I have been using Magic Bullet Looks for quite a while now and I use it for all my color grading but for a long time I was unaware of how I could animate the massive amount of possibilities that Looks offers. For instance, it has a great Tilt Shift option where a single line in your footage stays in focus and the rest is out of focus which gives the effect of making your scene look like a miniature world. In order to pull this effect of with moving images you would need to keyframe the effect to keep the area you selected in focus as it moves over the screen. Here is how you do it:

In the Looks User-Interface (UI) there’s a stopwatch in front of the  word ‘Look’. Go to a specific point in time in your footage and click ‘Edit’ in the Looks effect to open up the Looks-builder and set up Looks as you want it. Then click ‘Finish’ and close the Looks-builder. Now set a keyframe for ‘Look’ at this point in time. Go forward on the timeline and click on ‘Edit’ in Looks and open up the Looks-builder again. Adjust the Look according to your preferences and again click ‘Finish’ and exit the Looks-builder. Now a new keyframe was automatically added at the current position in the timeline.

Now if you move between the keyframes you will see the effect animates from one setting to the next. It’s as simple as that. Just move in and out of the Looks-builder and set keyframes at the different points in time and your ‘look’ will adjust accordingly.

A few side-notes: If you choose a different preset from the one you used for the previous keyframe, the change from one look to another will not be gradual. The new look will be applied at that keyframe. A gradual change will only be achieved if you tweak the settings of the individual components that build up the look. If, for instance, you change the curves settings in the curves element of a look then this change will be gradual from one keyframe to the next but if you remove the curves effect then that change will appear at that keyframe and won’t be gradually introduced. To sum up: you can only animate the parameters of the elements that form the ‘look’, not from one preset to an other. At least not gradually.

I hope this helped you out and enhanced your enjoyment of Magic Bullet Looks because it is a really powerful plugin and I wouldn’t be without it myself :)

Please leave a comment, I love feedback.

Happy animating!