Efficient use of Mercalli 2, Mercalli 4, Vegas stabilisation etc

jonboy834 wrote on 2/22/2021, 9:43 PM

This new Inquiry is re recent Ticket Removed by moderator - which was inadvertently closed before I received an adequate response. I had awiated a response since Feb 11, 2021!

My last communication on that Ticket was with Name removed Support Manager on Feb 19, 2021 (below) You will no doubt have previous correspondence on file.

Please issue a new TIcket if this is required. I look forward to your prompt input, as this stabilisation feature is very time-consuming if not used efficiently.

John A Reid, Canada

 

"John Reid Fri 2021-02-19 7:57 PM

To: MAGIX Support

Attn: Name removed
Support manager
Berliner Str. 13
01067 Dresden - Germany

Name removed:  I await your expert comments on my e-mail to you of Feb 11. Further to my request for more tutorial info, you suggested visiting the ProDad website ie "For information about htis program please visit: https://www.prodad.com/Home-29756,l-us.html "  As you know, this site is generic Mercalli - so I selected very specifically "Mercalli V5 Suite for Magix".  That only shows a few Mercalli marketing clips of results somehow achieved (but with no details of the settings used) 

Regarding Tutorial Videos: The only quasi-tutorial video (ironically by Scrap Yard Films!) on the Mercalli website was as follows: "Mercalli vs VEGAS 17 ⚔ Video Stabilizers NEW Mercalli RT, PRO, SAL, and Picture Enhanzer RT"  It offers a video:

This video does clarify the rather strange Mercalli product names - RT, Pro, Enhanzr etc  and offers results of some comparative tests. However, there is no info on the settings used to obtain these comparative results!  Also the tests were NOT edited on Magix but on some version of Vegas. Despite having selected "Mercalli V5 Suite for Magix" - there is no reference to Magix!

Regarding Selecion of Mercalli Settings: As I mentioned previously, Mercalli V5 has many optional settings. In fact, the number of possible combinations and permutations is essentially infinite - but Magix offers no context guidance.  I can certainly confirm that the ProDad site is not at all helpful for Magix Users. Why??

Re the purported Mercalli V5 "Manual: Neither Mercalli nor Magix has a usable Manual relating specifically to Version 2 and Version 5 - both offered, without explanation, as plug-ins with Magix.  https://www.prodad.com/_ws/mediabase/_ts_1573747706000//Manual/Mercalli/V5/Plugins/MercalliV5/EN/MercalliV5_en.pdfThe downloadable pdf Manual which purports to cover MercalliV5 is very badly written! The text is poorly written in "pidgin" English; has unusual choice of phrases, confusing notes and insufficient clear steps to get started etc  Many illustrations mean nothing in the absence of explanatory text. Also, the only advice re using CMOS before Pro is buried at the end of the Manual!  The individual and relative role of Pro, RT, CMOS Fixr and Pic Enhanzr is totally unclear.  The optimum sequence in which they should be used is also unclear?? Many references in the Manual are actually for Mercalli 4 - not V5! There is noinfo on Mercalli 2. 

 

In general, the absence of Magix tutorial videos for these Mercalli and Vegas Third-party plug-ins and a confusing "Manual"  means the following:  Each Magix User/Purchaser must "experiment" for many hours - if not days - for careful evaluation of the many features (by rendering and doing comparisons of the outcomes ad nauseam) in the hope of finding a few optimal process steps for efficient video editing!

Once again, I have to repeat, this lack of support reflects badly on Magix!  Magix lack of support adds insult to injury - especially on a product such as Pro X - which is not inexpensive!

If Magix intends to continue collaboration with Mercalli, I really feel that you must bring pressure to bear so that these major deficiencies are corrected ASAP. I look forward to hearing from you. Regards and thanks again for your assistance.

