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Plug-ins are just as easy to use as built-ins; they just require an extra step in finding them on your system and selecting the one you want based on its filename. By default, they are located in a Plugins directory within your Blender installation directory. In a default Windows installation, it is "C:/Program Files/Blender Foundation/Blender/plugins/", or wherever the path is entered within the User Preferences File Paths window.

You find these DLLs by:

When you find them, download the version that is appropriate for your operating system (there are different flavors for Unix, Windows, and OS X), saving them in the Blender Plugin Sequence directory. The location of this directory on your machine is under your install directory or overridden by a setting in your User Preferences panel.

Alpha Matte Plugin Effect

VSE AlphaMatte Plugin
The Alpha Matte plugin converts the alpha channel of a strip to a black and white image corresponding to the alpha values; transparent is alpha 0 which is shown as black. Use this matte as a garbage matte, or as a multiplier against the selected strip so that a background strip will show through.

Note: Only your Scene and certain image types (PNG, EXR) support an alpha channel.

Animated Glow Plugin Effect

VSE AnimGlow Plugin
The Animated Glow plugin selectively increases the brightness of an image. Pixels with a brightness below the Threshold are not affected, and those selected will not be brightened above a Clamp value. The amount of glow is determined by the BoostFactor, and the Distance the glow extends outward is also selectable, as well as the Quality. In addition, you can see the composite glow, or just the amount of glow Boost that is added. This example shows a glow in process at about 50% of a 100% Boost Factor; the image will glow twice over 100 frames, simulating a light being turned up and down.

Box Blur Plugin Effect (Pre 2.48 only; crashes 2.48+)

VSE BoxBlur Plugin
The BoxBlur plugin blurs the pixels in an image by the number of pixels defined by Size. The smoothness of the blur is increased by increasing Iterations. The blur can be animated over time by enabling Use IPO and creating an animation curve as shown. This example shows a blur in process at about 25% of a 100 pixels; the image will go in and out of blur twice over 100 frames, simulating a camera focusing.

Cartoon Plugin Effect

VSE Cartoon Plugin
The Cartoon plugin pixelizes and flattens the colors in an image, making a "real" image into something that would be drawn in a comic book. The trip level and difference space determines where the black "lines" should be drawn. Flatten and/or Boost image colors to add false color.

Chromakey RGB Plugin Effect

VSE Chromakey RGB Plugin.

This plugin turns the pixels which have the color determined by the RGB sliders, within an error Tolerance, transparent. The example above takes our blob on a shaded blue background and treats the background as a "blue screen", turning it all transparent. The same could have been done for green, which is called a "green screen". This allows us to now overlay the foreground blob over a new background using the builtin AlphaOver effect. This effect is not animatable.

Chromakey YUV Plugin Effect

VSE Chromakey YUV Plugin.

Based on the luminance (Y) and chromiance (U and V) values of a foreground strip, this plugin shows the pixels of a background strip underneath the foreground. This plugin turns the pixels which have the color determined by the YUV value sliders, within an error tolerance defined by TolYUV sliders, transparent. The amount of blending is controlled by the Blend slider. The example above takes a swirly foreground image and puts our blob on a shaded blue background as the background. It treats certain colors within the foreground as the "blue screen".

YUV chromakeying is often used when an actor is filmed in front of a black screen, and the YUV keying turns the black background to alpha, letting the background show through.

Clockwipe Plugin Effect

VSE Clockwipe Plugin
Remember the old countdown header in black and white movies? Based on the Starting angle, this plugin reveals the background image by wiping in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. The Radius is how much of the image to reveal, and the clock goes round and round the number of times specified. As it completes one round, it reverts to the foreground image. Use this effect as an inventive wipe between scenes (using a radius of 0.5).

Desaturate Plugin Effect

VSE Desaturate Plugin
This interesting effect removes the saturation from an image starting from the middle and working its way outward. The net effect is that for middle-range values, the colors in the image are made extreme. A saturation of zero is a black and white image, but in the middle, colors above the threshold become oversaturated (posterized). Notice that here we use the Chroma Vectorscope to see the color saturation map.

Dice Plugin Effect

VSE Dice Plugin
Better than a Ginsu knife, this plugin slices and dices your image into cubes, and flips them. When animated and allowed to Grow (equal to 1), the effect grows over time to the cube size specified. A very interesting wipe effect, and you will never need a bandaid.

Diff Plugin Effect

VSE Difference Plugin
The Difference plugin subtracts one image from another, and shows you any difference between them, either as a color map (using color math) or as an Absolute black and white mask. If there is no difference, it passes through the original. Can you figure out what image we compared the Toucan to? In this example I played a little trick on you. I compared the image of the toucan only to the image of toucan in its environment. As a result, the environment is a color negative, while the toucan is the toucan since there is no difference in the toucan area between the two images. Gotcha!

Displace Plugin Effect

VSE Displace Plugin

First selecting a vector map (a black and white image that tells the plugin what to do) and an image to manipulate, the Displace plugin shifts the pixels sideways and vertically. Use Wrap to make a wrap-around transition so that pixels shifted off the image on one side are used to fill in the other side. Filter does some anti-aliasing, making the image smoother.

A positive displacement shifts the pixels down and to the right, while a negative displacement shifts them up. Partially shown in the image to the right is the vector mask used for this example: a simple gradient that goes vertically from black to white. The shade of gray is multiplied by the displacement to determine how far to shift the pixels.

FlipFlop and FlipIt Plugin Effects

VSE FlipFlop Plugin
Flip an image upside down, or Flop it sideways left-right. Simple and cute.

FlipIt adds the option to rotate the image 90 degrees.

