur the outgoing and incoming clipsoppositely to get a blur dissolve.
Up/Down (starting from zero or one)
increase to the midpoint,and then decrease again. Use this, for instance, to add a "hit"of brightness or glow in the middle of a transition to get aflash-frame transition.

You can further adjust the shape of each curve by dragging thesliders for Slow In, Slow Out, Start Time, End Time, Mid Time, andSlow Middle.

Creating Effects

Adding Nodes

You can add nodes to the graph by double-clicking them in the Componentspanel or dragging them from that panel into the graph. If youdouble-click, the new node will go after the currently selected node,or just before the result if no node is selected.

To connect two nodes, drag the connecting output arrow from the sourceto the destination, or drag from the destination's input circle up to thesource's output. To connect multiple nodes to the same source node,you have to use the latter method, dragging from the destination tothe source.

You can neaten the layout of the graph at any point by usingEdit -> Clean Up All.

Previewing nodes

To preview a node anywhere in your graph, i.e. to see what that node'soutput looks like, click Preview selected node at the bottom of thenode graph, then select the node you want to examine. Its output willappear in the large preview window above.

Matte/secondary inputs

Many Sapphire nodes have secondary inputs; these appear as smallcircles on the left or right side of the node. Mousing over thatcircle will show the name of the input. The most common secondaryinput is a matte. A simple way to use these is to create a matte usingS_Vignette (set to Vignette Only mode) or S_Shape. Connect the outputof that node to the matte input of the desired node to use it as a mattefor that node.

Starting with Sapphire 10 Builder has a Mask node which represents the clip(or path) connected to the Mask input in the host. Connecting the Mask nodein Builder to an input of an effect will pass the clip from the host to theeffect. The Mask (and Background) nodes are only visible in Effect Builder,not in Transition Builder.

Layering with S_Layer

Often you will want to combine two images. S_Layer and S_MathOps aregood ways to do that. S_Layer composites with alpha by default, whileS_MathOps adds the two inputs by default. S_Layer can also be used tocombine two images using a matte: connect the matte to its side Matteinput, leave it set to Normal mode, and turn off its Comp Premultparameter.

Creating Transitions

You can use Builder to create transitions as well as effects; juststart with S_Transition. In this case, the node graph will start witha default dissolve transition between the outgoing and incomingclips. You can play through the transition to see how it looks.

You have tremendous flexibility when designing transitions; you canadd effects to the outgoing and incoming clips, you can change theunderlying transition, and you can add effects to the result.

You can also change the speed of the the underlying dissolve byselecting the Transition node and adjusting Dissolve Speed; if youincrease that speed, the dissolve will happen more quickly in themiddle of the overall transition.

Saving and Loading Effects

When you press OK to close the Builder interface, you will be taken backto AE or Premiere with the current effect as you've defined it. Thateffect will be stored with your project; to take it to a differentmachine you don't have to save any external files. (Pressing Cancelleaves the effect as it was before you started the builder UI.)

You can also save effect definitions as "presets", to share with otherusers or to define a look for a show or project. These presets aresimple text files, so you can send them via email or put them on ashared drive. They are cross-platform, meaning they work on all videosystems which support Sapphire and Builder, for instance Avid MediaComposer. These presets can be loaded back into Builder for furtherediting, and they also appear in the preset browser when loadingpresets for S_Effect or S_Transition.


There are a few restrictions on what you can create with Sapphire Builder.

Popup params
Popup params (params that have a menu of choices)can't be published to your Adobe product. You have to set them as desiredwithin the builder interface.
Too many params
If you publish too many params, we may notbe able to show all of them in AE or Premiere. Builder will warn youin that case; you can simply un-publish all the params of one or morenodes. That will free up space for publishing something else. Youcan use the master checkbox at the top to un-publish all the params ofany node.
Param groups
Some Sapphire effects collect their params intogroups. In Builder, the groups are used for effects within thecomposite builder effect, so the lower level groups are removed.
Temporal effects
Some Sapphire effects can't be used asnodes in Builder, notably temporal effects (effects that modifytime) such as S_TimeWarpRGB and S_Retime.
Sapphire effects that would have on-screen widgetsin AE or Premiere don't have them when used as Builder nodes.

