No make-up artist allowed? Here's a way of fixing it in post.

Written by Heath McKnight

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Digital Anarchy's plugin provides help to video editors, and Beauty Box acts as digital make-up that can be 'applied' in post-production, helping to isolate and match only skin tones, it also helps with smoothing wrinkles and reduce shine.

The company has a line-up of quality plugins, including Transcriptive (video transcriptions within the app), Flicker Free (intelligently removes flicker), Samurai Sharpen (helps sharpen video in specific spots), and more.

Beauty Box intelligently analyzes the subjects in footage (up to 4K is supported), and smooths out their skin, while preserving skin tones. It's been used by major brands for their advertising, and also for music videos, corporate work and more. It does appear to take years off a subject by smoothing wrinkles.

I remember being part of an educational team that toured the country speaking about HDV, back in 2005 and 2006. One of the things we discussed was the sharpness of 720p and 1080i/p, and the need for make-up that works well with this 'new' technology. There was software that could smooth out wrinkles - and subtract years from a subject - during post-production, but it wasn't always affordable, and took time to render.

When the 4K RED ONE launched soon after, and it became even more obvious that an affordable digital make-up option was necessary. And that's where Beauty Box comes in. The plugin works with many of the major edit and VFX software apps, including Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, DaVinci Resolve and more.

Beauty Box Plugin:

Beauty Box Settings

It's as simple as dropping the Beauty Box plugin onto your footage, and letting it analyze the footage, and begin smoothing out the wrinkles of your subjects. You can manually adjust the amount of smoothing, skin detail smoothing, create masks, skin color, sharpen amount and much more.

For this review, I used the latest version of Final Cut Pro X (10.4.8), and downloaded sample footage that's provided by Digital Anarchy. I dropped the Beauty Box plugin onto the footage, and without adjusting any settings, it did a very nice job smoothing the subject's skin.

Beauty Box Before and After

One great thing about Digital Anarchy is they have plenty of how-to's and video tutorials to get you started with their plugins. Take the time to check out the Training section, where you can access the manual; watch expert tutorials for each major platform; specific how-to's, like masking out teeth; and download a sample clip to test out with the Beauty Box demo.

Specs

The Digital Anarchy Beauty Box plugin is available for nearly all major NLEs and VFX programs, runs on both Apple and Windows platforms, including:

  • Premiere Pro
  • Final Cut Pro X
  • DaVinci Resolve
  • VEGAS Pro
  • Avid Media Composer
  • After Effects
  • Nuke

When it comes to any sort of video editing or VFX software and plugins, a GPU and CPU on the more powerful side will help speed up the rendering. This is especially useful if you're working with 4K footage. If rendering and playback are lagging in FCP X, turn off background rendering and scrubbing.

The price of Beauty Box version 4 is $199; if you're upgrading from an older version, it's $69 for ver. 3, and $99 for versions 1 and 2.

Conclusion

If you need to do some digital make-up work in post-production, Beauty Box is a great plugin to handle it. You'll get pretty good results even without doing any adjustments, but there are plenty of options to really dial in the smoothing. As always, ensure you have a powerful enough system, since Beauty Box is analyzing frames, and working to only focus on the subject's skin.

 

Check out Digital Anarchy's site for more information, tutorials, and to download the trial and sample footage to try Beauty Box out.

Tags: Post & VFX

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