Join Chad Perkins for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the Subject tools, part of Up and Running with Magic Bullet Suite.
All right, let's go ahead and open up Looks here, the Looks interface. And as we go over to the tools, we see that we have these five different categories and tons of effects. And for new users, this is often very overwhelming, it certainly was for me. To complicate things, when you apply one of these tools to your footage, there's tons of controls. It can be certainly overwhelming. So what we're going to do in this chapter is to kind of just browse through these different tools in these different categories.
And I'm going to show you my favorites and we're also going to learn a little bit about the way that these tools kind of think, some kind of common parameters, and other things that you'll bump into as you work. In this tutorial we're going to focus on the, oops, we're going to focus on the Subject tools here. So in other words, these are things that might mimic what you would change on a subject if you were shooting a subject. Now, one of the cool things about these five different tools categories is that if you scroll all the way down, we'll see presets.
They're kind of like quick tools. They're quick versions, or settings of tools in this category. For example, Exposure is the first tool in the tools category. And, as we scroll down, we'll have this little divider line here. And then we have minus 1 stop or plus 1 stop, so it's like a custom Exposure tool. So, if you know I just want this a little bit darker, you can drag and drop this tool, and actually you could just double-click a tool to apply it in that spot. So there goes. It, it just takes away one stop of exposure automatically we don't have to think about it.
Now, if we want to delete this, we can drag it down like we've done or you can also hit the Delete key on your keyboard to get rid of it when it's selected. Another thing that's important to know if you go back to our tools here is that a lot of these effects kind of mimic each other. They're constantly improving looks and so they'll add new versions of an old effect. And so some of them are kind of limiting, some of them are better than others. And a lot of them do similar things. For example, Color use a 3-way and Color Ranges, you can see here they adjust shadows, mid-tones and highlights. It's a great, very informative icon. And as we apply them, let's just go ahead and double-click Colorista 3-way and then go back and double-click Color Ranges.
They do appear to be very similar, Colorista 3-way and Color Ranges. But there is a subtle difference here in Color Ranges. But, before we get to Color Ranges, I'm just going to go ahead and delete it for right now, go back to Colorista 3-way. Let's talk about this Color Gizmo, we see this all over the place and there's just a bunch of stuff going on here, so let's just talk about what this is. So, what, this allows you to adjust everything you can about color from this interface. So in other words, let's go to the mid, the mid tones. It's a little bit easier to see. This outer ring on the right side, this black to white gradient, represents the brightness of the mid tones for example, or the highlights, or the shadows depending on where we are.
So if you click on this line here and we drag our mouse up, or down, we are brightening or darkening the mid-tones. This wheel, in the center here, this Color icon, controls both the hue, the color family, and also, the saturation. By default, it's set to nothing. So, as we drag it, let's say, for example, we want to cool this image down, as I drag it, over to the blues, we start to see a little bit of a blue tint come into our mid-tones. As we drag this little puck around this wheel, we'll change the color tone.
And, as we drag it into the center more, we'll desaturate the amount of color added. And, as we towards the outside, we'll increase the amount of color added, in other words, we'll saturate it. Now, that's one way to adjust hue and saturation. Another way is to just grab this little puck that follows around the center white puck and grab that and just drag it to whatever color you want. It's not as sensitive so it's good to kind of rough out what you want. So let's say we wanted a warm color tint. We kind of get in the right neck of the woods.
And then we can go kind of fine tune it with this little circle here. We could also control the saturation by this slider on the left. Just click and drag up and down. So, now that we know how to work the Color Wheel gizmo thing, I'm going to go ahead and click Reset here, and play with the shadows, mid-tones and highlights. I want to warm up the highlights here. Actually, it's a better idea to start with the shadows. So, I'll break from that. Start with the shadows, I'm going to go down, and I'm going to cool off these shadows.
And I'm also going to click and drag on the right hand side here, and darken this a little bit. And maybe cool off the mid tones, just click and drag. Just a little bit, cool off the mid tones. And now, I could go back up to the highlights. Oftentimes, when you're doing color correction, it's kind of what you want to do. You want to maybe push and pull the highlights and the shadows away from each other on the color wheel, so if we have cool shadows having warm highlights can be a great contrast. So it looks pretty good. We could dial back the whole adjustment effect if we want, by taking down the strength slider. I'll leave that set to 100 for right now.
You could also use the Backslash key as we talked about before to turn off all the adjustments, to see the before, and the after. It looks pretty cool, there's some other things I would change but I think that what's wrong here what I don't like, is that there's a lot of the dark mid-tones that are also picking up this blue adjustment. And so I wish that It didn't consider so much stuff to be shadows. I wish the shadows were a little bit more limited to just the, the most dark areas. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to select Colorista 3-way.