Using Mocha in Sapphire

What is Mocha?

Mocha is a planar tracking and masking utility that can save time onthe most difficult motion tracking and masking shots. It tracks theentire area of the mask, not just individual points, to significantlyreduce the tedium of manual keyframing.

Mocha looks for 3-d planes in the image: pixels that move together.Screens and signs are clear candidates, but Mocha can also trackfaces. It can handle objects obscured by foreground elements, and cantrack unlimited layers all at once.

There's a lot more to Mocha than we can explain here; there are plentyof tutorials online at

In Sapphire, Mocha works as a mask for the effect, similarly to themask input, but with all the tracking features of Mocha. For instance,in S_DistortRGB, the mask affects the amount of RGB distortion. InS_Glow, the mask masks out the areas you want to emit glowing light,without chopping off the smooth edges of the glow.

How to use it

  1. Apply a Sapphire effect
  2. Most Sapphire effects now feature Mocha planar tracking integratedwithin the effect. Certain effects were omitted because utilizing amask made no logical sense; for example, none of the S_Transitioneffects incorporate S_Mocha, and the Z_effects which require a Z_depthmatte to work were also skipped.

  3. Click Edit Mocha to launch Mocha
  4. When you click the Edit Mocha button, you will launch the Mocha UI,which will allow you to create and track a mask for use back with theselected Sapphire effect in your host application.

  5. Create a spline
  6. You can create a shape to track within Mocha utilizing either anX-spline or Bezier splines. X-splines are recommended for most uses.

    Draw one or more splines around the planar areas you would like totrack.

  7. Track it
  8. You can use backwards and forward tracking from whatever frame you'reparked on. You can often get a great result with default settings, butif you're getting a lot of drifts, try increasing the Min K Pixels Used .

  9. Save and exit back to host
  10. For your mask to appear back in your host application, YOU MUST SAVEAND EXIT. If you exit without saving, all you current work willbe lost. Always save and exit!

  11. Adjust in Sapphire
  12. You can make additional fine tuning adjustments after tracking inMocha by opening the "Mocha" pulldown in your selected Sapphireeffect. Additional softness and position/scale paramters can befound here, as well as checkboxes for soloing/hiding/inverting theMocha mask.

  13. Moving masks between effects
  14. Sometimes you track a shot with Mocha in one Sapphire effect and wouldlike to reuse the track in a different effect. The simplest way is toexport it from the first effect and re-import into the second effect.

    1. go into Mocha with Edit Mocha , then File > Export to export the Mocha project to a file.
    2. Exit Mocha and delete the old effect.
    3. Apply the new effect, Edit Mocha , and File > Merge the project from the file you saved.

    Alternatively, if you want to share a Mocha mask with several effects,track the mask in a simple Sapphire effect such as S_HueSatBright. Inthere, select Show Mocha Only . Then use that as the Mask inputto the effects where you want the mask used. (Exactly how to do thisvaries with host app.) Since the Mocha mask acts just like a regularmask input, this will allow you to update the mask once and all theother effects will use it.

Resetting Parameters to Defaults

In Adobe products, you can reset all of a plug-in's parameters to theirdefault values by clicking on the Reset button just to theright of the plug-in name in the timeline. Individual parameterscan also be reset to their default values from the EffectControls editor by right-clicking on the parameter and thenselecting Reset .

Online Documentation

In Adobe After Effects, all Sapphire Plug-ins include an About button to the right of the plug-in name. Push this button to bring upa window showing the current version of Sapphire Plug-ins and yourlicense status.All plug-ins also include a Help button at the bottom of theeffect control window. This button brings up a more detailed dialogshowing some documentation about the current plug-in, and links tomore detailed HTML documentation. It also shows the GPU status ofthe current plug-in, and allows you to enable or disable the GPUacceleration as desired.

