Provides: Skin smoothing video effect
Developer: Red Giant Software
System Requirements: OS X v10.5.8, 2GB of RAM , 30MB of hard drive space
Review Computer: 2.2GHz 13″ Macbook Pro, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM
Processor Compatibility: Intel
Price: $99 (available as part of Magic Bullet Suite for $799)
Availability: Out now
Humans! With their horrible, horrible human flaws! Not the ones of their personalities, of course, but the even more revolting ones: wrinkles and blemishes. Don’t they know that HD video exists? Fortunately we have a new tool to combat this blight: the Cosmo plug-in from Magic Bullet.
Jokes aside, Magic Bullet Cosmo (MBC) is a simple, useful tool for smoothing out skin tones, especially in high definition. A simple drag-and-drop plug-in will smooth out skin tones without the need to give your shots the hazy, shot-through-Vaseline effect.
The effect has just a few controls, and for the most part simply dropping it on properly-lit footage will be enough. There are sliders to define what “skin tone” is in the shot, and another to determine the hue of the smoothing effect (see the video above for what happens when you go too green or too red). The sliders are also keyframable, should the lighting in your shot change, or if you want to make a redneck Hulk out.
At $99, Cosmo is a fire-and-forget solution for most shots in HD. It makes skin tones look better without looking fakey, and comes in handy for virtually everything you’re going to shoot using actors. One caveat is that if your footage is too cold (that is, pale skin/blue light), it doesn’t work as well as tones that are “hot.” But I’ve been making it an addition to almost every piece of footage I’ve shot.
See the other components in our full Magic Bullet Suite review.