About the SmoothCam Filter

The SmoothCam filter reduces unwanted camera movement from your footage, such as less-than-stable crane or jib arm moves, teetering from handheld walking shots, or vibrations in automotive shots.

How the SmoothCam Filter Works

Unlike other filters in Final Cut Pro, the SmoothCam filter must analyze a clip’s entire media file before the effect can be rendered or played in real time. Using the SmoothCam filter requires two independent phases:

  • Motion analysis: Pixels in successive frames are analyzed to determine the direction of camera movement. Analysis data is stored on disk for use when calculating the effect.
  • Motion compensation: During rendering or real-time playback, the SmoothCam filter uses the motion analysis data to apply a “four-corner” transformation to each frame, compensating for camera movement.

About Queuing and Background Processing

When you apply the SmoothCam filter to a clip, the clip is automatically submitted to the SmoothCam Analysis processing queue, where motion analysis data is generated. The processing queue analyzes clips in the order they are received. When analysis for one clip in the queue is completed, analysis for the next clip begins, allowing you to submit multiple clips at one time. A clip’s entire media file is analyzed, regardless of clip In and Out points.

The processing queue is a background process, which means that you can continue to work in Final Cut Pro while your computer analyzes clips in the background. Background processing takes over some of your computer’s processing power, so Final Cut Pro automatically pauses the queue during playback, capture, and output. You can also manually pause the queue when performing processor-intensive operations.

Using the SmoothCam Browser column, you can submit clips to the processing queue without applying the SmoothCam filter. This is useful when you have a large number of clips you want to analyze in preparation for using the SmoothCam filter.

Where Is Motion Analysis Data Stored?

By default, SmoothCam motion analysis data for a clip is stored in the same location as the media file. However, if you do not have writing privileges to the folder where your media is stored, motion analysis files are stored here:

  • /Library/Caches/com.apple.fxmd/