Online documentation is normally installed along with your softwareand can also be accessed directly.On Windows go to Start -> All Programs -> Boris FX Sapphire 2022 Adobe ->Online Help (HTML) or (PDF). On Mac, go to the /Applications/BorisFX/Sapphire 2022 Adobe folder and double click onOnline Help.html or .pdf.

GPU Acceleration

Many effects can use theGPU to speed up rendering. This requires an NVIDIA graphics card whichsupports CUDA, such as a GeForce 280 or 285, or Quadro FX 5600 or5800. If a suitable GPU is found, a GPU Enable button will appear inthe Help dialog. GPU acceleration is enabled by default if it'savailable, but if you experience performance or stability problems,you can turn it off by deselected the GPU Enable button.

If a plug-in is unable to render on the GPU, it will automaticallyfall back to the CPU and continue processing. The GPU status,including the type of error, is displayed in the Help dialog.

On machines with more than one GPU that supports CUDA, you can select whichGPU Sapphire Plug-ins will use by changing the value of use_gpu in the s_config.text file.

About Motion Blur

Many Sapphire Plug-ins can simulate motion blur by rendering theeffect at multiple times and averaging the results together. In AfterEffects, these plug-ins will automatically use the composition andlayer settings for motion blur.

To enable motion blur, click on the Motion Blur button in thecomposition window, and also enable it for the layer to which yourSapphire plug-in is applied. You can then adjust the settings fromthe Advanced tab of the Composition Settings window.

In Premiere and other AE-compatible hosts, motion blur is controlledby three parameters:

  • Enable Motion Blur turns motion blur on or off.
  • Shutter Angle controls the amount of time that the simulated shutter is open, and thus the overall amount of motion blur. The default value of 180 degrees will blur over an interval of half a frame, which is a common setting for real cameras. A value of 360 degrees will blur over an entire frame, which is the maximum amount of motion blur possible with a real camera. Values above 360 degrees will produce unrealistic results in which the motion of adjacent frames overlaps.
  • Samples controls the number of individual renders that are averaged together. Increasing the number of samples will give smoother results, but will also increase render times. If too few samples are used, there can be visible aliasing or ghosting artifacts. Faster motion will require more samples to avoid artifacts.

About Matte Inputs

Many Sapphire Plug-ins accept an optional Matte input clip.Typically, this input can be used to provide more detailed control forwhere the effect should be applied and where it should not be applied.

Glint , Glow , Glare ,and Rays ,for example, take the main Sourceinput and also an optional Matte input. For these, the source inputis multiplied by the matte before generating the glints (orglows, glares), so where the matte is black no glints are generated,and where it is white they are generated as usual. This methodprevents the glints or glows themselves from being partially croppedby the matte. In addition these effects use the RGB colors of theMatte input to selectively colorize the resulting glows, glints, orglares. The red areas of the matte will produce red glows, glints, orglares, and so on.

In Blur effects, the areas which are matted outare never blurred, so they do not blur into the matted-in regions. Ifa matte were instead applied afterward, the pixels behind the mattewould be blurred over the edge of the matte and into the final image.As an example, say you have a clip with white text over a blackbackground. If you put that clip into both the Source and Matteinputs of Blur, the black background will not be blurred intothe text, since the black pixels are all matted out.

For a few compositing effects, Layer , DropShadow , EdgeFlash , MatteOpsComp ,and RackDfComp , the Matte input insteadindicates the opacity of the foreground clip. This can be used togive the plug-in different opacity values than the usual alpha channelof the main foreground input.

