REVIEW: Magic Bullet Colorista II

HD Magazine by Adam Garstone

If there’s one thing that really makes my blood boil it’s seeing poorly graded programmes on the telly. There is really no excuse for it, particularly if you have any of Magic Bullet’s fabulous colour correction plug-ins for FCP. Probably the best known is Magic Bullet Looks, which is justifiably well regarded, but sometimes a more traditional approach to grading works better, and that’s where Colorista II comes in.

Anyone familiar with Colour (or even FCP’s built in 3 way colour corrector) will recognise the principles of Colorista II. There are three main sections, a Primary correction section, Secondary and Master. Primaries are usually used to correct exposure and colour balance from clip to clip in a scene, the Secondary section is for adding special effects (perhaps to turn that boring beige dress into a sexy scarlet gown), and the Master section can be used for an overall ‘look’. The three sections have subtly different controls.

The Primary section gives you sliders for Exposure, Density and Highlight Recovery. Below these are the usual colour wheels for Shadow Midtone and Highlight. I really like the layout of these controls. The centre colour wheels has a movable dot very similar to those in FCP’s built in corrector – if you want the mids to warm up just drag the dot towards the warmer orange/red part of the wheel. If you want more subtle control, drag the coloured rectangle just outside the colour wheel to the warm segment. Now the quadrant to the left of the wheel is an intensity control for that colour tint. The rest of the outer part of the wheel is a control for level – just slide it to the lighter portion of the scale to lift the mids, for instance. Click on the little calculator icon on the panel and you get editable, numerical values for your adjustments. read more...

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