ProDrenalin, Mercalli & ReSpeeder Video Software - RCGroups Review - RC Groups
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ProDrenalin, Mercalli & ReSpeeder Video Software - RCGroups Review

ProDAD has a variety of software that can take your casual airplane videos to the next level in just minutes.

Splash

This software can rescue your Youtube dreams from the fire!

So you just got your first mini camera, Mobius/Runcam/GoPro/etc, and you velcro it to your plane or multi-rotor to capture your awesome flying skills. After recording a day of spectacular flights, you speed home and check out the footage. Oh, the anticipation and excitement as the video file loads and you press play; just imagine all of the Youtube hits you're gonna get! You smile as you watch your plane roll onto the runway and lifts off into the air. But then, your smile quickly fades as your video is overcome with vibrations, bumps and jerkiness. Maybe the camera wasn't mounted securely, or you forgot to balance your prop...whatever the reason, your video and Youtube dreams are ruined! ProDrenalin & Mercalli from ProDAD to the rescue!

Video Review

ProDrenalin RCGroups Review (19 min 47 sec)

No more ugly fisheye

Removing fisheye with ProDrenalin couldn't be easier. Pick the camera you used out of the dozens of supported options in ProDrenalin, click the Remove Fisheye button and you're done! Your video instantly gets corrected and toggling it on/off shows just how curved your video horizon actually was. If your camera happens to not be listed, there are several generic lens options ready for you.

Image enhancement & video effects are easy

Now that your lines & horizon are straight, let's make that color pop! On the top bar next to the fisheye options, is Color Enhancers. Again with just one or two clicks, ProDrenalin does the hard work for you. Simply click Activate to boost your colors & contrast. Want a little more? Click the Intensive option! The color enhancers look great in my opinion, and give a similar effect as a polarizing filter on your SLR camera. For our kind of videos, it makes the green trees look better, and the clouds in the sky really pop. Not so sure? Click Deactivate to turn off the enhancers and restore your original video colors. You can also fine-tune the settings using the various adjustment sliders on the right Effects panel.

Want to go for a different look? Try some of the presets in the left panel by dragging them onto your video. A vignette can give a unique look, and the black & white presets are great and easy to do. Also keep in mind these are only presets...every aspect can be tweaked to your liking by using the Effects panel on the right. These effects can also be added/removed/adjusted during the video by using the clock icon and adding keyframes.

Smooth it out with video stabilization

This is where ProDrenalin can really rescue your videos. The software uses a 3-star system to select the level of stabilization you want to correct. Most typical handheld camera shake cane be removed by using 1-star stabilization, but any CMOS vibrations in your video will need 3-stars selected to fix. Once you've selected your stabilization level, simply click the button and watch the magic happen. Depending on your stabilization level, video length and computer hardware, the time required to complete the stabilization will vary. My clips took from 10 minutes to over an hour running on a standard laptop. After it's complete, you can play the video back and smile as your Youtube dreams are rescued. Also be sure to toggle the horizontal and vertical compare buttons on the top right during playback for a live look at the before & after.

After running my sample clips through stabilization I found that as with most algorithms, it wasn't a perfect solution for all cases. ProDrenalin absolutely did a great job taking the shakes out of my handheld clips, as expected. It also did well at smoothing out my quad footage, except for short bits where there wasn't a horizon or other hard-lines to analyze. The result wasn't bad, the picture just jumped a bit which could easily be edited out. Finally on my on-board camera footage, the stabilization resulted in making it look like the camera was floating above the canopy. It stabilized the background by moving the airplane instead of the other way around. Not a bad result, but not quite what I expected. I anticipate the result may have been more what I expected had the camera been mounted to the wingtip pointing at the fuselage instead. As you can see, the stabilization can greatly improve your video...but it may not work as expected in all cases. With all of that said, I've seen comparisons of ProDrenalin versus other software and ProDrenalins' results usually win no-contest.

Export & Upload

Once your video is looking great, ProDrenalin gives you several options to export your video. If working with multiple clips, you can even save your final video as a single movie. Better yet, ProDrenalin can connect with your YouTube account and automatically upload it for you! You'll still have to log in and change the video title & description, but the upload of your new video can be done straight from ProDrenalin.

ReSpeedr

To add that additional "WOW!" moment to your videos, consider adding ReSpeedr to your video editing arsenal! Its UI is simple, but its results are awesome. Pick a key show pass from your stabilized video and toss it into ReSpeedr to slow it down and make it dramatic. Or, take that long video of you building a plane and speed it up for a fun time-lapse. It's effects like these that can take your videos from bland to beautiful.

Use the triangles in the play bar to crop your clip and then isolate the section you want to slow down or speed up. Then, it's as easy as using the swirly rainbow colored bar to select your + or - speed. There's also a selector ontop of ReSpeedr that allows you to choose the frame algorithm you want it to use. Generally, the orange option will give the best results (at the cost of some extra computing time). Finally, note that there's also a stabilization checkbox available inside of ReSpeedr. This will give you the first level (of three) of stabilization that ProDrenalin offers.

As with ProDrenalin, the algorithm thats used to create the frames needed for slow motion won't work for every shot. For R/C shots, I found that panning shots generally didn't work well if there are trees or other complex objects in the background. Sky panning shots with plain blue sky however did work well, but got a little uglier if the plane went through a cloud. If you stop and think about how the software has to interpret the picture and fill the inbetween frames, it helps make more sense of why it can stumble in certain areas. ReSpeedr really shines when the background is static with an object moving through it. I will note that my sample shots were recorded at 30fps...had I been able to do 60fps, the likelyhood of a great slow-motion shot would increase.

Mercalli for Mac

For those of you with a Mac, proDAD just released their Mercalli Mac edition! Because Mercalli is geared toward a professional editor, you won't find the effects or presets available in this version. But it still has the fish-eye and stabilization features to make your videos look great. As you can see, the UI is quite different than the Windows version. However, the process is still very easy...simply drag in your videos, select your camera and stabilization options, and stabilize.

Summary

proDAD has developed a great set of software that can make your videos look much better with just a couple of clicks! While my sample shots may not have been the best examples, they were illustrative of the types of shots you might get with a day at the R/C field. And as you can see in the video, not every clip is going to stabilize with ProDrenalin or slo-mo with Respeedr perfectly, no software can do that perfectly with any video. However, considering the other before & after footage I've seen along with my own experiences, I will happily be adding ProDrenalin and Respeedr to my set of tools, and highly encourage you to try out the free demos - all at www.prodrenalin.com!

Last edited by Nikolei Zinsli; Oct 02, 2017 at 07:48 PM..
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Oct 03, 2017, 01:46 PM
Registered User
Bama3Dr's Avatar
I've tried to use the stabilization with freestyle mini quad footage and found the same thing that you did. I seems to do okay just flying around, but isn't able to handle flips, rolls, loops, etc. where the ground is going in and out of the frame. The stabilization feature seems to be geared more toward aerial cinematography, ground vehicle, or hand held type footage. It did work well to get rid of fisheye and do color correction though.

-Dustin
Oct 04, 2017, 09:18 AM
Registered User
nothing works like reelsteady..but it comes at a price..agree with all points..wobbles and shakes are gone with mercalli but vibrations and jello still remains. mercalli also crops a lot more in 1080 superview vs reelsteady


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