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Review: proDAD ProDRENALIN

proDAD ProDRENALIN is a standalone application specifically designed to address issues that producers face when they shoot POV and aerial footage with cameras like the GoPro HERO--specifically, stabilization issues and the fisheye look. Here's a look at how the new app fared with some challenging aerial footage shot with a typically shaky tricopter.

After importing your media the next step is to select your camera profile. There are many profiles already created for different cameras. In Figure 2 (below) you can see the drop-down. For my test I obviously used the GoPro Hero2 1080 wide to match the settings I used when I shot the video. There are also settings for the GoPro 3, Canon 6D, with various wide-angle lenses, ContourHD, and other assorted cameras as well.

If your camera is not listed in the profiles, proDAD provides a Create Camera Profile option. You will need to have proDAD DeFishr installed to create the profile, as ProDRENALIN uses the Calibration functionality within DeFishr to create the profile.

Figure 2. Choosing a camera profile

You can also see in Figure 2 (above) that there are a number of VideoFX Presets available. As a pro editor I don’t have a need for these, as I want to import footage into my edit system of choice and create my own looks there. However, if you’re a casual user, or you’re in a hurry to get your footage cleaned up and online without any more postproduction, or if you simply don’t have a professional editing system or editing skills set, this may be an easy way to spice up your footage a little in addition to fixing it.

Other features non-pro users (or those who prefer to get all their editing done in ProDRENALIN) will find helpful is found in the tabs along the right side of the screen. One of those is for Clip Adjustments. Click on that tab and you get a few sliders allowing you to tweak Contrast, Brightness, Saturation, and White Balance. These functions give casual users the ability to do a little “light” editing without needing a dedicated editing application.

Stabilizing Video

If you click on the Stabilize Video option shown in Figure 3 (below), ProDRENALIN will begin analyzing your footage to stabilize it for output. In my testing of about 6.5 minutes of footage it took a little more than 8 minutes to analyze, so it is not real time, but certainly not as slow to render as some other stabilization utilities. (Note: My test system is a first-generation i7 laptop. Not a super powerhouse, but very capable; still, you may experience slightly faster results with a newer system.)


Figure 3. The Stabilize feature is found in the center of the panel at the top of the main window

Another feature I discovered that is helpful is a small timeline at the bottom of the screen where you can set In and Out points. This lets you tell ProDRENALIN to process only portions of your clip. This can be handy as a base-level editor since you may only need a portion of a long clip to be processed for export to your main edit system. It can also save you significant analysis/rendering time, depending on how long your complete clip and how short the segment you need stabilized.

There is a batch process, feature but it works only on multiple clips and not multiple In/Out points within a single clip (as far as I could tell(. Allowing multiple sections within a clip would be a nice feature since ProDRENALIN is not a plugin to an NLE at this point.

After analyzing your media for stabilization you’re ready to export. The export process is pretty straightforward but I found one feature missing that bothered me. In the export process I could find no way to give a clip a unique name. ProDRENALIN wants to keep the original clip’s name.

You can select to Export Files into another Directory from the Export Optimized Media screen as shown in Figure 4 (below). With this option you can assign an export directory, but you’re still not allowed to give it a unique name. This could be a little messy if you wanted to export multiple sections from an individual clip. There is no way to give them unique names or number them to keep track of each clip’s content. If you don’t select the Export Files into another Directory option ProDRENALIN, will export to the source directory and add a “-ProDrenalin.mp4” onto the end of the filename so the original file is left untouched. I talked with ProDAD and they are aware the that Save As functionality is not there and will get it fixed in a future update.


Figure 4. Exporting the file

Export to mp4 (there is also an option for export to mov) was slow as expected for the final output. The 6.5-minute file took more than 20 minutes to export. Your speed may be quicker or slower depending on the speed of your processor.

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