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Magic Bullet Mojo
  • Red Giant Software has just released their first plugin to be ported to FCPX, and it’s one of their simpler apps, Magic Bullet Mojo.
    Use the coupon code MOJOFCPX for a 50% discount.

  • 15 Replies sorted by
  • Warning! Boring, page-long rant ahead. proceed with caution

    In my opinion, this plugin/software is complete and utter bullcrap. It is definitely the most badly designed, counter-productive, counter-intuitive, brainwashing image manipulation tool for video i've seen. Before everyone calls me out as a hater with no arguments, let me explain why I am so fundamentally against it:

    1.horrible user-interface.
    The controls and sliders, their organisation and nomenclature are absolutely ludicrous: all this "mojo it", "punch it", "mojito it" , "warm it" "skin squeeze" seem like a joke. They are NOT simpler, they do not make a more friendly user experience, they are plain confusing since you don't know what they actually represent so you are manipulating your image in complete blindness, like driving a truck in the opposite direction on a highway, you need to be very lucky. Because of it's nomenclature, you have no idea what you're doing to your image, what you're affecting, so you are unable to put any thought into what you want or what the image needs. So, that truck we talked about, imagine it with a monkey driving it now.
    So even a few simple controls that almost every software has like saturation, contrast, shadows, vibrance, gamma, curves etc are actually much better starting points for beginners, because at least you sort of know what sth affects and you slowly start to understand the aspects of images. Now those are very very simplistic controls also, that are innacurate and broadly generalised, but at least they promote learning and thus, help you improve and go on to more controlled approaches after.

    2.teaches and preaches the worst habits.
    Software and plugins are supposed to help achieve your goals in the most user friendly way; now I kind a explained why that's impossible with mojo, but another important side effect is that this plugin takes everything positive you might know about image manipulation, throws it down the drain, confuses you further and therefore, teaches you the worst habits based on meaningless generalizations. Those habits are acting on luck and coincidence, raping images with 0 control, "grading" without any reason, grading to copy a certain look, grading to cheaply, I repeat CHEAPLY, copy an abominable and brainwashing mainstream look that 95% of times is badly abused in the sake of fake perceived beauty.

    3.Ideologically abominable.
    Now this is the funniest one. This plugin encourages you ( but the worst part is, it has you thinking that you actually can) to copy one of the most morally bankrupt directors (Bay) of one of the most morally bankrupt film franchises (Transformers) while thinking you are coming close to such an emulation using this plugin. First, a huge part of this "look" has to come from production design/wardrobe/make-up and mainly from lighting. I'm talking about a narrow-minded approach to lighting that has been so widely adopted which uses teal and orange as the only color pallete. This actually means means sticking orange-yellow gells on your key and fill lights and lighting your background teal blue or very cold. Second, these films manipulate images to a huge degree and with huge precision and I can tell from experience, is sth impossible to do with such dumbed down controls. So you end up with a technically poor/pathetic attempt to copy one of the technically cheapest "inventions" of Hollywood which is coincidentally the most anti-ideological, morally destitute "look" in film production history.

    Now, I FULLY SUPPORT creating simplified apps for people who do not want/need deep control, I fully understand that many people do this as a hobby and don't want to devote loads of time in CC, that's perfectly cool. But this app is not simplified or more friendly ( apart maybe for 7 year-olds), it's just dumb and counter-productive, bringing self-delusion to new heights.
    Red Giant makes some amazing plugins I use all the time like trapcode particular etc but their CC software just sucks, even their MB looks, even Colorista are way below par and grossly overpriced and overestimated, but Mojo is the finishing blow.

  • edit: ok I maybe having a bad day as I make it sound as if it's more evil than hitler:). it's just a fricking plugin:) . I strongly believe what I said though but this is just my own opinion; also, i have not interest in poopoo-ing particular brands, I just want to share thoughts on well and badly designed products.
  • @Stefanos - I own MB Mojo and tend to agree (though, lol, not nearly so strongly), I generally think the image looks worse after applying Mojo...
  • I agree
    I use Magic Bullet no longer - it restricts your creativity. . .
  • @stefanos I agree that Mojo is basically an evil vice, but I find it to be a real timesaver for quickly stamping out a lurid "blockbuster" look for rushes and rough cuts. Definitely not suitable for production, though I would be curious to find out what technical parameters are manipulated by each of Mojo's candy-coated sliders.

