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Old October 4th, 2007, 10:38 AM   #1
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Boris Red in Vegas

I just wonder if someone can fill me in on something in the nature of Boris Red in Vegas:

I've got a project where we have done a lot of cropping and panning into the frame using the event pan/crop tool. When using the Boris stabilization tool, will it make use of the area outside the cropped frame automatically, or will I have to zoom the crop out manually and crop in further within Boris to avoid black borders?

Cheers,

Rob
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Old October 4th, 2007, 10:57 AM   #2
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Why not stabilize the footage in Boris first and then use the stabilized footage in Vegas and apply the Pan/Crop to that? Then you won't have to worry about whether or not it uses it because it will.
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Old October 4th, 2007, 12:54 PM   #3
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Hi Edward,

Thank you for your reply. There are several reasons that workflow you suggest is not practical in this case. Firstly, the project is made up of four syncronised tapes in several long tape long takes, with about 5000 cuts in the project between each reel. I need to view the footage in the context of the project to evaluate and apply the correction where required.

Secondly, if I correct out side of Boris, I cant see the resulting shot after the Vegas crop. Some shots look ok for shake in their uncropped state, but the Vegas crop exacerbates the effects of the shake. It would also mean that I loose the original shot as a reference and effectively had to recrop everything from scratch.

Thirdly, this would necessitate a switch from HDV sources to an intermediate format, and our remit dictates we go from master to render in one stage to minimise artifacts.

So working from the standalone package would more or less be working blind and at a massive disk and unacceptable print quality cost. And also, I can't see the benefit when it does plugs in to Vegas :) Stablilizing outside of Vegas doesn't on the surface appear to offer any benefits...

Unless I have seriously misunderstood something?
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Old October 4th, 2007, 01:15 PM   #4
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My guess is you need to make sure you stabilize BEFORE applying pan/crop. Otherwise you're only passing Boris the video frame and that's all it will have to work with.

I don't know if the Boris effects has the pre/post triangle like standard effects do. That might be another option.
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Old October 4th, 2007, 05:43 PM   #5
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Well I downloaded the Boris Red Try and Buy. I find it very unlikely I will progress to buying as currently it is very trying. The interface seems to be completely counter-intuitive. At present I cant even figure out how to get it to correct normal shots in standalone mode.

I also noted that the Vegas plugin seemed to switch off other plugins prior to it in the chain.

There must be an application that has the functionality I need that does not require Linux nerd skills to operate. A plugin for Vegas, that just does stabilization and doesn't require farting about. Please someone!

If I could get the piggin thing to work, I'm not sure if it is possible to apply it before the pan/crop as I dont think that the crop is part of the effects chain. However, I'm assuming that as the colour curves do not change their effect when you zoom into the frame, the effects must generally be applied before the crop/pan.

Either way it is redundant until I discover a way to make Boris Red, which I will declare the most unfriendly piece of video related software I have ever used. Bearing in mind I was using Amiga versions of Lightwave, and quite complex ray tracers such as Real 3D as well as controlling it all with Rexx scripts when I was 11 years old, something like this should not be beyond me.
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Old October 13th, 2007, 08:07 AM   #6
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Ok, I have come up with a workflow that, in the event that Boris does not make use of the image area out side of the event pan/crop boundaries, or place its work in front of the event pan/crop effect, I plan to recreate the pans by direct comparison with the original.

This is the plan:

1) Open the main project, and a second instance of Vegas

2) Take a cut that requires stabilizing, and copy and paste it into the second instance of Vegas

3) Remove the event/pan settings and effects settings.

4) Apply the Boris Red stabilization correction to the entire frame.

5) Save the project in the second instance of Vegas. For the sake of this project it shall be called "StableCut1.veg".

6) In the first instance of Vegas create a new blank track and position it somewhere above the track the cut we are workign on came from.

7) Add a cookie cutter effect to the new track that blanks out some of the frame (for ease I will blank out the whole of the right half).

8) Move the shot we are working from to the new cookie cut track.

9) Nest the project "StableCut1.veg" at the previous location of the shot we have just moved.

10) The original cut should still be in the clipboard, so right click the "StableCut1.veg" and use "paste event attributes" to put the event effects and original pan/event settings in.

11) Line up the Borised version against the original cookie cut version to get equivalent pans and crops.

It may be that there may be a way to automate this process to some extent by adjusting the pan settings in relation to the amoutn of image correction in a set ratio.

However, to do that, or find out if any of this is necessary in the first place, I need to actually get Boris working. I have followed the video tutorial on the Boris site, which makes no sense and does not seem to relate with what appears on screen, either in stand alone or plugin mode. Can anybody point me in the direction of a step by step guide to actually get Boris to perform optical image stabilization in Vegas?

Many many thanks for any help received.

Rob

Edit: Ok, finally got the online help to work, osI will test this workflow tomorrow and report back, if anybody is interested :)

Last edited by Robert Wheeler; October 13th, 2007 at 05:38 PM. Reason: update
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Old October 14th, 2007, 11:32 AM   #7
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I am starting to think that Boris does not actually work at all, and everybody that has bought it is just too polite to point it out to the makers.

I followed the Boris online help instructions to the letter, yet made no progress at all. At best, if i select "setup zones" I will get a grey rectangle drawn onto the image at render. If I select "Stabilze" and no matter what choice of settings, I get absolutely no effect on the video whatsoever.

