TANK is an animated short film that I have been working on for a year and half. It's up today on Red Giant's site.

The Making of Tank

The way I made TANK is a little crazy. I made it entirely in Adobe After Effects, with equal parts animation elbow grease and nerdy expressions madness. This video is part behind-the-scenes, part After Effects tutorial, and part therapy session.

A complete list of all the tools I used to make TANK is available at Red Giant's blog:


Want to try making 3D vector graphics in After Effects? No? Well, if you change your mind, I packaged up the basic working of my TANK vector graphics rig into an After Effects template that you can download for free from the Prolost Store.

A Color Session with Stu, and a Huge Sale Tomorrow

This is something different than my usual tutorials. Instead of demonstrating the features of the new Magic Bullet Suite 13, I simply sat down and graded a short sequence of shots. The result is a fast-moving unrehearsed color session in which you see me explore and experiment, using the new Colorista IV panel in Adobe Premiere Pro.

For more Magic Bullet Suite tutorials, check out my announcement post and a whole post just about tutorials.

And if you're inspired to buy Magic Bullet or anything else from Red Giant (like Trapcode or PluralEyes), there's no better day than tomorrow. For one day only, everything at Red Giant will be 40% off in our Year End Sale.

Magic Bullet Suite 13 Tutorials

There's so much new in Magic Bullet Suite 13 that I made like a zillion tutorials.

The essential walkthroughs are all in my announcement post. These tutorials get a little more specific.

Guided Color Correction in Magic Bullet Colorista IV

There's no better example of Red Giant's commitment to make great color accessible to all video editors than the new Guided Color Correction feature in Colorista IV. The tool walks you through a step-by-step process of balancing out a shot. You get great results easily, and you stay in control the whole time.

My Color Grading Pipeline

Reduce noise and compression artifacts first. Then basic color balancing, followed by creative color grading. Then, as a final step, re-introduce grain or texture as desired. That's my pipeline on almost every shot I color correct, and this walks you through the process, using Magic Bullet Denoiser III, Colorista IV, and the all-new Renoiser film grain emulation tool.

Saving Look Presets in Magic Bullet Looks

With Magic Bullet Looks 4, we updated the way you save your own Looks. It's now so easy that you should very much not need this tutorial.

And Tool Presets Too

I heard you like presets with your presets. Each individual Tool in Magic Bullet Looks now has presets, and this video shows how you access them and save your own.

Working With Log Footage

Log is more than big and heavy and wood, it's also the best way to shoot video for the maximum dynamic range, short of raw. All the tools in Magic Bullet Suite 13 support log, and this video shows you how.

Highlights and Highlight Recovery in Colorista IV

When should you use the Highlights control in Colorista IV, and when should you use Highlight Recovery? The answer is now.

Using LUTs in Magic Bullet Suite 13

Sometimes you feel like a LUT, and Magic Bullet Suite 13 is cool with that. This video covers the new LUT support in Colorista IV as well as the LUT tool in Magic Bullet Looks 4.

The Faded Film Look

Twist on some fresh mustache wax and learn how to achieve the faded cinematic look that you alternately complain about and then kind of like and want, using the new Point Curve in Colorista IV and Looks, and the Fade It control in Magic Bullet Mojo II.

More to Come

But that's it for now! You can find more Stu-torials here.

Magic Bullet Suite 13

Red Giant has just released Magic Bullet Suite 13, a massive update to our color correction and look creation tools.

This is such an epic update that I barely know where to start.

Colorista IV

Colorista IV is my new favorite creative tool. It now runs as a panel inside Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, which means that you can use it as your go-to color tool without ever having to manually apply it to your clips. Just start working with the panel and Colorista is there.

Colorista IV features new Temperature and Tint controls, as well as LUT support, log processing, an updated keyer, and a new Point Curve that works seamlessly with the familiar Colorista parameterized curve.

There’s also Guided Color Correction, a graphical step-by-step process that helps anyone quickly and easily balance out one shot, or 100. These steps are based on the techniques that a real Hollywood colorist uses to teach editors the basics of color grading, and it’s a meaningful example of how Magic Bullet empowers everyone, regardless of skill level, to create great color.

Denoiser III

Oh man. This is a big one.

Magic Bullet Denoiser has alway been good, but good was not good enough for us. We started over from scratch with an entirely new GPU-accelerated computer vision algorithm that a team of engineers spent years perfecting. It’s not only faster than Denoiser II, it also produces much higher quality results.

And, maybe most importantly, it’s incredibly easy to use. Because the new engine analyzes each frame individually and builds a noise profile, we’ve been able to simplify the controls down to just five sliders — and two of those are for sharpening.

Denoiser III is so fast that it can play back in real time on many systems at the default settings. Or crank up the quality and get great results on even your noisiest footage — Denoiser’s adaptive playback will still give you great performance if it detects that you’re playing back at a proxy resolution.

Denoiser III cleans up compression artifacts as well, and it effectively promotes your footage to the highest bit-depth supported by your editing software. It’s a DSLR/mirrorless shooter’s best friend.

Denoiser III is possibly one of the most important tools Red Giant has ever created. It runs in Premiere, After Effects, Final Cut Pro, and is coming soon for DaVinci Resolve.


Renoiser is a new addition to the Magic Bullet Suite. I’ve always wanted to make the ultimate film grain emulation tool, and we finally did it. The problem with most grain effects is that they simply slap a grain layer on top of the footage with a blend mode. Renoiser takes a different approach, actually rebuilding your image out of virtual grain. The grain actually “stirs up” the pixels and pushes them around — and you control how much using Size and Texture sliders. We’ve got customizable presets for popular film stocks and styles, as well as some utility noise modes that help any project survive downstream broadcast and web compression.

Renoiser also features powerful, adaptive sharpening. I plan on using it on everything I make.


Magic Bullet Film is now optimized for Mercury playback in Premiere. This means that all the color correction tools in Magic Bullet Suite 13 are now real time. Yay!

My buddy Pete Lee recently graded this cool music video using Magic Bullet Film:

Magic Bullet Looks

Magic Bullet Looks is more than just a color corrector, it’s also a powerful simulation engine for real-world camera filters and effects. Presets make it easy to get started, but the friendly interface invites you to customize, tweak, and make the look your own.

In this update, Magic Bullet Looks features over 50 new looks, a new way of working with log footage, and a new Reference Library feature for storing and comparing shots. Renoiser, Colorista IV, and Mojo II tools are built right in. Oh yeah, and we rebuilt it for real time Mercury playback in Premiere Pro.

Cosmo II

Another ground-up rewrite, Cosmo II features an all new smoothing algorithm that makes people look great, often with just one click. You’re going to make a lot of people happy with this one.

Mojo II

Yet another ground-up rewrite, Mojo II is all about making your footage look great, fast. Mojo creates a cinematic look by adding color contrast, unifying your color palette, and offering easy shot-to-shot adjustments. It’s perfect for editors who need to make log footage look great for a rough cut, but it’s also used as a final sweetening pass by real Hollywood colorists.

Color and the Color Experience

I used to think that my role in overseeing Magic Bullet was to make professional color correction accessible to everyone. But in today’s world, where a lot of color software is effectively free, I now realize my role is much more challenging — but also more rewarding. My job is to make great color results accessible through easy-to-use tools that don’t sacrifice any power, and work the way you want to work, right inside your editing software. Color work is real work, but the tools don’t have to be punishing. Red Giant has devoted an immense amount of effort to make Magic Bullet a great creative experience for anyone who wants better color, whether they’re grading an entire feature or just punching up a quick edit.

And we’re not done yet.

Magic Bullet Suite 13 is available now from Red Giant.