Slick Effects Volumes
5 and 6 provide more new Titles, Transitions and Effects to make your iMovies more
interesting and exciting! This is the 5th and 6th in a series of effects for iMovie
released by GeeThree. These plugins can add some professional looking capability
to iMovie. This review is for Volume 5, Volume 6 and Caption.
- iMovie 3 recommended,
iMovie 2.1.1 also supported
- Mac OSX, OS9
- Quicktime 5 or later
- 10MB available disk
- For Volume 6, G4
processor or better is required
Slick Effects 5, 6 and Caption downloaded quickly, and after entering the registration
number, they installed easily. Upon opening iMovie, I found the new effects, titles
and transitions installed in all the correct locations. Caption is not an iMovie
plug-in; it is a separate application used to add captions or subtitles to movies.
- Place text at any
location on the screen. Add pop-up style titles. Fill text with a graphic or movie.
See text disappear into the horizon. Countdown timers. And lots of animated titles
developed in conjunction with Wildform, Inc, a leading developer of Flash-based products.
- Customize your own
ratings screen. Add an animated background with Cosmic Frame. Colorize video for
a psychedelic look. Make your video dance to the beat with the Audio series.
- Add new variations
of dissolve transitions - Flash is one you'll love. Big pixel zooms with the Resolution
series. And lots of new soft transitions - you can even adjust the edge softness.
- Color Correction
- Set black and white
points. Adjust red, green and blue channels for shadows, midtones and highlights.
- Film Reel
- Scroll a strip of
moving video žthumbnailsÓ continuously across the screen.
- Highlite series
- Create a highlight
that moves and resizes with objects in the video. Assign multiple keyframes along
your video clip's timeline for precise control. Four variations.
- Overlay timecode
or time. Can count up or down. Lots of formatting options.
- Design a montage
of moving or still images. Up to 64 video clips in one window! Nine different layout
templates for endless possibilities.
- Extremely powerful
and versatile. Assign multiple keyframes along your video clip's timeline. Each keyframe
defines the the location, scale, rotation and opacity of a video or still image at
a given point
- Draw or write anything
you like on the video frame. [Very good for instructional video]
Caption software imports
a DV movie created in iMovie, Final Cut Express/Pro or other video editing software.
Text files can be imported, or the text can be typed into the program. Slick Caption
provides extensive formatting options of the caption text. The font, size, style,
color, and alignment are at the user's control. The caption can appear with or without
a colored background.
The transitions are interesting, but of the 28 included transitions, they appear
to all be minor variations of 3 or 4 basic types. Most of the time one should only
use a very limited number of simple transitions within a single movie or it detracts
from the content of the movie. Having such a variety to select from, however, should
allow you to vary your transitions from movie to movie, thereby better matching the
transitions to the mood of the movie. Some of the more useful transitions in volume
5 are all the variations of "Dissolve", the "Fog" transitions, and "Surge".
Effects are not as commonly used as transitions, but there are some interesting ones
including in this package. Most notable are the audio and video effects. With the
audio effects, your video actually adjusts/reacts according to the levels of the
audio, Audio Brightness being the best of the bunch.
The audio effects work with an audio file (AIFF, QuickTime, etc.). One thing they
cannot do is work with an iMovie soundtrack (iMovie's architecture doesn't allow
this). Therefore, if you have a soundtrack you want to use these effects on, you'll
need to separate the audio from the video, export the audio to a separate file before
using these effects with it.
The video effects include some creative ways to alter the video, such as the Hilite
(commonly used on TV to obscure nudity) and VidMotion effects (incorporating video within
video). The Film Rating effect is a fun one too; most
people will enjoy tailoring and incorporating this one within their family home videos.
Most of the transitions and effects worked easily and as expected. However there
were a few functions that did not work correctly in my tests. Among those that I
experienced problems with were the "radial" and "fog" transitions,
and the "Video Wall" and "Video Motion" effects. The video effects
produce multiple, concurrently active video images within a single movie; therefore,
you can have a large number of pixels all changing at the same time. The problems
appear to be because my test machine has limited video speed (G3 iMac). These problems
do not occur on a faster machine (such as a G4). Volume 6 contains intense video
effects, which is why a G4 processor or better is a requirement listed on GeeThree's
web page (unfortunately, the best I have currently is a G3).
The titles provide some really cool and useful effects as well. Among my favorites,
the "Perspective" will do the perspective
scrolling as used in the Star Wars movies. Other notable title effects included in
- A smooth gentle fade in from left to right
- Gravity Bounce - Title drops with slight random bouncing
- Title emerges from center extending outward until complete
- A very nice shadowed title effect
- TextFade - Fade Down - Title slowly drops and fades
There is a large subset
of title effects that start with "Wild fx"; appropriately named, as these
effects are off the chart (and most likely will not find a place in your home movies).
Still, if you are looking for some zany title effects, then the Wild fx titles will
fit the bill (especially if you're doing animations).
Most of the titles worked as expected, but I did encounter some slow processing within
iMovie using some of the title effects (such as the "Glow" title). I suspect
this is due to the graphics limitations of my iMac. As I have found to be the case
with other transitions, titles and effects, once the movie is complete and transferred
back to a camera, the video playback through the camera or TV looks fine (showing
none of the delays or skips seen within iMovie).
There are PDF manuals provided for each Volume that clearly explain how to use each
effect. There are also demos of the effects available for viewing on the GeeThree
Slick Effects Volume 5 and 6 and Caption all bring some interesting and useful
features to the iMovie user. As with most video or audio work today, the user will
achieve faster and more satisfying results with hardware that matches the capability
of the video editing software. The Slick Effects add some fairly complex features
that can take advantage of the newer hardware. Though some of the effects and transitions
may be out of place in routine family vacation or youth activity videos, I think
an experienced or budding video artist can put them to good use enhancing special
feature productions. The stand-alone price of the individual volumes ($49.95 for
Vol. 5; $69.95 for Vol. 6 and $49.95 for Caption) seem a bit high. GeeThree offers
several bundles that package these features with other iMovie plug-in volumes, and
that greatly reduces the individual costs and provide better all around capability
enhancement for iMovie. If you have a specific need for these effects and have the
processor speed to run them on, you cannot go wrong with this package. The average
user, however, may not find this release by itself as useful as some of the earlier
products from GeeThree. The best way to determine if there are any effects in this
package that fit your needs is to check out the web demos of each of the effects
on GeeThree's web site.
of Volume 5
of Volume 6
Demo of Caption
- Unique and amazing
- Star Wars and other
cool title effects
- Rather pricey as
- Some effects slow
to process on G3 machines
out of 5 Mice