Boris FX has recently released the latest version of Optics, Optics 2022. Optics allows photographers to add hundreds of visual filters to their images and thousands of particle effects. It operates as a stand-alone program or as a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.

But Optics changes the game with this release when it comes to particle effects, adding one feature no other image editor has. The ability to change time.

I know, this sounds very much like an episode of “Doctor Who,” but I assure you, this isn’t fiction.

Traveling through time

Imagine you want to add a burst of fireworks into the sky of an image you have taken. There are plenty of ways to do this across many different image editors.

With Optics 2022, you cannot only add the fireworks effect but using a time slider, alter the appearance of the firework in time. This means you can alter the firework effect from the initial burst to the fading of the light trails, all in real-time. Once you have chosen how you want the burst to look in time, you add it to the layer of your image.

Optics 2022 allows you to change particle effects based on how they appear in time.

Tons of effects to choose from

There are tons of effects to choose from including fire, smoke, fog, candle flames and countless others, all changeable in time. There are an almost unlimited number of effects you can create using Boris Optics 2022.

Optics 2022 doesn’t stop there though. There are hundreds of standard effects, such as color grades, film emulations, diffusions and styles. In the Film Lab tab, there are hundreds of different movie and television shows looks to choose from for color grading your images. There is so much here, you can literally play with your images for hours creating all sorts of different looks and ideas.

Layers and masking

Each effect is added to a layer that sits on top of your original image. There are a variety of masking tools that allow you to add the effect to only the parts of the image you desire. You can mask with gradients, a brush, a radial gradient or an auto masking system.

The auto mask works by drawing green lines on the areas of the image you want to be included and red lines on the areas you do not. Optics will then determine what areas you do and do not want in the mask. The best part is, that it really works well.

One of my favorite effects is the cartoon and painting effects. With this, you can transform an image from a standard photo to a line-drawn image, a painting in various classical styles, or a cartoon. It is just so much fun to run through all the various options and ideas.

What could be better

There is some room for improvement though. Optics 2022 offers a layer-based system to build effects on top of each other, but I found the icons to be a bit confusing. There are lots of options for masking effects into your images, but I found some simple tasks to be challenging.

There is definitely a learning curve as well, but one worth undertaking simply for the wealth of effects you can create.

Boris Optics pricing

In terms of pricing, Boris has several options. As typical of most companies these days, you can purchase an annual license for $99 a year. You can go monthly at $9 per month. Or you can buy a license for $149 which includes 12 months of updates and support.

The bottom line is that Optics 2022 is just plain fun. It offers a wealth of creative effects and being able to change particle effects based on how they appear in time is a game-changer. This is a great add-on to your tool kit whether you are a compositor or simply someone who just enjoys playing with an image.

Boris FX is currently offering a 15-day trial of Optics 2022 so I encourage you to download it and see for yourself all that it can do.