Red Giant's Shooter Suite 13 in Review
Staff Writer By: Nick Sorbin (nickcharles)
Red Giant's Shooter Suite 13 is a fantastic set of tools that gives filmmakers the confidence that their footage will be the best it can be from shoot to post. You want as little worry as possible out in the field, and the Shooter Suite delivers reliably. The Shooter Suite consists of four specific programs: Offload 1.0, Pluraleyes 4.1, Instant 4K, and Frames 1.1. The only real update in version 13 of the suite is PluralEyes 4.1, but it is quite a major update. Let's have a look at all the parts of the suite, shall we?
Offload 1.0 is an excellent tool, which provides a reliable back-up of the footage you shoot in the field. And, it is compatible with virtually all cameras and media formats. It is super quick and easy. Just choose your source, provide a destination folder, a backup folder, and you are set to go. With one click and lightning speed your footage is safely stored and backed up.
Instant 4K, is just as the name implies. Quickly upconvert standard-definition footage with much better results than you would get within your host program. The included presets makes this super easy, and the process is really fast.
Frames 1.1 allows you to de-interlace and convert older footage to 24p. It works very well, and is also very fast. In addition, Frames 1.1 also includes a tool for ensuring broadcast-safe colors, and a tool for letterboxing.
Now, on to the real gem of the Shooter Suite - Pluraleyes 4.1. There really is nothing like PluralEyes anywhere. PluralEyes syncs the audio from different sources - so with multi-camera video on a shoot, all your shots are going to line up. PluralEyes performs this task with great accuracy, and within minutes.
PluralEyes 4.1 is a standalone application, not a plug-in, so the results you get out of it can be used with any video editor. However, now since version 4, it can also be accessed through Adobe's Premiere Pro CC (2014 and up). You'll find it in the window drop-down, under 'extensions'.
The PluralEyes 4.1 interface itself is extremely simple and easy to use. Import your footage, click a button, and it goes right to work. You get instant feedback, as you can see it working. And, color-coding shows you any problem areas you might need to address. You can also easily compare tracks now, to make sure your clips are synced properly.
The new Smart Start feature allows you to drag and drop entire media folders into PluralEyes, and it even recognizes the devices the footage is from, so that files from the same device will appear on the same track. And, as you may know, cameras may break up longer recordings into several files (clip spanning), and PluralEyes detects this as well, consolidating these into one clip.
Another really cool new feature is Automatic Drift Correction. If there is any drift detected, where the sound and video are no longer matching up, PluralEyes automatically corrects it.
What I've talked about so far are the new improvements in version 4 of PluralEyes, but a recent update to version 4.1 brought in the new Music Video Workflow. As music videos are usually made up of multiple takes, with talent performing along with the same backing audio track, PluralEyes can now combine takes on their own track, muting all audio but that which is on the master. A couple other small improvements in 4.1 are the ability to turn off the previously mentioned drift correction feature, and now clip spanning support for GoPro cameras.
Red Giant's Shooter Suite 13 as a whole is really excellent, and all the tools within it work well and are all very fast. PluralEyes is definitely the gem of the suite, but the other utilities are also great to have in your toolset.
Shooter Suite 13 is available for Windows and Mac OS X, at a price of $399.00 (USD), and $99.00 if you are upgrading from a previous version. You can purchase the tools in the suite separately, but you are saving almost $200 by buying the full suite. And chances are good you'll want all of the tools in this suite.