Magic Bullet Looks: Creating a Blockbuster Vibe

Magic Bullet Looks are a set of presets under the Red Giant Magic Bullet program. It is not the same as color correction. Instead, it is a set of basic tools, a starting point for correcting the color for film shots. Each preset contains a number of tools with customizable settings, which colorists can use to play with the film shot. The plugin can be used to create movies that resemble the effects shown in some popular movies, such as Terminator: Salvation. Here are a few basic steps in using the feature.

Step 1: Launch the Video Editing Software

The Magic Bullet plugin is compatible with a number of video editing programs. Accessing the program remains the same in almost all cases. Look for the shortcut or icon pointing to the video editing software being used. Double click on the icon. The video editing software can also be accessed through the installed programs listed when pressing the Start button on the taskbar. Create a New Project. Drag a video onto the timeline to use.

Step 2: Load the Magic Bullet Plugin

Open the Red Giant Magic Bullet program in order to use the various presets and tools available. There are a number of video editing software which are compatible with this plugin, including Apple’s Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express or Motion, Adobe’s Premiere Pro and After Effects, Sony Vegas as well as Avid Express or Media Composer. The way to access the plugin depends on the program being used as the user interface changes depending on the program. With the video editing program launched, look for the list of plugins available for use. Select the Magic Looks plugin and Edit Looks it will open the plugin.

Step 3: Play with the Looks Presets

The Looks plugin has over 100 different presets and looks. On the top left side is the Look Theater. Click All Looks and the complete list of looks will appear. With clicking the View button beside it, the plugin will present a slideshow of all of the available looks. At the left side is Looks sidebar. This will display all of the filters and looks along with a thumbnail of the effect on the image or shot. Click on one of the looks from the list. A list of filters will appear. Clicking on each filter will automatically change the effect of the shot. The tools on the bottom will also change depending on the effect selected.

Each tool under the preset effect can be customized to change the look of the shot or image.  With creating a blockbuster look effect, play with the color saturation and Lift-Gamma-Gain tools. The mood of the shot mainly depends on the color of the highlights and shadows.

Step 4: Load a Blockbuster Movie (Optional)

For first time users, watching a blockbuster movie and analyzing the different shots and effects can help with using Magic Bullet Looks. Watching more films can give users a better idea of what has been done or what has been effective in terms of color editing. Use personal videos or sample shots to try to emulate the color correction effects used in movie hits.