About Alpha Channel Processing

All Sapphire Plug-ins can handle RGBA inputs, and the Alpha of RGBAinputs is handled in one of three ways, depending on the effect:

  1. Alpha is processed as just another input channel like R, G, andB. Effects in this category include: AutoPaint, Mosaic, Blur,BlurMotion, RackDefocus, all Wipes, all Dissolves, Distort, DistortBlur,DistortChroma, all Kaleidoscopes, all Warps, Shake, and MathOps.
  2. Alpha is copied from the first input to the output. In thiscase the effect doesn't use the Alpha channel, but it is passedthrough unchanged from the first input to the output. Effects in thiscategory include: BandPass, BlurChroma, ClampChroma, DuoTone,EdgeDetect, Embosses, Etching, HalfTones, Hotspots, DistortRGB,Monochrome, Pseudo_Color, Psykos, Sharpen, Sketch, Sparkles, Streaks,Threshold, and Zebrafy.
  3. Some other effects pass the input Alpha channel through, andalso add some opacity where the effects are applied. An Affect Alphaparameter is included in these effects which allows adjusting theamount that the alpha channel is affected. The effects in thiscategory are: LensFlare, all Glows, all Glints, Glare, EdgeRays, Rays,and all Zaps.

Most Sapphire Plug-ins include a Opacity parameter that also affectshow alpha is processed. Normal Opacity indicates that the inputimages are "non-premultipled" or straight format which is typical forAfter Effects.

If the Opacity parameter is set to All Opaque, the input alpha isignored (it's treated as if it were fully opaque), and the outputalpha is set to 1. This option is slightly faster, and is appropriateif your images should be fully opaque. After Effects 7.0 and latersupport the Smart FX API, which allows the plug-in to automaticallydetect fully opaque input clips and process them faster, so you don'tneed to set All Opaque to avoid processing full-white alphas.

The Opacity parameter can also be set to AsPremult to indicate theinput clips are in "premultiplied" format. In this case the RGBvalues of input images are assumed to be already scaled by their Alpha(opacity) values, and the output images are also generated in thisformat. This option is less commonly useful, but may be appropriateif the transfer mode of your layer is set to Luminescent Premult.

A few plug-ins such as the Clouds and Texture generators include bothan Input Opacity and an Output Opacity parameter. The Input Opacitygives the Normal, All Opaque or AsPremult options as described above,and the Output Opacity allows selecting between copying the opacitydirectly from the input, or setting the output to all opaque.

About Angle Parameters

Many Sapphire Plug-ins include parameters that adjust angles. Theseparameters are in degrees, so 180 is half a revolution and 90 is aquarter, etc. On AE, Premiere, and Combustion, a positive changein the parameter value corresponds to a clockwise rotation. InEyeon Fusion, however, a positive change is a counter-clockwiserotation. This makes the behavior of the plug-in angles consistentwith typical angles in each host application. The values, includingthe default values, are negative on Eyeon Fusion relative to theother host applications.

In AE and Premiere, there is an option to use dials rather thansliders for angle parameters. This allows you to turn the parametervalue around in the user interface in a way that corresponds to theactual rotation.

Some users prefer these rotating dial options, while others prefer theusual parameter sliders. Variables are provided in the SapphirePlug-ins s_config.text file that allow each user to set theirown preferences. You can independently indicate if you want dials onAE and other applications that might support them. By default allhost applications use sliders. See the section belowon Customizing Plug-ins forinformation on how to edit this config file and change these options.

About Pixel Aspect Ratios

For some image formats, the digital form of the image is scalednon-uniformly to produce the final viewed picture. For example NTSCresolution is normally 720x486 with an aspect ratio of 1.481.However, the final NTSC picture has an aspect ratio of 1.333. Thusthe original digital image is scaled in the horizontal direction by afactor of 0.9 and shapes rendered as circles can end up squashedslightly into ovals. The original pixels are effectively rectangularshaped instead of squares, and have an aspect ratio of 1.481/1.333 =1.111. (Or 1.333/1.481 = 0.9 if the inverse ratio is used.)

After Effects allows you to adjust the pixel aspect ratio in theComposition Settings menu, and Sapphire Plug-ins read this value togive the appropriately scaled results.

If necessary, you can override the pixel aspect ratio for all Sapphire Plug-ins by changing the value of force_pixel_aspect_ratio inthe s_config.text file.

The pixel aspect ratio makes no difference for basic pixel processingeffects such as color processing or compositing.

