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Activity Forums Apple Final Cut Pro X Looking for movement in part of a frame?

  • Looking for movement in part of a frame?

    Posted by Brian Thomas on March 9, 2023 at 5:24 pm

    Hi! I’m pointing a camcorder at a bird table/bath for 12+ hours at a time but going through the footage afterwards to find something worthwhile can be a bit tedious. What I’d like is something that will ‘look at’ part of the image (as I do currently but speeded up quite a bit) which will alert me in some way to the presence of movement. I’m very familiar with FCPx but I can’t think of anything in there for this. Any ideas….? Thanks in advance

    Mads Nybo jørgensen
    replied 8 months, 2 weeks ago
    3 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • Ben Balser

    March 9, 2023 at 5:31 pm

    I’ve never seen a motion detection plugin for FCPX (or any other NLE). Aside from placing it in a timeline and using the skimmer, which is pretty fast. Or if hitting the L key a few times to play fast forward, unless the movement is too brief and you’d miss it that way. Or put it in a timeline, make it really tall, zoom in the perfect amount, and just look at the thumbnails. But an automated motion detection system, not in FCPX, really.

  • Brian Thomas

    March 9, 2023 at 5:54 pm

    Many thanks for such a speedy reply Ben. Almost as fast as I’m reviewing my footage! I’m pretty much doing the various things you kindly suggest but it would be great to have a machine do it for me.

    Could be useful in other situations. Years ago someone said our Labrador would get stressed if we left her alone for more than half a day. I set up a camcorder covering the large area of the apartment to which she had access and after four plus hours of shopping we came back, I ran through the footage (in the way I described) and we were relieved to prove she slept calmly with all four paws in the air the whole time.

  • Ben Balser

    March 9, 2023 at 6:41 pm

    As a professional dog trainer (retired from TV production), really, fantastic you have a dog who does well alone. I use Petcam cameras which are motion and sound sensitive and will record a bit when triggered. But aside from that, and wildlife can move too fast for those motion triggered cameras often, yep, manually scan. But a motion detector would be cool. I beta test on occasion for Coremelt and may ask them if such a plugin would be doable.

  • Brian Thomas

    March 10, 2023 at 8:34 am

    Great, thanks for mentioning this to Coremelt. I’ve bought a few things from them over the years and they seem pretty reliable as well as being responsive to my dumb questions.

    I googled my issue and it looks like there are a couple of tools which could work here. I’ll get back at some stage with my experiences.

    Actually, that lovely, slightly undersized Labrador bitch spent most of her life with our other male Labrador. It was only after he passed that the original concerns about stress were raised. She used to amaze all with her ability to unfailingly intercept flying biscuits. She had the fastest neural networking brain tuned to trajectories that any of us had ever seen. We miss them!

  • Mads Nybo jørgensen

    March 20, 2023 at 11:41 am

    Hey Brian,

    As Ben suggests, using a motion triggered camera can save you time and hard0disk space – also, quite common in CCTV products. Some of the modern CCTV cameras comes with features where it can balance out the parts of the image, where there might be strong sunlight mixed with very dark shadows.
    One example that I saw a few years back was a garage door opening,camera placed on the inside. The camera adjusted so you could clearly see what was happening inside and outside of that door simultaneously.

    The other alternative is to upload your rushes for an A.I. to analyse your footage. It may, depending on how you train it, be able to recognise different birds of same species. both by look and song – no promises, but the technology are evolving fast.


  • Brian Thomas

    March 20, 2023 at 4:22 pm

    Many thanks for the suggestions Mads which I shall definetly bear in mind. The only thing is, I can’t buy any more cameras otherwise my marriage might suffer…

    The AI suggestion looks interesting. Might you perhaps have some leads in that area…?

  • Mads Nybo jørgensen

    March 20, 2023 at 4:45 pm

    Hey Brian,

    Apart from potential less marriage, more cameras = more footage.

    Although, if the camera only films when there are movement, that might save time and space on hard-drive – but best to get a camera that will include the previous 10 seconds before the movement. And. not shut off when a bird stands completely still 😀

    However, I use Nova AI, which was originally developed for large scale solutions and archives.
    It will allow you to upload your original files, and pull down edl’s.
    Apart from also do a full analysis of vision and audio, best so far on humans.
    But should in theory be able to recognise anything, including animals.

    This is my [affiliate] link:

    Please note that there are 2 sides to the product:
    1) Video editing, which is still under development – particularly if you are coming from FCPX.
    2) Video Analyzer, which is the one that you want. Please be aware that it cost money to upload, and depending on how much you want to analyze, that can be quite costly.

    My advice is that before uploading first set of footage, turn of the setting for automatic analyzing, and within that you can turn off elements that you do not want it to analyze for, like speech.

    Do note that if you want to export a clip for instagram or similar, that the editing module can do that for you straight oout in the right format + you can add logo/text to clip.

    Best part, it starts from free so you can do a test without paying for it.

    Have fun!


  • Brian Thomas

    March 22, 2023 at 10:06 am

    Hi Mads,

    Wow – at first sight that’s quite some facility! Probably much more than my bird table warrants 😉 But really good to know and I’m hoping to look a bit more deeply into it in due course.

    Thanks again, Brian.

  • Mads Nybo jørgensen

    March 22, 2023 at 10:58 am

    Hey Brian,

    You are very welcome.

    Maybe not now, but I would be very interested in finding out whether the AI can recognise not only different species of birds (and animals), but also specific individual features.

    Just imagine for Natural History programming if the Post-Production team is dealing with a pack of animals, and you can choose to follow just one of them across all rushes…

    Should be possible, but we need someone with a bird table and loads of footage to test it out 😉

    Do reach out if I can be of help to set it up for you.


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