doddleREVIEWS: Magic Bullet Suite 13, Part 1

Red Giant LogoBy Kevin P. McAuliffe (doddleNEWS)

One product package I’ve always been impressed with is Red Giant’s Magic Bullet Suite. It’s a product that is designed to cover all the bases of finishing your product. Whether it’s color correct, color grading or film emulation, Magic Bullet has your productions covered. In this two part review, we’re going to take a look at the newest release, Magic Bullet Suite 13, and we’ll see if number 13 is lucky for Red Giant.  

To get us rolling in Part 1, we’re going to talk about the different effects in the suite, and what they do. We’re going to be incorporating some of the new features with each product, so at the end, I’ll summarize what’s new in each package.

Magic Bullet Colorista

Supported Host Applications: After Effects, Premiere, FCP X & Motion (click for specific versions).

Magic Bullet Colorista is the core of the color correction inside of Magic Bullet Suite, and it’s a powerful one, but I’ll be very honest with you. It’s was also one of the more complex effects if you were new to color correction / grading, but Red Giant has done something super smart. They have come up with the “Guided Color Correction” window to help take newcomers through the color correction process. It’s done in seven steps, and covers all the basics, from color space to black and white levels, and to saturation and color balance.

Guided Color Correction

If I had to pick one beef with Colorista, it’s with the new “Open as Panel” command, because it’s lags in its own window (panel), yet is super snappy when it’s in the After Effects interface. You’d think the performance wouldn’t change based on which user interface it’s in. I also found tools like the LUT curve to be very laggy when Colorista was in it’s separate panel, but functioned as per normal, when back in the Effect Controls Window. That was a little disappointing.

New Features

  1. GPU: OpenGL/OpenCL
  2. Colorista Panel
  3. Guided Color Correction
  4. LUTs
  5. Color Temperature & Tint
  6. RGB Point Curves
  7. Log Support

Magic Bullet Looks

Supported Host Applications: After Effects, Premiere, FCPX, Motion, Vegas, Media Composer, Resolve, EDIUS (click for specific versions).

This is easily my favorite effect in MBS13 and has been since its inception, and one that, again, you could use on every project you work on, and Looks is a plugin that does just that. It lets you create nice looks to add to your footage.

Once applied, you can open the looks application, and choose from one of the over two hundred presets to get you moving in the right direction, or use one of the over forty tools to create your own Looks. When you’re happy with what you have, you can quickly save it out as a preset, to use on other projects!


New Features

  1. GPU: OpenGL/OpenCL
  2. Looks Presets
  3. Tool Presets
  4. Source Tool
  5. Renoiser Tool
  6. Mojo Tool
  7. Reference Library
  8. Universal strength slider
  9. Looks Favorites
  10. Resizing Scopes
  11. Save Looks Workflow

Magic Bullet Mojo

Supported Host Applications: After Effects, Premiere, FCPX, Motion, Vegas, Resolve, EDIUS (click for specific versions).

Just like Austin Powers needs his Mojo, so does your footage. This simple and straightforward tool gives you seven main parameters to “Punch Up” the look of your footage quickly and easily. With parameters like “Punch It”, “Bleach It” and “Fade It,” you have a pretty good idea of what you’re going to be doing to your footage. “Bleach It” for example, will give your footage that washed out look, like in Saving Private Ryan, with the simple drag of a slider.

New Features

  1. Updated cinematic style
  2. GPU: OpenGL/OpenCL
  3. My Footage is…
  4. Presets
  5. Vignette
  6. Exposure
  7. Color Temperature
  8. Tint

Magic Bullet Cosmo

Supported Host Applications: After Effects, Premiere, FCPX, Motion, Vegas, Resolve, EDIUS (click for specific versions).

Cosmo is all about perfecting the skin tones in your timelines, and getting them to look exactly the way you want them to look. One thing you’ll notice about most of the effects inside of MBS13, is that they are simple and straightforward, yet very powerful at the same time, and Cosmo is no different.

But this effect is more about the subtle changes you’ll be making in a shot, such as to help skin tones look perfect. As opposed to the big, in-your-face changes you make to an entire scene, much like with Magic Bullet Looks.


New Features

  1. GPU: OpenGL/OpenCL
  2. Better Results
  3. Skin Sample Tool
  4. Refined Visual Feedback

I think that this is a good place to wrap up part one of the review, as we have a couple more of the effects to take a look at in part two. We’re going to get in and talk about the price of MBS13, and whether it’s worth your hard earned dollar. As I’m sure you’ve already seen, Magic Bullet is designed to be just that, a suite of plugins you’ll be able to use to solve all your projects color correction and color grading issues, and give your footage the look you want, as quickly and as easily as you can get it!

For more information and to purchase Magic Bullet Suite 13, click here [affiliate link].

About doddle 16509 Articles
Doddlenews is the news division of the Digital Production Buzz, a leading online resource for filmmakers, covering news, reviews and tutorials for the video and film industry, along with movie and TV news, and podcasting.

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