Magic Bullet Looks

Tool Chain

The Tool Chain is the heart of Magic Bullet Looks. Each part of a traditional graphics pipeline is represented by a section of tools in the Chain. The Chain resembles a virtual camera, from the subject (in front of the lens), through the camera itself, to the post-production process (after the camera).


How it works

Tools are processed from left to right, following the same path as light through a real-world cinematography workflow. This means that the tool that is leftmost in the Tool Chain gets applied to your image first. The tool to its right gets applied next, and so on until the rightmost tool has been applied.

Tool Categories: A tool can nest in the Tool Category it is associated with.

Delete a tool: To remove a tool from your Look, just drag the tool icon below the Tool Chain. When you release the tool, it gets deleted. If a tool is selected, you can also use the Delete (Del) or Backspace key to remove the tool. You can also right click a tool and choose to delete it.

Pin a tool: Sometimes you may want to apply an adjustment before browsing the presets. In order to be sure your tool does not get removed when viewing presets, you can pin it to the toolchain. To do this, Right click on your chosen Tool and select "Pin".


My Footage Is: Depending on what sort of footage you are working with,  you may want to apply a basic correction to your footage before applying a preset. By default, "My Footage Is" will not apply any adjustments to your footage. If you are shooting with LOG or Flat footage, we recommend choosing from one of our presets to prepare your footage for the Looks Library. The "My Footage Is" tool follows special rules, once you've made a change your settings will persist permanently on that clip until you choose to reset the tool. This allows you to browse presets, toggle your Look on and off, and reset your Toolchain while maintaining this setting.

Reset: This control will remove all the tools in your Tool Chain. Letting you start fresh.

Save Look: Clicking the "Save Look" icon will bring up a dialog that will allow you to save your current Tool Chain as a Look. It will also allow you to choose a Look Name and a Custom Folder to store it in.

Bypass on/off switches

You can enable or disable the tools in the Tool Chain area by clicking the Tool Bypass icon. This icon is called the Tool Bypass Switch because it tells Magic Bullet Looks to 'bypass', or ignore, tools that are loaded in the Tool Chain. When a tool is Bypassed, the icon will turn red. Clicking on the red icon, will turn the tool back on.

Main Bypass: Turn on/off the entire Tool Chain with the Tool Chain button to the left of the Strength control. Turning the chain off shows a preview without any tools. The Main Bypass will not affect your "My Footage Is" settings.

Tool Bypass: Turn on/off the individual tools with the Bypass switch at the top right of each tool chip. Turning off the icon shows a preview without that tool applied.

Keyboard shortcut: The '\' key is a new helpful shortcut for toggling the Main Bypass on and off. This keyboard command saves a lot of time when previewing your look.

Strength: The strength control allows you to adjust the global strength of all the tools in your toolchain. This control has a special link with the strength slider that is located outside of the Looksbuilder, allowing you to adjust it again once you return to your host. 

Cancel: Clicking on the "X" icon or pressing "Esc", will close the Looksbuilder without applying any of the corrections that have been made during the current session.

Apply: Clicking on the "Checkmark" icon or pressing "Enter", will close the Looksbuilder and apply the current look to your footage.

Add Tools to the Chain

There are a few ways to add a tool to the Tool Chain. When you drag a tool from the Tool Drawer over the Preview Area or Tool Chain, that tool will appear in the Chain with overlays and controls ready for editing.

  • One, when you double-click a tool in the Tools Drawer, it will automatically load into the Chain. This puts the tool into its default Tool Category.
  • Two, you can drag-and-drop a tool from the Tool Drawer to the Tool Chain area.
  • Three, you can drag-and-drop a tool from the Tool Drawer to the Preview Area and it will load in the Chain.
  • Four, when you click a Look Preset in the Looks Drawer, the related tools will load into the Chain. This puts the tools into their default Tool Categories.


Positioning in the Chain

Many tools can appear in multiple Tool Chain categories. By default, a tool that is picked in the Tools Drawer will appear in its associated category in the Tool Chain.

For instance, click the Post category in the Tools Drawer and drag an Exposure tool into the Tool Chain. Exposure will naturally settle into into the Post category of the Tool Chain and apply its effect after all other tools in the other categories. However, Exposure is a tool that appears in all five Tool Drawer categories. If Exposure is instead added from the Subject category, then it will settle into the Subject category of the Tool Chain and apply itself at the beginning of the Looks effect.

Power Tip

If you want to break the default positioning of tools, you can Alt-drag (Windows) or Option-drag (Mac) a tool in the Tool Chain. This places the tool into any part of the Chain regardless of its natural place in the Chain. Breaking the Chain position lets you put a tool in a category that it wouldn't normally appear in. For instance, Spot Exposure is a tool that appears only in the Subject category and applies its lightening effect early in the Looks treatment. However, you can Alt/Option-drag a Spot Exposure into the Post category to lighten the shadows slightly after all other operations.