Magic Bullet at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Techniques for Independent Production

Techniques for Independent Production
The challenges of creating Digital Cinema and other narrative forms.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 9th, 2004, 03:36 PM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Boston, Ma
Posts: 23
Magic Bullet

I just wanted to hear everybodys thoughts on this plugin. I have high doubts that any plugin can make dv footy look close to film, but is the effect in your opinion somewhat accurate?
__________________
-Zander Taketomo
Zander Taketomo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 9th, 2004, 04:10 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Waterloo Ontario
Posts: 721
for premiere: WOW!!!

This is one of the only plug-ins that I will touch within premiere. The rest of my work goes out to After Effects.
The filmlook set that is included for download when you register premiere is terrific!
The bonus set that you get once the plugin is installed and you do some more digging is worth the mouse clicks.
Their Black Diffusion when combined with some de-saturation and 66% speed will blow you out the door. And your clients will think it is nifty too.
Jimmy McKenzie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 9th, 2004, 04:13 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 493
Magic Bullet is a good tool when used properly. If your goal is to do a film output, then it is probably ideal. If you want to the "film look," but will display on NTSC, it might not be the best. Why? The key is in the methodology Magic Bullet employs in generating it's 24 progressive frames from 60 interlaced fields.

Magic Bullet does a great deal of interpolation. It interpolates 24 very crisp and smooth frames from your DV source. The frames look absolutely stellar as stills, and probably look great as film out as well. To bear that out, the tool has been used in a number of films.

However, there is a disadvantage. The frames are so crisp that they tend to be too stroboscopic when played back with 3:2 pulldown on a NTSC monitor. If NTSC is your final destination, you may want a tool that does more blending and less interpolation. Blending will result in softer stills, but smoother playback.

In that regard, DVFilm Maker, though it competes head to head with Magic Bullet, achieves its results through a different methodology. It doesn't interpolate frames, but rather retains much of the existing frames, deinterlacing only the motion it detects for a slight loss of resolution in those areas, and does some blending as well, since it takes its sample points approximately every 2.5 fields (from what I gather from the developers comments elsewhere on this site).

The end result is that DVFilm Maker probably won't look as good on film out, but is much smoother playing back from tape or a DVD. Though the difference in image quality between the two is clear looking at stills, I can't tell on playback, but I do notice the motion strobing of Magic Bullet.

There are other issues with Magic Bullet. One is that its interpolation causes problems with certain detail areas and patterns. Since it's actually doing math and generating pixels, instead of just shifting existing pixels around, you will see weirdness with small text in the field of view, with meshs and patterns, and really trippy slurry effects on rocks and gravel. To be clear, these are not issues with the DV format. DV can have difficulties with certain patterns, but this is a different issue, as has been documented elsewhere.

The Magic Bullet "Detail" setting is supposed to allow you to correct for this weridness. I have been able to partially correct my footage using the lowest setting of 2 (which is counterintuitive, as the manual will tell you to increase the setting). Unfortunately, it is not fully corrected, and it is noticably distracting on playback.

Magic Bullet also deartifacts the DV 4:1:1 color space. This is a great feature. I'm not sure it can be used independently of the deinterlacing.

Deartifacting is important. It is especially important of you plan on going out to DVD, which most people do. During MPEG-2 compression for DVD, the color space will be converted to 4:2:0. Like 4:1:1, it is a limited color space, but in a different way. As you can imagine, going from one limited color space to another can't be good. Yet, that is the reality. Deartifacting will ensure you get the most of out of what you have to work with.

In considering these factors, this is my current workflow:

1. DV capture
2. Deartifact (Magic Bullet or Zenote (need to test))
3. Deinterlace (DVFilm Maker - Since I'm not going for film out)
4. Edit (Premiere Pro 23.976 timeline)
5. Color correct (not for look, but for consistency)
6. Color correct (for look, using Look Suite from MB Suite)
7. Letterbox (from MB Suite)
8. Broadcast spec (from MB Suite)
9. MPEG-2 Encoding (TMPGEnc)
10. DVD out (DVD-lab)

That may seem like a lot of tools, but I am trying to use the best tool for each stage in the process. Due to the immediate deartifacting, I'll be dealing with very large uncompressed AVI files right off the bat. It may be a good idea to rough cut the footage before it goes through that stage.

