Software Review: ReSpeedr 1.0 – Slow motion functionality

Slow-motion and time lapse are two increasingly popular effects in modern video art. This must not surprise at times when the necessary software becomes more and more available. ReSpeedr 1.0 from the German company ProDAD goes a little step further and provides a stand-alone software that provides four key functions in one little program: Slow-motion, time-lapse, rolling shutter reduction and image stabilization.

This review primarily focuses on the slow motion function, which was used during post production of the “HypeTraX – The Darkside (Flow Box Remix)” video (see top). The time-lapse was not used and the image stabilization is discussed in the article about ProDAD’s ProDRENALIN.

But lets first have a look at ReSpeedr’s interface.
It might not be the most sexy on the market, but it does the job and is quickly understood. Especially the latter eases your first steps into the software, which is in line with regard to the targeted amateur/enthusiast videographer audiance.

All the main functions are found in the top menu, followed by the main window that contains a preview of the footage you are working on, an area to the right that displays the loaded clips and the actual slow-motion tool right at the bottom.

The rough %-choice presets in a drop down menu. Alternatively you can type the exact percentage into the field.

If you want to quickly change the entire length of your clip directly, you can do so with the clip duration tool.

Just above the slow-mo tool, you find the clip length tool, which allows you to crop your clip to the parts of interest – upper green selectors. The blue selectors just below, mark the areas that you want to speed up or slow down. There can be more than one per clip. So, the entire set-up of the program is really easy and straight forward.

ReSpeedr’s biggest strength lays in two different rendering methods for its slow motion function. One calculates faster, frame blending, and the other, optical flow, takes more time to render your footage. However, the actual difference between the two is not the time they take to be rendered, but the visually different looking results.

In “HypetraxX – The Darkside” I used optical flow for the scene where the walker jumps and lands in the water. It yielded a very interesting “morphing” effect to the water that I highly welcomed. Of course, this effect might not always be wanted.

The difference between the two is fundamental. Frame blending is doing pretty much exactly what its name promises, it lengthens the frames and blends one into the other. Optical flow however, apparently calculates additional, intermediate frames into the existing ones. This is where ReSpeedr plays out its full strength and justifies its existence as a competitor to standard build-in slow motion tools of general editing software.

Bottom line:
Despite the really nice results that optical flow yields, it does not justify the price for a stand-alone function to change the speed of your footage. It’s simply too little.
However, integrated in ProDAD’s ProDrenalin v1.0 it would make a really interesting and highly valuable addition to this nifty little piece of software. If ProDAD would additionally come forth with a limited title tool and the possibility to export the imported clips in one file, we’d actually have a very easy and quickly usable mini-editing software for action camera footage. This software would certainly find many fans in a working environment where quick solutions for more professionally looking mini clips are highly needed and welcomed. In our dive centre we receive interesting, but shook-up and too long material almost on a daily basis from our guests. If we could process this material in a fast and efficient manner, our facebook page would certainly gain a lot of videos.

ProDAD GmbH only provided a copy of ReSpeedr for testing purposes. No other form of remuneration has been received.

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