Customizing Plug-ins

A number of parameters are available that can be adjusted to customizethe behavior of all Sapphire Plug-ins. You can disablemulti-processing, choose to use dials for angle parameters, force thepixel aspect ratio, or specify lookup tables for more accurateprocessing of log format images.A facility is also included withSapphire Plug-ins that allows users with some programming experienceto define and customize new plug-ins. For additional information onthese, or to modify a parameter, see the



On Mac the config file is located at /Applications/BorisFX/Sapphire 2022 Adobe/config/s_config.text

On Windows the config file is located at C:\ProgramFiles\BorisFX\Sapphire 2022 Adobe\s_config.text .

Custom Lens Flare types can also be made by editing the s_lensflares.text file, in the same directory as the configfile above. New flare types will automatically appear in the menu ofthe S_LensFlare plug-in.

Known Problems

  1. In Premiere, Mocha mask generation doesn't work on adjustment layers, shape layers, or text layers due to time issues in the host.
  • Workaround: create the mask with an effect on a regular clip, then export and re-import into the effect on the adjustment layer.
  • Any S_Effect saved with an earlier version containing WarpDrops will render incorrectly after installing Sapphire 11. The effect can be fixed by clicking "Edit Effect" to open Builder, and then clicking "OK" to update the effect to Sapphire 11.
  • In Premiere, GPU usage cannot be changed while Premiere is running. This also means that if Sapphire is using the Premiere GPU suite, usage of the GPU cannot be changed in the help dialog. To turn off the Premiere GPU suite in the Sapphire config file and restart Premiere:
    • Windows: c:\Program Files\BorisFX\Sapphire 2022 Adobe\s_config.text
    • Mac OS: /Applications/BorisFX/Sapphire 2022 Adobe/config/s_config.text
  • Premiere Pro versions prior to CC 2015 have limited support forthe Effect Builder.
  • The Feedback and Trails effects sometimes do not rendercorrectly unless the cache is cleared first. These effects must alsorender frames in sequential order.
  • On After Effects, adjusting parameter values by directlydragging on the number with small ranges is sometimes too sensitive.This is because AE sets the sensitivity automatically using the validrange of the parameter, and does not always adapt to small sliderranges correctly. A workaround is to hold down the Control or Commandkey while dragging.
  • After Effects expressions may break when loading projects that were saved with olderversions of Sapphire. Any Sapphire Plug-ins in use where the parameters changed betweenversions may have broken expressions when older projects are loaded. To work around thisproblem, delete all expressions in the affected Plug-ins and recreate those expressions.To see a list of Plug-ins with new parameters, see the what's new notes. .This will only break between major versions of Sapphire.
  • Importing Premiere Pro projects into After Effects using File->Import->Adobe Premiere Pro Project... may not import projects containing Sapphire correctly.
    • Layer parameters (e.g. Mattes) are not set properly.
    • Lensflares and glares are reset to their default values
    • S_Effect and S_Transition are reset to their default states (no effect loaded).

    We hope these problems will be fixed in a future release of After Effects. In the meantime, we recommend importing Premiere Pro projects as clips using File->Import File... instead.

  • When loading presets in Premiere Pro, point parameters may be setincorrectly if the effect is on a clip that's smaller than thesequence. We hope this problem will be fixed in a future release ofPremiere Pro. In the meantime, loading the preset a second time willsometimes produce the correct result.
  • Starting with Sapphire 8.13, the Set Hold Level button in FlickerRemove does not work on text layers in After Effects CC 2015.

  • To Sapphire Plug-ins Introduction

    Boris FX | Sapphire Plug-ins for After Effects (2024)


    Boris FX | Sapphire Plug-ins for After Effects? ›

    Sapphire Plug-ins is a package of image processing and synthesis effects for use with Adobe After Effects and compatible products. It includes over 250 plug-ins, each with many options and parameters which can be adjusted and animated for an unlimited range of results.

    How do I Download Boris FX in After Effects? ›

    To Download and install:

    Make sure you have the After Effects application on Windows. Quit AE or other host applications that may be running. Download the 1.042 Windows installer (18 Mb). Either run the installer program from its current location, or save it to disk and then execute it from wherever you saved it.

