Mercalli 4 Plug-in bug? Confirm?

wwaag wrote on 2/24/2016, 1:25 PM
Could someone please do a quick test to see if this is a bug or a problem with my system? Here is a screenshot of the preset I'm using-Best stabilization while minimizing the amount of zoom.



Once the analysis is completed, the window changes to this.



Note that now, it has been changed to Best Border and maximum zoom. I can manually change it back to Best Stabiliztion and reduce the scale back to .05 and the zoom out will occur. However, if I simply select the same preset again, it requires a re-analysis.

Could someone give this a try? Thanks.

wwaag

Comments

flyingski wrote on 2/24/2016, 9:32 PM
've had the same experience with different parameters. If you check I think you'll find the pan, roll, zoom and avoid border values are changing as well. I am unable to create and save any presets of my own and the default settings change willy nilly. After rendering a file the time-line clips frequently show the need to analyze again, even though they have in fact been stabilized. At other times the “analyze” splash screen appears in the final rendered file even though it didn’t show in the time line clip. Frequently the splash screen appears only on the second frame of the stabilized clip.

I've had the same experience on 3 machines running the same build of Vegas Pro 13 using a variety of files from different cameras. The stand-alone seems to work but the Vegas plug-in is a joke. I emailed my problems to ProDad and they replied immediately that they couldn't duplicate it. Big surprise.

Its been mentioned that the Mercalli 4 plug in doesn't play well with others, particularly Titler Pro. I uninstalled Titler and Mercalli still didn't work. My solution for working within Vegas is to use Mercalli 2 and if there is a particularly demanding clip I'll try the Mercalli 4 stand-alone.

Good luck!.
Richard Jones wrote on 2/25/2016, 4:54 AM
[i]"Its been mentioned that the Mercalli 4 plug in doesn't play well with others, particularly Titler Pro. I uninstalled Titler and Mercalli still didn't work. My solution for working within Vegas is to use Mercalli 2 and if there is a particularly demanding clip I'll try the Mercalli 4 stand-alone."[i]

This is also my preferred method of working using Vegas Pro 12.

Richard
andreas-georgiou wrote on 1/26/2017, 2:53 PM

Having recently upgraded to Vegas pro 14 suite, to my disappointment I find that the mercalli Prodad 4 plug in either locks up, freezes or stops responding. Also when setting Performance settings in windows 10 to maximum performance the various FX panel has no visible frame or sizing handles making difficult to find and resize. I hope that Magix address the UI in the next update.

Laptop HP 8760W i7-quad core, 20GB memory, Nvidia Quadro 3000M- I Try to avoid using GPU acceleration as that also is unstable and causes crashes.

Any advise suggestions appreciated.

Andy

xberk wrote on 1/26/2017, 3:21 PM

Just tried my Mercalli V4 plugin with VP14 .. dead .. like it's not activated -- but it is .. says so .. just dead.

andreas-georgiou wrote on 1/26/2017, 4:23 PM

On a number of occasions I had to use task manager to shut down vegas as it became unresponsive, then found out that each time I added a new video track in new projects mercali was there displaying analysis required only solution was to uninstall and re install vegas. Did manage to get it to work on a 20 second clip which I had to re-render from m2ts to MP4. Very good results if only it worked reliably.

In my opinion expensive software classed as pro needs to be foremost reliable, very disappointed.

have u tried different container formats like MP4?

xberk wrote on 1/26/2017, 6:00 PM

I've been using Mercalli V4 plugin for several months. No problems. Good results (a bit touchy if you do something to the event after analysis but never really a problem) --- BUT .. today it just went dead. I e-mailed their support. No reply yet. Funny thing is that it works in VP13 although I don't have that license so it puts up the UNLOCK icon and their banner in the footage. Weird.

P.S. ... Not too weird. Once I stepped away from the computer, it came to me. Preview. FX bypass? Operator error. Embarrassed. Whoops ! I remember too, back in the day when I was playing system operator for our computer system with a dozen users, if something went completely dead, it was always a good sign.

andreas-georgiou wrote on 1/27/2017, 7:38 AM

Tried again a re-rendered 20 seconds clip to mp4 and it worked again with no issues other than it took over 30 mins to analyse!

the frame counter below the preview window shows 0 with running ......, so not a full integration.

also after analysis completed I found that the 3rf frame needs to be deleted as it is showing the analyse splash screen, very odd

xberk wrote on 1/27/2017, 11:38 AM

Wayne - just ran the test you suggested using Best Stabilization on a 20 second clip of AVCHD 1920x1080 it did analysis in about 18 seconds. No problems. All settings remained. I made a preset of the settings -- closed Vegas, reopened and the preset remained and ran again with no problem. I added Color Curves. All remained solid. Analysis ran in roughly the same time. I added speed ramp at 200% .. all remained solid and analysis took less time.

wwaag wrote on 1/27/2017, 10:41 PM

@xberk

Here's a link to the YT video illustrating the problem I did last year.

