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Although there is video stabilisation built into FCPX, the $99 Motionbend application has a lot more going on under the hood. With a new XML export into FCPX feature just added, we thought we would take a closer look at "motion editing" with Motionbend.

Bristol based Tiliam Research has just released a 1.3.1 update to Motionbend, a $99 OS X application that uses advanced video processing techniques to stabilise video.

So what differentiates Motionbend to the built in stabiliser or other third party products? 

Motionbend automatically detects changes in motion type and direction. Once a clip is analysed in the application, the camera's movement is displayed as two graphs. The motion then gets stabilised depending on your preferences.

This is where it gets interesting as the two lines and their corresponding movements can then be edited. You can for example, remove a pause at the top of a pan. The first demo video from Tiliam Research demonstrates this far better than we can describe.


As you can see, it offers a lot more possibilities than the built in FCPX stabilisation. With all stabilisers, Motionbend can automatically zoom and crop to remove the edges that occur after a video has been processed. The alternative that Motionbend offers is to replace information in the areas with video from previous or following frames. This keeps the resolution of the final result the same as the original video. This is very clever and although it won't work on every clip due to moving objects at the edges, it will help keep video such as helicopter shots crisp.

The video shows the three different border rendering methods.


The app doesn't stop there either, complex camera moves can be analysed and split up into events. Each event can then be edited within the shot. Make sure you check out the before and after comparison at about 6:10 in.


All pretty impressive and we can see Motionbend being used on many projects from forensic analysis, to making iPhone movies more watchable on news broadcasts, right down to weddings and home use. Let us know in the comments if you've had experience using the app.

The recent 1.3.1 update adds XML export after batch processing which will load all processed videos into one event within Final Cut Pro X.

The more we look into this app, the more we realise that it should completely out perform the built in stabilisation within FCPX. The next step would be for Tiliam Research to build this into a plugin so that users don't have to leave the NLE to use the stabilisation.

There is a free watermarked trial to test Motionbend out, they also offer a 28 day money back guarantee.

A list of features and supported codecs can be found here.



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