John A Reid, Canada

Magix ProX 2021; Dell G5-5000 with Intel i7-10700F and separate NVidia GTX 1660 Graphics 512GB SSD and 1TB HDD SATA runing Windows 10

Comments

browj2 wrote on 2/22/2021, 10:46 PM

@jonboy834

Hi,

This is a user forum, not Magix support and not proDAD Mercalli support.

What you are saying is that because Magix bundles a third party program with VPX, they should also write a manual and do tutorials for the third party program. Correct? Seriously?

Here are the instructions for using Mercalli V4 or 5 in VPX as far as VPX is concerned:

  1. Select a video object.
  2. Go to Effects tab, proDAD, Mercalli v4.
  3. Click on Apply Effect.
  4. Follow instructions from proDAD Mercalli.
  5. Click on Edit to get the detailed Mercalli interface.

That's it.

If you want the manual (your link doesn't work for me), after clicking on Apply Effect, click on Edit to get the Mercalli v4 interface where you have many more settings. Click on the ? and the manual will open.

As for tutorials, there are many on YT. The interface may look different from one program to another, but the tools are the same and the OFX buttons are about the same, just a selection of main presets from the main interface.

There are many Mercalli tutorials on the proDADUSA channel.

In the Search box at the top of this forum, type in Mercalli. There should be a few threads in there where we discussed some of the settings.

Just remember, settings for each video are not necessarily the same, so you have to adjust settings for the material that you are working with, type of camera, the way it was filmed, etc.

John CB

John C.B.

VideoPro X(12); MEP2021 Plus; MM2021 Premium; see About me for more.

Desktop System - Windows 10 Home 1903; 16Gb RAM; i7 CPU 860@2.80Gz; ATI Radeon HD5770 w1GB; SSD 500GB, HD 2TB; others 1.5TB, 3TB, 500GB, 4TB, 5TB, 6TB; dual monitors - 27" main, 25" secondary; Casio WK-225 piano keyboard; M-Audio M-Track USB mixer; Notebook - Microsoft Surface Pro 4, i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 SSD, W10 Pro 1903

emmrecs wrote on 2/23/2021, 4:10 AM

@jonboy834

As @browj2 says, these are user to user forums, so there is absolutely no point at all in posting here the contents of what should be confidential emails between yourself and Magix Support, including your original ticket number. It is also against the Community rules (#9) to publish the name of any Magix staff. I seriously considered removing the whole of the email content but have allowed it to remain, for now at least.

For these two reasons given I have edited your post to remove that confidential data and names..

John has also very carefully explained to you how these specific effects may be accessed and used. In my experience there is absolutely NO substitute for user experimentation, you need to be prepared to try different settings until you find the one that is appropriate to the specific project you are working on; "generic" settings, even if they include supplied Presets, are intended to be seen as nothing more than a "starting point", they are intended to be user-tweaked to suit the particular circumstances.

Jeff
Forum Moderator

Win 10 Pro 64 bit, Intel i7 Quad Core 6700K @ 4GHz, 32 GB RAM, AMD Radeon R7 360 and Intel HD530 Graphics, MOTU 8-Pre f/w audio interface, VPX, MEP, Music Maker, Photo Story Deluxe, Photo Manager Deluxe, Xara 3D Maker 7, Reaper, Adobe Audition CS6 and CC, 2 x Canon HG10 cameras, 1 x Canon EOS 600D

jonboy834 wrote on 2/23/2021, 10:01 PM

Hi all: Thx for comments.

(1) e-mail was submitted to Magix Support on Magix Website - but it went to this Forum. Sorry!

(2) I realised error and contacted Berlin direct - same e-mail. Today they apologised for closing the Ticket. They have re-opened the Ticket for me and promised a reply . .

(3) Magix Pro X offers three stabilising tools: Merc V2, Merc V5 and Vegas (which they now own) User is left to experiment with all three and the many possible options, within V5. How to choose? Isolate a 10 second clip; try each of the Presets. If that doesn't work, select one Preset, then play with the several settings. If that doesn't work - try again with different settings. etc If none works - try Flicker Free or Neat etc. Very time-consuming.