No response from ProDAD other than it was my problem.

Seeing your post and for grins, I tried it once again a few minutes ago using V14 and Win10--same problem. It analyses very quickly, but then goes back to the default--no border, etc.. You can then apply the preset once again and it does then shown correctly, but that is completely unworkable having to do this for every event stabilized. I could do another YT video, but it seems hardly worth the effort. Moreover, it does NOT work for interlaced HDV footage.

The stabilization is quite good, but it's implementation in Vegas is unworkable--at least for me and lots of others as indicated by the number of complaints.

wwaag

xberk wrote on 1/27/2017, 11:36 PM

Ok Wayne. I tried it again, this time on an event that had been trimmed. I got the behavior your describing .. but my thought is that the analysis is done prior to the point things snap back so the event has been stabilized and will render as such. But I'm not giving them a pass. They have some explaining to do.

When I have time I'll post a little YT screen capture video that demos what I'm seeing. Give it a try on a full video clip. Does it still do the snap back behavior?

I'm in the camp now that says something is going on .. not to mention other weirdness that I cannot document from Mercalli V4 plugin. I'll put in a report to ProDad. Might help as I do like the results -- and speedy workflow.

wwaag wrote on 1/28/2017, 12:43 AM

Good luck with ProDad. They were totally unresponsive to my complaints as well as complaints by many others I suspect. Their version 2 works well without these problems, although the stabilization is not as good--still much better than the current version.

wwaag

3POINT wrote on 1/28/2017, 1:53 AM

Moreover, it does NOT work for interlaced HDV footage.

This bug and my by Prodad confirmed solution was described in this post. https://www.vegascreativesoftware.info/us/forum/mercalli-4-plugin-bug--105061/

3POINT, Theo Houben, Vegasuser since version 5

Recware:Panasonic YI4k+,PanasonicFZ300/HCX909, Sony PXW-X160

Software:VegasPro15/VegasMovieStudio14/PowerDirector14

Hardware:i7 4770, 16GB, GTX650ti, 1920x1200 display

Playware:Philips 55PFL7108

3POINT wrote on 1/28/2017, 10:07 AM

@wwaag

I see the same behaviour in Mercalli 4 SAL. When you use the Universal Camera Virtual Stabi_Cam preset it automatically resets the avoid Border option to Best Border. I´m not sure if this is a bug or just a function of the Universal Camera. Switching between Best Stabilization or Best Border option is possible when you use the Glide Camera or the Rock Steady cam.

Last changed by 3POINT on 1/28/2017, 10:33 AM, changed a total of 1 times.

3POINT, Theo Houben, Vegasuser since version 5

Recware:Panasonic YI4k+,PanasonicFZ300/HCX909, Sony PXW-X160

Software:VegasPro15/VegasMovieStudio14/PowerDirector14

Hardware:i7 4770, 16GB, GTX650ti, 1920x1200 display

Playware:Philips 55PFL7108

wwaag wrote on 1/28/2017, 4:56 PM

@3point

Tried your workaround. Seems to work some of the time, but not consistently. Moreover, it seems to require that the project settings be the same as the media settings. I now do mostly 1080 60P projects with just a few HDV clips. Applying Mercalli without changing the project to 1440 x 1080 leads to having to constantly reanalyze, especially if you want to minimize the amount of zoom. The bottom line is that the plug-in is completely unusable unless you're happy with always having the "avoid border" settings being applied. Even then, it's a bit dicey with the occasional "video analysis required" shown for a few frames during render. It's always safest to pre-render any event that has been stabilized.

wwaag

xberk wrote on 1/28/2017, 6:51 PM

Here's my little YT demo of the Mercalli problem. I suspect the problem is much deeper than I show. Lots of inconsistent results from the Plugin for other settings. Wayne is right on ..if you want to avoid the zoom, problems occur

wwaag wrote on 1/28/2017, 8:54 PM

@xberk

You've demonstrated once again the problem that ProDad has been (should have been) aware of for almost a year and yet there is no fix or even acknowledgement that a problem exists. I only hope that it will be fixed in the near future since the stabilization (when it works correctly) is probably the best available. As it stands now, there are just too many problems,

wwaag

 

peter-s wrote on 1/29/2017, 6:19 AM

@xberk

Thank you, Mercalli was mainly the reason, why I purchased the Suite Update.
But working with it is a real pain. I have the same issues you get, plus when editing material from different sources with different framerates in one project, its hopeless to come to an end with Mercalli.

I switched back to Sony stabilisation to finish a project in time.

Kinvermark wrote on 1/29/2017, 8:39 PM

My experience with Mercalli v4 has been the same... but my conclusion is a little different.  I find that you can avoid the "pain" and work in your end project with stabilized clips of different frame rates by stabilizing and rendering intermediate files (for me that is cineform), then working with those.   You then get much better playback, the stabilization is "baked in" so it cannot revert, and you don't have you settle for the fairly marginal results of the old sony stabilizer (which doesn't even work with 4k AFAIK).  If  you were using Mercalli "standalone" you would have to render an intermediate  file too.  Not ideal, but workable.