    What does Boris FX Sapphire do? ›


    Sapphire plugins let you create stunning organic looks unmatched by any host native effect tools. Key features include over 270 effects and 3000+ presets, a powerful Effect and Transition Builder, and integrated tracking and masking with the Academy Award-winning Mocha.

    How do I get Sapphire plugins ae? ›

    To load a plug-in in Adobe After Effects, go to the Effects menu and open one of the Sapphire folders. You can double click on an effect to insert it into your current layer's effects, or drag it onto the desired location in your current layer.

    Is Boris FX free? ›

    Available as a free standalone application. Particle Illusion is a powerful particle generator that gives users instant access to 3D particles. Available as a free standalone application.

    How do I install Boris FX? ›

    How do I Install My Boris Continuum Complete Package?
    1. Double click .exe file to launch install process.
    2. Proceed through installed.
    3. Fill out ALL fields in the customer info portion (won't license otherwise).
    4. Choose either custom or complete.
    5. Custom will allow you to select which packages are installed.

    How much does sapphire plugin cost after effects? ›

    Sapphire alone ranges from $495 to $895 per year, Mocha Pro ranges from $295 to $595 per year, and Silhouette goes for $995 per year. You can bundle Continuum, Sapphire and Mocha Pro from $795 to $1,195 per year.

    How long is the Boris FX trial? ›

    The Sapphire trial version is a fully functional 30-day trial watermarked with a red X. We designed the watermark to be as unobtrusive as possible so the effects can be properly auditioned and experienced.

    How do I use sapphire Plug-ins? ›

    Boris FX Sapphire Plugins: Visual Effects for Adobe, Avid ... - YouTube

    Is Mocha Pro free? ›

    We highly encourage new users to start with the Adobe bundled Mocha AE CC, if you are happy and want to learn more, download a free 14 day trial of Mocha Pro.

    Is Sapphire free for students? ›

    Academic Discount Pricing

    Continuum, Sapphire, and Mocha: Students - Free with valid ID; $195 12-month subscription per product for schools/faculty.

    How much does mocha Pro cost? ›

    Get Mocha Pro for as low as $195 for an annual subscription.

    How do I get rid of Sapphire plugin watermark? ›

    Go to the "Help" dialog while using any plugin to determine if your license has expired. If you own a permanent activation key license, close your host and activate Sapphire again using the "Activate License" application in the GenArts Sapphire Application folder. The watermark should no longer appear.

    How do you get Blurmocurves in AE? ›

    A guide to Blurmocurves (how to get it, transition tutorials, +) - YouTube

    How do I add plugins to after effects? ›

    In this example, let's call the plug-in "EXAMPLE PLUGIN".
    1. Download your plug-in in the common folder. Begin by downloading your plug-ins. ...
    2. Copy your script in the adequate After Effects plug-ins folder. ...
    3. Restart After Effects. ...
    4. Open your plug-in in After Effects.
    Oct 22, 2021

    Is Boris FX a virus? ›

    However, Boris files do not have a virus and are not a threat. Cause: This is a known problem with Norton 360 and downloaded Boris product files.

    How do I add Boris FX to Photoshop? ›

    How to Create Particle Effects in Photoshop | Boris FX Optics 2022

    How do you get a sapphire license? ›

    On Windows 7, go to: Start -> All Programs -> GenArts Sapphire -> Activate Sapphire License. On Windows 8, Search for GenArts Sapphire -> Activate Sapphire License. On Mac, go to: /Applications/GenArtsSapphire folder and double click on “Activate License”.

    What is Boris FX silhouette? ›

    Boris FX Silhouette is a best-in-class standalone compositing application delivering the industry's most robust rotoscoping, non-destructive paint, and motion tracking tools for feature film and visual effects.

    How do I activate Boris Continuum? ›

    On Windows, go to the Start Menu and scroll to Boris FX Continuum AE. Twirl open the group and click on Activate Continuum AE License. On Mac, go to: /Macintosh HD/Applications/Boris Continuum Complete 11/ and double click on “Activate Continuum License”.