GreenScreen Plugin Effect

VSE GreenScreen Plugin
Combining live action footage, filmed in front of a green screen, and composited over a background, is simple and fast thanks to this amazing new (Feb 2007) plugin from Paprmh, proving once again that the Sequence plugins are alive and well.

Simple to use? Just load your greenscreen movie and load your background strip. Shift-select the greenscreen, then the background, and add this effect. When you click the check/ibuf2 button twice (until it turns yellow), the plugin automatically substitutes your background for the green removed. While nodes may be more flexible, they are about 15 times slower; using this plugin you can process a ten-minute run-time green-screen footage clip in a half an hour (on my Centrino(r) laptop).

This easy-to-use plugin takes out the green with values between the Ymin and Ymax values, and leaves U (blue) and V (red) alone based on clipping values set with the sliders. It also has special filters for DV 4:1:1 footage that smooths out the color channels. The variable color spill factor, spill/+lum button get rid of that dark outline and any green that may have spilled onto the actors. The edge blur melds (anti-aliases) the edges of the keyed image to the background.

Download this plugin and visit his site for a complete explanation and tutorial that even covers garbage matte techniques using the Sequence Editor.

Channel 0 outputs are selected through a display control. Choices include an the image with green as alpha 0.0 (using the black swatch), colored backgrounds using the color swatch, or UV masks (display:1), alpha masks (display:2), or YUV (display 3,4,5 respectively) using the display selector.

If you can't afford a $400 muslim greenscreen, rumor has it some Blenderheads have even had fair results using a $4 tablecloth.

Iris Plugin Effect

VSE Iris Plugin
This transition effect reveals the second strip while wiping the first by a decreasing circle, like the closing of an iris. Selecting In covers up the base image by revealing the second as the circle (iris) closes.

Jitter Plugin Effect

VSE Jitter Plugin
Too much caffeine? Can't hold the camera steady? Need to simulate Brownian motion? How about being time-phased out of sync by a harmonic distortion in the time-space continuum? Yeah, that sort of stuff happens to me every day too. But no one believes me, so use the Plugin to show them what it's like. Set the X and Y to be in pixels, and enable Random.

Lightsaber Plugin Effect

Lightsaber Animated Plugin
From: Intergalactic Indemnity Assurance Corporation
To: Claimant
Re: Request for Disability
Date: 15-05-3043 Terra-GMT

Dear Sir/Madam:

Our examiners have carefully reviewed the photographic evidence you submitted in connection with an unfortunate light-saber incident you claim happened during the filming of "Elephants Jedi" which resulted in the loss of your arm. After careful inspection, we have concluded that the so-called "lightsaber" was in fact a special effect which you created and staged to look like an accident waiting to happen. Your claim has been turned over to the authorities for prosecution.


Jackaky Skinflint, CPA, AFP, EXT, CLIM, GAK
Claim Inspector #4395, Intergalactic Indemnity Assurance Corp.

WARNING: This message is confidential and for its intended recipient only. If you have received this message in error, please report to your local health office and submit to a free brain wipe. Thank you.

This effect does an edge detect on the base image, and adds a glow to the edge. In the example above, the scene has just a tube. The plugin makes that tube into a lightsaber, and the effect strip is AlphaOvered the live-action footage. Animating the tube to track his hand would make it look like he's about to lop my arm off. At least, that was the idea. Too bad Jackaky wasn't fooled.

LSD Plugin Effect

VSE LSD Plugin
Now you can experience the joy of mind-altering drugs without actually incurring any risk or harm, and saving a lot of money in the process. This self-animating plugin does bizzarre things to the colors of your image. There is not control over this effect; it does what it wants to (just like the real LSD). But, no flashbacks (unless you duplicate the source strip and effect).

OldMovie Plugin Effect

VSE Old Movie Plugin
Back in the old dayz (I just love saying that), of black and white movies, the film stock was grainy, and the developer brushes would clog and scratch the negatives, resulting in long black streaks on the print. Real crap for quality. If you long for the old days, or want to post some Lost tapes from the original Dharma Initiative, use this effect to make them seem old. Thank you, and Good Luck. Oh, and if you do a good job, everyone will want to watch it again.

Red-Green Stereo Plugin Effect

VSE Red-Green Stereoscopic Viewer Plugin
Don't throw those Trix glasses away! Use two images, one taken from the persective of the left eye, another from the right, as the two images to feed this plugin. The Plugin generates a red-green stereoscopic image that appears 3-D when you put the glasses on. If you don't have a pair, you might be able to borrow indefinately (steal) your little sister's from one of her DVDs, or find a site on the web that gives them away.

Scatter Plugin Effect

VSE Scatter Animated Plugin
So there we were, outbound from AlphaCentauri, when our Falx Confibulator board blew. We pulled the circuit board, and our logic tracer was showing us a problem somewhere in the VSE circuitry. Drifting just outside the nebulae, way too close to the Fringe for any of us to feel comfortable, we tried desparately to get Tech on-line to give us some assistance. "Hello, Tech? We have a problem here. Can you see the board?" we asked. "Barely" came the wiz's resonse, "I've got another one here and I'll walk you through..zzzcchdhitchchch" and the signal got garbled and full of static all of a sudden. "Must be an ion storm inside the nebula" my comms officer surmised. "Dammit, we need a clear signal! I can't tell what chip he's pointing to, and unless we get this Confibulator back on-line, we're stranded out here!" I yelled. With that, we all turned to the viewport, and watched in quiet desparation as we drifted ever closer to the Fringe.

Warp Plugin Effect

First selecting a vector map (a black and white image that tells the plugin what to do) and an image to manipulate, the Warp plugin shifts the pixels sideways and vertically. Set the amount of the warp using the slider, and enable animate for a smooth warping over the distance of the video. Alternatively, use an Ipo curve to control the amount of the warp.