Beauty Box 5.0 Tips to Speed Up Video Skin Retouching

Beauty Box 5.0 can retouch skin while maintaining real-time playback on 1080p footage on most machines, and real-time playback or close to it on 4k footage on faster machines. Render speed does depend on a lot of factors, like the GPU speed of your computer, the resolution of the footage, having other effects applied, and the host application you’re using. Here are some things you can check to make sure you’re getting the best performance out of Beauty Box.

  1. Make sure the plugin is using the GPU to render

The most important factor for better speed is to have Beauty Box use your machine’s GPU to render. In the plugin effect controls, there will be a “Use GPU” checkbox at the bottom – make sure this is checked, and that it isn’t grayed out.

This box should be checked, and not grayed out like in the image on the right

If “Use GPU” is grayed out, here’s how to re-enable it:

Go to this location:

         Windows: Documents\Digital Anarchy

          Mac: Users\Shared\Digital Anarchy

And find one of these files:

  • DA_OpenCL_Devices.txt
  • DA_CUDA_Devices.txt
  • DA_Metal_Devices.txt

Open the file. You should see something like the screenshot below. If Enabled = Off, change the text to say Enabled = On, then save the file. Restart your editing application and now the checkbox should be active.

Open the file. You should see something like the screenshot below. If Enabled = Off, change the text to say Enabled = On, then save the file. Restart your editing application and now the checkbox should be active.

If Enabled = Off (left), edit the text to say “On” (right)

Having “Use GPU” disabled by default is most common when installing Beauty Box for the first time, but also may happen after updating your computer or host application. If Beauty Box seems to be causing slow playback in your projects, check that file to make sure Beauty Box is actually using the GPU.

  1. Apply Beauty Box before other effects

If you are color correcting your video or using other effects on the same footage Beauty Box will be applied, remember that the order that effects are applied can have an impact on render speed. We generally recommend applying Beauty Box first, before other effects and color correction. In some rare cases, Beauty Box will perform better as the last effect applied – if it’s working slower than usual at the top, drag it to the bottom of the effects list, below your other effects. But usually having it applied first will make rendering faster. 

Beauty Box applied first (left), and Beauty Box dragged below other Effects (right)
  1. Know what works best for the host app you are editing on:

Premiere and FCP are faster than After Effects at this point in most of our tests (as of AE and Premiere 2022, and FCP 10.6.3), although this can change over time as different applications add new features and optimizations. Here are a few applications-specific tips:

Premiere Pro: Make sure the renderer is set to Use the GPU. Go to File > Project Settings > General. 

In the General tab, under Video Rendering and Playback, set the Renderer dropdown to Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration (CUDA/OpenCL/Metal). (CUDA) is for Nvidia GPUs, (OpenCL) is for AMD GPUs, and (Metal) is for Apple GPUs. IF this is set to Mercury Playback Engine Software Only, your project won’t use the GPU to render, and Beauty Box will render  more slowly – you generally will only want to use Software Only with Beauty Box if you’re running into an error with one of the GPU Acceleration options.

After Effects: The same Premiere information above applies here as well. After Effects also has an option called “Enable Multi-Frame Rendering” in Edit > Preferences > Memory & Performance. You can use Beauty Box with this setting on, but it will be slightly slower in the current version of AE (2022). We do expect Multi-Frame Rendering to improve in future versions of AE, so it’s worth testing the speed of it on vs off in your projects, especially in future versions of AE.

Final Cut Pro: If FCP is performing slowly while using Beauty Box, turn off Background Rendering in the Preferences > Playback menu, and turn off Skimming either by clicking the Skimming button below the Viewer, clicking it in View > Skimming, or pressing S.

Resolve: We recommend applying Beauty Box in either Edit or Color modes. It works in Fusion, but will render more slowly.

In combination with the automated masking and skin tone analysis capabilities, the tips we listed above can help video editors speed up the post-production skin retouching process considerably! But if you’re looking for advanced tutorials, you can learn how to create manual masks to retouch specific skin areas, isolate and track moving subjects, and more at

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