Does anybody actually use this application, and could it be possible I am making an elementary error? It just seems so un-user friendly. I'll also point out, i can't get it working in standalone mode either.
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Old October 14th, 2007, 02:11 PM   #8
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Robert,
I use RED 3GL. It never worked well as a Vegas plug-in...I always use it as a standalone application. I import the movie file to a track in Red, then select the filter drop down and then the stabilizer or motion tracker from the Motion drop down list. Open the stabilizer as a separate window and you can drag the red and green boxes to select an area to stabilize. There are more advanced choices, but simply using the x-y coordinates seems to work fine for me the few times I've had to use it.
Hope this helps.
Ken
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Old October 15th, 2007, 03:29 AM   #9
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No idea how (or whether) this would work in your workflow, but might be worth a look:

http://vegas.digitalmedianet.com/art...e.jsp?id=28849

Alternatively, this might help in resolving your problem: http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/15/857025

(Sorry, should have sequenced these suggestions the other way around!)

Cheers,

Ian . . .

Last edited by Ian Stark; October 15th, 2007 at 04:25 AM.
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Old October 15th, 2007, 12:10 PM   #10
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Ok folk hang on to your underpants for this one - I started reading through Boris release notes and discovered to my utter amazement - that the problem I am describing is actually a KNOWN ISSUE in Boris.

But not just that, the workaround kindly linked to above by Ian Stark is actually the official solution to this problem. Now call me cynical, but I can't quite understand how Boris FX can be advertised as offering Vegas Host integration when in their own documentation they say "Boris Red time filters do not work with Vegas host video".

Am I coming from the fabled land of the orange banana tree here? They put this limitation down to Vegas's architecture, but I have a sneaky suspicion it could be down to Boris's focusing on issuing half baked incomplete software.

So the result of this is that I spent a few days messing around with a completely useless piece of software that doesn't actually do what it claims to do on the tin. At the very least they should stick on the front in big writing - YOU ONLY GET PARTIAL FUNCTIONALITY WITHIN VEGAS.

So now, I have a new plan. After erasing all traces of Boris from my system, I will go and beg someone to write me a plugin that has the sole function of image stabilizing. Great fun.
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Old October 16th, 2007, 10:38 PM   #11
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There's more than one way to kill the cat, here.

The big problem with image stabilization is that it's tough to predict in advance the stabilized output - 'shakiness' being random and all that. That's why it's easier to work with a clip that's already been stabilized.

If you have to, you can always render a clip to a stabilized 'intermediate' non-lossy format - it isn't really an 'intermediate' in a 'compression' sense, so there's no artifacting or image degradation.

I think ProDad has a product, Mercalli, that does stabilization. I'm not too familiar with it, though.

If you're not averse to non-commerical software, there is an excellent stabilization filter available for for VirtualDub. You can set it leave black borders, or zoom to avoid them.
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Old October 17th, 2007, 06:50 AM   #12
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Sadly, ProDAD's product is neither available for Vegas or as a standalone app (at the moment, although according to their website the possibility of either has not been written off - see http://www.prodad.de/faq/01/gb/faq-0...-00000006.html) so you'd need to invest in another NLE (Premier, Liquid or Edius).

I think the 'render to lossless intermediate' idea is sound, albeit expensive on time and disk.
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Old October 17th, 2007, 09:10 AM   #13
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Hello gentleman

Thank you for your further replies. It is a shame that proDAD do not make a plugin for Vegas, as I remember their Adorage and ClariSSA applications for the Amiga. They were two of the best programs I have ever used on any system. If they made proper plugin versions of them (I've noted there is a set of scripts called Adorage, but it is no where near the same thing).

The problem in terms of using intermediate is as follows:

1) We cant really afford any reductions as we are using a lot of pan and zooms and fighting artifacts as it is.

2) I've no idea what intermediate to use. I considered a lossless intermediate, but in actual fact, very few are actually lossless. Most are visually lossless, which is not much use to us. Also, I still haven't found one which actually works.

However, in desperation, I'm willing to test the Virtual Dub method on one of the tapes, even if just to open up the potential to cut the worst of the bad shots temporarily into the final cut. Bearing in mind that each tape has a lot of zooms and pans, would taking a whole tape and running it through Virtual Dub and deshaker in one go. Or am I going to have to render out each shot and drive myself mad when a proper plugin comes out a few weeks later :)

Really, they have so many cool plugins and functionality in Vegas, why is there not a solution for this ultra common problem in low-budget shoots?

I was thinking, really, if it was possible to just get a plugin that could come up with the numbers, you could get it to feed a script that set key frame adjustments event/pan adjustments that fix all these problems. That would work really well with an auxillary events/pan track (if they invented it).
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Old October 17th, 2007, 08:17 PM   #14
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[QUOTE=Robert Wheeler;760234]
2) I've no idea what intermediate to use. I considered a lossless intermediate, but in actual fact, very few are actually lossless. Most are visually lossless, which is not much use to us. Also, I still haven't found one which actually works.

You could try huffyuv, that might gain a bit of slack space on disk and it's a non-lossy codec. By non-lossy I mean the decoded image is identical to the encoded image, frame to frame, pixel to pixel, bit to bit.

I can understand your concern with 'visually lossless' intermediate formats - the term 'visually lossless' kind of makes me cringe. It smells like market-speak, because it represents something obviously subjective. Sort of like a sneaky backhand conflation of the concept of lossless as it commonly understood in its data-processing context to a visual one - which can only ever be subjective. There's no such thing as an exact approximation...

(In fairness I am a happy user of Cineform Neo HDV)

Anyway, cheers and good luck with your project.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 07:28 AM   #15
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I'm having a look at Lagarith at the minute, which seems to take a bit more care with colour spaces than Huffy, which is vitality important in this project.

My current problem is trying to get m2t streams into Virtual Dub. Is there an easy way of doing it? I tried HDTV2MPG, but no joy.

Any tips?
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