There must be a better/quicker way to apply these plug-ins and some Quickstart guidance would be useful.

(4) I checked out Mercalli references in this Forum. Many have had hiccups.

(5) I checked ProDad website as mentioned previously - mostly advertising - even the token video has no specific help on applying within Magix.

I do not expect a Mercalli Manual from Magix, but since Mercalli's own 93 page Manual is a hodge podge in pidgin English with spurious screen-shots from earlier versions and no clarity on Magix - maybe Magix could bring some pressure to bear so we can all save time.

Thx again

 

CubeAce wrote on 2/24/2021, 1:30 AM

@jonboy834

Hi.

To have a manual that adequately explains how to use the plug-in it would have to explain all types of unwanted camera movement, how it is affected by focal length difference and in possible variation of different types of inboard camera stabilisation. How many different types of camera stabilisation there is and how it affects the possible settings. How much crop of the image would be necessary to achieve the desired stabilisation and it's effect on resolution.

You as a user have to be able to visually identify whether you have to stabilize in the X, Y, or Z axis and roughly by how much according to focal length. If you can't assess this through shooting experience then you are left to adjust using guesswork.

Most adjustments for correction of faults to video footage are like surgery. Prevention is better than cure by operating. Whether that be exposure, colour correction or stabilisation.

Ray.

Last changed by CubeAce on 2/24/2021, 1:32 AM, changed a total of 3 times.

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johnebaker wrote on 2/24/2021, 6:33 AM

@jonboy834

Hi

For the most part the default setting, when you apply the stabilisation effect, will get you very close to the best stabilisation and as previously commented it is a case of tweaking the settings.

There is plenty of information available in the Prodad documentation and tutorials - watch the Mercalli standalone version tutorials noting only what settings that are in plugin version do. To some extent Vegas stabilisation has similar settings.

Do note that if the source video is too jumpy then you will never get perfect stabilisation, and you need to look at how to reduce the issue at the time of recording.

See this comment comparing the stabilisation plugins, and the subsequent comments.

John EB

Lateral thinking can get things done!

VPX 12, MEP Premium 2021, and earlier versions 2015 and 2016, Music Maker Premium 2021.

Running Windows 10 Professional 20H2 64bit on Intel i7-8700K 3.2 GHz, 16GB RAM, RTX 2060 6GB 192-bit GDDR6, 3 x 2Tb internal HDD + 60GB internal SSD, + 6 ext backup HDDs, Sony FDR-AX53 Video camera, Contour HD 1080 and Sony HDR-AS30V Sports cams.

browj2 wrote on 2/24/2021, 8:34 AM

@jonboy834

Did you look at any of the videos that are in the YT link that I gave you?

John CB

John C.B.

VideoPro X(12); MEP2021 Plus; MM2021 Premium; see About me for more.

Desktop System - Windows 10 Home 1903; 16Gb RAM; i7 CPU 860@2.80Gz; ATI Radeon HD5770 w1GB; SSD 500GB, HD 2TB; others 1.5TB, 3TB, 500GB, 4TB, 5TB, 6TB; dual monitors - 27" main, 25" secondary; Casio WK-225 piano keyboard; M-Audio M-Track USB mixer; Notebook - Microsoft Surface Pro 4, i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 SSD, W10 Pro 1903

jonboy834 wrote on 2/24/2021, 12:31 PM

John: I believe you suggested the ProDAD USA Channel? Quote: "There are many Mercalli tutorials on the proDADUSA channel."

I have looked at several - but not yet all. Several refer to Edius? and some are comparisons with other stabilisers.

Few so far have Magix-relevant settings guidelines per my Inquiry . . . . . but I will keep looking . ..

eg https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=mercalli+ProDad+channel

eg https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=mercalli+ProDad+Version+5

Thx

 

J

browj2 wrote on 2/24/2021, 12:42 PM

@jonboy834

There are no Magix related settings. They are all Mercalli setting.

