Great Dartfish Substitute for Figure Skating Video Analysis

August 27, 2007

I have a couple of video analyses ready to put online but I’ll need a day or so to convert them to streaming format.  So check back soon for an analysis of a double flip and a double toe loop.

People always ask me if I use Dartfish for my video analysis work.  Dartfish has become the standard software package for analyzing figure skating.  You even see Dartfish Stro-Motion images being used on television broadcasts of major skating events.  And rumor has it that the PSA has been talking to Dartfish about becoming “strategic partners.”

But I don’t use Dartfish.  Dartfish is very expensive and the extensive feature set is not required for day-to-day analysis work.  Instead I use another program called Pro-Trainer.  Pro-Trainer can be purchased from Sports Motion.  This software sells for $169 at the time of this post.  Considering that the least expensive Dartfish version is nearly $1000, Pro-Trainer is a great substitute.

Pro-Trainer has been used extensively in minor league baseball and is relatively stable.  I have found a number of bugs but the program does a nice job considering the price.  It does provide 60 frame per second capture if you have a mini-DV camera.  (If you’re looking to buy a video camera for video analysis work, go with a mini-DV camera instead of a hard disk or DVD version.  It’s all about video compression and I’ll explain in a later post.)

Pro-Trainer is a bit more difficult to operate than Dartfish but what do you expect for $169!  Once you get used to the series of actions required, it’s very simple.  And Pro-Trainer also has a recording capability…the video analyses that I post on this blog were all created with it.

When you install Pro-Trainer for the first time, it defaults to golf analysis.  But you can customize it for figure skating.  I’ll create a screen capture of how to do this in the near future.

Want to get into computer video analysis but can’t afford Dartfish?  Check out Pro-Trainer…it works for me.



One comment

  1. Thanks for the alternative!

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