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This weekly course covers the most common questions videographers encounter when shooting and editing with DSLR cameras, from choosing a frame size and frame rate to understanding moiré. Authors Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman will also help you understand the impacts of compression and the difference between cropped (or micro 4/3rds) and full-sized sensors in cameras, and much more. This continual FAQ guide is a handy way to find the answers to the questions that plague you the most.
Robert Carman: So, Rich, let's check out Apple's Final Cut Pro 10. You know, Final Cut Pro 10 is one of those things that we need to discuss in detail. It's a lot of discussion out there. But I personally actually really like it and think it has a lot of cool tools and it does make the task of stabalizing the shot really straightforward. It's actually a two step process, right? Rich Harrington: Yeah. Robert Carman: You sort of need to analyze the footage so Final Cut Pro 10 can sort of tell what's going on, and then you need to apply that stabilization data that it's got, it's gained from analyzing the clip to stabilize the actual clip. Rich Harrington: And the way that it approaches this is that the analysis can be done upon import.
So a lot of folks will import their footage with analysis checked, and then it can run, sometimes as a background process. Or sometimes it happens during the import stage. It depends on the, the formats that you're working with, the version. But let's say I didn't do it on import. I could just right click and choose Analyze and Fix. And what I want to essentially do, then, is choose Analyze for stabilization and rolling shutter. Robert Carman: Yep. Rich Harrington: And I'll, while I"m at, I might as well analyze for balanced color. Robert Carman: You can fix audio problems, but those, those options are fun. Rich Harrington: Yeah. We'll click OK.
And it begins the process. Now, you know it began the process by looking right here at this it never goes fast enough count up clock, but it's a background task. Robert Carman: Well and this is I, this is a good point though. This is one of the reasons that I like to do this on import. As you mentioned, you can do it on import and it is a background task. So when you go ahead to your camera memory card, you can just sort of grab everything, import it. Analyze it for balance color, analyze it for stabilization in rolling shutter. And the cool thing about Final Cut Pro 10 is that you can continue to work while this analyzation is happening in the background.
And you know, as Rich pointed out, that analyzation is done when that clock there in the center of the, the main interface changes to, say, a hundred percent. Now in the case, we have a couple of clips that are each about you know, fifteen seconds long or so. Rich Harrington: Yeah. Robert Carman: So, it' takes a second or two. But, it done on a couple those clips. And if you bring up the background task menu, you can actually see it's progress right there. Just scroll that down. Rich Harrington: Yeah, I can actually see that by clicking on that number there. It popped it up. And you can see how it's doing on each individual clip. So. As it goes through here when this first clip is done, we'll look at it and notice I see the overall progress.
Robert Carman: Mm-hm. Rich Harrington: And I see each individual clip. Now that does take a little bit as it's happening, so we kind of just have to sit here and let it finish which is why do it on import, let it run overnight. Robert Carman: Yeah cause typically you're not going to be worried about stabilization, you know, while you're editing, right. I mean, that, you know, that's a more of a finishing task so that's why it's really nice to have this happen in the background. Okay Rich, so we're back. All that analyzation has taken place. Now I just want to be clear about a couple things. That stabilization analyzation is pretty complicated, right, where it's tracking all these points and that kind of stuff, so.
Rich Harrington: It's at least AP level math. Robert Carman: Yeah. So you know, it does take a little time. Obviously the beefier your system, all that stuff, yada, yada, yada, it will go faster. But all of the analyzation has taken place. And, before we actually do any analyzation, let's just take a look at a couple of these clips and see what the original shots look like. Rich Harrington: Sure. Well a couple of this footage, you were with me. Like this we were in Amsterdam, just shooting on the street and no rigs. No tripods, total handheld. You know, we're just swinging following this action. Here's a shot that's supposed to be locked off. You know, legs were spread a little bit.
Robert Carman: Little bumpy, you know. Rich Harrington: Not perfectly even. And, and then I jump on over to Panama here for a second, and this is a pure, I'm walking down a really broken path, I should really be looking at these rough stairs. You know, these are like logs and tree roots Robert Carman: Rich Harrington: Walking through rocks and bumps. I mean, this is not ideal, and I'm walking, which is the three points of contact. That's purposefully bad. I'd like to say that I did it that bad on purpose. Robert Carman: Uh-huh, that's what they all say. Rich Harrington: Yeah. And then here, I'm walking across a suspension bridge. There was piranhas down below and a raging river. Robert Carman: Pi-, piranhas? Her eyes.
Robert Carman: Wow. Rich Harrington: No, but I still, I was walking past this very rickety suspension bridge. So you see there's a lot of shake there. Robert Carman: Yeah. And so, the cool thing about using Final Cut Pro 10 to stabilize your footage, we've already done step one as I eluded to when we first started talking. Step 2 is a piece of cake. So let's find one of these shots that we want to stabilize. Rich Harrington: Yeah, let's start with the easy one here, the second shot that was basically supposed to be a lock down and wasn't. Robert Carman: But had a little movement to it. So go ahead and press command+4. And command+4 opens up your video inspector. And then you have various options here, but if you scroll down towards the bottom, you'll notice that there's a stabilization category.
