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Old November 30th, 2007, 11:14 AM   #1
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Shake-Smoothcam Question

I shot a footage with a Canon XLH1 (HDV) on 1080i 24F. I imported the footage to FCP and it looks good. There is one shot I tried to do tracking with no dolly. It looked kind of ok. But I want to fix it to make it look smoother. I exported the shot I want to fix to quicktime and imported it into Shake. I applied the SmoothCam and I see now huge black border around the shot. Is there a way to fix the image without losing its quality. I read somewhere that applying Scale or Pan might fix the problem. Does anybody experienced the same? if yes what's the solution? Please if you can be specific what kind of parameters you used in Shake and the steps.

Thanks in advance.
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Old December 1st, 2007, 04:05 PM   #2
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Gilbert,

does the "huge black border" move around with the image? Due to how SmoothCam works, there should be a border around the edges of the video, and it should be moving around a little bit as Shake adjusts the exact image position and rotation for each frame to make it more stable. However, it should be a fairly thin border, based on my experience.

Do you have a couple of screenshot (before - after) that you can post so we can better see what the problem might be?

- Martin
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Old December 1st, 2007, 10:33 PM   #3
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Hello Martin,

Thanks for your reply. Here is the footage I am trying to fix. I already applied Smoothcam. I am wondering how can I fill the black border around the footage?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj8P8ONkZRg

Thanks
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 12:17 AM   #4
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I watched your clip - yes, this thin moving frame is what I meant in my previous post. As Shake is adjusting the translation and rotation of your original footage, trying to compensate for camera movement during the shoot, you will see these black borders because no image data was recorded for these areas (they were off-screen in the recording).

I would just add another node in Shake to scale it up a little bit - just enough to make the borders disappear. I know you said "without losing its quality", and upscaling will naturally result in sightly lower quality, but other than clipping your stabilized footage (which would make the borders larger, yet stable) I don't think anything can be done - you don't have the image data needed to fill the black bars.

- Martin
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 08:12 AM   #5
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Thanks Martin for the feedback.

Would you please walk me through scaling? I am still new to Shake.

Thanks,

Gilbert.
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 01:16 PM   #6
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you can just add a scale ( I like to use a move 2d) node to the workflow and double click it in the upper right work area, then grab the handles on the image in the canvas and scale it up just until the worst frame has no black edges showing. Scale, then play through, repeat until all of the frames have no black. Sometimes you can use less scaling if you shift the overall image slightly in one direction, or even slowly over time as the frame slides to the opposite side as the smoothcam correction is causing.
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 01:31 PM   #7
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Read the manual- the smoothcam node can scale the image automatically to get rid of the black edges.

The Shake manual is actually very good.
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 02:39 PM   #8
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I guess I've avoided the manual as I've had a couple of specific things I couldn't figure out that the manual specifically didn't cover when I looked them up...they were the only things I tried to find in the manual as well, so I got soured to it early on and didn't dig farther...I find the interface really intuitive for the most part as I'm a very visual person, so I had very little need early on to hit the books to figure the simple stuff out..and once I had a feel for it, I didn't mind experimenting to figure out more complex problems.

I've since learned that the solution to my problem was to manually do my corner pinning as two of my corner points disappear behind an actor in the shot I'm trying to comp. I can't recall the other thing I looked for, but that's when I closed the book and put it back on my shelf...it's more experience based than final cut apparently. I wish the manual would have been as complete as the 3-4 volumes that cover final cut.
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 05:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Chan View Post
Read the manual- the smoothcam node can scale the image automatically to get rid of the black edges.
Really? I know you can set a "Clip Mode" where the black borders are either magnified so they can be constant, or completely clipped off (resulting in a smaller image, with no border), but I don't see a scaling option...

- Martin
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 05:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilbert Khoury View Post
Would you please walk me through scaling? I am still new to Shake.
Here's a screenshot of a very simple node tree in Shake. You can see the parameters of the Scale node at the bottom; those values worked for my clip but my guess would be (based on the YouTube clip you shared with us) less magnification will be needed for yours.

http://mp-video.com/other/Shake_Smoo...Screenshot.png

BTW, lynda.com has Shake lessions, they have been very helpful for me.

- Martin
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 06:36 PM   #11
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Thanks Martin. It works yeah!!!

The only thing the quality of the footage degrades like you mentioned. I think once I color correct the whole short film and apply Magic bullet filter hopefully this whole thing will cover it up.

Thanks everyone for all your help. This forum rocks!!!
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