Magic Bullet Editors 1.0 full review

If you want to impart a film-like quality to digital video Magic Bullet Editors – a special-effects plug-in for Final Cut Pro – may help in this aim.

Magic Bullet Editors includes Look Suite, the colour-correction controls of its After Effects sibling, Magic Bullet Suite, and it includes Misfire, a new tool for creating realistic film-damage effects. These effects are impressive, but rendering times are painfully slow. Look Suite offers controls that let you create film “looks” like those seen in popular movies. Drop a preset on your clip, and instantly you’ve got anything from the soft, colourful look of Amelie to the bleached, contrasty look of Saving Private Ryan. There are 50 preset looks, including basic effects (such as Warm and Cool) and presets that emulate the look of your favourite film.

Look Suite lets you tweak the appearance of your footage endlessly. Twenty-five controls let you prep your video, emulate lens filters and various film stocks, and balance the final image. All controls are keyframable, so you can vary the effects over time. You can select and deselect individual sections to isolate the effects.

Misfire helps you rough up your video to create an aged look. There are 13 Misfire filters, including Dust, Grain, Scratches (basic, micro, and deep), Splotches, and Vignette. Misfire can also simulate projection artefacts such as flicker and gate weave, the distinctive side-to-side shakiness of ancient flicks.

While you can approximate some of these effects with FCP’s built-in filters, Magic Bullet Editors offers finer control and richer, more professional-looking results. But you’ll need a fast Mac. On my dual-800MHz G4 with 1.25GB of RAM, rendering a 30-second clip took more than 15 minutes. Adding Misfire prolonged rendering. Fortunately, unlike with Look Suite, you can apply Misfire as a single filter or apply each effect as an individual filter; this minimizes the performance hit. Red Giant says that the tools are accelerated for the G5, and that performance and rendering times should be substantially faster on a G5 than on older hardware.

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