Mercalli works so good that I'm selling my tripod at DVinfo.net

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...stays in Vegas! This PC-based editing app is a safe bet with these tips.


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Old July 24th, 2008, 08:42 PM   #1
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Mercalli works so good that I'm selling my tripod

Okay, just kidding. But I just tried it and it works great. It's a stabilzation plug-in that works with Premiere and After Effects too.

I was surprised at how fast it rendered, although I didn't try the highest quality opetion yet. $59 through Digital Juice.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 10:41 PM   #2
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It is a very nice product and at $59 this should be added to your tool set.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 11:22 PM   #3
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Is this the pro version or the light version that DJ is selling?
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Old July 24th, 2008, 11:28 PM   #4
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It's the "Expert" version that's being sold by DJ.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 01:39 AM   #5
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Mercalli is a fantastic tool, but it does have it's limitations. Flashes from cameras can cause it to do some weird things.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 02:40 AM   #6
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Seems like a good deal at ~£30. Half price often gets my vote!

I do hate having to wait 'usually within 24 hours' for the download link and registration code, though. I wonder why is this not instantaneous?

Edit: Richard's post below reminded me of my manners: Thanks indeed Paul for the DJ tip.

Last edited by Ian Stark; July 25th, 2008 at 05:00 AM.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 04:10 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Paul Cascio View Post
Okay, just kidding. But I just tried it and it works great. It's a stabilzation plug-in that works with Premiere and After Effects too.

I was surprised at how fast it rendered, although I didn't try the highest quality opetion yet. $59 through Digital Juice.
Hi Paul. Does it work in Vegas? Can't see any mention of what NLEs are supported.

Richard

Edit - Never mind, I found the Prodad website and see that Vegas 7 and 8 are in the list. Thanks for the tip about the DJ offer.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 07:25 AM   #8
 
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Mercalli still doesn't handle footage from rolling shutter cams very well. Stabilized footage comes out looking somewhat like jello. Only virtualdub's deshaker seems to address this issue.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 10:36 AM   #9
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I tride the Mercalli demo and compared it to SteadyMove Pro and SteadyHand.

In comparision, Mercalli is "ok" but I'm not a ProDad fan. (I'm glad they finally hired somebody who can write English). It's super fast though. There's just too many "tweaks" that won't make sense to the user who just wants maximum stabliization. The presets are confusing as well. It works quite well inside of Vegas which is its strong point I think - no need to export/import footage.

SteadyMove requires Adobe Premiere or AfterEffects. Decent final output but does have it's quirks. I find you have to give it some extra footage before and after the scene.

Surprising, SteadyHand which looks like some shareware program and hasn't been updated for over 5 years still yeilds the best results for me. And it's just as fast as Mercalli. Of course it's not a plug in but will import/export uncompressed footage just fine. Comparably priced at $70 (I think).
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Old July 25th, 2008, 11:55 AM   #10
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I think the tweaks you can make in Mercalli are it's strong points. All you have to do is throw some footage on the time line and play around a bit and it becomes pretty clear what you need to do.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 12:18 PM   #11
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I think the tweaks you can make in Mercalli are it's strong points. All you have to do is throw some footage on the time line and play around a bit and it becomes pretty clear what you need to do.
Really? Look at the motion detection setting. It's a slider the offers a range from more quickly to more valid. Why wouldn't you always want the, "more valid" setting?

Same goes for the, special video analysis options. Why wouldn't you want them all checked?

And "camera stabilization"... it really means, "what frame size do you want?" That's my problem with the cryptic ProDad apps... you have to tinker endlessly to figure out what they really mean.

I shoot mostly from a tripod and the little handheld footage I use just has some basic "jitters" in it - mainly because I'm getting old and fat. And sometimes my second shooter, even though on a tripod will oftentimes have her hand on the camera or a tripod leg during a static shot. At 10X the footage will pick up these shakes and vibrations.

I'd really like somebody else to try the same footage they used in Mercalli with the SteadyHand demo like I did. It's a tiny freestanding application. Just export your footage from Vegas as uncompressed and it'll output the same.

http://www.goodervideo.com/products/SH.html

I'm curious how it works for you guys with some really shakey stuff. (In comparison to Mercalli). With my footage it just appears a lot smoother between frames.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 12:39 PM   #12
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Why wouldn't you always want the, "more valid" setting?

Same goes for the, special video analysis options. Why wouldn't you want them all checked?
Immediate thought would be for people with less beefy computers? Quality/speed compromise.

I have looked at the other options available - and I am a beta tester for Red Giant's forthcoming Steady plugin for After Effects , which looks like it beats of all the current crop hands down - but, personally, my vote is going with the plugin that sits inside Vegas. I really don't want to have to work inside two apps (actually three, as I do a lot of work in After Effects). It might be relatively painless to move footage in and out of different apps but I don't have the time. If Mercalli can stabilise 50% of the unstable footage I may occasionally have to work with then I'm happy for that compromise because it saves me time (hence money).

And at $59/30 it's a no brainer in my opinion which is why I bought it this afternoon (but still waiting for my download link and reg code. Grrrrrr!).
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Old July 25th, 2008, 12:57 PM   #13
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I agree that the English sucks. I used to write computer manuals and the GUI is awful. They should invest a little money and correct these obvious and fixable flaws.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 05:51 PM   #14
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I'd put it in the "better than nothing" category after using it extensively for 2 months. It's good for the price but I'm not impressed overall.

Here's my original impressions:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...vegas+mercalli

I actually like it less now than I did then. There are certain shots that come out more shaky than without it. Image softness is dramatic. Overall... meh, it's better than nothing.

The registration process is insultingly a pain in the ass. Had to do it twice on a reformatted computer, and if I ever have to do it again, it's going down the drain.

The only good things I can say about it is: works perfectly INSIDE of Vegas, which is a huge bonus, and it works incredibly quickly, which is impressive. If it weren't for those two things, I'd look for something better, even at 10x the price. However, I'm a lazy jerk, so Mercalli stays on my system.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 06:52 PM   #15
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Mercalli still doesn't handle footage from rolling shutter cams very well. Stabilized footage comes out looking somewhat like jello. Only virtualdub's deshaker seems to address this issue.
That is what I have noticed on video from my 2 HC1's. Even so, the results I get with the demo video to test with the waterfall is no better.

Mercalli works but it does not work well enough. Oh well, at least I got it for half price whatever that is worth.

Maybe I need to spend more time with it...

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