Distort contains a number of filters that are aptly grouped and named as distortions. Animating these distortions over time to apply them or take them away makes them dynamic.
Bumpmap offsets pixels in an image using the luminance of a second selected image dragged to its well. I've found that using grayscale images seems to work best. The well in this filter's settings accepts only still images. The image that the effect is applied to has a distortion done to it whose shape is determined by the luminance values of the image that you drag to its well. A black star on a white background distorts the image in the shape of a star, for example. You can use the Luma Scale slider, Direction Angle control, Outset slider, and Repeat Edges check box to further change the effect.
Cylinder distorts the clip as if it were being looked at through a cylindrical piece of glass, like a glass tube. You can adjust the Radius and Center sliders and the Vertical check box to change this filter's appearance. The Amount slider distorts the image even further.
Displace is similar to the Bumpmap filter. It contains a well to define the distortion's shape by dragging an image to it. The big difference between Displace and Bumpmap is the channels of video it uses. Whereas Bumpmap uses luminance, Displace uses the red and green channels. The horizontal offset uses the red channel for the distortion, and the vertical offset uses the green channel. Horizontal and vertical scales alter the offset's direction and amount. Luma scale and repeat edges change the look of the offset. Displace is useful for TV-style bugs or static Predator-style displace effects. Only static images work with this filter's well.
Fisheye distorts the clip as if it were shot with a fisheye lens. It's much like what you see when viewing a visitor through a peephole in your front door. Using the slider controls adjusts the amount and radius of the effect, and altering the position of the distortion is done by using the point control. Clicking the crosshair then clicking on the frame of video determines the center of the effect. You might use this effect to simulate the effect of looking through a peephole, for example.
Pond Ripple distorts the clip as if it were a rippling pond. A center point control allows you to set the center of this effect in the frame of your clip just like the Fisheye effect. You can change the size and number of the ripples it creates using the Radius, Ripple Amplitude, Acceleration, Highlight, and Decay sliders.
Ripple distorts the video in a wave pattern, both horizontally and vertically. You can make changes to both parameters independently using the Amplitude, Wavelength, Horizontal, and Vertical sliders. The Repeat Edge check box keeps black edges from appearing at the edges of the frame.
Wave distorts the picture in a simple zigzag pattern, either vertically or horizontally. You can adjust the amplitude, wavelength, and speed of this effect using sliders. The Vertical check box defines the effect's orientation. The Repeat Edge check box forces it to fill the frame.
Whirlpool distorts the clip in a swirling whirlpool pattern similar to watching water go down a drain. You can determine the center of this effect with the Center button. The Amount control defines the whirlpool's rotary motion. The Repeat Edge check box ensures that it fills the frame. You might use this to transition between shots, whirling one out and then cutting to another shot whirling in.