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Twixtor or Motion(Optical Flow) for SloMos (FCP-Users)

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Tom Kramer
Twixtor or Motion(Optical Flow) for SloMos (FCP-Users)
on Nov 15, 2008 at 10:30:13 pm

OK, first up,

I do not have After Effects at my disposal, so for doing slomos, I get to chose between Twixtor, and, just as everybody who updated to FinalCutStudio2, this superduper S-H-A-K-E!-thingey called OPTICAL FLOW. (Actually, I have to admit that by and large it was OF that intrigued me most to upgrade).

But when do you use it, sensibly that is, when you also got the choice to use Twixtor?

Twixtor isn't exactly the easiest plugin to get a grasp of, and I admittedly am still largely insecure on how to really properly use it. Still, I find that on a large variety of footage, it remains the only weapon of choice.

So far for me, Motion's Optical Flow has only been useful on low-movement clips, that is footage with little or no background movement, moderate object movement, decent contrast.... briefly, perfect slomo-material.

Advantages are evident: No setup-options mean no set-up time, and background rendering means you can keep on working while your slomos keep coming... And they certainy can look great, even on the rather shabby DV material I am editing.

However, on more difficult material (moving, structured backgrounds, fast foreground action, pans and zooms), I feel it's just about useless, as it will morph portions of the material like the T-1000 in Terminator 2 ;-).

Twixtor certainly hates that stuff, too, but at least you can fiddle with the settings until you finally may wind up something decent.

But then, using Motion's OF for ramped slomos, at least in my opinion, it is a complete bust, as the "controls" are the same as the variable speed controls in FCP, which must appear just ridiculously outdated to anyone who has ever watched at least a tutorial on AE's time remapping workflow - or does anyone know of any practical method to do that on an easy and precise basis in FCP?

I mean, something like: "Hey, I want it normal speed till, uhm, here, slow down until it's 35% from about here on, and get back to regular (REGULAR, not approximately regular) speed from, uumph, here till precisely there..."?

And I am not even going to mention audio, as Twixtor does not process that, either.

So, well, does anyone agree with me that, generally, "Motion/Optical Flow=Quick and Easy Way" on by and large perfect material; Twixtor=Spend a whole night for a halfway decent 8sec slomo?

Don't get me wrong, I still love FCS, as despite its age, it still is competitive in so many respects, but Apple truly missed the boat when it came to making basically great new functionalities such as optical flow, or time remapping for that matter, as user friendly as the Apple-philosophy would suggest. You know what I mean, if I were smart enough I'd edit in something like Combustion or so, basically I'm just using the Apple because I loved the simplicity of their software in general...

Really, I certainly do appreciate receiving high-end features as a free giveaway (COLOR!, thanks, Apple, love it, in spite of the less than perfect workflow), but in some instances, I just do not get what Apple is thinking (c'mon, LiveType is but a joke, it is but a flashy bonbonière, and clean titles should be an integral part of just any editing software, no need for an additional programme there... just drop it and maybe integrate it into Motion, or straight into FCP...).

Well, I may have moved a fair bit off topic, uwh, that was "when would you rather use Twixtor or Motion/OF, respectively, but anyhow....



Rendering - the only breaks I somehow can't appreciate....

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