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Controlling crop vs. smoothness

From: After Effects CS5.5 New Features

Video: Controlling crop vs. smoothness

There's more than one way to control how smooth your final shot is with Warp Stabilizer, or if you'd rather look at it the other way around, you have options to control how little scaling is required to make the shots smoother. Let's take a look. Now we looked at lowering Smoothness down to zero. What happens if I raise it up above 100%? I can just keep going and going with this setting. Notice that the Auto-scale number has gone up, if I go even higher.

Controlling crop vs. smoothness

There's more than one way to control how smooth your final shot is with Warp Stabilizer, or if you'd rather look at it the other way around, you have options to control how little scaling is required to make the shots smoother. Let's take a look. Now we looked at lowering Smoothness down to zero. What happens if I raise it up above 100%? I can just keep going and going with this setting. Notice that the Auto-scale number has gone up, if I go even higher.

Now the shot is quite pushed in and scaled up a lot. Let's take a look at how smooth that result is. Well you can see that by trying to make the shot that smooth, I may be introducing more problems than I'm solving. Specifically the warping that you see is the result of the Subspace Warp method. It's getting over exaggerated here. I will reset that to the default. Here's a different approach. I can twirl down the Auto-scale option and lower the Maximum Scale value.

Let's say that I want it to be scaled no more than 105%. Now you can see that the shot is more cropped. If that's okay you can even raise the Action-safe Margin. Raise this high enough and you're close to the point here where there is no scaling anymore. Now I can check my action-safe area. I'm a little bit inside of it so I should loosen up just a little bit, but if you know for a fact that you're okay with that amount of padding around the outside of the frame, this is another way to go.

Let me reset those and try a different approach. Under the advanced settings is this Crop Less < - > Smooth More option. I'll just search that out, so you could see the full words. How is that any different from the Smoothness option? If I set this to zero, again you can see it's not the same as the original shot. In fact there's still quite a bit of scaling happening here before we even preview it. What this is doing is getting it as close as possible without re-analyzing it.

Notice that when I adjust this that orange stripe isn't coming up like it did when I adjusted Smoothness. That means you could even keyframe this value if you wanted to. If I raise it to a hundred, that's about as close as we're going to get to a locked off shot without actually re-analyzing. Let's take a look. So each shot has an appropriate amount of stabilization when you're working with Warp Stabilizer. It's weighed against the amount of scaling or cropping required, as well as any other artifacts that might creep in, like that strange warping that we saw.

By working with the various options you can optimize the shot to your liking.

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After Effects CS5.5 New Features

30 video lessons · 9120 viewers

Mark Christiansen
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