Slick Transitions & Effects: Volume 4, by GeeThree
Posted: 4-Jul-2003

5 out of 5 Mice

Vendor: GeeThree Type: COMMERCIAL

Reviewer: Stephen Compton Class: MULTIMEDIA

Overview
Slick Transitions and Effects are for users who are looking to add some vigor to the very basic, simplistic set of effects that comes with iMovie, and cannot afford Final Cut Pro. This is the fourth set of four total volumes offered by GeeThree specifically for iMovie.

Requirements

  • Movie 3, iMovie 2.0.3 or later
  • Mac OS X, OS 9
  • Quicktime 5 or later
  • 10MB available disk space


Use & Features

Volume 4 - compared to the previous three volumes - provides a limited quantity of effects. Nevertheless, these effects provide powerful features designed for the more demanding and advanced iMovie user. That is not to say a novice user cannot easily manipulate these features. Controls and options are straightforward and easy to understand. The actual demand for such features, however, may be lost on those just beginning to use iMovie.

Here's what is included:

Matte-tastic
Superimpose logos or any matte onto moving video.

VidMix
Blue screen technolgy comes to iMovie. This plug-in lets you
merge two video sources using a color key, brightness or cutout.

Picture in Picture
Two video sources with one in a positionable and sizeable internal
box.

Split Screen
Two video sources split and combined or one or both squeezed.

SlickMotion
A stand-alone application that creates high quality pans from high
resolution photos. A must for documentaries or any film using many
stills. Retains hi-resolution of imported photos!

One of the primary features of this volume includes capability to superimpose video images such as a picture-in-picture and "blue-screen" effect. For those who don't understand blue screen, it is used by your local news when the weatherman stands in front of a map and points to cloud patterns. In reality, he is standing in front of a green or blue colored screen. The screen color is "keyed" to be replaced by a second video image, in this case a computerized map image. The resulting effect provides the image of a man in front of a weather map. Imagine using this to show your home movies with kids being eaten by large lizards, or family members in front of an on-rushing locomotive, or simply you and your spouse walking along a beach (which you never visited) - the possibilities are frighteningly endless.

Additionally, volume 4 adds capability for split screen images and a feature called "Matte-tastic", which adds a fancy border or logos superimposed onto your video.

One other effect is called "SlickMotion". Anyone who has watched a Ken Burns documentary on PBS has seen this effect. This uses still pictures, but allows iMovie to pan & zoom across the photo - with full control over the effect from start point to end point. Although simplistic sounding, it really brings a still image to life. This feature really eases the transition from moving video to still photos, by keeping the photo moving on screen - rather than a stark change between motion to static images.

Support
GeeThree offers a full description and QT examples of all the titles, transitions, and effects offered in Volume 4 at
www.GeeThree.com.

Should the online information or trouble-shooting instructions included with the software not resolve any problems, the GeeThree customer support is exemplary and responsive to inquiries.

Software can be downloaded directly from the web after purchasing the serial code, or CDs can be purchased at a slightly higher cost. Buy all four volumes together for full-feature effects at a more reasonable cost (~$34 per volume).

Summary
Slick Volume 4 brings some powerful, high-end superimposing features to the iMovie user. The stand-alone price of $49.00 seems high at first, but when compared to purchasing a high-end video software suite, the value is obvious. Better yet, GeeThree offers various bundles of their other iMovie plug-in volumes which greatly reduces the individual cost and significantly boosts the capabilities of iMovie. This Hollywood Edition of the Slick volumes proves to be a high-end effects package for iMovie with features found only in the high-dollar, professional video software suites. This is a must add-on for the serious iMovie afficionados, well worth the price.

Pros

  • High quality Hollywood-style editing tools
  • Simple to use
  • Turns iMovie into a professional editing package

Cons

  • Fewer effects than the other volumes


Overall Rating

5 out of 5 Mice