Red Giant released Magic Bullet Suite 12 recently, which is a hefty and much welcomed update to the popular coloring suite for various host applications. Note, this is basically the “Color Suite,” a title they are ditching and reverting back to “Magic Bullet Suite,” with good reason too. I personally use these set of tools constantly and love it, so let’s talk about what’s new.
Magic Bullet Looks 3
Magic Bullet Looks 3 has a resigned interface, and while the layout remains the same, the UI elements are more slick, flat, and polished. Most importantly, there are 9 new tools including the Colorista Tool, the 4-Way Color Corrector, a Shadow/Highlights tool (similar to Lightroom’s feature), a Color Space tool, film stock simulations, and a slew of other things. There’s also 198 new presets redesigned and built by Stu Maschwitz, which look much better in my opinion.
Colorista III also added the Shadows/Highlights tool, updated their Curves feature to support manual multi-point adjustments, a vignette slider (finally), and support for Final Cut X. They also dropped the Power Mask feature, encouraging us to use the built-in features of our host applications.
New: Magic Bullet Film
Magic Bullet Film is as simple plugin (think Mojo simple) that allows you to simulate various film stocks to get that cinematic filmic look rather than your typical digital looking images. They were shot, scanned, and processed using real film stocks to help emulate the process as real as possible. This is the plugin I’m most excited to use in my workflow, and remind me a lot of FilmConvert that so many filmmakers use now.
Mojo and Cosmo got a nice speed boost, which are now optimized for the GPU. Denoiser II stayed pretty much the same for the most part. Overall, this is a solid update in terms of new features and stability/speed improvements.
Color Like a Pro Without Being One
As I said before, I cannot recommend the Magic Bullet Suite enough. This suite of tools is essential for every filmmaker and highly recommended for every motion designer out there. I use these products in every shoot and nearly all pieces of motion graphics I have designed in some sort of way. They make the complex process of coloring a lot more simple for people who don’t want to spend hours grading in a darkroom on a large screen for days.
The price for the whole suite is $799, while upgrade pricing is $199, and academic is $399. I know a lot of people in my community are design students, so take advantage of the academic pricing! Also, by using the links in this post to purchase (affiliate), you’ll be helping the Dojo out. If you’re a filmmaker, I recommend the whole suite because you’ll be using almost all the tools often in my opinion. If you’re a motion graphics guy, I still recommend the whole suite, but I know some of you are on a budget. If I had to buy individual products as a motion designer, it’d be in this order: Looks, Colorista, Denoiser.
Overall, I think the Magic Bullet Suite is the best product suite Red Giant produces, and is essential to any artist looking to take their coloring to the next level without getting extremely technical with expensive equipment and tools.