Nattress is something of a legend in the editing community
in general and in the microfilmmaker community in specific.
He saw the writing on the wall from the early days of
Final Cut Pro and started creating effects plug-in
packages that would meet the needs of editors and filmmakers
that would utilize the program.
creator and innovator, through and through, Graeme will
try out new plug-ins and effects just to see what might
work. Because not all of these plug-ins are generally
marketable, he allows many of the more eclectic and experimental
ones to be downloaded from his site free of charge. The
ones that are marketable end up getting pulled into one
of his effects packages.
is perhaps one of his most well-known filter packages
because it aims to help filmmakers who can't afford to
shoot on film get that film look. This is not to say that
it will actually be converted to 24 P for film out work.
What it means is that it will convert your footage to
24 P then down-convert it with a 3:2 pull down to 29.97
fps NTSC. While this means that it's more of a visual
effect, it's still very helpful. (If you actually need
to convert your footage to 24 fps and leave it there,
Nattress also publishes a plug-in package called Standards
Conversion 2.0, which will actually convert to and from
24 frame film standard for film out requirements.) It
also means that you can use standard NTSC editing space
in Final Cut Pro, without having to go into 24 frames
per second editing.
are now up to version 2.5 of Film Effects with
lots of new filter effects to go along with some nice
additional De-Interlacing and Chroma up-rezzing options.
that said, let's break it all down.
Film Effects is very easy to use. Working as a dedicated
plug-in system for Final Cut Pro, it doesn't require
you to tweak with anything in After Effects like
the original Magic Bullet software did and it actually
renders more rapidly than Magic Bullet Editors.
it is simple to slap on Graeme's presets, you can tweak
every single one of the filters just as you would a native
filter with Final Cut 5.0. This means that your ability
to touch things up to your hearts delight is pretty much
There are lots and lots of features and filter presets for
you to fiddle with Film Effects 2.5. I'll basically
cover the new features, as I've touched on many of the older
familiar with the G Film presets of Film Effects
know that it's designed to give you the options to adjust
your DV footage to more closely resemble film. In the past,
this has always involved lots of rendering. In the new addition
of Film Effects, the G Film and G Film Presets Explorer
now has a Real Time (RT) rendering interface to take advantage
of your more powerful Mac and improvements in the Final
Cut 5.0 RT engine. (It's not quite as sophisticated
as the RT feature in the upcoming Magic Bullet Editors 2.0--which
will specifically power much of it's rendering through your
graphics card--but it's still pretty nice if you have a
to this new feature, there are thing's like Smart De-Interlacer
that helps make De-Interlacing look more fluid and a lot
less chunky, by analyzing motion and determining the best
fields to shift together. It's a far superior mode than
just having Final Cut Pro De-Interlace the even or
odd fields and hope you come out with something you like.
also included a Vignette option, which can be very nice
for wedding videos or dream sequences, as well as some nice
film dissolves, some improved chroma sharpeners, a few new
gamma control plugins, and some improvements on his chroma
upsampler, which improves DV precision for things like blue-screen
and green-screen work. (Especially nice due to some of the
new lower-budget green screen kits that are coming out.)
to these elements, he's included 15 filter presets to change
a lot of the color and look of your films, from one's designed
to replicate the filmic look of "The Crow" to
those designed to replicate the look of Hell. While many
of these presets did not seem quite as smoothly professional
as those found in Magic Bullet Editors, you could easily
adjust them to get precisely the look you were going for.
as you don't mind tweaking your filters a bit, there's more
than enough depth in Film Effects 2.5 for nearly
For the money, Film Effects 2.5 is an amazingly great
value. It's a third the cost of Magic Bullet Editors
(a fourth the cost of the newest version!) and it's got
nearly all the functionality, plus the ability to adjust
the frame rate look and it renders faster to boot!
there are a few presets that I prefer in MBE, you
can attain most of them just by playing around with the
more basic filters that Graeme includes. (Plus, Graeme's
the sort of person who would program a filter preset just
for you if you wanted it after you bought the package!)