Magic Bullet Mojo for Sony Vegas

Red Giant Software released yesterday a Vegas version of their brand new product, Magic Bullet Mojo. Mojo is a simpler version of Magic Bullet that only has one goal: to make your footage look like the Hollywood movies of the last few years: teal-looking, but by preserving the skin color (which can be a tricky thing to achieve without this plugin). I tried the demo, and it indeed does what it promises. The algorithm they use to auto-figure-out where the human face is in the frame, and preserve that color, works great. You can use the plugin’s UI to bleach or warm your video, punch it, change the color tint from green to teal to blue, select the way the algorithm finds the face in the frame, and finally, how much you want these settings blended with the original, ungraded look.


Talent is Dave Tsui, from the Bay Area band HIJK

The only problem I encountered is that the “mojo” slider punches up contrast and/or gamma (even with “bleach”/”punch” all the way down). I would prefer to contrast/gamma my video separately if required, with the use of another plugin, and only use Mojo for its teal/skin abilities. Finally, on Vegas, we are used to double-click the UI’s slider buttons to get them to jump back to their default values, but this doesn’t happen with the Mojo UI.

Update: One more example. Except the unwanted dark gamma change that I can’t get rid of with Mojo, the rest of the tint is as it’s supposed to be. I know that to some of you it looks weird and that the original picture looks more natural, but the point of Hollywood movies — that Mojo emulates — is to not be natural.

15 Comments »

Matt wrote on November 4th, 2009 at 8:00 PM PST:

Uhm, I actually prefer the “As shot”. Looks much more natural and filmic.

The mojo example looks cheesy and overdone but actually makes it look like DV, IMHO.


Stephen James wrote on November 4th, 2009 at 10:00 PM PST:

I have to agree with Matt… the “As shot” simply looks warmer… and better, at least on my monitor.


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Eugenia wrote on November 4th, 2009 at 10:00 PM PST:

It’s the other way around. The original is DV. And I don’t think you understand the premise behind this. Would you say that Terminator Salvation was overdone in blue too? You see, you don’t realize it, but most movies today are tinted to teal. You will have to think with the look of a theatrical movie in mind and not in absolute value of “what looks more natural”. Because “natural”, doesn’t sell.

The point is to NOT look warm, modern Hollywood movies do NOT look warm on purpose. And the point of this utility is to use that look. Look at their examples on their site too.


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Eugenia wrote on November 4th, 2009 at 10:04 PM PST:

Read Prolost’s blog post too to understand better.


Matt wrote on November 5th, 2009 at 6:25 AM PST:

Yeah but this guy ain’t no Christian Bale.


Soulbender wrote on November 5th, 2009 at 8:13 AM PST:

The thing is that when we watch the movies we don’t have an original shot to compare to so whatever we see of course looks, within reason, more naturally or at least good.
It’s just another stylistic trend that you probably won’t notice until there’s a new trend that looks different.


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Eugenia wrote on November 5th, 2009 at 11:53 AM PST:

I don’t think that we will shake the “teal” color as easily as you think. I think it’s here to stay because it looks good to most people when watching action movies, it’s not just a trend.

>we don’t have an original shot to compare to so whatever we see of course looks, within reason, more naturally or at least good.

It’s frustrating to say the least. People talk here that the naturally shot frame looks more natural. Of course it does. But it’s not what people like to see in movies — even if they *think* they know what they like, they don’t.


William Eggington wrote on November 5th, 2009 at 12:24 PM PST:

Color grading has always baffled me. When clients do it to the work I give them I just. . . never “get” it. Its one thing if they are trying to match my stuff with other footage but its totally different when its ALL CG. If your wanting to change the mood or feeling then do it in the lighting of the shot itself and re-render.

I like what this Mojo software did for these though. Lots more rich contrast. Kind of feels like when you look back and forth between polarized glasses and your bare eyes.

Don’t get frustrated Eugenia. Opinions are like ass holes. Everyone has one. . . most stink. 🙂


Rob wrote on November 5th, 2009 at 5:15 PM PST:

This is good news because when they released Mojo I had the impression that Vegas was left aside, only it is released later.

I will give a try, this seems to be a must have plugin for me. I guess it is not 64-bit?

I also use this free plugin for color correction:
AAV ColorLab 1.0 release candidate (32-bit and 64-bit)

http://aav6cc.blogspot.com/2009/05/aav-colorlab-10-release-candidate-2.html


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Eugenia wrote on November 5th, 2009 at 5:32 PM PST:

I use that plugin too sometimes, but very unfortunately, it’s buggy as hell.


Rob wrote on November 5th, 2009 at 6:49 PM PST:

Never had a single bug with aav6cc, strange!

Mind you, I only use it for color correction.

Wish Sony could implement this plugin…


Soulbender wrote on November 5th, 2009 at 10:31 PM PST:

[q]I think it’s here to stay because it looks good to most people when watching action movies, it’s not just a trend.[/q]

Yes it is. What looks good has always been changing. What is considered “looks good” today won’t in a few years. The 60’s had it’s look, 70’s another etc etc.
In some time we’ll be looking at these movies saying “wow, that looks so 2000’s with the colors”.


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Eugenia wrote on November 6th, 2009 at 12:38 AM PST:

>Never had a single bug with aav6cc, strange!

Aav6cc is not the same plugin as the AAV Color Lab, it’s being re-written from scratch by the same developer. Aav6cc has a crashing bug (crashes if the WxH doesn’t divide by 16), but the AAV Color Lab is super-buggy. I’ve found several bugs.


Rob wrote on November 6th, 2009 at 4:39 AM PST:

Sorry, I meant AAV!


Daren wrote on November 10th, 2009 at 1:08 PM PST:

Eugenia,

Thanks for your continuing efforts to educate us in the art of the modern film look.


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