Old Video Tape Rip -> Trim -> Stabilize -> Export app/workflow that won’t cost an arm and a leg?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Makosuke, Dec 15, 2015.

  1. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #1
    I’ve been volunteered for a project of getting all the old family videos off video tapes (VHS, VHS-C, Hi-8, DV) and into a usable digital archive before the tapes degrade to nothing.

    I’ve got the hardware I need to digitize everything; it’s pretty kludgy, but it works. I could just rip everything to the default format that QuickTime Player spits out and call it done, but I’d kind of rather trim off the excess garbage at the ends and run a stabilization routine, and maybe recompress at a slightly less overkill bitrate than QT Player generates by default, since the videos are blurry as heck anyway. The stabilization in particular is pretty critical, since it’s pretty nauseating to watch most of these old videos even at postage-stamp window sizes, and would be unbearable on a big screen TV.

    I have a lot of videos, so speed of workflow is a massive plus.

    Problem: My old go-to stabilizer, iStabilize, is abandonware, and seems to have trouble with exports now. It’s also funky and somewhat time consuming to use, albeit very effective and moderately fast.

    Bigger problem: iMovie 10 of course does stabilization, but the option to do a 4:3 project is completely gone now, so it’s not really useful for mp4 videos of VHS-era material. The stabilizer also seems to be extraordinarily slow, and lacks an easy crop option.

    My question: Any good suggestions? I basically want to just throw an MP4 file at some software, maybe do very basic trimming, get it stabilized, and export with a minimum of fuss. I don’t want to pay $300 for FCP (which I’m assuming, maybe naively, would work), but if there’s a reasonably priced option, I’m willing to pay money for it.

    Recommendations?
     
  2. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    Warrington, UK
    #2
    iMovie10 will handle your 4:3 video fine(I still use a 4:3 camcorder). It will put black bars at either end, but as all modern TVs are widescreen, it will look ok on the TV.
     
  3. Makosuke thread starter macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #3
    Right, but that's the issue--since nine times out of ten I'm probably going to be watching the video in a window on the computer, I don't really want it encoded in 16:9 with pillarbox bars on the sides. Maybe it's because I'm a video encoding geek, but that just bothers me.

    In any case, iMovie also doesn't seem to do "bleed" style (I don't know the correct term) fill-in on stabilized video, to make it look a little smoother than black edges moving around, and its stabilization analyzer seems to be horrendously slow on the few-minute clip I tested with.

    Elasty is looking pretty promising--it's about $50 on the app store, and offers rudimentary trimming tools and pretty good stabilization tools, plus relatively advanced export features.
     

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