Delete it, and go to tools. I'm going to apply color ranges. because it's basically the exact same thing as Colorista 3-way. Except that it does allow you to limit where the colors fall. So let's try that again. And if my, explanation doesn't really make too much sense, we'll see it in action, and it'll be a little bit more clear. So, I'm going to adjust the shadows, darken those up a bit, darken those up alot. And then, I'll also, maybe cooled off the mid-tones a little bit, and I'll, also, warm up the highlights. Here.
Now it's interesting. You see we did the exact same adjustment, and we don't have the same look exactly. So I might want to darken my shadows a little bit more and bump up the saturation of the blue in the shadows. Might want to move that around a little bit. But really where I'm having trouble is now its the opposite problem. A lot of these mid tones should be shadows and its not really picking up. Well that's where this threshold really comes in handy. So if I increase the shadow threshold. It's going to make more of the mid tones turn into shadows. And you see if I keep going too far, even the highlights get darkened. So it allows you to control the limits, of what are highlights, what are mid tones, and what are shadows.
Now, before going further I just want to make this look a little bit better, so I'm going to increase the saturation of the mid tones, a little bit more blue there and I can also increase the saturation of our warm highlights. Maybe we'll adjust what is defined as a highlight so we get less of the warm highlight. We also play with the mid tone threshold until we get this looking the way that we want here. And there we have the before and the after.
I want to brighten those highlights just a little bit. Again, it's always good to get your shadows and highlights done first before you adjust everything else. And I didn't do that, so that kind of through me off a little bit. So, I'll take down the saturation of this warm highlight, and now I'm pretty happy with that. Now, let's look at a couple other tools here, in the Subject category. We have, two effects, here, Spot Fill and Spot Exposure, and they both have similar gizmos and seem similar. But as we apply Spot Fill, we can see that we are adding a fill light, let me increase the fill a little bit, in just this range. And there's this Feather setting here.
I find that I don't use this as often because it just basically, it's like adding a fill light where it's just basically turning everything to gray and washing everything out. I don't find that to be as handy. But there is Spot Exposure, which seems similar. But as we increase the exposure, you see that it looks a much more natural and organic. So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to reset this. And actually, I want to take down the stuff. I actually want to darken this. I'm going to over-correct intentionally. So, that as I position this, I can see what's happening.
I can re-size this. And I can see also, that my feathered area is adjusted automatically but I can control my feathering independently. Might want to take that down and then increase the size, would be nice, soft fall off here. And now, that I have my area where I want it to be. I'm going to be, basically darkening this background area, so that the tractor pops a little bit. I'm going to reset the Stops, and now, I'll take this down in a much more controlled way, probably 7 10ths of a stop, somewhere around there.
And now, as we zoom back in, and click away from the Spot Exposure and deselect it. We can see, that we have darkened this background, here's the before, everything's kind of wash out and the after. Still might go through back to Color Ranges, maybe brighten just the mid tones a little bit, just to increase that contrast. See the before and the after, okay, much better. Now, a couple of these tools, or a few of them, I should say, throughout these five categories, do really interesting things. Sometimes even damage your footage intentionally, like Chromatic Aberration, in this Subject category.
I'm going to double-click, to apply that. And, what this does, is that it creates a chromatic aberration, it basically separates the channels, creating this cool effect. We can separate green and magenta, and you can see a little bit of Green and the magenta, chromatic aberration there. Just reset that. There's also, blue and yellow, which in this case, doesn't look super blue or yellow, it looks kind of gray. But, the real thing, here, is red and cyan, that's probably the most common look when we're talking about Chromatic Aberration.
This is what they see, what you get in a 3D movie when you take off your glasses. You have this look, also old films tends to have more of a red cyan-ish separation in its chromatic aberration. And it just kind of has this vintage, damaged film look that's pretty awesome. So this is not really an effect necessarily we think of, when we think of looks typically. We don't, this is not a prettying effect. It's not making our footage more beautiful. But it is a really cool effect that might be challenging to achieve otherwise.
So, there's a lot of effects that we'll be looking at throughout this chapter like that, that you might not expect out of Looks.
- Integrating with After Effects and Premiere Pro
- Getting common Hollywood styles with Magic Bullet Looks
- Tweaking Looks presets
- Creating a Power Mask
- Using the Looks toolset
- Performing basic color correction
- Creating a miniature effect
- Performing powerful secondary color correction with Colorista II
- Adjusting skin tones with Cosmo
- Using Denoiser to salvage (and beautify) noisy footage