    I do think that Red Giant's current pricing of Colorista 1.0 makes it an excellent cross-platform value proposition:
  • @LPowell
    Do you have after effects?
  • Yes, After Effects CS5.5
  • I think for me where things went wrong is when they tried to advertise it as being "easy" to adjust and get results ..what i have find out is that its not really "easy" to get good results out of Mojo, but, once you get the hang of it, you find your self pushing less on the sliders.I actually like Mojo for getting the "vintage" look, with that you have to learn to use the sliders to go to the - (minus) direction),I also like it for making colors pop, but i find it that its hard on the gh1/gh2 files, again, you need to take your time and makes sure your not breaking the codec and colors ..
  • @LPowell
    With some CC knowledge you can get, if you wish, similar looks to mojo in any decent software in seconds. literally, much faster actually and with better quality with the added benefits of being able to tweak it more in the future if u wish, of getting used to image analysis the proper way and of not paying anything etc. But I won't pest anyone anymore:)
    anyway, I asked if you had AE to suggest and/or remind you of a little plugin called Color Finesse 3 which to this day I don't understand why is so overlooked.(I'm not directing this to you, it's just an observation) Lack of marketing I suppose, but it's really a stellar programme for both amateurs and pros. Not perfect, as it could use some improvements in interface and preview controls, but it is FREE and it's just light years ahead of anything else apart from high end hardware based suites like Mistika SGO and Autodesk Lustre. And something like a functional autodesk lustre suite doesn't come cheap :) try 120,000 $ :) :)

    I have the latest colorista II (300$ !!!!) and although it's fine and has some cool features and ofcourse you can get great results, honestly, it is no match for Color Finesse 3 (0$!!!). It pales in comparison... and yet is regarded as really pro.
    anyway, I don't want to go off at a tangent or seem like a Synthetic Aperture employee. LOL. but maybe if enough people are interested I could perhaps do a review on Finesse and start a thread for tips, explanations etc.

  • @stefanos I looked at Color Finesse 3 a while back when someone (could have been you!) first mentioned it. I have Vegas 10 pro and sometimes use AE. But how is Color Finesse 3 "free"? Have I missed something here? The site has a free trial but apparently has red lines on the output.
  • @Mark_the_Harp
    that's why I asked LPowell if he had AE, cause it's free with after effects, it's not free as a standalone app and it doesn't come free for premiere pro, only with AE. For me, I consider it as "free" cause I grade in AE and it's part of the package. for someone who doesn't have AE, ofcourse it's not free. In your case, if you don't generally grade in AE and you definitely want to CC in Vegas then it's not free.I guess the right thing to say is "it comes free with after effects". If you edit in premiere pro and with the power of dynamic link, the workflow is a piece of piss between AE and PP completely lossless, without transcoding to silly upsampled 10 bit codecs, as finesse is very accurate with it's 32 bit floating point. VK PMed me that it would be a good idea to show Finesse in practice so as soon as I get some time, I'll try to show examples, do a tutorial or sth
  • *a random note. the only feature that I wish Finesse had which Colorista II does have is the realtime keyer which is admittedly very cool and powerful and quite intuitive too. Finesse has ofcourse a much more powerful "general "secondary color correction but there are certain crazy things that the colorista keyer allows to do, that you can't do otherwise, and so it's the only reason I use it for.
    edit:damn it!, another thread I'm derailing. I'll shut up now, This is MB Mojo thread
  • @stefanos Thanks for the tip on Color Finesse, I'll check that out. I do most of my production color correction in Colorista II, mostly because it's portable between Premiere Pro, After Effects, and the recently terminated Final Cut Studio. In addition to its keyer, I like Colorista's tertiary hue controls as well.

    The thing that perversely appeals to me about Mojo is how it short-circuits my precisionist tendencies. Since I don't know exactly what it's doing under the hood, I just tweak it until it pops, and since I only use it for outtakes, there's no need to obsess over its details. I am curious, however, as to what Mojo's sliders actually do in 3-way terms, if you have time to go into more detail.
  • I would not compare Color FInesse with Colorista directly. They are different in what they do to the image.
  • @dkitsov
    well... ofcourse they are different, they're different because one is much more advanced and better. But why do you say it's better not to compare them? they're both supposed to be "serious" CC software.