May 22 2002
Apple’s iMovie raised the bar on free video editors and, with it’s unique and easy to learn interface, brought video editing to the masses.
While iMovie pioneered new levels of accessibility, it also brought the amateur video quality to within spitting distance of broadcast quality. With it’s plug-in support Apple left the door open to close the gap.
Enter eZeMatte from eZedia. eZeMatte is a plug-in for iMovie that facilitates the importing of still graphics. Big deal? Sure is. From a video professional’s point of view, graphics support was the key lacking feature in iMovie. Now, with the ability to bring in graphic stills, the possibilities are endless.
Think if all the opportunities there are out there for people who don’t edit enough video to justify the $999 for Final Cut, but would like to edit in charts or diagrams, add a backdrop to titles or illustrate their family vacation. This plug-in qualifies iMovie for professional editing and brings exciting new capability to amateurs.
Down and Dirty
Installation is simple. If you have ever used an effect in iMovie, it won’t take you long to figure out eZeMatte. It is as simple as loading an image, previewing and applying the effect. Chose from a collection of corny graphic templates provided by eZedia, or create your own. I used Photoshop to create a png file that loaded perfectly into eZeMatte. eZeMatte also supports transparency, including semitransparent gradients and reduced-opacity layers from Photoshop.
In it’s support of multiple formats and ease of use, eZeMatte is flawless. It’s only weakness, as with iMovie, is the lack of advanced options and features. There is no support for any kind of animation or fades. Is this a critical lack? Nope. eZeMatte does what it claims, and does it very well. Advanced features (hopefully to come in 2.0) are more than can be reasonably expected for now.
So, here’s the MacMerc breakdown:
Weak points: It’s a one-trick-pony
Strength: It’s a pony most any iMovie user should have.
Compatibility: OS X and iMovie
Cost: $29 Not bad for such a useful utility