John CB

John C.B.

VideoPro X(12); MEP2021 Plus; MM2021 Premium; see About me for more.

Desktop System - Windows 10 Home 1903; 16Gb RAM; i7 CPU 860@2.80Gz; ATI Radeon HD5770 w1GB; SSD 500GB, HD 2TB; others 1.5TB, 3TB, 500GB, 4TB, 5TB, 6TB; dual monitors - 27" main, 25" secondary; Casio WK-225 piano keyboard; M-Audio M-Track USB mixer; Notebook - Microsoft Surface Pro 4, i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 SSD, W10 Pro 1903

johnebaker wrote on 2/24/2021, 1:23 PM

@jonboy834

Hi

Did you look under the Mercalli Help for explanations of what each of the Mercalli options do?

To get to the Help see image below.

John EB

Lateral thinking can get things done!

VPX 12, MEP Premium 2021, and earlier versions 2015 and 2016, Music Maker Premium 2021.

Running Windows 10 Professional 20H2 64bit on Intel i7-8700K 3.2 GHz, 16GB RAM, RTX 2060 6GB 192-bit GDDR6, 3 x 2Tb internal HDD + 60GB internal SSD, + 6 ext backup HDDs, Sony FDR-AX53 Video camera, Contour HD 1080 and Sony HDR-AS30V Sports cams.

jonboy834 wrote on 2/24/2021, 2:40 PM

John: Re "Few so far have Magix-relevant settings guidelines per my Inquiry . . ." and your response "There are no Magix related settings. They are all Mercalli setting." Perhaps I expressed myself less than clearly. I intended to stress that most of the videos on YouTube are based on using Vegas, Premiere Pro, Edius etc but few show the relevant settings which proved effective for them and very few based on folks using Magix products.

Thanks for the tip previously re the "?" symbol on the Mercalli. I had never noticed it, nor used it, nor seen it referenced in the 93 page Mercalli Manual. Having now looked at the contents of "?" it is a PhD program so will take some time to explore. Thx for your patience.

johnebaker wrote on 2/24/2021, 3:48 PM

@jonboy834

Hi

. . . . but few show the relevant settings which proved effective for them . . . .

That is because the settings vary depending the the video you are trying to stabilise, no two clips, even those taken minutes apart, are alike.

. . . .  it is a PhD program . . . .

IMHO, stabilisation is like colour correction, you can get close following 'standard/default' settings however the tweaking required is an 'art' acquired through the painful rite of long years of practice.

John EB

Lateral thinking can get things done!

VPX 12, MEP Premium 2021, and earlier versions 2015 and 2016, Music Maker Premium 2021.

Running Windows 10 Professional 20H2 64bit on Intel i7-8700K 3.2 GHz, 16GB RAM, RTX 2060 6GB 192-bit GDDR6, 3 x 2Tb internal HDD + 60GB internal SSD, + 6 ext backup HDDs, Sony FDR-AX53 Video camera, Contour HD 1080 and Sony HDR-AS30V Sports cams.

browj2 wrote on 2/24/2021, 4:26 PM

@jonboy834

Hi,

Again, there are no settings that are particular to or for a Magix host video program, or for any other program, so far as I know. Mercalli just takes the selected video clip from the host, uses the parameters set by the user in Mercalli or in the OFX of VPX, analyses the video clip and applies stabilization to it. That is all; the host program is irrelevant. That is why you can look at tutorial for use in other hosts and should be able to understand what is happening.

The interface that I pointed you to and as shown in John EB's message, is the program. What you see in the OFX part of VPX for Mercalli are simply the main settings that are in the Mercalli program - nothing more. Here is the map:

Rather than open the Mercalli interface, the main parameters are duplicated in VPX. That is all!

For most of what any of us do, you:

  1. Select the Virtual Stabi-Cam from the dropdown list
  2. Leave rolling shutter checked
  3. Select Camera optics used either without fisheye or from the list but then you have to know what camera you used and its settings
  4. Leave avoid border checked
  5. Leave steadiness at 40%
  6. Click on Anaylze
  7. Review results
  8. Tweak steadiness if you want more and reanalyze

All done.

