Saturday, 20 November 2010

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.)


  1. Quentin, I just read your post about Mercalli. Did you ever get it working on your Mac? I purchased Mercalli in late Nov for use on my Mac with Premiere CS4. According to proDAD, it was suppose to work. After 2 months and 21 emails to support, it still isn't running. It seems to install okay and even reports "Install Successful". But it does not show up in the Video Effects bin for Premiere. I am curious if anyone else is having similar problems.

  2. Hi Craig, not, never got it working. proDAD finally informed me that Mercalli does not in fact work with Apple's Final Cut Express but apparently does work with Final Cut Pro, so I gave up with it. This was in spite of reading that it did work with Final Cut Express. I note that Premiere CS4 is listed in the compatible programmes on the proDAD site so I would have thought that at the very least you should be due a refund, or help to get it to work. I'd start to publish your experiences on either a blog or Twitter so that at least others can learn from your own experiences and problems.