Red Giant Magic Bullet Suite 13 is the ultimate suite for Color Grading. The Magic Bullet Suite offers an expansive library of plugins including Looks 4, Colorista IV, Denoiser II, Mojo II, Cosmo II, Renoiser and Film 1.2. I will briefly explain and review each plugin below.
Red Giant Magic Bullet Suite 13 Looks
Looks 4 tends to be one of Red Giants most used plugins, it also serves as the forefront along with Colorista of Red Giant Magic Bullet Suite 13. Looks is a color mask that can be placed over footage to change the way the shot is perceived based on color. Looks is a library of over 200 “Looks” that can be applied to videos.
Looks is a great “Quick Fix” plugin. Some Colorist prefer to avoid the mask and do absolutely everything by hand. However, not everyone has the time or patience to do that, so they use plugins like Looks to get a quick color grade result. All in all, Looks is a great tool for beginners, and a shortcut for the pros. Looks has it’s own sub-program within Adobe Premiere Pro CC(Or whatever software you use). When opened, changes can be made directly to the mask to modify them more precisely to the clips it’s used on. I’d recommend Looks to anyone, from beginners to pros, but for different reasons. Looks is a quality tool and I find myself using occasionally.
Red Giant Magic Bullet Suite 13 Colorista
Colorista IV is a must have for many. It’s an essential color correction tool geared towards getting proper skins tones. As mentioned before, Colorista is one of the forefronts of Red Giant Magic Bullet Suite 13. The breakdown of Magic Bullet’s components consist of 3 way coloring (Adjust Shadows, Midtones and Highlights), HSL wheels(Precise control over color variables), Keyer(Color Isolation) and LUTs(Premade color correction/grading). Colorista replaces external programs that would otherwise color footage outside of the primary editing software.
Overall, Colorista is an incredibly strong tool. Eliminating external software is always a good thing, especially when the trade off isn’t a compromise. For quick color, I’ll generally use the built-in coloring in Adobe Premiere Pro CC. However, I find Adobe Premiere Pro CC Coloring to be very limited, and simply not as powerful in performance. Colorista, however, allows for extensive details in coloring and has a very nice final product. I would recommend Colorista to intermediate to advanced editors. The moment Adobe Premiere Pro CC isn’t cutting it, it’s time to get Colorista.
Red Giant Magic Bullet Suite 13 Denoiser
Have you ever had footage that has so much noise in it due to ISO, that you didn’t want to use it in your film? Then you probably need Denoiser II. This is one of those tools that anyone could find useful. First and foremost, use Denoiser just before exporting your video. Denoiser is extremely intensive and will turn any project into a nightmare if used prematurely. Outside of that, it can be used on any video clip to reduce/remove noise based on the settings selected.
Of all the qualities of Denoiser, the best part is the flexibility you have to modify how much noise is removed. In some cases, noise is considered grain. Grain is an excellent effect that adds additional emotion to an image. Too much of it can look tacky, but at the same time, it’s meant to be able to remove “some” noise in order to keep the grain. I’d recommend Denoiser to any editor as ISO noise is almost inevitable. It’s a great software and works well, just ensure you use it in the final touches stage of editing, and not early on.
Red Giant Magic Bullet Suite 13 Mojo
The best way to describe Mojo II is if “Looks” and “Colorista” had a baby. Editors can add “Instant” color grading to their shots that will replicate the desired “Hollywood Look”. Once the appropriate mask is applied, the editor has the ability to adjust each individual tint and other color related attributes.
Mojo seems to have found itself in an awkward place. It’s inferior in preset to Looks and inferior in color correction to Colorista. So what it all comes down to is the preference of the editor. It’s a great software and is a nice change up from other coloring methods. I’d recommend Mojo to intermediate to advanced editors looking to expedite the coloring process while still achieving quality results.
Red Giant Magic Bullet Suite 13 Cosmo
Cosmo II is your digital makeup. If your makeup department is either insufficient or non existent, Cosmo is a great way to balance skin tones, reduce/remove wrinkles and remove skin imperfections. Unlike Mojo, Cosmo actually has something to bring to the table that the other plugins can’t.
Cosmo is an incredibly lightweight and powerful plugin. It works fluently with Adobe Premiere Pro CC and other Red Giant Magic Bullet Suite 13 plugins. It’s also available on other major editing platforms. Though it may look intimidating at first glace, Cosmo is very easy to use and is not time consuming. I’d recommend Cosmo to intermediate to advanced editors because at that level, prior training will not have to be done to use the software as the controls are universally understood.
Red Giant Magic Bullet Suite 13 Renoiser
The Renoiser is a new addition to Red Giant Magic Bullet Suite 13. Remember that “grain” we were talking about in the Denoiser review? The Renoiser adds that coveted “grain look” that add’s additional emotion and intention to the shot. Renoiser offers a list of different grain effects that can be applied to any clip. The list consist of: Modern Master, Cinema Holdout, Kung-Fu Fighting, Modern 35mm, classic 35mm, 16mm, Super 8 and more.
This is arelatively useful tool to have. It naturally generates grain, resulting in more realistic results than alternative methods. This is another intensive plugin that should be applied only once the editor is in the final touches stage. It’s also important to be conservative with Renoiser, or the viewers may become irritated. Renoiser is a artful plugin and works very well.
Red Giant Magic Bullet Suite 13 Film
Achieving the “Film Look” seems to be quite popular among most film makers. The reason being that almost all Hollywood films are still shot on film. Naturally, digital film makers want to replicate the film look without paying for the expensive film, and avoiding the horrific maintenance required when handling and processing film. Film 1.2 is a relatively new plugin that Red Giant Magic Bullet Suite 13 introduced. It primarily adjust the color grading of the footage to make it appear older, it adds a more realistic “Film Grain” and can apply vignettes. These features are highly versatile for extra precision and realism. Though, still in it’s developmental stages, Film proves to be a powerful plugin to truly add a more “film-like” look.
Having used Film on occasion, I am very impressed by it’s accuracy, responsiveness and lightweight affect on the editing software. Other plugins would argue they can also achieve the “film look”. But not to the level of the Film Plugin. This is a plugin I would recommend to more advanced editors. Achieving a film look require desensitization to real film, in order to attempt to replicate it. Film is a fantastic plugin for film-look fans.
My Final Thoughts On Red Giant Magic Bullet Suite 13
Looking through the Magic Bullet Suite: Looks 4, Colorista IV, Denoiser II, Mojo II, Cosmo II, Renoiser and Film 1.2 are all astonishing plugins. It’s a privilege keeping all the color correction inside the editing software and away from external programs. The Magic Bullet Suite truly gives editors the ability to do so. Sure a few of them overlap each other, but the main point is that it completely covers color correcting and color grading. For the whole Red Giant Magic Bullet Suite 13, it comes out to $899.99. A heavy price, but it certainly delivers. For those looking to purchase individual plugins from this suite, Looks cost $399.99, Colorista cost $199.99, Mojo cost $99.99. Denoiser cost $199.99, Cosmo Cost $99.99, Renoiser cost $99.99 and Film cost $199.99. Click Here to go to Red Giants websites. Overall, the bundled Magic Bullet Suite saves roughly $400. Although this suite can be used by almost any skill level, it would seem as though the intermediate to advanced editors would be be able to take the most advantage of it.