By Neil Bennett | on February 22, 2010
Price When Reviewed: 125
Pros: Great automatic results with standard footage; excellent manual controls.
Cons: Slow; occasional problems with blondes.
We’ve all had to deal with footage where someone has skimped on a decent make-up artist and you’ve been asked to give some poor unfortunate a Max Factor makeover in post.
Beauty Box is designed to automate this process: identifying skin areas for you and smoothing them, while leaving others intact.
We tested the After Effects version. Using it can be as simple as applying the plug-in, hitting Analyze Frame and letting it work its magic. As long as your subject has no major scars and is looking at the camera – and is consistently lit – this can yield remarkable results, as blemishes vanish quicker than in a Clearasil ad.
Considering that much of Beauty Box’s target audience will want it for low-budget corporate productions, it’s no-brainer at an affordable price.
It had problems with blondes under bright light – no doubt due to the lack of contrast between pale hair and skin – but only real downside is that it’s slow to preview and render.
If you want perfect results, or have difficult footage, there’s a wide set of manual controls, helping you select the face if it’s not looking straight at the camera, or if it’s partially obscured by hair or something else.
We miss the add- and remove-area brushes of Imagenomic’s Portraiture 2, a similar tool for Photoshop, and wish it ran faster, but if you often have to touch up bad skin, this is well worth checking out.