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An Overview of Magic Bullet Looks

An Overview of Magic Bullet Looks By Le Papy - Last updated on Saturday, January 14, 2012
24466 Views :: 6 Comments :: Article Rating (Total Votes: 37)
Category: Studio 1-15 Tutorials / Plugins  -  Previous tutorials
Published on Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Created on Wednesday, October 1, 2008 1:39 PM

With the Studio 12 version, you may have discovered this plug-in integrated into Studio 12 Ultimate: Magic Bullet Looks. At first glance it is easy to use, especially after reading the English documentation available to you on our download page. But not easy enough for some of you, who requested a specific tutorial.

This presentation was not so easy to achieve without plagiarizing the documentation provided by Pinnacle, as the use of this plugin is to apply effects via presets. These presets are crafted and without great opportunities for modifications. I will show you a summary of what I find to be a very intuitive plugin to use... Finally, the only advantage in doing this presentation is that it will save you some time, but in any case we hope to teach you something.

Step 1 : Selection of a Video Effect in Studio 12

Selection of an Effect in Magic Bullet Looks

After selecting your image or clip on the timeline, search for the video effect "Magic Bullet", select the effect "Aspects" and click OK.

Getting to the Magic Bullet Looks Interface

Then click "Edit looks" to open the editor for Magic Bullet Looks

Step 2 : Magic Bullet Looks Interface (LooksBuider SE)

LooksBuider SE Editor Interface

You'll immediately see the Magic Bullet interface looks (LooksBuilder SE). You can see the "Look Theater" at the top of the window. This feature allows you to view a slideshow of available preset effects. The "View" button is acting as a switch (on, off). The drop-down list on the left allows you to select a category of effects views (Popular film, special effects, Horror ...) or all of the effects (All looks).

You can set the time between two images and time display for each image using the "File / Preferences ..." menu). Finally, you can zoom in or zoom out (percentage applied to the image - located at the top center of the screen) and you can easily change this percentage with your mouse wheel.

To further explore this interface, click on the word "Looks" written vertically to the left of the screen. You will notice that the presentation of effects is logical: when your mouse is no longer in the display area, the component closes leaving view and the word "Looks".

"Sample view" tab in LooksBuider SE

Then you will discover the different effects (looks) offered. Each effect is included in a category, you can open or close by turning on the switch before the name of the category. The two tabs marked by a red ellipse offer two ways to view the proposed effects:

The "Sample view" tab displays the final result of the effect as above.
The "Chain view" tab displays the tools used in (see below).

"Chain view" Tab in LooksBuider SE

By clicking on a location in "Chain view", you load the effect in the tool chain at the bottom of the screen. Each tool is loaded with the parameters seen in this window. In the view below I chose the effect "Basic Black Diffusion" in the "Basic" category

"Chain view" Tab in LooksBuider SE

The effect name appears on the left of the tool chain. The tools, 6 in this effect, are displayed in the tool chain. The tools are used in the categories of tools (Subject, Matte, Lens ...). See the English aid available to you on our download page for details. Note that the tools order are important for the final effect. You can change the order by dragging a tool with the mouse to a new position. Note that the tools cannot all be moved outside the tools category. Finally, you can remove the tools by dragging them to the trash bin, you can retrieve it using the menu option "Edit / Undo" but you cannot add new tools. Without placing a tool in the trash bin, you can disable it by pressing the little red button at the top of the tool (I will let you discover what happens then ...).

.Tool Parameters in LooksBuider SE

When you select a tool in the tool chain, the selected tool is marked by a white mark at the top left of the image of the tool and its parameters are displayed in the settings.

You can then modify the parameters of the tool with the sliders using the mouse, or modifying the values or dragging the selection point for colors in the color of your choice. A magnifying glass, next to the color choices gives you a real overview of the changed settings. The image of the tool also reflects the changes.

Focus on the parameters of a tool in LooksBuider SE

Step 3 : Focus on a Few Tools

Using the "Vignette" Tool in LooksBuider SE


Some tools allow one to make changes directly in the preview window, using the mouse. This is the case of the "Vignette" tool, located in the Look "Infusion Subtle" (category Music Video). For more details, check the documentation available in English on our download page.

The Settings in thel "Vignette" Tool in LooksBuider SE

If you click the thumbnail, you will see a central point with two concentric circles. The mouse pointer turns temporarily into a cross, allowing you to move the center circle and to change the diameter of each circle. The same changes can be applied in the zone settings using the mouse (Center X, Y, Radius and Spread)

In addition to the colors parameters, you can also apply the effect on bigger or smaller parts of the picture.

Modification of the Settings in the "Vignette" Tool in LooksBuider SE

After moving the center and concentric circles, the image of the "Vignette" tool reflects the changes you just made. You may notice that when you first change the name of the look it is called "Untitled Look". You can save this look with "File / Save look as ..." for later use, choosing the folder of your choice. But you can also double click on "Untitled look", and pressing Enter after naming your desired look. The look will be automatically saved in LooksBuilderSE\Looks that now appears under "Custom".

If you click OK, you leave the LooksBuilder SE interface and your changes are applied in Studio 12. If you click "Cancel", you exit the LooksBuilder SE interface and you return to Studio 12 without any warning and without any further changes.

Using the "Gradient" Tool in LooksBuider SE


The "Gradient" tool that you find in the "Miami" look in the "Popular Film" category will also allow changes to be made directly in the preview window with the mouse. Upon selecting the "Gradient" tool, a vertical dotted line appears briefly splitting the screen in two part. The mouse pointer turns into a cross and temporarily allows you to move the direction and length of the dotted line. The same changes can be applied in the zone settings (Center X1, X2, Y1, Y2), using your mouse.

