Unlike many filters packages, which try to offer everything from colour correction to lens flares, Monsters GT 7 presents a more stylised look.
These aren’t filters that you’ll use on every project, but when you need a unique look or a specific effect it may be found here. The effects have a similar organic quality to GenArts Sapphire Effects (for After Effects), but there’s a stronger emphasis on natural phenomena.
Filters are now grouped into categories such as Blurs, Fluidz and Natural Phenomena, making navigation easier than before. Controls are intuitive to use, with overlays appearing on screen to show how your changes are affecting the filter’s parameters.
Render times are quite slow, meaning that you may have to work at a lower resolution and then bump it up to full res for fine-tuning, depending on your system. Nothing is too sluggish to work with, though.
A combination of water-based filters, including 3D Pool and Water, create realistic water effects even on 2D images
The pay-off for longer render times is usually more realism, and that’s certainly the case with Monsters GT. The Natural Phenomena effects have a particularly organic feel to them, and all the water-based effects are capable of looking photorealistic with careful application.
However, some of the new features in this release are less than impressive, such as the Roman Tile effect, which does nothing more than offer another variation on crystallising the image.
The Sky filter creates an instant sky complete with sun, but it has such an unrealistic look that its use may be limited.
More impressive is the new Candle effect, which creates a flickering flame that sways and drifts according to its movement. With a great depth to the controls, there’s enormous scope for creative use of this effect.
The strong emphasis on natural effects is showcased brilliantly by photorealistic Raindrops
Star Field, which has a 3D look and feel, can be controlled directly or automatically when you’re short of time, so that stars flow around or towards the camera. The new Water effect adds subtle light waves to a surface, and works best in conjunction with other water-based filters.
Many of the particle-based filters have been improved with added motion blur and higher quality rendering. Smoke, Rain and Snow are now among the best on the market. The Raindrops filter creates a stunning impression of water dripping down glass.
3D Pool and 3D Puddle render ripples and waves of the highest quality.
The blurs and time-based effects all work effectively but don’t offer major improvements over similar filters in other products. The Particles filter, however, is one of the better particle effects on the market, making it easy to create natural-looking swirls and drifts of smoky particles.
Monsters GT 7 isn’t a package of must-have effects, but it is a good product to have up your sleeve. When you need something that doesn’t look off-the-shelf, you’re more likely to find it here than in a standard package. The Natural Phenomena are the strongest offerings, with the flame, smoke, particle and water effects being some of the best you can find.
See what’s new in Monsters GT 7
Price has been halved
Realistic natural effects
Many unique looks
Some average effects
Long render times
With original effects, organic looks and great depth of control, Monsters GT 7 provides creative control for a low price
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christopher Kenworthy is a writer and film-maker based in Australia, with a background in visual effects work. He’s the author of the best-selling Master Shots books. christopherkenworthy.com