4 Replies Latest reply: Jun 8, 2012 7:50 AM by Goldfish
sky-pix Level 1 (0 points)

Hello All,


I am sure most of you have tried the on-board 'smoothcam' feature in FCP. Whilst it seems good enough for some jobs, it certainly isn't for others.


Last year I was shooting out of the door of a helicopter and smoothcam worked rather well while we were crabbing along a line of aircraft, on a wide lense. This year I was doing much the same, but smoothcam just isn't helping me this time around.


I have noticed that to get a well tracked image, smoothcam expands the image until the object to be steadied sits almost in the middle of the frame, then smoothcam does it's calculations. This particular shot is now waving about all over the place and the object I was supposed to be focused on, shoots frame right and then frame left.


Would you know if there was a 'steady' plugin on the market where the user could decide if he/she could limit the 'steadiness'? This is to say, lock the vertical movement only? Or lock the horizontal? Something that isn't quite so bold?


Thanks for your time,



Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8), Mac Pro 15GB Raid 0
  • Studio X Level 7 (27,030 points)

    Try the smoothing behavior in Motion. It is a bit more sophisticated than the one in FCP.


    fwiw - I've found AfterEffects' smoothing solves some problems that Motion could not quite get right - and it was considerably faster as well.



  • sky-pix Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks x,


    I've found 'stabilize' but not 'smoothing'. Is that what you're saying? However, it doesn't work that well either and as I don't have AE, then it's back to sqaure one.


    Thanks again,

  • Studio X Level 7 (27,030 points)

    Yes, the behavior is called stabilize. Did you try using tracking markers?


    fwiw - you can control the behavior to not scale the image so you can see how bad the motion is.



  • Goldfish Level 2 (355 points)

    I resorted to using iStabalize by Pixlock a while back when HD interlaced functionality was broken in FCP7 smoothcam.


    iStabilize is an amazing little app and simple to use. If you can spare $50 bucks I highly recommend it. It even has some functionality that smoothcam doesn't have including edge interpolation which allows you to set the zooming to a much less drastic value. For me it was worth the extra time I had to spend exporting and managing clips.