Australian-born plug-in developer CoreMelt recently updated what many moviemakers consider to be the best stabilization plug-in, Lock & Load. This latest version is 30 percent faster, up to 3 times speedier than FCPX’s native stabilization and now has rolling shutter presets for 29 cameras.
Even better, CoreMelt has optimised Lock & Load’s 4K workflow in Final Cut Pro X, great news for the 4K shooters amongst us. Meanwhile, Lock & Load's rolling shutter presets have been updated in FCP7, After Effects and Premiere Pro.
I admit to becoming just a little envious every time a new gyro-stabilized camera rig appears on the market. That envy is due not to the cost of them so much as the size and the weight. I am gearing up to be a backpack documentary moviemaker so lightweight portability is of the essence.
Constraints are good and what I can carry in location is constrained to the contents of a backpack and a wheel-along case. Any more than is out of the question right now. So it is kiss goodbye to hardware stabilization in its current form, other than a tripod or monopod, and look to software solutions instead.
I was pretty happy with Final Cut Pro X’s built-in stabilization until I tried Lock & Load. Then the improvement was obvious. I am not a fan of what former movie reviewer David Stratton calls “queasy-cam” for that nasty feeling in the stomach or for drawing undue attention to the camera itself.
My art school background trained me to see the frame as a painting and I want to compose my images, whether moving or still, as a painter would. The high quality stabilization offered by Lock & Load assists in that. Losing a small percentage of the contents of each 4K frame shot by my Panasonic Lumix GH4 is a small price to pay and one I can account for when framing my shots.
Another advantage of Lock & Load is that it works in conjunction with two of CoreMelt’s other plug-ins, Track X and Slice X. CoreMelt offers both plug-ins separately or as a bundle with a USD49.00 cost saving. Both plugins are powered by Mocha, the award-winning tracking software utility produced by Imagineer Systems.
Tracking effects are something I had thought too high-end and skill-intensive for me to tackle in some upcoming, no-budget short movie projects. Now they are clearly within my reach, and I have already visualized how they could work to add real value to a documentary I am planning.CoreMelt's Lock & Load plug-in update adds speed and incredible stabilization to shaky footage. Click To Tweet
Although I am not a fan of queasy-cam point-of-view effects, I want another way of presenting how my main subject, a retired advertising copywriter, and his creative adviser, both see the world and everything in it. All of us see the world, they say, as if through the bars of a cage formed by our experiences and beliefs. That philosophy is begging to be represented by some kind of tracking effect and CoreMelt's plug-ins appear to be the way to do that.
I have never done anything like this before, and it might end up on the cutting room floor, but it is definitely worth a shot and only at the cost of time and a little experimentation. CoreMelt’s Lock & Load, Track X and Slice X have suddenly expanded my creative horizons.
Lock and Load stabiliser now faster, optimised for 4K workflows and supports new cameras.
CoreMelt Lock & Load has just been updated (Jan 2015) and is now 30 percent faster than the previous release and up to 3x faster than the FCP X built in stabiliser. We optimised the workflow for 4K in FCP X and Lock and Load will now use both GPU on a Mac Pro system. This update also includes Rolling Shutter presets for many new cameras. Sony A7S, Sony AX100, Black Magic Pocket Camera, Panasonic GH4, Canon EOS 6D, recent iPhones and iPads and more… Existing customers can download the free update. Watch the video to see all the new features.
Users of FCP 7, After Effects and Premiere Pro can also access the new Rolling Shutter presets for new cameras. Just press the “update” button in your plugin to download new shutter presets, see the screen shots below.
More info at CoreMelt Lock & Load
(cover photo credit: snap from CoreMelt)