Showing all posts tagged mercalli:

Mercalli V2 by proDAD - Ongoing Review

Having finally successfully managed to open a file generated by the Contour HD helmet camera in the Mercalli stabilisation package the time had at last arrived to test the software in anger. I was impressed by the speed of file analysis and was also pleased with the quality of the output file, as seen in the preview window (see below) once I had played around with the settings for a little while. When the time came to output the file the only two options available were either a .AVI or .WMV file which I felt was rather limiting but as there were no other options these were the options I had to work with.

Once again I was in for a significant disappointment having got this far, the clip I was working with was 47 min in length (3-4GB) so nothing really out of the ordinary but unfortunately the clip failed to render. I selected my options to produce a .avi file and the file export commenced and the progress indicator showed 0%, unfortunately 0% was still being displayed several hours later. I am accustomed to video rendering taking some time so I restarted the rendering process and left it to run overnight, the following morning the progress indicator still indicated 0% which was extremely disappointing having got this far.

I finally received a communication from a member of the proDAD support team having posted an enquiry to an Adobe forum and reasonably enough I was asked a series of questions about my system which I have now answered. As things currently stand I am still unable to produce a stabilised version of my .MOV file and at the present time my experience of the proDAD Mercalli stabilisation software has been frustrating to say the least.

The request for information from proDAD support is enclosed below for information, I tried to install the small aplication referred to and this did not run properly either, several of the options which should have appeared didn't appear. I have reported this problem also to proDAD and am awaiting a response. At this stage I had also installed the plug-in version of this software on my iMac to see if I fared any better, I will report my early experiences of this installation in my next posting.

proDAD request for information follows:

Do you know what version of Mercalli for the Mac you have? We are currently on 2.0.73.

For the Mac, we are concentrating on the plugin first. I don’t know if there are any plans to have SAL on the Mac at this time.

Could you send me a short clip (say, 15 seconds) of the video you’re trying to process that is giving you problems? You can use a service like Yousendit.

Also, I’d like to have you send me what we refer to as a protocol file. To generate this file (on the PC), please download and run the following small application, and then email the file that is generated back to me. To download click here. These files are used solely by our programmers to track down problems in cases where it sounds like everything should be working, but problems are still arising. (We don’t have a similar application on the Mac yet, but please tell me some more particulars about your iMac, e.g. what other plugins do you use, which version of Final Cut you have, how much RAM and hard disk space, which version of Mac OS X, etc.)

Mercalli V2 by proDAD - Ongoing Review

Having been provided with the wrong support e-mail address as detailed in my previous posting unsurprisingly I received no response from proDAD and the only option left open to me was to try to resolve the problems I was having myself. I started to trawl through endless webpages and Internet forums trying to find information which might help me get the standalone Mercalli system working and I finally stumbled across something.

I found a small software package called GSpot v2.70a which I downloaded. This small application is designed for examining video files with the idea of providing the user with information about the file and the video codecs which might be necessary to open the file. The application told me that the codec required was AVCL H.264 which means very little to me but did provide me with at least something to continue searching with. I initiated a search using this information and found an entry in something called the AnimeSuki Forum which suggested using something called the CCCP (Combined Community Codec Pack).

Armed with this information I continued my searching and ended up at the CCCP website where I downloaded the required file. I proceeded to install the codec pack and voilà I managed to open the file in the Mercalli package, I had taken a step forward.

As you might imagine this is not the end of this story by some considerable margin, I'll post the next step in the proDAD Mercalli V2 saga later.

Mercalli V2 by proDAD - Ongoing Review

As a little bit of background information the PC I am trying to use the proDAD Mercalli V2 package on is a W7 Dell Inspiron 560 MT : Intel Core 2 Quad-Core Q8300 (2.50GHz,1333MHz,4MB) so it is by no means a slow old machine and it should have more than enough "go" to deal with the tasks being asked of it. The helmet camera I am using has been very kindly been loaned to me by a friend, Roy Galvin, and is a Contour HD camera, the ideal unit for the task in hand, it produces excellent quality footage at 29.97fps saving files in .mov format.

Having installed the software I was presented with what appeared to be a very pleasing user interface and given my recent experience with other packages I found the controls relatively intuitive and I was quickly able to make a start with the package as I was keen to see what sort of results the package would deliver with some of my own footage. It is all very well looking at samples on the Internet but as we all know what really matters is what happens when you try to use these packages for real.

I navigated to one of my movie files and tried to load it ready for analysis prior to image stabilisation and I was presented immediately with an error, a screenshot showing the details shown below. Again from past experience it was fairly clear from the error message that the problem was likely to be a video codec and I initiated a request for help by emailing , this being the address clearly provided in the error message generated. I later learned, having had no response, that this address was incorrect. The correct support address proved to be

Mercalli V2 by proDAD - Ongoing Review

A little while ago I embarked upon a project which was designed to provide me with some additional training aids for use over the winter in addition to my ongoing use of the excellent ErgVideo packages I have been using for some time. In order to develop some aids for my own use I needed to develop a system of producing reasonable quality video recordings from a helmet mounted camera. In order to produce decent footage it quickly became apparent to me that it was going to be necessary to use some form of image stabilisation software and with this in mind I started my experimentation.

There are a number of packages, some free, available for this purpose and I set about experimenting with these packages with mixed results. I had been considering for some while also replacing my personal computer with an iMac and having embarked on this project this seemed like as good a time as any to take the plunge. Given this purchase it was highly desirable that whatever image stabilisation system I settled upon should be available for both PC and Mac platforms.

After much searching I stumbled upon the package which is the subject of this ongoing review, the package is produced by proDAD and is called Mercalli V2, the package is available as a standalone package for the Windows platform and also as a plug-in which amongst other software will run with Apple Final Cut Express. The software is marketed by AV3 software and having read the documentation I downloaded the trial versions.

I experienced no problems installing the trial versions and so began my quest to resolve my image stabilisation problems using these packages, more as the story unfolds.