Is Magic Bullet worth getting? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Windows / PC Post Production Solutions > What Happens in Vegas...

What Happens in Vegas...
...stays in Vegas! This PC-based editing app is a safe bet with these tips.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old September 26th, 2008, 05:11 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 95
Is Magic Bullet worth getting?

Just looking for feedback/input: is Magic Bullet looks worth having for use on video/film project.

All feedback and opinions appreciated.

Thanks,

mark
Mark Stavar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 26th, 2008, 07:48 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
MB is a very high quality plug-in and easy to use. If you have a use for it, it is well worth it. You should download the demo. It is very simple to install and doesn't interfere with anything.

Using the demo you can determine if it will be something you can use.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 26th, 2008, 07:53 AM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Malvern UK
Posts: 1,931
Magic Bullet Looks is good. Particularly the newer versions which can use the GPU for real time playback even within Vegas. One advantage Magic Bullet used to have was that it processed colour internally at 32-bit precision.

However now that Vegas itself can operate certain filters at this precision this advantage may not be so relevant. DSE will know more, as I'm not sure if the 3-way CC i Vegas works at 32-bit yet or not.

Regardless most effects that Magic Bullet does can be replicated very easily using Vegas' own tools.

I get rather bored of seeing Magic Bullet being used as I can tell instantly when looking at something that they have just slapped a MB preset onto shots.

I think time would be better spent, at much less cost, by learning how to use the CC tools within Vegas. It is capable of some amazing stuff, particularly if you combine the 3-way colour corrector with Curves, and Gradient Map filters.

You've got far more CC ability within Vegas than many of the packages out there. Much better than MB Looks.
Simon Wyndham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 26th, 2008, 10:26 AM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Singapore
Posts: 1,498
its Superb. Worth the dough. U should try it. The rght hand side of the interface allows detailed selections. Much easier than doing yr own colour curves
Sean Seah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 27th, 2008, 12:48 AM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 95
Thanks all for your feedback. You have given me some more things to consider.

Ciao,

mark
Mark Stavar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 27th, 2008, 03:11 AM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Sofia Bulgaria
Posts: 147
On the contrary to everything said above I have to say that I kicked out MagicBullet long time ago. Yes, it is a nice plugin and some of its filters are good for what called "film look". But actually the looks of MagicBullet are applicable especially in the commercials and some music videos straightly. Ok, just go for example to Apple - Movie Trailers and load any movie trailer there. Then compare it to the look of MagicBullet filters. If you see even only one movie with such a look, just tell me. Almost all the movie productions of the Hollywood movie studios have the specific movie look which much far from what MagicBullet offers. Same about DigitalFilmTools, Cinelook, etc. Am I right or not?!?
Plamen Petrov is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 27th, 2008, 06:46 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Utrecht, NL | Europe 3rd Rock from the Sun
Posts: 612
Plamen, you are right as such that just "slapping on" a Looks preset will be generic and generally un-exciting.

However, you should look at the presets as examples to further modify and tweak until you get the look you are after. Or better yet, build your own look from scratch.

Looks presets are no different in that respect as any other sample/example that come with any software. Usually these are not what you want.

Also you should not expect to finish a feature length film using looks in 15 minutes. It will take time to get the footage to look like you intended it to. That also presumes you're not using Looks for inspiration, but already have a decent idea what you want that look to be. Whereas it is easy to experiment and create variations with Looks, if you start with 'nothing' you may not be getting anywhere soon...

Looks was not intended to color correct but to work on corrected footage to apply a (creative) look. Colorista is the CC solution from Red Giant and it works great with Looks. That is not to say that you can't use Looks for the whole process, just that it may not be "optimal" (both from a 'features' as a 'workflow' perspective).

Sure you could create some look using standard tools, but Looks offers you a nice interface where you can easlity create and tweak "looks" and then save and apply them to your footage.

You should definately try Looks. It rocks.

George/

Last edited by George Kroonder; September 27th, 2008 at 05:05 PM.
George Kroonder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 27th, 2008, 12:54 PM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Hampshire, UK
Posts: 2,205
It's important to realise that Magic Bullet Looks (Magic Bullet is the company, Looks is the application name) is not just about the presets and that there are a multitude of individual tools that cannot be easily - if at all - replicated using Vegas standard tools. For instance:

Spot Exposure
Grad Exposure
Chromatic Aberration
Swing-Tilt Defocus
Diffusion, with adjustable grades
Lightflex, to emulate the flashing of light in a film box
Star Filter
Anamorphic Flare
Shutter Streak

I think there are something like 45 tools in total. Many of these tools are new to the latest version of Looks. I wonder if some people are reviewing the earlier, limited, version that was bundled with Vegas, or with Looks Suite?

As for Hollywood films looking different from videos that have had a <$400 effect applied to them - yes, I expect they do. I will pass the Movie Trailer Challenge back to Plamen to try and find one such trailer that was made with a video camera ;-)

Anyone considering using Looks to achieve the same thing as a multi-million dollar Hollywood movie should reconsider. They will be disappointed.

