We know what you are thinking - "Hasn't FCPX got built in stabilisation?' The answer is of course yes, but is has limitations. Lock & Load from Coremelt can give better results, faster.
Stabilisation used to be one of those things as an editor you only needed to do occasionally by using a tracker in a graphics program. Wobbly helicopter shots, run and gun ENG or just fixing bad camerawork on a shot that a client insisted on using used to be the favourites.
That all changed when the DSLR revolution happened. Cameras became smaller and sported a new form factor that took shooting off the shoulder and thus introduced shake. DSLRs also came with rolling shutter artifacts, not noticeable shooting a static packshot but they have a bad habit of bending verticals in movement.
Then we have the range of devices that shoot video as a secondary function, iPhones & iPads have opened up a whole new area of video coverage from eyewitness news reports to grandparents recording their grandchildren's first steps.
Apple knew that FCPX editors would be editing with footage gathered from all these devices and built stabilisation and rolling shutter reduction right into the app. But as tools are they sharp enough? Coremelt have just updated their Lock & Load image stabilisation plugin for FCPX that goes beyond problems the built in stabiliser can correct.
Roger Bolton, CoreMelt founder points out “The Rolling Shutter reduction built into Final Cut Pro X is one size fits all, there is only an overall strength control. For CoreMelt Lock & Load, we individually tested the most popular types of DSLR cameras and optimized our results for the specific CMOS sensors of each camera.”
Let's take a look at Lock & Load versus the FCPX stabiliser.
Pretty impressive even though we all know the name of the product is 'X' and not 'Ten!'
Why use Lock & load instead of the built in stabiliser?
- Fast analysis, up to 12 times faster at analyzing the motion in your clip than the built in stabilizer.
- Better results, more power rolling shutter reduction, less wobble, zooming and scaling artifacts.
- More powerful, advanced features like tracking region of interest and full parameter key-framing let you handle otherwise un-trackable clips
The price of Lock & Load has been reduced for a limited time from $149 to $99, into the sub $100 market that FCPX editors appreciate. There is a free 15 day trial so you can give the plugin a workout on your shakiest of shots. The plugin also works on a variety of hosts, so one licence will put the functionality into FCP7 Motion 4, Final Cut Express, After Effects and Premiere Pro. Existing owners get the upgrade free.
Here are some more examples of Lock & Load in action.