Archive for the ‘Video Analysis System Design’ Category


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.



Figure Skating Video Analysis Example

August 13, 2007

Today I spent a few minutes creating a short video analysis of an axel attempt.  If you look closely, you’ll notice there is no Dartfish symbol on the final video.  The reason is that I do not use Dartfish for my video analysis.

 Of course Dartfish is the industry standard at this time, but considering the cost (>$1500), it just isn’t practical for the majority of figure skating coaches.  Ialready owned a medium cost laptop produced in early 2006 and an inexpensive digital video camera, and created a full video analysis system for less than $300.  I’ll reveal how I did it in a future entry.

 To see today’s analysis, click the link below:

Axel Two Foot Landing Video Analysis

 The video shows clearly one of the major errors that many skaters have when learning the axel.  The error is usually caused by fear as described in the video. 

Please comment on the video and let me know what you think of it.


P.S. Don’t forget to check out Skating Coach Quiz!  There’s a great Dartfish analysis performed by Chris Conte you should really see. 

Figure Skating Video Analysis Rocks!