On another note, I would advise against grain effects, unless that's specifically the look you are going for. At DV/DVD resolutions, 35mm film grain is essentially averaged out due to downsampling, so it should not be apparant. Rather, the desired look should be a very clean and smooth image.
Joshua Provost is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 9th, 2004, 07:09 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: stately Eldora Road
Posts: 386
Josh, thanks. That was helpful.

JS
John Sandel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 10th, 2004, 03:06 PM   #5
New Boot
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Reggio Emilia - Italy
Posts: 19
I've found his thread very interesting about Magic Bullet and the Provost's workflow.
Since I'm really a newby in this field i'd like to know if
all the workflow described is performed with uncompressed footage, after the initial DV capture.

Sorry for the stupid question, but ... so it goes
Thanks in advance

Brambus
Paolo Brambilla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 10th, 2004, 03:31 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 493
Yes, you will be working with uncompressed AVIs most of the way. The deartifacting, by necessity, will take you from 4:1:1 to 4:4:4, i.e., uncompressed.

Now, you could go through editing with the DV source and swap out the file before rendering. A lot of people do that, but I haven't figured it out yet.
Joshua Provost is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 12th, 2004, 08:14 PM   #7
New Boot
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 9
Magic Bullet

I was wondering if anyone has some (further) advice - we are finishing up color-correction on a project that was acquired on DVCAM (as well as some film) - is now in a G-5 dual 2.5 / Black Magic (un-compressed) / Final Cut HD custom integrated system from BKW Inc.- anyway, we are soon approaching further film-looking processes including the Magic Bullet plug-in and this is my first time w/ M.B.so I am wanting to get some input as far as settings doís and doníts, etc. This project will go straight to NTSC DVD. Any comments will be helpful. I have looked at some of the enties on M.B. here and find them very helpful already, especially from Joshua Provost (answers a lot already !)
Thankís, Jeff.
Jeff Sherman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 12th, 2004, 11:12 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 493
Jeff,

Some of the earlier "film look" plug-ins had pretty drastic presets, to empasize the difference in the processed footage. In this regard, Magic Bullet is better than the rest, it's presets are much more conservative. However, in my experiments, I have still cranked them back a bit to fit reality. Make sure your source footage is consistent, or keyframe the effect to even it out. It's very flexible, experiment and enjoy.

Hey, you're in Phoenix? I'm always looking for people to do music videos for bands on my record label.
Joshua Provost is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 14th, 2004, 02:52 AM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Santa Monica, Ca
Posts: 62
I've had the MB plugin for awhile and the problem I run into is after I add MB to the footage, I can't get my audio to sync up. Do I need to editing the footage on a 24p timeline(23.976)? I'm not posting out to film, I just wanna get the 24P look...
Gerald Baillgergeau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 14th, 2004, 09:27 AM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 493
Gerard,

What was your workflow? Did you use MB before or after editing?
Joshua Provost is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 14th, 2004, 12:46 PM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Santa Monica, Ca
Posts: 62
Joshua,

I use MB before editing. I capture the footage in FCP, import it into AE and then MB it. When I interpret the footage to 23.976 for MB, it gives me "WARNING: audio my not synchronize." Do I need to change the audio khz independently from the video? Even if I were to MB after I edit, I still have an audio sync problem...
Gerald Baillgergeau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 19th, 2004, 12:49 AM   #12
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Boston, Ma
Posts: 23
FCP

hey i recently got magic bullet for final cut, its definatly doesnt compare to a true film look, but if youd like to see an outcome from the first time ive ever used it here it is, http://skateperception.com/zandert/tommyfilm.mov
this origionally was filmed with a sony vx1000, no filters
__________________
-Zander Taketomo
Zander Taketomo is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Techniques for Independent Production

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:09 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network