Magic Bullet Suite 2008
A couple years ago I compared Magic Bullet Suite 2.1 and the now discontinued CineLook 2 software plugins for After Effects. With the release of Adobe's CS4 suite, I wanted to revisit the latest offering from Red Giant Software--Magic Bullet Suite 2008. One project at the CBS affiliate I work at called for a variety of different needs that MBS 2008 was able to handle all within this one plugin set: film look, film motion, up-rezzing to HD, color correction, and motion removal.
For those of you not familiar with MBS 2008, it includes Looks 1.1 (one-click presets to colorize your footage,) Frames 1.0 (helps introduce a 24p look to interlaced video,) Colorista 1.0 (color correction,) Instant HD 1.1 (resizes SD to various flavors of HD,) and Steady 1.0 (removal of camera shake/jitter.) The spot I worked on was able to use all of these plugins.
SETTING THE MOOD
You can click on any of the presets and hit OK, or you can tweak to your heart’s content by clicking on the icons at the bottom of the screen. Easy for the AE novice, and lots of love for the AE pros.
Below on the left you see the original footage, and on the right see the affected footage with a little bit of compositing on top of a warm one-touch preset.
FEELS LIKE FILM
First, make sure that you are working with the original interlaced clip. (If your clips are a couple of digital generations old, the interlacing may be baked in and give you cause for that big bottle of Advil.) With the original clip, apply the plugin to de-interlace. I would then render out, and bring it back in and apply 3:2 (WWSSW) to get it into your final comp. Kind of a pain, but it’s very clean.
A word to the wise on this plugin--be careful. Because of the pixel creating capabilities here, be cautious on how you use other plugins in connection with Instant HD. Even by precomposing, crashes can come early and often if you’re overloading your system. Trial and error has told me that it’s best to pre-render, and re-import as an individual clip.
THE REST OF THE GANG
There was also a sunset shot of our helicopter at the end of the spot. The white balance was a little off, and again with one click, Colorista was able to readjust the white balance and bring it more in harmony with the other shots. The plugin does a lot more than that, but it was nice to have a quick fix handy without having to dig into curves. While our station doesn’t use these two plugins very often, it’s sure nice to have them in the arsenal.
OVERALL--THE SUITE IS SWEET
4.5 Cows (out of 5)
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