OS X compatible
Company: Stupendous Software
Individual Bundles: $25.00
Stupendous Bundle: $200.00
Site License, Educational Discounts Available
(Author’s note: Stupendous Software is giving away (as in free) 43 effects. They do this in homage to all the freeware they’ve enjoyed over the years; I think that’s pretty cool. Free is a pretty good deal in my opinion so head over there and download them; you’ll end up with a better idea that plugs are for you.)
A while back I received some software from Stupendous Software. Usually I try to review the stuff I get within a week but with Stupendous Bundle I purposefully put it off. Was I slacking like I am so often accused of? Heck no I was waiting for the latest release of iMovie. How could I recommend a product that didn’t work with iMovie 3? So after the extra weeks wait I can report that Stupendous Bundle works flawlessly with iMovie 3. I can also steal a line from Martha “Stock Guru Extreme” Stewart and say “it’s a very good thing”.
Stupendous Software produces effects, far too many effects to list without sounding like the back of a shampoo bottle. Some of the effects are so cool once you see them you’ll be trying to think of a reason to use them (zoom, spotlight, split screen) and some will leave you wondering just why anyone would want that particular effect (swap green and blue). My first impression after flipping through the effects is that you could A) hoax a really good UFO spotting (use zoom) and B) make a super cool documentary telling everyone how “real” the UFO has to be (use peephole). The shear volume of effects (currently 243) makes it impossible to imagine a way to use each and every one of them. On the other hand the plethora of effects means that you’ll find some must haves.
When I make movies, it’s just for fun. As far as the fun factor goes the Stupendous Bundle is the Big Daddy Cool of making iMovie 3 more fun. But for the more serious iMovie makers out there (you’re one if you storyboard your movie before you shoot it) this collection will add something you undoubtedly want: more control. Take color for example: I know that digital still images generally need to be color corrected and I doubt that digital video images are any different. Even though color correction is a necessity for anyone with a serious movie making jones iMovie 3 just has one way to correct color and it’s fairly limited. If you install the Stupendous Bundle you’ll find you can have much greater control over color, saturation and hue. This is just one example; the Stupendous Bundle adds flexibility to many aspects of iMovie.
The latest iMovie offering has more effects than previous versions so a natural concern about Stupendous Bundle was redundancy. I wondered if some of the effects in the new iMovie might match the effects found in the package from Stupendous Software. My fears were somewhat confirmed, iMovie 3 has 18 effects and some are similar to effects offered by Stupendous Bundle. I say somewhat because the effects by Stupendous Software, while similar, usually offer more options and hence a little more power than their Apple counterparts. Fortunately, the number of effects provided in the Stupendous Bundle more than compensates for the rare semi-replication of effects.
The real power of Stupendous Bundle doesn’t lie in the effects as a simple addition; the real power lies in combing the effects for something completely different. If you remember the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan you’ll remember that the scene looked just a little bit different from any scene you’d seen before. You can pull off that trick by printing every other frame twice and running the result at regular speed (and yes, you can do it with the effects from Stupendous Software). But you not only get the power to ape a legendary filmmaker you can use a couple of effects from Stupendous Bundle and create a look that is completely original.
Onto the ratings: This is a tough one. The Stupendous bundle runs $200 and has enough effects to confuse the novice user into a state of over stimulated drooling. Heck with 243 effects (wow!) even the most seasoned iMovie vet might be tempted into gimmickry. Fortunately you can buy the effects piecemeal (think of it as a iMovie Sushi bar) in sets ($25 each). No over stimulation, you just get the rock solid effects that you know you’ll use. I think the Stupendous Bundle is a little too much for most folks (but if you see eight bundles you feel you have to have then you’d be foolish not to get it) but I don’t think there is a single iMovie user who wouldn’t benefit from a few 10 packs. My Advice: Take the fifty bucks you thought Apple was going to charge for iMovie 3 and spend it on two plug-in packs, you won’t regret it.
MacMice Rating: 4 out of 5
MacMice Rating: 5 out of 5