In the Studio: Magic Bullet Colorista II

EventDV by Jan Ozer

Most editors know how to correct the color and brightness in their videos to have them match the reality of the shoot, or what they wish was the reality of the shoot. The next level is using color and brightness adjustments to create a certain look or feel, or to enhance the footage in different ways. If your focus is solely matching reality, and you're working with decently shot footage or better, you're likely in good hands with the various color and brightness adjustments available in your NLE. If you're looking to create a distinctive look or feel, or are working with problem footage, you should consider a tool like Red Giant's Magic Bullet Colorista II ($299), which provides a highly configurable toolset that goes beyond any effects native to your NLE.

What you don't get with Colorista II is a library of looks, so if you're searching for a quick and easy way to make your video look like a Frankie Avalon/Annette Funicello beach movie from the '50s, buy another tool, perhaps Magic Bullet Looks. Also, don't buy into marketing hype such as "Colorista's easy-to-use interface is equally good for quick adjustments on a deadline"-this is a complex, heavy-duty tool that will take at least a couple of hours of study to understand basic operation, and many more to achieve full competence. Fortunately, there are several very helpful tutorials by Stu Maschwitz, creative director of the Magic Bullet line, that will help you get started.

Getting Started
In my work with Colorista II, installation and operation went as expected. I installed the Windows plug-in on my HP Z800 workstation and could then access it from the effects folders in Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects. Red Giant also sells a Mac version that will run on the latest versions of the Adobe suite, and a version for Final Cut Pro. Check the Red Giant website for version compatibility. read more...

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