Adobe Morph Cut vs Avid Fluid Morph – Jump Cut Test

Posted On June 24, 2015

Adobe just released a slew of updates across the board for their Creative Cloud apps. One of the big ones in Premiere that I’ve been looking forward to for a while is the Morph Cut transition. This transition is designed to stitch together a jump cut in an interview to mask the cut. Well, that’s the idea at least.

The only thing similar to this that existed before is Avid’s Fluid Morph in Media Composer. Fluid Morph works really, really well. So well that I downloaded the trial of Media Composer to clean up some jump cuts from Dolphin Lover, then export them back to FCPX.

But since I’m a Creative Cloud subscriber, it’d be nice to have this tool permanently in my arsenal. So I exported the same clips I ran Fluid Morph on to try out Morph Cut and compare how it handles the edits.

Check out the side by side comparison in the video above.

My impression from this test: Avid’s Fluid Morph is still hands down the better option. I’d say out of all the cuts, Adobe Morph Cut maybe did an acceptable job on a third of the edits, and they were definitely the least noticeable jump cuts.

The biggest issue is Morph Cut won’t work under 12 frames (what I found from my testing). The trick of masking the cut is to make the transition really quick – usually 6 frames in Avid works really well. When I would do a six frame transition in Premiere, I’d get this error.

Screenshot 2015-06-24 12.35.39

When the transition is too long, the video and audio stop syncing because the transition is starting while the A side clip is still talking, giving away the effect.

Bottom line – Morph Cut works on very subtle jumps but still has a ways to go before being as reliable as Fluid Morph.

Written by Joey Daoud

Joey Daoud is an award-winning documentary producer. When not filming he likes to climb mountains and brew coffee.

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8 Comments

  1. James Strawn

    Thanks for interesting comparison, Joey. One thing you should understand though is that just because you’re applying Morph Cut at a certain length (say 15 frames) does not mean it will take 15 frames to do the morph. It uses whichever frames it needs to, including frames beyond the limits of the transition, to put together a convincing morph. The morph itself usually only lasts from 3-10 frames though. Or it may be a few frames in ones spot and some more in another. It just depends what’s missing from the cut. You can see what I mean by burning in timecode to one of your test clips and then applying morph cut to that. Where the timecode gets distorted is where interpolation is happening. Where the timecode is sharp but out of sequence is where it’s using frame replacement, and where it’s in order is where no morph was needed. You can find several other tips and tricks for best results here: http://blogs.adobe.com/premierepro/2015/06/morph-cut-tips-tricks-for-best-results.html

    • Joey Daoud

      Thanks for the response. You’ve seen the source material in the video – is there something you recommend I do differently? Will there be more control over the effect in future updates?

      • James Strawn

        It seems like you have it applied pretty well as is, especially in the case where the shot is framed more tightly (head and shoulders). We do hope to provide more control over the effect in future updates, particularly in the way it recognizes and tracks the face. But I don’t have any specific details on when and how exactly that might happen. All of the tips and tricks I have for users are included in the official adobe blog post I linked to above.

  2. Alain

    Funny you keep the jump cuts on the parts where you’re talking.

    • Joey Daoud

      Thanks for noticing, I thought it was ironic.

  3. Steve

    Thanks for making this video. I have to agree that it is funny that you have jump cuts in your own talking head. Add to that how bad the audio is in the video and I’d question the quality of your own video productions.

    • Joey Daoud

      Question away if it makes you feel better. The point of the video is about the two effects, I didn’t care to turn my commentary into a whole production.

    • matt

      You must be fun at parties.

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