Can’t afford a makeup artist? Have an interview subject who’s skin is just a bit too rough after getting the footage back to edit? Then you might be in need of Beauty Box from Digital Anarchy. While the idea of a filter that attempts to mimic the softening of skin tones that was once achieved with the old panty hose over a camera lens isn’t new Beauty Box is a relatively new plug-in (and winner of a TV Technology Mario Award at NAB 2010) and uses its own techniques to achieve some pretty good looking results. From the Digital Anarchy website:

This Beauty Box After Effects and Final Cut Pro plugin uses Face Detection to automatically identify skin tones and create a mask that limits the smoothing effect to just the skin areas. Just apply the filter, click auto-detect, set the amount of smoothing, and render. This automatic process is designed to speed up the workflow that is usually required for skin retouching in film. The Skin Smoothing effect is also a new technology. It keeps the important features of the face sharp while reducing or eliminating wrinkles and blemishes.

One nice feature of Beauty Box is the Analyze Frame button that does an auto analysis of the frame and attempts to apply a setting using face detection:

You can also look at a mask of the frame to see exactly what is going to be smoothed and tweak settings accordingly. It’s a pretty full featured $199 plugin and has a supporting 34 page pdf to teach the new user. It’s not the fastest to render that I’ve seen for these types of plugins but the results are quite nice. It’s currently supported in Final Cut Pro, Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro CS4 with the CS5 versions currently in beta so they won’t be far behind. Also look for a free update that addresses rendering speed to come along as soon as well. Grab the demo and try it out for yourself.