Anyone looking for a comprehensive set of manipulation tools and effects to allow them (as George says) to either build a unique look from scratch or tweak an existing preset, will probably be less disappointed.

For me, Looks has become a huge timesaver. I'm a corporate video maker with more work than I can comfortably handle at the moment. Nice place to be, but it means I don't have the luxury of being able to spend time tweaking every video. Looks presets are great jumping off points. Much of the work has already been done and I can just spend a few minutes tweaking to taste.

Looks isn't without issues though - in particular the inability to realtime preview on an external monitor. That's a pain.

Conclusion: despite that one (major) niggle, Looks is an essential part of my toolkit. I recovered the purchase price with the first couple of hours I saved through using Looks.
Ian Stark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 27th, 2008, 02:04 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Placentia, Calif
Posts: 549
I went thru hoops to get MB Looks, new video card which didn't work, a second video card which works well. However, after all that I could have done without any of it. It is very handy with clips that need alot of help, but, ordinary clips Vegas handles it all. I will use it but only when I need to, it does slow down rendering appreciably, One main objection I have after looking closely is that is handles things in layers, and if you look closely it is noticeable. i.e a layer which rally should be behind subject but now lays on top. The $99 upgrade is the only way to go, that's the only reason I got it, full price no way!
Hugh Mobley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 27th, 2008, 02:09 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plamen Petrov View Post
On the contrary to everything said above I have to say that I kicked out MagicBullet long time ago.
Magic Bullet Looks has only been available for a few months, so it is not possible for you to have kicked it out a long time ago.

As Ians says above, the MB version that came with Version 7 may be what you are thinking and is not the same.

As had been said, the new MB Looks has additional tools and is a fairly complete toolset.

Last edited by Jeff Harper; September 28th, 2008 at 01:34 PM.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 28th, 2008, 12:47 PM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 80
"Spot Exposure
Grad Exposure
Chromatic Aberration
Swing-Tilt Defocus
Diffusion, with adjustable grades
Lightflex, to emulate the flashing of light in a film box
Star Filter
Anamorphic Flare
Shutter Streak"

sounds like gadgets (like all the funny 3d transitions packs between shots, you never use that in a real movie) ... what make the film look is mainly gamma curve and a few color balance, which you can easily tweak with Vegas' builtin filters.
Robin Lobel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 28th, 2008, 01:27 PM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Hampshire, UK
Posts: 2,205
I thought we'd gone beyond the misunderstanding that Magic Bullet Looks is NOT just about 'the film look' as it pertains to gamma, colour etc. Looks is also about recreating things that happen (deliberately or by accident) with lenses and the camera's mechanics, etc.

Things like the swing tilt and chromatic aberration tools are useful creative effects and are devices that are used or appear in many 'real films'. To see examples of both in 'real' movies look at WALL-E where they added chromatic aberration to get a sense of the kinds of artefacts created by old 1970's Panavision cameras. For swing tilt, look at Angela, The Preacher's Wife, Minority Report and a thousand others. Flare? Any film where the sun appears from behind the earth. Lightflex? Pretty much any Laurel & Hardy. And so on . . .

You certainly won't want to use them in every production - indeed I suspect they will be used on odd occasions only - but they are there if you need them to be used in addition to the colour correction tools.

Just so I understand your argument, how are things like spot exposure (the ability to raise or lower the exposure in a specific point on the screen, with fall off), grad exposure (similar, but with a linear or eliiptical gradient) and diffusion considered gadgets? And how could these be easily tweaked with Vegas-native filters? Note the word 'easily'.

Personally I find them all extremely useful tools and absolutely not in the same league as the far-out transitions you mention.

And keep in mind that not all of us are making wannabe Hollywood movies. Some of us make corporate videos, music videos, wedding videos etc - all of which will likely use more extreme effects than a 'real' movie.
Ian Stark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 28th, 2008, 05:24 PM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Well said, Ian.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 29th, 2008, 04:41 AM   #14
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Sofia Bulgaria
Posts: 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Stark View Post
And keep in mind that not all of us are making wannabe Hollywood movies. Some of us make corporate videos, music videos, wedding videos etc - all of which will likely use more extreme effects than a 'real' movie.
...and the look of the "real" movie is what we have all succumbed to...
Plamen Petrov is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 29th, 2008, 06:16 AM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Hampshire, UK
Posts: 2,205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plamen Petrov View Post
...and the look of the "real" movie is what we have all succumbed to...
Hmmm . . . maybe :-)

Personally, I simply like crushed blacks, warm contrast and slightly desaturated colour in my videos. I'm not really concerened whether it looks like film or not. I just want it to look good and for my clients to be pleased. I believe Magic Bullet Looks makes it easier and quicker for me to make my video look good.

Easier + quicker + happy client = greater profit margin. And that's kind of the clincher for me!

90% of my stuff ends up on a website at 320 x 240 (or smaller) anyway so striving to make it look like film seems kinda futile.
Ian Stark 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 > Windows / PC Post Production Solutions > What Happens in Vegas...

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:38 PM.


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