    How do I download Boris FX in Filmora? ›

    Launch the Filmora video editor, go to the Effects tab and expand the BroisFX category, click on the Download Now button to download and install Boris FX.

    Is Boris FX worth it? ›

    Value-wise, Boris FX Optics 2022 provides a lot, especially once you consider its reasonable $149 purchase price. There are several other plugins and stand-alone apps on the market that are similar to Optics 2022, but none seem to offer as diverse a set of plugins without asking you to pay for additional downloads.

    Do you have to pay for Plug-ins After Effects? ›

    The plugins used in this project are included in After Effects or are free to download. I focused on matching the curvature and look of the 40mm Panavision Primo Anamorphic lens.

    How much are Plug-ins on After Effects? ›

    Price: $399

    It would be difficult to find a list of best After Effects plugins without coming across any by Red Giant. And the crown jewel of their After Effects plug ins is the Trapcode Particular plugin.

    How do I remove Boris FX watermark? ›

    After the 30-day trial times out, Sapphire will begin to render black frames. If you purchase a Sapphire license, the watermark will disappear and Sapphire will begin to render perfectly.

    Can you cancel a Boris FX subscription? ›

    You can cancel your monthly subscription at any time by visiting, logging into your BorisFX customer account, clicking on the license tab, and choosing “cancel subscription”.

    How do I install Boris FX silhouette 2021? ›

    Just follow these steps:
    1. Connect to the fxphd VPN.
    2. Install Silhouette using the installer downloaded from Boris FX.
    3. Start the application.
    4. To license the software, select “Use floating license server” and enter 5053@ in the Server entry box.
    Sep 23, 2021

    What is OFX plugin? ›

    OpenFX (OFX), a.k.a. The OFX Image Effect Plug-in API, is an open standard for 2D visual effects or compositing plug-ins. It allows plug-ins written to the standard to work on any application that supports the standard.

    Is Sapphire for Sony Vegas? ›

    Anything created with Sapphire Photoshop can be shared with Sapphire supported hosts including VEGAS Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro, Blackmagic Resolve, Avid Media Composer, Foundry's Nuke, and many others.

    How do I cut in after effects? ›

    Here's quickest way to cut a clip in After Effects (and my preferred method)—simply use shortcuts along with the playhead. First, position the playhead at the exact frame you want to cut. Then use the shortcut Alt + [ on PC or Option + [ on Mac to trim a clip from the beginning.

    Is Mocha Pro free? ›

    We highly encourage new users to start with the Adobe bundled Mocha AE CC, if you are happy and want to learn more, download a free 14 day trial of Mocha Pro.

    How do I update Boris FX? ›

    Alternatively, you can always find the latest version of Sapphire at // &product=Sapphire . On Windows 7, go to: Start > All Programs > GenArts Sapphire AE > Check for Sapphire AE Updates. On Windows 8 & 10, search for GenArts Sapphire AE > Check for Sapphire AE Updates.

    How do I add Boris FX to Photoshop? ›

    How to Create Particle Effects in Photoshop | Boris FX Optics 2022

    How do I download Boris FX Filmora? ›

    Launch the Filmora video editor, go to the Effects tab and expand the BroisFX category, click on the Download Now button to download and install Boris FX.

    Does After Effects come with mocha? ›

    Mocha AE is installed with After Effects and launched from the Animation Menu>Track in Boris FX Mocha. Features include: Academy-award winning planar tracking and rotoscoping plugin with custom user interface and workspaces.

    How much is a mocha Pro? ›

    Get Mocha Pro for as low as $195 for an annual subscription.

    What is Boris FX mocha Pro? ›

    - Mocha Pro is a world-renowned software and plugin for planar motion tracking, rotoscoping, object removal, image stabilization, and new PowerMesh tracking. Essential to visual effects and post-production, Mocha's tools have played a vital role in every recent Oscar-nominated film for Best Visual Effects.

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