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Tiliam Research Launches MotionBend Video Stabilisation Plugin for Final Cut Pro X and Motion

Tiliam research has taken the technology from their standalone stabilisation app called MotionBend and released a plugin for Final Cut Pro X and Motion. 

You may recall a post here on FCP.co about a standalone app called MotionBend. This very clever motion smoothing and stabilisation technology has now been incorporated into a new Final Cut Pro X and Motion plugin. There's also a free trial so you can try out the plugin for yourselves.

 

We asked the developer, Lyndon Hill if he could tell us more about MotionBend and the new plugin.

 mb fcpx edenMotionBlend plugin running in FCPX

MotionBend is a video stabilization and motion editing tool. The majority of stabilizers have few options: on or off, a lot or a little, profiles for certain shots, etc. Our approach to stabilization is that while shake is distracting and must be dealt with, the editor is usually trying to obtain a certain visual look from the video. So why not make camerawork another thing that can be edited in post?

Shaky camerawork can include unintentional pans that smoothing alone cannot remove and sometimes when the action in the scene is unpredictable there can be intentional but retrospectively unwanted small pans.

For large scale camerawork edits in post you would need a full 3D reconstruction of the scene to avoid parallax errors. That would take a lot of computation and would be difficult to make robust, i.e. slow and prone to mistakes. For the small types of edits described above, we can get good results without a full 3D solution.

The challenge is twofold:

  1. Make a fast yet accurate stabilizer
  2. Create a user interface that makes it easy to edit camera motion

Most editors want good stabilization but aren't prepared to wait an age for it. If a clip is too shaky to be salvageable in a reasonable time frame then they will ditch it. But deep down they probably do want to be able to save every clip from the bin due to cost. When you've got *the shot* where it happened, you want to keep it. Speed vs accuracy is a trade-off that is probably the key differentiator between most stabilization software out there.

MotionBend is a stand-alone application for Mac, and now a plugin for Final Cut Pro X and Motion. The stand-alone version of MotionBend has line graph based motion editing that allows the user to see at a glance where the shaky motion is and to choose specific correction parameters for different sections of the clip. We think this style of interface goes some way to being a solution for the second challenge; there are a lot of ways we can extend it but we have to be careful to keep it easy to use.

Plugin for FCPX and Motion

The plugin mostly uses the same code as the stand-alone version. For the plugin we had to modify a number of our methods to work in a different sequence and that led to some changes in order to work efficiently.

mb motionMotionBlend plugin running in Motion

MotionBend has been in development for more than six years and in that time we have made about 30 updates as our implementation has matured. Internally there are 3 stages:

  1. Motion analysis: determine the actual camera motion using only the information in each frame
  2. Motion processing: determine how to stabilize the video from the camera motion, detect motion events and calculate correction, precalculate border processing
  3. Render stabilized and motion corrected video

Compared to the built in stabilizer, MotionBend has arguably better quality and offers considerably more flexible options for both motion processing and rendering.

MotionBend features subtitle/caption detection and can be used with multicam clips. The plugin does not include the motion editing interface (yet) but you can use the import project feature to do motion editing in the stand-alone version and then transfer it to the plugin. This means that you can also take advantage of other stand-alone features such as the batch processor to analyze multiple clips and the region tools to advise the motion analysis of foreground objects.


Information

If you buy MotionBend now you will receive a combined licence key for both stand-alone and plugin. ($119)

You can download MotionBend and try it out for free, output is watermarked. Please see http://www.motionbend.com


Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.

 

BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.

FCP.co

Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!

 

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