Of course, you can act simultaneously on the colors in the zone settings as well

"Gradient" Tool Settings in LooksBuider SE

After possibly changing the position, length and direction of the dotted line, your changes are immediately visible in the preview window and the image of the "Gradient" tool reflects the changes that you just made.

Using the "Swing Tilt" Tool in LooksBuider SE


We will examine in detail a final tool that allows changes to be made using the mouse directly in the window. This is the "Tilt Swing" tool - Look up "Swing Tilt Film" in the "Special Effects" category.

Once you have selected the "Swing Tilt" tool, a vertical and horizontal dotted line will split the screen into four spaces. The mouse pointer turns into a cross and temporarily allows you to move the direction and length of the lines. The same changes can be applied in the zone settings (X1, X2, Y1, Y2), using the mouse.

Of course, you can change the colors simultaneously in the zone settings.

"Swing Tilt" Tool Settings in LooksBuider SE

After possibly changing the position, length and orientation of the lines, your changes are immediately visible in the window and the image of the "Tilt Swing" tool reflects the changes you just made.

Step 4 : Bonus

You can find other tools that support changes using the mouse directly in the preview window (window embedded in the overview).

For example, you have the "Grad Exposure" effect "Hot Mady" in the category "Horror" or even "Purple Shadow Push" in the "Popular TV" category.

Also, you can use "Spot Exposure" in the "Pink Spot" effect in the category "Special Effects" or the "Cross Color Bloom" effect in the "Specialty" category.

Finally, you can also use the "Edge Softness" tool in the "Focus Left Cool" effect in the "Special Effects" category.

By browsing around you will find other tools that lead you to find the best effects and parameters to enhance your pictures or your videos.

Step 5 : Bonus 2

You may have noticed there are no keyframes. Thus using Magic Bullet Looks will apply the effect uniformly throughout the clip or image. So if you want to simulate nightfall for example, you will need to add other video effects that you overlay on Magic Bullet Looks effect. I tried this for you ...

  1. With Studio 12, I added the same image (4 seconds), twice on the timeline
  2. On the first image, I applied the "Green Vision" look from the "Horror" category.
  3. I then added two other video effects that do use keyframes.
  4. On the second image, I applied the "Days Of Night" look in the "Special Effects" category.
  5. Finally, so that I would have a drastic change between the two images, I added a dissolve transition.
Note :Remember the name of the Look that you applied because if you re-edit the Look in S12, you will find the tools in the LooksBuilder SE interface applied, but you may no longer see the name applied
Superposition of Video Effects

If you want to try it yourself, you should get this:

A final recommendation: Magic Bullet Looks is very powerful but also very greedy for computer resources. So before you embark on complicated Looks, test your configuration in order to avoid unpleasant surprises during the final render.

Finally ... it's not that complicated and doesn't it make a good tutorial ?

{Thanks to markk655 who translated this tutorial from French to English, Loosecannon who cross-checked it}

Share/Save this article

John Henry By # John Henry @ Thursday, December 4, 2008 10:42 AM
Aloha from Maui!

I just want to thank you (Mahalo!) for all the tutorials. I know that it is a lot of work and I do appreciate the effort. Our videos are aimed at the real estate market and we are just getting into the small business pieces on the web. I look forward to using your tutorials to teach me how to put more pizzaz into my pieces.

John Henry

Déclic Vidéo FX By # Déclic Vidéo FX @ Sunday, December 7, 2008 3:04 AM
Hello John,
Thanks to you !! We often have complains, and that's very interesting to read some very positive comments. We all appreciated your comment.
Have fun with Pinnacle Studio, and enjoy our tutorials, tips and tricks, etc...

Declic Video

NilmaBostonRio By # NilmaBostonRio @ Sunday, April 26, 2009 12:37 PM
I just bought the Pinnacle Studio™ Ultimate version 12 , most for the Magic Bullet Looks. But I didn't know how could I take advantage of this powerful software.

Thank You, for share the manual, tutorial and some information about how to take advantage of the Red Giant Magic Bullet Looks !

By NilmaBostonRio

Mubarak By # Mubarak @ Monday, February 20, 2012 12:43 PM
I got Pinnacle studio 15, and I had bought Magic bullet stuite, but I had problems installing it on my pinnacle studio 15. I hope you can help and great thread!
Thank you...

Brook By # Brook @ Thursday, September 26, 2013 6:01 AM
Can you help me? I have Magic Bullet Looks for Pinnacle 15. Everything works great except I can't add tools. The help box on the bottom left tells me to mouse over the right side of the window, but there's nothing there and no options to add a tool bar. I'm lost. Appreciate it.

saby By # saby @ Thursday, September 26, 2013 11:06 AM
Hi Brook. That's not possible since the version of Magic Bullet Looks provided with PS15 is a restricted version.

The user manual is clear :

The Tool Chain is the heart of LooksBuilderSE. It resembles a camera workflow, from the subject (in front of the lens) through the camera to the post-production process. Each of these parts of a traditional shoot pipeline are represented by a section in the Chain. Fill the Chain with a preset Look by mousing to the left edge of the screen and selecting a preset from the Looks QuickDrawer. Tools are processed from left to right, following the same path as light through a real-world cinematography workflow. In LooksBuilder SE, the Tools in the chain can be changed and saved as a new preset Look. New Tools cannot be added to the chain in the LooksBuilderSE version. More full-featured versions of LooksBuilder for professional editing applications offer the ability to create new Looks from scratch. For more information about professional versions of Magic Bullet Looks, please visit the Red Giant Software website

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