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Magic Bullet Looks now available for FCPX, and half price for a week.

    Just saw that magic bullet looks came out the other day and is on offer for 7 days. What are folks opinions of it here, and at this temporary new price? Worth a shot?

  • 26 Replies sorted by
  • also, this is half price no matter what NLE you use, a good deal

  • There's a bunch of guys selling their presets. With Motion 5 & FCPX you can do all this stuff yourself.

    The ingredients are on the counter. Learn to use them or put a package in the microwave. Whatever

  • @davhar Has anyone read the information for creating FXPlug2's? It says something like: now don't publish too many parameters and this may confuse FCPX users. It then goes on to say: If you are a power user you would open the plugin in Motion 5 anyway - make adjustments or publish your own parameters etc...

    What is even more annoying than FCPX being bagged as 'non-pro' is requesting features and plugins that it can already do well... Lets work on what it can't do well yet... (Would kill for Shians now plugin in FCPX/MOTION5!)

  • Been thinking about MBL for a while... You mention it being redundant for FCPX + Motion 5, but would people recommend it for FCP7? Keep in mind I have limited time (hobbyist), experience, and understanding of how to grade.

    I've always balked at the price for casual use, but maybe it's worth getting it this week?

    In general, is this sort of grading something 'you' would (should) use on most videos you make? (as of now, I just colour correct in FCP7)

  • @Jules, they have a free version for FCP 7, Colorista and MB Quicklooks. Maybe you dont need more than what they offer for casual use?

  • How does this compare to the free version of Resolve if at all? I'm new to grading my footage.

  • Resolve is more powerful when it comes to exact grading and matching. With Looks you can grade as well, but its more some kind of afterburner to apply a certain look to your footage. I believe there is a free standalone versions that can be used to process stills, just give it a try and see if it fits your need. I love the plugin, just make sure you don´t overuse it.

  • @TraumManufaktur thank you, that's great. Most likely these will be enough, but I have a few days now to work that out! I wonder if you can mess with the settings of each look in MBQL Free?

  • mmm, it seems with the free MBQL you can't 'tweak' the grades. I think that tweaking will be vital for me, even as a hobbyist. I much prefer the idea of using MBL subtly. to buy or not to buy...

  • I still have the same dilemnas jules.. lazyness is a factor for me.. too much to learn, i think i'll be able to start with MBL first more easily than learning any other alternatives. Still, its a good saving but still not that cheap...

  • @Jules In regard to being redundant... FCPX has a good (ie: working) colour engine. I have always had issues with FCP5,6,7 etc in this regard.

    If you are just getting into the industry, or as a hobby - I would just dive into FCPX. I have found no large issues with project management etc... infact FCP has no metadata facility- unlike APP or any other modern NLE.

    And for the price you are getting EXTREME value- just build your own presets, and by doing so- learn about what looks you like etc...


    Otherwise if you feel that you need to use FCP7 and MBL and that is your workflow I would seriously suggest having a very accurate broadcast monitor (driven by a SDI card etc.)

  • @alcomposer

    Do you still need a Broadcast monitor now that FCP X supports colorsync with a calibrated Apple monitors?

    I know the Matrox MXO let you use a Apple branded monitor as a somewhat accurate video monitor.

  • I would say that for a 'professional' workflow yes you will always need a broadcast monitor, or a Plasma / High quality LED TV fed by a pro-video card AJA, Blackmagic etc.

    I have a Blackmagic Decklink SDI (quite cheap) and a HDLink (for output to HDMI and 3D LUTS for colour correcting monitors/TV's). (I like the HDLink as it has a USB port for ICC transfer / control - very cool.)

    However- as FCPX is now colorsync aware, (no small thing) then this allows standard monitors to be used 'once calibrated'- and connected straight out of the GPU card.

    Depending on what your output audience is for really will change your needs. If its TV then broadcast monitor all the way, however if its internet then I would say colorsync correctly calibrated is fine.

    Also get a good IPS monitor (as @VK has suggested many times), will help the whole situation. Remember that most IPS are 6bit e-IPS (economical) with software smoothing, so look for one that is 8bit. Asus have a ProArt 24inch S-IPS pannel that is 8 bit, (note that the 23inch in the same product line is NOT 8 bit. Both monitors use LG panels however).

    At the end of the day though, colour is like audio mastering, its not just about nailing the colour- but understanding how to read the colour scopes and make an informed decision.

    One thing to remember is that the MPEG group is considering exactly the same concept as coloursync for a professional video standard. So most probably soon broadcast standards will also change to reflect this.

    What I do like about FCPX colour is that finally 'all' you need to purchase is a mac + FCPX. (albeit also a calibration devices of some sorts- or rent one).

