Review: Genarts Monsters GT for AE
PRODUCT: GenArts Monsters GT for AE
PRICE: $999 for either node-locked or floating licenses. Sapphire/Monsters bundle, $2,299. Existing Sapphire for AE owners get Monsters GT and upgrade to 64-bit Sapphire 5 for AE for $999.
- Unlimited customization
- Monsters GT plays back at real-time speeds, perfect for showing the client sudden changes
- Audio Extract effect is a massive time saver
The phone rings, its Post Magazine. “Want to review GenArts’ new plug-in set?” My heart starts pumping. I manage to scream, “Yes!” Click. I await the email. It’s here with my trial info.
Why am I so excited? For one, I love plug-ins. I am addicted to their wonderful creativeness. Sure the folks at Adobe come up with some killer plug-ins in-house, but there are also a lot of creative types out there making their own. GenArts is one of those companies. To say they make top-notch, useful additions to my toolbox is an understatement.
What is important to me is a plug-in set that makes me more creative. I think, “Wow, it can make my footage look like this?” That triggers all my creative juices and allows me to think way outside the box.
Now what made me excited initially on getting this assignment is GenArts makes awesome plug-ins. Yes, they can seem pricey to some folks, but you will find clients blown away by what you can do and the money will recoup itself.
For the first time ever, GenArts brings After Effects artists the ability to create awesome effects only available before to Flame and Smoke users. Not only can we create magic but we can do it on our GPU-accelerated machines, too! Monster GT is made for realtime speed freaks like me. With the GPU-enabled rendering ability, waiting to show a client or yourself the magic is not painful anymore. It happens in the now. Love it.
Monsters GT contains over 50 “one-of-a-kind” effects. I have to say some of them completely blew me away. I honestly never knew where to begin to create something like peering through a steamy shower look. Now it’s a click and add to my timeline. A few customizations and I am in business.
From adding ultra-realistic items like the moon, rainbows and the night sky, to some of the best fire, heat, fireworks, smoke, snow and rain, this is one set that will make your toolbox ultra powerful. Each effect has the ability to do many different configurations — you are only limited by your imagination.
I had fun adding the Brush effect to my client’s logo, doing some simple keyframes to start with the full logo, then subtly ending with a cool oil brush. I added some music and sent it to them. I got an email back saying, “We love it, can we add this to future work and if so how much will it add?” When I said yes and free they were blown away. Add value where you can, I always say!
Also inside the Stylize folder of Monsters GT are some of the best Night Vision, Thermo and Infrared I have ever seen. Add to this an amazing effect called Dots that will make your clip look like it was straight from the print industry, and another called Numbers that makes the footage look like an old-school Paint by Numbers set.
NOT JUST EYE CANDY
Although the effects included in Monsters GT are some amazing eye candy, they are also huge time savers. Taking advantage of CS5’s 64-bit architecture, Monsters GT takes on full GPU-acceleration to minimize render times, thus making your workflow more efficient. If you are on a CUDA card watch out; the realtime playback and rendering will blow you away. My PC has an Nvidia Quadro 4800 and I was amazed at my fast render times after stacking five of the effects on one clip! Even my old version running on a Mac Pro with an ATI card still played back much faster than even some of the pre-installed effects that came with After Effects.
Monsters GT also includes some really useful tools. One in particular is Audio Extract. Audio Extract is a massive time saver. It allows you to “extract” the audio source and animate the clip you choose to the beats of the audio. To do this manually is painful and very time consuming. Now in a matter of moments, Audio Extract analyzes the audio and creates keyframes that you can then connect to a property, such as scale, rotation, or any other animatable property. With a simple expression and pick whip connection you are in business. Your clip will now come alive with the audio. After doing this a few times I really see the huge time savings you get here.
I loved Monsters GT. GenArts really hit the nail on the head putting together this extremely useful bunch of effects and time-saving tools. The ability to utilize the 64-bit technology and GPU enhancement really makes these plug-ins the cream of the crop. You will become the Rembrandt you have aspired to by being creative with the Monsters GT set.
The GenArts Monsters GT is available now on Mac and PC for After Effects CS5 and CS4. In my opinion, Monsters GT is a great investment.
David Basulto is a Producer/Editor with Filmmaking Central in South Pasadena, CA. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.