Mercalli image stabilisation

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tom hardwick
Posts: 876
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:59 am

Mercalli image stabilisation

Post by tom hardwick »

I'm impressed by the Mercalli image stabilisation software that I use in conjunction with Edius 6. I've just stabilised a tracking shot that has ended up looking smooth as SteadyCam, so already I've saved a small fortune and a lot of hassle by not having to stop and strap on a SeadyCam vest - at the expense of a small loss of picture quality, naturally.

But this to Mike Shaw, whose tutorial on Mercalli got me hooked some years ago. Is it my imagination or did the original Mercalli IS offer more tweaks and controls than the Mk 2 version that came with my copy of Edius 6?

tom.
Pqtrick
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:14 pm
Location: Warwickshire

Re: Mercalli image stabilisation

Post by Pqtrick »

Yes, Tom, I have Edius Neo 3 the lightweight version, which also has Mercalli image stabilisation with it. It works very well. No substitute for a tripod of course but those odd shots where you must hand hold or following shots it certainly smooths out the bumps. I did some filming from a large road bridge last year, when I looked at the results back home, there was a tremor and some vibration from the traffic. Mercalli ironed it out completely. Pqtrick. :D
col lamb
Posts: 680
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:51 pm
Location: Preston, Lancashire

Re: Mercalli image stabilisation

Post by col lamb »

It is a great addition to ones arsenal of enhancement tools.

Used it in Edius to remove slight shake from video I shot with my Canon 7D and using a monopod also same thing with the Panny 900.

I have yet to use Premiere's own stabilization plug in as Mercalli does it so well.

Whilst I can be critical of GV, hats off to them they have included a great product with Edius, and that is the slimmed down version goodness knows how good the bought version is.
Col Lamb
Preston, Lancashire.
FCPX, Edius6.02, and Premiere CS 5.5 user.
Find me on Facebook, Colin Lamb
Mike Shaw

Re: Mercalli image stabilisation

Post by Mike Shaw »

Tom - I can't speak for the Edius versions, but the 'main stream' version 2 does offer more control features than V1 - although the control system is very very different: IMO the controls for V2 are easier to understand and make it easier to get good results. All the 'presets' in V1 were difficult to select, and the adjustments not all that easy to understand. V2 does also provide control to help eliminate the 'rolling shutter' distorion effect, which V1 didn't offer.

Having said all of that - I haven't used Mercalli for a couple of years (apart from testing out V2, that is), because the stabilisers in the editor I now use (Avid Media Composer 6) work extremely well indeed - and one can select just a part of an image - as the focal point - to stabilise, which is also very useful. It doesn't have the rolling shutter correction of Mercalli as far as I know (maybe there's a way - I just don't know it!), but I haven't met that problem yet anyway, so ...
tom hardwick
Posts: 876
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:59 am

Re: Mercalli image stabilisation

Post by tom hardwick »

Like all things that undergo post processing there's very often 'give-aways' that are hard to disguise. Mercalli is no different, and if you know where to look you can see the side-effects of the rolling shutter correction.

It's a matter of preferring one over the other I guess. Mercalli loses you some resolution in return for some stability, and if you want more stability you lose more resolution.

The little Extreme cam I tested this month in FVM has very noticeable CMOS rolling shutter failings and is a great way to test Mercalli's rolling shutter correction. Mercalli does a sterling job, but in so doing leaves behind other artefacts in its wake. As Pqtrick says, there's no substitute for a tripod if the highest image quality is what you're after.

tom.
Mike Shaw

Re: Mercalli image stabilisation

Post by Mike Shaw »

Absolutely agree. Stabilisation starts at the shoot.

Mercalli (or any decent stabiliser) comes into its own with shots taken from a moving car or boat - where the road (or water) is somewhat 'bumpy'.

Otherwise ...
tom hardwick
Posts: 876
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:59 am

Re: Mercalli image stabilisation

Post by tom hardwick »

I was part of the judging team last night at the Colchester Film Makers Club for the Chairmans Cup Competition, and one of the film-makers happened to mention that he'd used Mercalli in his film 'A Navy Lark'. With this info on board I was able to spot the tell-tale give-away signs, but they're a small price to pay for the lovely smoothing they'd done to coach rides, tracking shots and so on. Mercalli is not something-for-nothing by any means, but it's amazing technology that's not expensive, is user-friendly and works hard and fast.

tom.
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