Beauty Box review

We’ve all had to deal with footage where someone has skimped on a decent make-up artist and you’ve been asked to give some poor unfortunate a Max Factor makeover in post production.

Beauty Box is designed to automate this process: identifying skin areas for you and smoothing them, while leaving others intact. We tested the After Effects version, but it’s also available for Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro.

Using it can be as simple as applying the plug-in, hitting Analyze Frame and letting Beauty Box work its magic. As long as your subject has no major scars and is looking at the camera – and is consistently lit – this can yield remarkable results, as blemishes vanish faster than you can say Clearasil.

Considering that much of Beauty Box’s target audience will want it for low-budget corporate productions, it’s no-brainer at an affordable price. It had problems with blondes under bright light – no doubt due to the lack of contrast between pale hair and skin – but the only real downside is that it’s slow to preview and render.

If you want perfect results, or have difficult footage to work with, there’s a wide set of manual controls. These can help you select the face if it’s not looking straight at the camera, or if it’s partially obscured by hair or something else, and fine tune your results.

OUR VERDICT

We did miss the add- and remove-area brushes of Imagenomic’s Portraiture 2, a similar tool for Photoshop, and wish Beauty Box ran faster. However, if you often have to touch up bad skin or remove wrinkles, it’s well worth checking out.

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