This Significant Upgrade Includes Looks v2, Grinder 1.5 and One Installer for Nine Products

Red Giant has released a significant upgrade to its Magic Bullet Suite of effects and finishing software, designed by filmmaker Stu Maschwitz. Version 11 includes updates to the suite's anchor application Looks, plus newer additions like Grinder 1.5 and Cosmo, the company's latest stab at digital dermatology.
Users can now access all nine tools inside the new suite with only one installer and one serial number, perhaps the most significant change to result from the upgrade. Each of the plug-ins is optimized for 64-bit for use with Adobe CS5.5 and Apple Final Cut Pro 7 and Motion. Support for Final Cut Pro X is on the way shortly. The suite also still lists for its previous version price of $799. Upgrades from Magic Bullet Looks 10 is $199 and those who already own Looks can upgrade to the entire suite for $399.

Looks 2, with its improved interface, new scopes and updated presets, is the stand-out in the bunch. In addition to the skin-enhancing Cosmo tool, version 2 now features Haze Flare, Lens Distortion and the popular Colorista 3-Way and Pop from Colorista II. The 64-bit architecture also lets you handle larger files and render faster. New video out includes support for Blackmagic Design and AJA hardware. And all your projects created in the first version of Looks will open easily in this version.

Cosmo, which grew out of features in Colorista II, includes some handy default settings put together by Maschwitz himself. Cosmo, seen above, is spot treatment of the highest order: simply drop it on your footage and keep working.

For the DSLR/HDSLR crowd who discovered Grinder last year, version 1.5, launched at NAB, brings expanded support for multiple formats. Now ProRes, timecode from camera EXIF data, and 25p conform frame rate are all available options.

Last week under the radar, Red Giant released a new version of Trapcode Suite 10 with a single installer and serial number for the suite's nine plug-ins.

New Tools, New Business

President Andrew Little, who co-founded the nine-year-old company with product strategist Sean Safreed, told me that the release is part of a larger company consolidation that streamlines the company's products, its branding, its communities and its Web site. Now known simply as Red Giant, the company is using its unified online presence to connect with all of its current and potential users. "The site represents work we've been doing behind the scenes for a year and a half," he says. "Under, we now offer software products, our TV station and our communities, called Red Giant People."

With 50 "a la carte" products for sale, including the popular Guru Presets, which collects short-cut templates for Red Giant tools created by power users, the company was in danger of diluting its message with too many choices. Little says it was time to simplify the customer experience by organizing most of their software within four signature suites: Magic Bullet, Trapcode, Keying and Effects. "We've put those together as really complementary tools, so you can buy the suites, you can buy the individual products and you can buy Guru Presets," he says. "The site gives you a much better browsing experience. There are also some great sorting and filtering tools – all the things you'd want to tailor your time searching online."

Technical support, says Little, has also gotten a needed boost. "We started by bringing in more well-trained people to work the phones, respond to e-mail and chat online. We've extended online chat throughout our site. So whether you have a technical problem or a sales problem, you'll see online chat buttons everywhere. We're not breaking new ground in that area as a software company, but as a plug-in company, we certainly are."

And Now, the Reveal

In an effort to launch the new products and brand with the expected dose of irreverent Red Giant style, Little says his team came up with a fitting tribute to Stu Maschwitz's original vision for the products and the company's expanding user base. Plot Device, a concept film created by customer Seth Worley and Red Giant's Aharon Rabinowitz, uses every single tool inside Magic Bullet Suite 11 to deftly and humorously showcase its new features. Sit back and enjoy the film, below, then watch how they did it here: