Shootout: Adobe's Warp Stabilizer vs. Apple's Final Cut Pro X Stabilization
Let's review: Adobe Premiere Pro reaches feature parity with Final Cut Pro, exceeding it in some aspects, and in the process builds up an equal-sized customer base as Apple's NLE. Then Apple relaunches FCP from the ground up -- and removes a lot of the features shared between the two, making Premiere Pro undeniably more feature-rich. It seems perfect timing for Adobe, whose application is now easier to migrate to from Final Cut Pro 7 than is Apple's. I'm still learning FCP X and I think it has a ton of potential, but at the very least, Adobe has to be happy with the missing features in FCP X that everyone's complaining about. So let's take a look at one feature both video solutions are touting highly: automatic camera stabilization.
In posting this test, Steve Forde at Adobe says, "both After Effect's Warp Stabilizer and FCPX stabilization were left to the default settings of stabilization and rolling shutter removal. No tweaking was done whatsoever." Here's the video comparison between the two:
Yes, the After Effects one looks smoother. The FCP X video has a jump in it that After Effects corrects. However, this test is also a good example of the divide in Adobe and Apple's (new) philosophy: Adobe's stabilization requires a separate motion graphics app, while Final Cut Pro X's is built-in. Adobe has more advanced tools but the workflow and speed of Apple's (at least in use, by not having to take it out to a separate app) is more streamlined. Still, the inability to share FCP X timelines with other apps is a deal-breaker for team-based MGFX work -- for now. Or you can spend $500 on Automatic Duck's Pro Export FCP plugin, in order to get an exportable timeline out of a $300 program.
As an editor and sometimes-MGFX person (out of necessity), I've spent the time to build up a working knowledge of After Effects. I used it on The West Side to erase bystanders and smoke-billowing tractors in the background in order to make New York City look empty (and to hang gangsters). Until FCP X talks to other applications, that knowledge is basically useless, and for version 10 of an application, that's a damn shame. Perhaps in killing off Final Cut "Express," Apple should've also killed Final Cut "Pro" -- and just left us with Final Cut X.
[via Steve Forde at Adobe]