If your problem is more difficult, meaning that you don't like the result, then open the Mercalli interface and tweak other settings. Of course, you then also have to do the above in the interface, and you have to learn what all of that does.

John CB

John C.B.

VideoPro X(12); MEP2021 Plus; MM2021 Premium; see About me for more.

Desktop System - Windows 10 Home 1903; 16Gb RAM; i7 CPU 860@2.80Gz; ATI Radeon HD5770 w1GB; SSD 500GB, HD 2TB; others 1.5TB, 3TB, 500GB, 4TB, 5TB, 6TB; dual monitors - 27" main, 25" secondary; Casio WK-225 piano keyboard; M-Audio M-Track USB mixer; Notebook - Microsoft Surface Pro 4, i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 SSD, W10 Pro 1903

jonboy834 wrote on 2/24/2021, 5:25 PM

Thx for all the useful input. Unfortunately, I am not just your average video buff. I have many movies up to over 50 years old which were filmed on Super 8 celluloid. I tried Wolverine to save them electronically for posterity, but was very disappointed with the low resolution. Commercial digital transfer is hugely expensive - in the $thousands for the number of movies I am trying to preserve. Eventually I modified an 8mm projector with appropriate lenses and a dimmable low-intensity lamp then re-filmed using a combination of lenses focussed on the 4 x 5.5 mm frames as they moved past the gate. For this I used a modern Canon DSLR with manual settings. Results are surprisngly good. The last step is editing. Due to the method - there are small amounts of "shake" which can be minimised with an NLE and Mercalli or Flicker Free etc. Also, some movies have a moving, slightly denser brownish band which moves up or down the screen (slowly) depending on the synchronism or not between the gate speed of the film and the scan speed of the DSLR. Flicker Free sometimes removes this better than Mercalli. So now you know the whole story. It may be that the Mercalli presets will not do the trick, and testing the multitudinous options may be too "life-consuming" for me. I may just have to accept less than perfect quality in the finished result. We'll see. Meantime - thanks again to all.

browj2 wrote on 2/24/2021, 6:01 PM

@jonboy834

Hi,

I have the Wolverine but the HD - 1080 version and digitized all of my 8mm and Super8 Sound films. The oldest was about 1963. I am quite pleased with the results, but to get there, I used Neat Video on everything for noise, dust and artifact removal, followed by Mercalli where necessary. Then, there was colour correction, followed by standard editing - music, narration, titles, photos, etc.

Digitizing was done at 20fps and simply changed to 16 or 18 in VPX. VPX fills in the frames for 29.97fps.

I had no problems with standard Mercalli settings.

Last changed by browj2 on 2/24/2021, 6:04 PM, changed a total of 1 times.

John C.B.

VideoPro X(12); MEP2021 Plus; MM2021 Premium; see About me for more.

Desktop System - Windows 10 Home 1903; 16Gb RAM; i7 CPU 860@2.80Gz; ATI Radeon HD5770 w1GB; SSD 500GB, HD 2TB; others 1.5TB, 3TB, 500GB, 4TB, 5TB, 6TB; dual monitors - 27" main, 25" secondary; Casio WK-225 piano keyboard; M-Audio M-Track USB mixer; Notebook - Microsoft Surface Pro 4, i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 SSD, W10 Pro 1903

jonboy834 wrote on 2/26/2021, 6:05 PM

Congrats! Wolverine Pro is certainly on the right track ie frame-by-frame but mandatory feed to 32 GB chip with huge compression is a downside. Many seem to complain about reliability etc - some have tried to improve: https://8mmforum.film-tech.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=print_topic;f=1;t=011395 Unfortuantely, step yp form Wolverine is to Moviestuff - big bucks. Too bad there is no frame-by-frame between these options.