|Review: Nattress' Big Box of Tricks
Big Box of Tricks
Box of Tricks
Review by Steve
Nattress has long been regarded as a producer of some of the
very finest of effects for Final Cut Pro. His film effects and
conversion plug-ins have become the standard 'go to' for a great
many editors. If he is rich it is only because he has focused
more on quality than cost, and that so many have purchased his
sets of effects. Charging an arm and a leg has never been the
Thus we have his latest contribution
of plug-ins, which includes eight separate sets of filters, one
set of transitions and one of generators. Each group of filters
contains several usable and some eclectic plug-ins. These filters
groups are separated into 5 different Blurs, 9 Levels & Curves
effects, 7 Fix its, 10 Extra Touches, 10 Image FX, 3 Noise Reductions,
2 Time Tools, and 10 TV Effects. Then there are the 9 Transitions
and 9 Generators. That's a grand total of 74 different editing
plug-ins, many of which will be destined to be mainstays in your
A full set of transitions,
filters and generators and so many so soon to become your 'Go
To highlight just a few of what this package has to offer, lets take a look at the ubiquitous widescreen filter. These are pretty common in 3rd party plug in sets but the G Film Widescreen Filter also contains a unique crop shift control that worked as smooth as silk.
Need to integrate
a 4:3 clip within a 16x9 sequence? I couldn't ask for an easier
to use chose of filters.
You'll have to use your imagination with the G Bug Eye filter
from the Extra Touches filters folder. The number of images can
be fully key framed and the fish eye effect control will work
in either direction, in or out.
This image has been
pretty much left at the default settings.
There is so much more that could be done with it.
The G Film Strip Generator has room for a great many clip wells.
Key framed according to the number of wells used, size and speed
of the scroll, you have gain a great opening or closing scene.
I envision lots of
credit runs that could be used with the G Film Strip Generator.
You can think of plenty of other uses, I'm sure.
For aficionados of TV's '24' series,
the G Split Screen from the Extra Touches folder enables you
to adjust the direction and size of the split.
Split screen, picture
in picture and picture wipes are all possible.
A full compliment of control parameters allows you to key frame
and direction of the split as well as the color and softness
of the separating bar.
I liked the Diffuse Filter from the Image Effects folder as I
did the G Tone Enhancer from the Special Effects. Like the other
filters from this set they were rock solid on application. The
G Tone Enhancer enabled me to create a painting of the image
without that glaring, tacky look found on Elvis felt paintings.
The T.V. effects folder has some very
interesting possibilities and brought back several memories from
the days when a 19" black and white T.V. was considered
state of the art if a phonograph was included in the console.
Add a set of rabbit ear antennas and you were complete. The G
Roll filter enables you to recreate the old rolling screen with
Vertical and Frequency controls while the G T.V. lines allows
for line mode and color as well as density, thickness, speed
The T.V. lines filter
bringing back the memories.
The G Scratch and G Head Clog filters do just that, create positionable
scratches with the ability to choose between noise, black or
an improperly corrected appearance while the Head Clog creates
noise in either upper or lower fields with the ability to adjust
for balance, blend, contrast and more.
The original frame of
a totem in Papua New Guinea.
Frame affected using both
the Head Clog and Scratch filters
and desaturated with the G Chroma Shift Filter.
As noted earlier in this review, there are a number of excellent
transitions as well. A Glow Dissolve transition can be found
elsewhere, but I liked the flexibility of the Nattress transition
found in the Big Box of Tricks.
within the transition's parameters
blend this sunset and divers passing through an underwater tunnel.
My bottom line for Nattress' Big Box of Tricks is that there
is a whole lot more to this set than I have previewed here. The
Transitions, TV Effects and Generators all have some very useful
tools. Rendering of effects varied as some were pretty quick
and others took awhile. The results of manipulating the parameters
were not always instantaneous for several. Never the less, this
is one heck of a good set of plug-ins; it has diversity, flexibility
and quality throughout. I could say that Nattress' Big Box of
Tricks is a good investment, but at this price it's more like
Steve Douglas is an underwater
videographer and contributor to numerous film festivals around
the world. A winner of the 1999 Pacific Coast Underwater Film
Competition, 2003 IVIE competition, 2004 Los Angeles Underwater
Photographic competition, and the prestigious 2005 International
Beneath the Sea Film Competition, where he also won the Stan
Waterman Award for Excellence in Underwater Videography and 'Diver
of the Year', Steve was a safety diver on the feature film "The
Deep Blue Sea", contributed footage to the Seaworld Park's
Atlantis production, and a recent History channel MegaDisaster
show. Steve is one of the founding organizers of the San Diego
UnderSea Film Exhibition and leads both underwater filming expeditions
and African safaris with upcoming excursions to Kenya, Bali &
Komodo in 2007, and Costa Rica and Palau in 2008. Feel free to
contact him if you are interested in joining Steve on any of
these exciting trips. www.worldfilmsandtravel.com
copyright © Steve
This article first appeared
on www.kenstone.net and
is reprinted here with permission.
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