I was an iMovie fan back when it was running on Mac Classic 9.x. GeeThree’s Slick plugins were the first to add special effects to iMovie.
Now there are 10 volumes available. Transitions and effects that make your movie efforts, well, slick. Jack uses Final Cut Pro, I use iMovie.
This isn’t a plug. At least, it’s not a commercial plug because I’m not getting anything for telling you what I think of iMovie and the plugins available to add special effects.
I actually had to pay for my plugin collection for iMovie and I have a bunch, including most of those from developer GeeThree which makes the popular Slick Volumes.
If you have Mac OS X Panther or Tiger then you have iMovie. If you’ve used it, then you know that iMovie, though somewhat simple compared to professional non-linear video editing applications, is powerful.
The video from a cheapo miniDV camera looks good in iMovie. The video from a more expensive Sony video camera sporting HD looks even better.
Your video won’t look any better in Final Cut Pro (‘Pro’ as in ‘expensive’). You’ll simply have more tools to make your movie a real movie.
iMovie is free. It comes as part of iLife and is free on each new Mac. iMovie, despite the price tag, is powerful and capable of professional looking results.
A few choice plugins, and all the effects you’ve come to expect in video today can be yours.
GeeThree’s Slick Volumes, there are 10 in all, give you easily installed new transitions, new effects, Picture-in-picture, special titles, dissolves, lighting efects, 3D transitions, and much more.
This was the first volume I purchased back in the OS 9.x days, now available for iMovie and OS X. It’s a good start with over 50 basic transitions and effects.
This is called the ‘Spice Collection’ and comes with a number of specially licensed effects you’ll see in movies and TV shows. Watch out. This collection is addicting.
This includes over 100 plugins and adds over 30 titles to the collection. There’s also a Soft Paint tool, one of my all time favorites, along with the typical page curl transitions, and some professional soft wipes.
This group of plugins is called the ‘Hollywood Edition’ and starts to add the more esoteric and complicated effects and transitions to your iMovie efforts. This includes bluescreen, Picture in Picture, Split Screen, and Matte compositing tools.
This bunch of 100 new plugins allowed me to create my own ‘Pop Up Music Video.’ Place text anywhere on screen, add animated titles. Make sure you buy plenty of RAM for your Mac.
It’s here where I had to take a breather as these plugins were becoming more professional than my ability. Volume 6 added a real color corrector, key frame controls, and the ability to draw on top of video.
I stepped up my collection when 7 came out as it’s loaded with 3D transitions that work wonderfully on my new iMac G5. New animated titles were added. The transitions now use OpenGL.
At this level I needed a different camera and a tripod. So I thought. Volume 8 added image stabilization and a nifty pan and zoon, morph and warp, and an improved Picture-in-picture. Even better was the stack of 100 animated backgrounds.
These last two volumes start to add effects that truly hit the professional level. Except for audio, judicious use of effects and transitions in iMovie give results comparable to Final Cut Pro. 9 added more 3D transitions and mixes and dissolves.
The latest release upgrades the less-than-stellar lighting effects tools for iMovie with Lighting Studio. Multi-camera editing is possible in iMovie.
GeeThree’s Slick Volumes are not the only iMovie plugins available. They’re affordable and work well.
If you’re using a newer Mac with plenty of RAM, a little patience and a digital video camera will get you some attractive and competent movie productions without the expense of Final Cut Studio which is the cost of a new Mac by itself.
Are you a movie maker? Plain or fancy? If you’re using iMovie do you have specific filters and special effects that you prefer?
Share your experience and perspective with other Mac users in the Comments section below.