Review: Magic Bullet Suite 13

Staff Writer By: Ricky Grove (gToon)


Review: Magic Bullet Suite 13 | Magic Bullet Suite 13, Video editing, filmmaking, video plug-in, color correcting

As a video editor creating content every week, I can assure you I look for anything that will keep my workflow efficient and, above all, save time. For example, suppose you are working on a video and are trying out a particular effect or style; suddenly everything stops while you try to problem solve. An hour later you've got the effect you wanted, but you've been side-tracked and now the creative flow has to be generated all over again.

I mention this by way of introducing a company called Red Giant. They specialize in building tools that help video editors and motion graphic designers with their work. Here's Red Giant describing what it is they do:

Red Giant develops tools that make the filmmaking process faster, more secure, more accurate and just more fun. For over 10 years, we have built software for motion design, color correction, visual effects and photography that is used for everything from major motion pictures to worldwide television programming to web production.

Red Giant Shooter Suite 13
Red Giant offers a variety of products including their popular Trapcode Suite, Shooter Suite and Universe. Today, however, we'll be reviewing their recently updated Magic Bullet Suite 13. This suite of 7 tools for filmmakers and editors include:

Magic Bullet Suite 13

What's New in Magic Bullet Suite 13
Six of the seven products in the suite have been upgraded. One product (Magic Bullet Renoiser) is entirely new. All seven of the tools come with real-time color correction and Open GL/Open CL support. The entire suite of tools are GPU Accelerated. You can view all of the updates here. There are so many, I can't cover the all here, but I will provide some highlights.

The brand-new Magic Bullet Renoiser is a unique tool that gives digital filmmakers/editors the ability to add grain to their footage in order to emulate the texture of traditional cinema. There are 16 noise/grain presets that reproduce the look of real film stocks and popular movies. Fully customizable, you have complete control over every aspect of the process.

Other notable updates include Magic Bullet Looks 4 which now has over 200 preset looks many of which are taken from popular TV Shows and popular films. Colorista IV now has a special panel for Adobe Premiere and After Effects users along with a Guided Color Correction process that's industry standard. DeNoiser 3 has been rewritten and is now a leaner and slimmer application with a new easier-to-use UI.

Colorista Even very old home movies can be tweaked to perfection with MBS 13

Working with Magic Bullet Suite 13
The Suite is designed primarily for working artists, although there's no reason anyone who wants their videos/films to look better couldn't benefit from these great plug-ins. I tested 3 different kinds of video with each plug-in: an old 16mm home movie from the 50's, a documentary I shot on standard video in the late 1990's and a brand-new HD video I shot this last October.

I can tell you right now that the Magic Bullet Suite took my footage from all three sources and made them much, much better than the originals. The effect was particularly striking in the documentary shot on standard video. The colors/contrast and noise were much worse that I realized. Here Colorista IV's guided color correction made fixing this footage so easy. Until I saw the newly corrected footage, I simply didn't realize how poor the original video was. See the difference in the before/after pix below.

Colorista The before and after from my 20 year old video footage is amazing.

The new HD footage I tested benefited the most from Magic Bullet Suite. Skin tones were easy to adjust as were noise removal and various color "looks". I struggled a bit with the Magic Bullet Looks plug-in, not so much the plug in's fault, but it's a more complex process that the other plug-ins which require simple adjustments. I think with more practice adjusting looks for my video will be easier. Certainly the interface and process is simple enough.

And that's one of the great benefits of the Magic Bullet Suite - all of the plug-ins are very simple to use and fit in with your editor of choice organically so that you use it just like any other part of your editing package. I used Premiere Pro CC from Adobe and had zero problems. Installation was a snap and the help section at Red Giant was effective and easy to use.

Final Thoughts
I'm thrilled with how well the Magic Bullet Suite 13 worked for me in my video editing process. Plug-ins should always save you time and make your work easier (and more creative) and Magic Bullet Suite does this very, very well. I simply can't imagine my work being the same in the future without these suite of tools. Certainly color correction will now be at the top of my list on every project.

I highly recommend Red Giant's Magic Bullet Suite 13 for any video editor. These are tools that will make your work life so much easier and save you time to devote to being creative. What more can you ask for? Try a free trial of the Magic Bullet Suite 13 and make your editing life much, much easier.



Magic Bullet Suite Compatability
The Suite is compatible with most major editing package. Red Giant has a page devoted to this here. If you are running Avid, Da Vinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro X and/or After Effects/Premiere Pro, you will be covered.

How to Purchase Magic Bullet Suite 13
You can purchase the entire suite of 7 video tools for $899.00. Each individual plug in can be purchase separately. However, you save nearly $400 over the individual plug-in prices if you purchase the suite. Check out the product page for each plug in to learn more. There are also upgrade offers and special Academic Discounts available.

Please go to the main Red Giant website and the Magic Bullet Suite 13 page in particular