Controlling ‘Magic Bullet Looks’ (feat. ‘Knoll Light Factory’): Video Tutorial

"Magic Bullet Looks" preset examples

Magic Bullet Looks

Last week I was a guest on’s Digital Convergence podcast. Hosts Carl Olson & Chris Fenwick took me through a range of discussion topics related to color grading. Chris asked me about how I get Red Giant Software’s Magic Bullet Looks to update to my external broadcast monitor while I’m working in the Looks interface.

(In case you’re unaware, Final Cut Pro doesn’t allow custom interfaces to output live updates to the video card… the final ‘look’ needs to be applied to the clip before it is output to the external monitor.)

I mistakenly answered Chris that I don’t have a solution to this problem – forgetting that I came up with a viable workaround earlier this year.

So. This Video Tutorial is my mea culpa to Chris & Carl. It’s about how you can control Magic Bullet Looks and get live updates to an external monitor – in real time! It also features a quick little demo using Knoll Light Factory with Magic Bullet Looks to create a ‘dream sequence’ feel.

Threaded comments are turned on for this post – please post a comment. Below the video are all the relevant links for this post. Enjoy!

You’ll the “Enlarge” button to go full screen…


FTC Disclosure
I have not received compensation, goods, or services from anything mentioned in this post or in the Video Tutorial. I hope, one day, this might change. Affiliate links are clearly marked, resulting in a commission on sales (and helps support

Tags: , , , , , , ,


  1. Carl Olson November 2, 2010 at 6:58 PM #

    Thanks for sharing this, Patrick. There’s so much to learn!

  2. Dugdale November 2, 2010 at 7:54 PM #

    Great stuff, please keep the videos coming, there are not many people out there sharing coloring videos like this.

    • Patrick Inhofer November 2, 2010 at 8:01 PM #

      Thanks for the encouragement.

      • Dugdale November 2, 2010 at 9:49 PM #

        The only other person I know doing these videos works for a company that sells a coloring plug-in. While his videos are really good, it would be nice for a person that was not bias to a product. I think you could do very well if you keep at it.

        • Patrick Inhofer November 2, 2010 at 11:20 PM #

          I can only guess you’re talking about Stu. I gotta confess: I really dig his work. I’m a huge Rebel fan, Colorista and Looks have introduced features and innovations that the “Big Boys” should be embarrassed for not doing themselves (can you say, “Skin Overlay”). Mentioning me in the same sentence as Stu (even an oblique reference to him) is very generous on your part. He’s stood the test of (internet) time.

          Like you said, I’ve got to keep at it. And then, maybe one day… the Tao will rise to that level.

          BTW, I’ve been working a lot with Colorista II for my training. Expect to see a review or two in the coming weeks.

          • Dugdale November 3, 2010 at 3:19 AM #

            I kinda thought you knew I was talking about Stu. Good guess.

            The thing I liked most about your podcast with Carl was that you use MBL to just get you started but then you deconstruct it and then rebuild it using the color wheel and other tools in FCP. I am switching from Vegas to Premiere and want to learn how to color within the NLE first before I start using a a plugin. So for me I think you are the guy to follow since you have the same philosophy as I do.

          • Patrick Inhofer November 3, 2010 at 3:36 AM #

            Thanks for the vote of confidence. You probably won’t see much Premiere-specific stuff for a while. That said, I’m trying to keep the Tao somewhat platform-agnostic; focusing on techniques that translate across platforms.

  3. pat darrinDarrinfilm November 14, 2010 at 7:06 PM #

    have you tried neat video, it seems to have less affect on picture sharpness while doing a great job on
    noise. i have both . thanks for your review pat darrin

    • Patrick Inhofer November 15, 2010 at 5:26 PM #

      Hi Pat,No. I haven’t tried the Neat Video plug-in. It’s on my To Do list since it has been frequently mentioned as a good alternative to the Magic Bullet solution. Thanks for the suggestion!

Post Comment