And there you go. Turn on stabilization, undo it for a second. There you go. There's your original shot. Notice when we click on it, it actually pushes in a little bit. Cause remember, any time that you're stabilizing things, you're probably going to have to get rid of those edges around the side. Now, the cool thing about this is that we do have smoothing abilities, with the stabilization control. Rich Harrington: Yeah. Robert Carman: So how smooth we're going to adjust rotation. Rich Harrington: Mm-hm. Robert Carman: How smooth, if it needs to zoom in. Rich Harrington: Yeah. Robert Carman: Or zoom back out, how we're going to adjust that scale. Rich Harrington: So I've selected this shot with the bike, Robert Carman: Yup. Rich Harrington: And we'll scroll down, there's stabilization and lets just, you know, quite a big magnification there right? Robert Carman: Yep.
Rich Harrington: And as we increase that smoothness, it pushes in further and further, same with as you bring up things for rotation scale, Robert Carman: Right. Rich Harrington: So now, much smoother as it pans to follow the action. Robert Carman: Yep. Rich Harrington: Not perfect, a little bump on the head room though. Robert Carman: But it's looks much better. And now, the cool thing about this is that right now, you'll notice the orange line over these two clips... Rich Harrington: Yeah. Robert Carman: Indicating that we're having to render. Now if, Rich, on this particular machine, we don't have background rendering, enabled, and if you go up to your Preferences, you can actually enable that, it's just the Final Cut Pro menu, then down to Preferences, and then go over to Playback, and then click on Background Render, you can choose after X amount of seconds of me not doing anything, automatically render that stuff in the background.
Which makes it nice, so you can, you know, don't have to wait to render. It can render when you go to lunch or something like that. Rich Harrington: Yea, now I'll push that out, usually to about two minutes or so as you see there a bigger number. Because I don't want to have to get in and out of it. But that's fine. I've pushed that to the background. Here's this really bumpy shot. Robert Carman: hm. Rich Harrington: And we'll go ahead and deal with that. Let's turn on the stabilization. Robert Carman: Yep. Rich Harrington: And we'll see how it does. Lot better there, especially given how much the movement. Now, you saw some of that Jell-o, that shake. Robert Carman: Yeah. Yup. Now that often happens when we don't have you know, the smoothness needs to be adjusted in the shot.
So you can play around with that smoothness. And one of the things you have to realize about stabilizing a shot is that on very bad situations where you have, piranhas about to bite you from below in the river, you know, you might have to sort of have a balancing act of having a little movement into it to not have those artifacts in those shots. Rich Harrington: Well, let's see how this one looks, you know. Again, a little bit of that shake and some of that vibration and jello. It's pretty hard. Robert Carman: And it is unrendered as well.
Rich Harrington: But if we reduce that, and say, you know what, don't be so aggressive, smooth it out just a little bit. Robert Carman: Mm-hmm. Rich Harrington: And we'll put that down. Robert Carman: So just, you know, just render that clip, a little ctrl+R on the keyboard to activate that, and you'll notice you're still getting a little of that. So it's a little bit of a balancing act between, you know, adjusting some of these smooth parameters to get rid of it. And we can, sort of, dial that in and dial that out to taste. But the idea is that it's a very quick two step process with Final Cut Pro 10. First, analyze the clip. Next, apply that analyzation data by going and opening the Inspector, and opening up the stabilization area, and enabling the stabilization.
Rich Harrington: So I played with the rolling shutter reduction and the stabilization, and I think that's helping a little. Now we still have some vibration there. This is not a perfect solution. This was a really hard shot to fix and you do need to realize that stabilization only works so far. It's great for shots that are clear environment, but here we're in a low light, we're on a bouncing platform and a bouncing camera. That's like double shake. The ground was moving and I was moving. Robert Carman: Yeah, you know, the last I'll say, is that what I tell clients all the time is what is the motivation behind the stabilization? I understand it can be annoying if you have a little wobble, right? But something like when you're going across a bridge, and Rich was apparently, you know, in the throes of death.
Rich Harrington: Oh, absolutely. Dodging piranhas. Robert Carman: With piranhas about to attack him, dodging piranhas. You know, that bouncing and that movement might not be a bad thing. Rich Harrington: Yeah. Actually, it should feel that way, because that's what it was like to be on the bridge. Robert Carman: Exactly. Rich Harrington: So, the point here is that sometimes stabilization works, sometimes it doesn't. If you're on a stable platform and you're just handheld and shaky or you get a bump in the move, it works great. If you're trying to move across a rough surface, or walking downstairs, this is why things like motorized rigs and Steadicams exist because it's really hard to fix that in post.
Robert Carman: Very cool. So, up next we'll check out stabilizing footage inside of Adobe Premiere Pro. Its a very similar process, so be sure to come on back and check that out.
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