 

 

 

andreas-georgiou wrote on 1/30/2017, 4:55 AM

I am still trying to get to grips with my issues, on a few clips (.mov 1920x1080p) it worked fine, then changed from best border to precise and it locked on 0% analysing, reverting back to best border and re-starting on same clip it worked before did not correct the issue, still stuck at 0%.

what format do you render your clips for fast proDAD stabilisation?

3POINT wrote on 1/30/2017, 7:56 AM

To my opinion, all the problems described here, are caused by wrong using the Mercalli 4 plugin. The Mercalli 4 Plugin has several presets (Universal Camera, Glide Camera, Rock Steady Camera aso) who each has its own functionality. Those presets work great an can be finetuned if needed and saved as own presets (something that is not possible with the more expensive SAL version). But don't try to change the function of a preset into a function of another preset, With other words do not try to change the Universal Camera preset into a Rock Steady Camera behave, use than the Rock Steady Camera instead and change that one with your own preferences.

For 90% of my footage I use the Universal Camera preset, works great, for those other 10% I use my own Rock Steady Camera preset. (Changed best stabilization into best border)   

3POINT, Theo Houben, Vegasuser since version 5

Recware:Panasonic YI4k+,PanasonicFZ300/HCX909, Sony PXW-X160

Software:VegasPro15/VegasMovieStudio14/PowerDirector14

Hardware:i7 4770, 16GB, GTX650ti, 1920x1200 display

Playware:Philips 55PFL7108

andreas-georgiou wrote on 1/30/2017, 1:06 PM

Hi 3 Point, I do not need this plugin for my normal footage which is 3D HD and cameras have great built in stabilisers.

I have 100's of hours worth of digitised cinefilm on respro mov at 16, 18 and 24fps which definitely need stabilising. As you can appreciate hand held cinefilm cameras were notorious for shake when handheld.

I have tried default values, universal camera, Cmos unticked. On same clip.

Occasionally it works with good results, other times just hangs and yet other times the results are worse than the original footage, On the same clip!

I suspect that it may have something to do with discontinuities in the clips (unlike digital cameras which create a separate clip for each take, old cinecameras continue on same film and so does the MOV) clips are only cut on edit points as you can appreciate.

Never the less it should behave reliably and not differently each time is run.

Even after it has finished more often than less I still get the solidary third frame of the clip displaying the analyse banner.

I need to investigate further, I will try various containers to see which one works best with Mercali.

Vegas stabiliser works great but zooms in too much and causes serious loss of content not to mention magnification of film grain.

Also hanks guys for your help in these forums.

xberk wrote on 1/30/2017, 1:27 PM

Got this replay from ProDad regarding issues with settings reverting.

"Thanks for your request.

Please use the correct project setting in Vegas (video format and FPS), identical to your used video footage.

Then use Mercalli V4 in Vegas an put the timeline cursor at your video in the timeline. Start the analysis again.

Please use this last setup iof Mercalli V4 for Vegas:

http://www.prodad.de/support/mercalli/mercalli-40-sony64bit.exe

and check again.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen / with kind regards

Uwe Wenz

Customer Support Manager"

wwaag wrote on 1/30/2017, 1:44 PM

@xberk

As I recall, this is pretty much the exact response I received when I complained last spring. I am using the latest version according to the "check updates" dialog. And I have set the video format and fps exactly the same as the media file and I still get the same behavior of reverting back.

The stated inability to correctly process different media files without having to change project settings is a real shortcoming in my view.

wwaag

3POINT wrote on 1/30/2017, 2:42 PM

.I have 100's of hours worth of digitised cinefilm on respro mov at 16, 18 and 24fps which definitely need stabilising.

As said and stated by Prodad, the Mercalli 4 Plugin can only correctly analyze media on the timeline when the project settings are identical to the Media format. As far as I know 16 and 18 fps are no valid framerates in the project settings of Vegas.

My handfilmed footage (UHDp25) is turned into footage as filmed from a tripod, rock steady and also super smooth pans, far better than the internal Vegas stabilizer

.The stated inability to correctly process different media files without having to change project settings is a real shortcoming in my view.

 

A workable workaround for this was described by Kinvermark. When you had bought the far more expensive Mercalli 4 SAL version you would also have the same result.

 

3POINT, Theo Houben, Vegasuser since version 5

Recware:Panasonic YI4k+,PanasonicFZ300/HCX909, Sony PXW-X160

Software:VegasPro15/VegasMovieStudio14/PowerDirector14

Hardware:i7 4770, 16GB, GTX650ti, 1920x1200 display

Playware:Philips 55PFL7108