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Thread: Pixel Tracking in SpeedEDIT

  1. #1
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    Pixel Tracking in SpeedEDIT

    I am thinking about how I would do pixel tracking in SpeedEDIT. I know that there is an inverse type algorithm in the Stabilize Video wizard effect, which measures the pixel motion of some part of the video and then makes X&Y positioning spline adjustments inversely to the original clip, to remove that motion. But If I wanted to apply that same motion to another overlayed image and leave the original clip alone, I would have to detect the motion, have the splines created, and then copy the splines off from the X&Ys of the stabilized video and paste them onto the new clip to be overlayed, and then the tricky part, INVERT all the values, like make all the +1s into -1s and all the -2.5s into +2.5s etc, in order for the new overlay clip to move with the original

    Is there a trick anyone can think of to quickly invert values in a spline to the other side of zero?

    OR, has anyone figured out Pixel Tracking in SE any other way other than the laborious positioning by hand (which isn't really pixel tracking at all, just manual motion)

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    Hi Mutley,

    This is a very intriguing question that I have thought about myself in the past. I've not found any solution that allows the type of control over splines that you're looking for within SpeedEDIT.

    I've thought about circumventing SE's manipulation of splines by trying to copy the nodes and pasting them into notepad, with the hope that I'd get ascii numerical data that could be altered through a scripting program, but that didn't work because SE doesn't produce any data that way. And since I can't seem to locate any scripting port within SE, like REXX, there doesn't seem to be any way to control SE that way either. It's a very closed system.

    The only solution I've found is to use an third party app to achieve pixel tracking and data that can be used elsewhere, and that's TVPaint Professional 9.5. I dare say AE would also be an alternative, but SE's post processing facilities don't stretch to that level.

    It's a shame really.

    Sorry mate.

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    Thanks Shabazzy,

    That's exactly the answer I was expecting, and from the person I was expecting it from. Seems you & I share a similar track.

    Milk & two sugars, right?

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    Paintball Video Geek billmi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shabazzy View Post
    like REXX, there doesn't seem to be any way to control SE that way either. It's a very closed system.
    I miss the days of working in an environment where every serious application had REXX support.
    Toasting with NewTek since 1991 - Corinthian Media Services
    Riding Quiet on an Electric Ninja.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mutley Eugenius View Post
    Thanks Shabazzy,

    That's exactly the answer I was expecting, and from the person I was expecting it from. Seems you & I share a similar track.

    Milk & two sugars, right?
    Well, thanks for having that level of confidence in me mate. I'm honoured.

    LOL! I have to admit, it would be really nice to have a face to face with all the fellow SE users on this forum. I'm sure we could exchange a lot of war stories.

    But the only real way I can see to achieve pixel tracking from within SE would be through plugins, but unfortunately NT don't seem to be very interested in working with people to develop plugins for SE.


    Quote Originally Posted by billmi View Post
    I miss the days of working in an environment where every serious application had REXX support.
    Yes, I completely agree Bill. Those were the heady days of openess and experimentation. I remember getting into ARexx on the Amiga and was completely blown away at what I was allowed to do with the programs. Talk about your education!

    These days most of the upcomers wouldn't know REXX from their pet Fido. It's a shame really. It makes you wonder who's to blame.

  6. #6
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    I'm pretty sure I'd have been in a different line of work for the last 15 years were it not for AREXX.
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    Lynn Cress lcress's Avatar
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    Chiming in and being no help at all . . .

    I have to agree that it seems like the code to do pixel tracking is in there with the Stabilize Video routine. I've often wondered the same thing - why can't we do motion tracking?

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    Quote Originally Posted by lcress View Post
    Chiming in and being no help at all . . .

    I have to agree that it seems like the code to do pixel tracking is in there with the Stabilize Video routine. I've often wondered the same thing - why can't we do motion tracking?
    Well from what I can see, the code is kinda there, but kinda not. The image stabilsation code seems to perform a psuedo motion track. It seems to scan a number of different points on the video frames and use each point position as a reference to it's last position. Then using some form of algorithm, averages out the differences in position to achieve as close to the center of those different positions as possible (imagine a video that has 5 seconds of footage of a small black dot in the center of the screen on a white background that kinda shakes in a small circular motion. When the image stabiliser runs, it looks at the position of the dot on each frame and tries to place the dot on each frame in the center of that circlular motion, which in effect would be the center of the screen). However, the algorithm doesn't seem to be intelligent enough to handle panned or tracked shots. If you have a fixed shot that just happens to shake slightly, then the stabilisation is quite good. Panned or tracked shots aren't (in my experience).

    Because of this, I'd say that the current codebase for doing pixel or motion tracking really isn't suitable and totally new code routines would have to be developed. And I can't really see NewTek doing this, so plugin development would be the answer.

    This tells me that the code wasn't really designed for really complicated motion and therefore isn't really up to the task for what we need.

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    Ok, new question... how do you access the Stabilize Video routine? I wasn't aware SE2 had this. I am intrigued.

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    It's located in the Tool Shed under "Video". Once selected, if you're not sure how to use it, click the question mark button (?) in the lower left corner of the "Stabilize Video" panel for help.

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    Thanks a lot! I'll check that out.

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    Nifty! So, do I get better results from increasing the number of frames? I am guessing it takes longer to render, but I like this potential this has.

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    Quote Originally Posted by travisr View Post
    Nifty! So, do I get better results from increasing the number of frames? I am guessing it takes longer to render, but I like this potential this has.
    Good question, in my experience I've found that the results are very much determined by the type of shot being worked. The best results I've got out of Stabilize Video are with shots that don't have any pans or side tracking in them. Forward/back tracking shots have worked very well for me, provided that the shake isn't too severe, also stationary (that's right, I don't mean the things you buy from office suppliers) shots of a non moving object.

    If you want to work on shots with pans and (in my opinion) the wrong type of tracks, you might possibly be able to achieve great results with Stabilize Video, if you put enough time and effort into it, but in that case I'd work on much shorter segments of a clip at a time. I haven't been too successful with those types of shots, but then I'm not exactly the best editor there ever was.

    The key to success is experiment, experiment, experiment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shabazzy View Post
    The key to success is experiment, experiment, experiment.
    Aint that the permanent, eternal & incontravertible truth!

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