    Disclaimer: I am not associated with 'any' companies mentioned. I also don't make a living 'exclusively' from video editing/colour correcting. These are 'my' personal opinions and could change. Also I try very hard 'not' to be an Apple / GH2 fanboy, and I resisted using FCPX for 6 months.


  • @alcomposer @jules I second that endorsement for FCPX if you're on an island and don't have to share your projects. The price difference between MBLooks and FCPX is negible, so that's probably the better deal overall. FCPX comes with some built-in looks, the color management is decent, there are many free community presets already or available for 30$ like mLooks, if you're lazy. There's a 5$ utility to bring your FCP7 projects forward, 7toX.

    I just wish the bugs were gone already and the XTML export to for example to After FX, ProTools and the like was happening. Probably later this year.

  • @TraumManafaktur Yes it is a bit of an island right now. FCPXML is getting better and at 1.1 already. Truth be told, I bet that a developer could most probably pull what information they wanted from it. There was already a FCPX-> Nuke script in 1.0! So it will only get better.

  • @alcomposer @traumManufaktur Thanks guys! just to be clear... i already own fcp7. am beginning, yes, and making headway learning how to edit on that platform. Just to be clear, you are suggesting the better investment is spending the extra $100 on fcpx rather than MBL, even though I already have 7? Am not afraid to learn in theory, and within reason timewise, considering this is a hobby right now. So if color grading is more accessible in fcpx maybe that is the way to go.

  • If you do it as a hobby I would say FCPX is a good buy. Thats what they actually made it for... You can still add more plugins later.

  • @Meierhans Ironically nobody would use 64 cameras in multicam as a hobby... I also doubt that Apple made FCPX for the hobby market.

    FCP7 had major faults and that was a 'pro' workflow. Give FCPX a year - then we can reassess the situation.

  • Yeah sorry, just one more FCP cutter disappointed about apples public beta testing strategies...

  • I really like Red Giant and Crumplepop's products for getting quick, effective looks that render fast and don't waste my time. I use them as a rapid starting point to get a look I want, and while I can certainly use the built-in tools to do 80% or more of what their tools are doing, they get it done in a few clicks and couple drags versus a bunch of playing around. In addition, I hate, with a passion, FCPx's colour correction tools. Instead of the old colour wheels they used to have they have a fairly useless drag-slider and very few tweaks. Power windows and other forms of advanced correction are not fast to apply or easy to work with in tracking, etc. I use Resolve for a lot of that, but Red Giant and Crumplepop (who often partner a lot, as in the Universe plugin set which is absolutely indispensable) saves me the export/import step and does that plus a lot more right in the NLE. Also, they provide a lot of power for a few clicks, so if you just want to preview a look you don't waste the time setting it up. So, if your time/hassle is worth your money, they are a great deal and a high quality product. If you have far more time than money, find a paying client and get them to stomp up for it for an effect you "just can't do any other way". ;)

  • Just a note: the Red Giant's Denoiser II doesn't work with FCPX

  • This version fully uses the GPU on PP and is nearly real time.

  • @StudioDCCreative, which of the crumplepop's products you're using?

  • @HillTop1: By now I own most of them. Some of my favourites are also in Red Giant's Universe collection now (which means they work cross platform and are faster / gpu accelerated): Finisher and Grain16. I use Lumineux, HalfLight, and OverLight a lot in music vids and performing artist portfolios, and I find ColorKit and Carousel perfect for just slapping a look on something if it's got to get out the door fast (usually music vids, again, but I could see a real use for it in broadcast as well, but I don't do that anymore). I also own most of Red Giant's stuff (bought it in the big December sale) but am not an effects guy so haven't really dived into Trapcode or anything yet. I intend to use that for simple stuff like smoke and spark effects, dust / snow, and occasionally titles or whatnot. But I'm really a cinematographer at heart, so for me the effects are much more for adding just a bit extra that we couldn't do in camera rather than being an end on their own.

    BTW: Finisher is useful for the last stage of 4K -> 720p output, as it's a lot like using a VERY gentle unsharp mask in photoshop after a big resize - stuff still has that creamy, not-over-sharpened look but it removes a slight bit of the "fog" that you get when shoving stuff to online distribution. I use a gentle hand but it makes a nice difference. I've just discovered it for that, though, so can't point to any footage yet. I may be able to throw up a quick demo from a recent shoot, if I get time this weekend. It's a nice way to handle clients who like the "film look" or vintage glass but complain about final footage not being "sharp" or "modern" or looking "a bit too vintage" - often what they mean is they want a slight boost in contrast / sharpness without ruining the dreamy bits or skin. Finisher is ace for doing that very quickly - as in drag, drop, render, done.