I’m not a video professional though I play one on my Mac. If you like iMovie and have a collection of home movies, you’ll enjoy Stone Design’s new Videator.
iLife ‘06 comes with iMovie which comes with a good collections of video effects and filters. Making a decent looking home movie with a professional look has never been easier.
Stone’s Videator, like the graphic application Imaginator does with Mac OS X Tiger’s Core Image, takes advantage of the built in core video to produce a bewildering variety of filters and effects on movies.
Once you’ve shot a movie on your camera and imported to iMovie, you can add dozens of effects and filters and titles with Videator.
As with many Mac applications that use OS X’s built in graphics and video features, Videator is fast and runs on Mac OS X for Intel, too.
Videator’s interface is straightforward, though not fully intuitive, thereby shares similarities with Imaginator. Still, creating complex video filters and effects doesn’t take much work; the learning curve is easy.
What can you do with Videator? At the high end, make your own movie effects by mixing and matching effects and filters, layered on on the other.
There’s also the ability to take snapshots with a built-in iSight camera, or any Firewire camera plugged into your Mac.
Slide shows are a breeze to construct and extend capabilities of Keynote or iPhoto by allowing more effects and titling.
Even a podcast can be enhanced with Videator, though the real power and value arrives with the list of filters and effects.
Movies and slide shows can be edit non-destructively; the original file is never changed while you change everything else.
Videator uses 100 native effects and filters that are core to Mac OS X Tiger. Stone also provides nine custom Core Image Unit plugins.
If you’re an Imaginator user, Videator will incorporate effects from the graphics application.
Effects can be faded i n and out, photos can be dropped in from iPhoto, and music from iTunes. There’s a full screen preview mode which lets you get a big picture view of your effects and filters.
Since everything is layered, a production can become a bit complex. So, Videator makes it easy to save effects as favorites, create chains of effects for specific functions.
Basic necessities include Unlimited Undo, the ability to read RAW images (generated by the latest SLR digital cameras), though Videator’s output can be saved in QuickTime movie format, as well as TIFF, JPG, and PNG.
Don’t think that Imaginator or Videator are professional tools on par with Boris FX or Apple’s Final Cut Studio, Motion, or other high end desktop applications.
$49 gets you plenty of power, an enormous number of options, and takes advantage of the built-in capabilities of Mac OS X Tiger.
Since everything in Videator is a real-time production, you can see better how to mix and match your effects and filters changes without having to render first.
While most options are available via drop down menus in the menu bar, the interface makes quickk work of effects by letting you choose everything visually and with instant results.
Stone allows you to download and try both Videator and Imaginator so you can get a good feel for what it can do.
Two nits that came to mind right away include the now aging brushed aluminum design; I tend to favor the new plastic platinum look—and the interface truly is not as intuitive as the Videator feature list makes it seem.
Still, it doesn’t take weeks, it takes a couple of hours to get the hang of Videator, to create effects that go well beyond anything you can do in iMovie, iPhoto—and makes quick work of what would take many hours in Photoshop.
Click Here for a look at the Videator feature list, and the download link.