Slick Transitions & Effects: Volumes 1 & 2, by GeeThree
Posted: 2-Sep-2003

4 out of 5 Mice

Vendor: GeeThree Type: COMMERCIAL

Reviewer: Denis Lauzon Class: MULTIMEDIA

Video Editing for the rest of us
If you're like me and would rather spend time creating and shooting movies rather than learning how to use a sophisticated editing application, then iMovie is the way to go. iMovie is free (bundled with OS X) and is an easy to use video editing software from Apple. It is much simpler to master and use than FinalCut Pro, Apple's professional video editing. With iMovie, you can import digital video, add sound, edit, cut, add transitions and change your video, and export back out to DV, videotape or DVD.

But as good as iMovie is, there is room for improvements.

What is Slick Transitions & Effects?
Slick Transitions and Effects are add-on collection(s) of transitions and effects you "drag & drop" between video clips, much like the ones already in iMovie, to change the look or add pizzaz to your video. Each volume is loaded with transitions and effects you ought to have.

System Requirements:

  • iMovie 2.01 to 3.3
  • Mac OS 9.0.x or later, Mac OS X10.1 to 10.6
  • QuickTime 5
  • 9 MB disk space

Pricing: $29.95 each volume, $49.95 for both.

Save some bucks
Slick Transitions & Effects, Volumes 1 thru 6 of the plug-ins can be purchased individually or in bundles, and can be downloaded from the software company's website. It is a better option to purchase the combined packages, as you save yourself some bucks. A CD version is also available.

Installation
Very easy to install, simply drag the Slick Transitions folder to your iMovie plug-ins folder and launch iMovie, Voila!

Let's talk about the effects...

Slick Transitions & Effects Vol. I
Slick Transitions & Effects vol. 1 comes with over 40 transitions, most of which are nice, useful and give your final videos a professional look. Some of the transitions however are in my opinion kitschy (amateurish). For example, transitions like "Barn Doors" or "Double Sweep" are of limited use to me because it would make the video or movie look amateur. However, iMovie is an amateur movie maker application. Even the transitions I don't care for may, at some point, be useful for a specific client's video project.

The 16 Effects in Vol. 1 are impressive. I had fun with the Black & White, Sepia, and X-Ray Effects. For instance on a music video, if you "split" your clip in very short segments and use one of these effects, you get a neat "strobe like" result changing from color to B&W and back to color etc. I've also used the same technique with interesting results on the X-Ray, video noise, polarize, and solarize effects.

My favorites Transitions Vol. 1

  • Lightspeed for a quick burst transition for fast pace videos
  • Page Peel can be used for a story telling narrated piece and transition between chapters
  • Pointilize gives you a nice smooth transitions between scenes
  • Rolling Fog for a mysterious looking transition
  • Zoom In and Zoom Over bring the clip from back to front and vice versa. I use it to bring "long shots" into "close ups".


My favorites Effects Vol. 1
Posterize , Solarize, B&W, Sepia, Video Noise, X-Ray: all produce great effects to modify your movie's look and feel. I use them for short sequences along with "still frames" to go back and forth at a rapid pace from color to B&W or B&W to X-Ray, etc..

Slick Transitions & Effects Vol. II
Slick Transitions & Effects vol. 2 comes with fifty (50) transitions, and five new effects. I like the transitions in Vol. 2 a little better than Vol. I, but the effects in Vol. 2 I found lacking (although they could be useful if you shoot and edit weddings). I will most likely never use the Heart, Oval, or Star transition. I use LetterBox to give my film a "widescreen 70mm look." I enjoyed trying out the 50 new transitions.

My favorites Transitions Vol. 2 for smooth Transitions

  • Vapor - Billo for a "cloud of smoke" look transition
  • Vapor - Fog for a "mysterious" look transition
  • Wash - Emacil for a "grunge" look transition
  • Wash - Erode for a "grunge" look transition
  • Wash - Sieve for a "drama" look transition (looks like a fingerprint)
  • Wash ˇWildfire for a "hot" look transition


My favorites Effects Vol. 2.

  • Filmstrip for your vacation still pictures
  • Letterbox for that "big time" 70mm film look

Web Site
You can preview all the transitions and effects for all volumes before you buy right on the web:
http://www.geethree.com/. This is an excellent way to get an idea of what you are getting before you pull your credit card out.

Summary
Slick Volumes 1 & 2 come with a lot of very nice effects and transitions, and so easy to use! There are some transitions in both volumes that, from my first impression, I will most likely never use. They work fine, but you have to be careful about adding "fluff" to movies just for the sake of adding effects. Then again, you just never know. Maybe, some day, the checkerboard or barn door transitions may be appropriate for my subject matter. The bottom line is that there are so many effects and transitions included with these volumes, they truly increase the number of creative tools you have at your disposal. Some of the effects don't have as many adjustments as I would like, but all in all, they will really "charge up" your iMovie projects and provide you a lot more control than you have with the default iMovie plug-ins. I highly recommend the Slick Transitions & Effects, Volumes 1 and 2, for any iMovie user.

Pros

  • Lots of high quality effects included.
  • Simple to use in an all-in-one package
  • Greatly enhances iMovie capabilities


Cons

  • $49.00 price tag may seem high for an add-on to an Apple "freebie" program
  • Limited adjustments on some effects


Overall Rating

4 out of 5 Mice