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Old November 22nd, 2009, 06:24 PM   #1
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Best strategies for fixing FlipHD jello/jitter?

Hi all,

I have a large amount of footage shot handheld in a war zone with the FlipHD, transcoded to XDCAM EX 720p30 for ease of edit in FCP. I'm not sure if it's a jello problem or just lack of image stabilization on the FlipHD, but a lot of the footage is downright hard to watch at 1280x720 because of the crazy image shake.

Has anyone had luck with FCP's SmoothCam or other tools to address this issue in FlipHD footage specifically? I'm willing to scale up and lose a bunch of the frame, if necessary, in order to achieve a more stable image.

If you've had success, what SmoothCam (or other) settings have worked for you?
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Old November 27th, 2009, 07:42 PM   #2
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You might want to look at this plugin: Toolfarm.com: The Foundry's RollingShutter Plug-in Tackles CMOS Skew and Wobble Effects- August Sale! :: Plugins, Software Sales and Distribution
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Old November 29th, 2009, 03:36 PM   #3
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To be honest I find image stabilization works best when you are not just relying on the Smoothcam plug in to do it, it works great for some scenarios but within FCP you do not have enough fine control - if you have access to after effects and a couple of hours to learn the tracking/motion stabilization features of that program then you may find you get better results, or at least results that are a bit easier to tweak as you can see what's going on.

Smoothcam will probably struggle if your footage is suffering from BOTH 'Jello' artifacting and a shaky image in the first place.
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Old November 29th, 2009, 04:23 PM   #4
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AE's built-in tracker (found only in the production version of AE) isn't able to fix the multiple distortions caused by a rolling shutter.

To fix this requires software that can track and compensate image distortions at the pixel level.

In AE, tracking, match-move and corner pinning are applied to the image as a whole, and aren't able to properly compensate for localized distortions.

The Rolling Shutter plug-in by The Foundry is supposed to deal with this type of distortion. It does require taking samples of images from that specific camera, so that the software knows how to calculate the corrections. And the plug-in is not cheap. But you can "rent" it for a limited period of time if you're not going to be dealing with these problems a lot. And you can try the demo version to see whether it'll solve your problem.
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Old November 29th, 2009, 04:42 PM   #5
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If you know what you're doing, and with some practice, you can fix this stuff for free with the Deshaker plug-in for VirtualDub.

Don't let the fact that it's free fool you. Some of the best stuff in our industry came through Virtualdub first before people started charging a fortune for it. I made a post on this forum yesterday with a link to a test video that I stabilized. I am currently rendering a de-skew/stabilized shot. Maybe I'll post that up next week. But I have a screening this week so my machine is not available for tests right now.
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Old November 29th, 2009, 05:05 PM   #6
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"Free" is a great price!

Interesting how it can reduce the shaking without removing it entirely.

Off-topic: the one element missing in a lot of "murder victim" scenes is flies. Dead things tend to attract flies fairly quickly if it's warm enough to run around in short sleeves.
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