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After Effects Apprentice 12: Tracking and Keying
Illustration by John Hersey

Setting up a stabilization


From:

After Effects Apprentice 12: Tracking and Keying

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer

Video: Setting up a stabilization

If you have access to the Exercise Files that came with this course, open up the project file, AEA_Tracking and Keying.aep. If instead, you are following along using our book After Effects Apprentice 2nd Edition, open up Lesson_09.aep. Over in the Project panel, inside the Comps folder is a composition named 01-Stabilization*starter, double-click that to open it. I'm going to start you off with a simple motion stabilization challenge. I am going to press 0 on the numeric keypad to RAM Preview, or if you don't have access to an extended keyboard, you go ahead and click on the RAM Preview button over here in the far right of the Preview panel.
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  1. 9m 2s
    1. Welcome
      2m 38s
    2. The Tracker panel
      4m 24s
    3. Using the exercise files
      2m 0s
  2. 13m 25s
    1. Warp Stabilizer basics
      5m 59s
    2. Warp Stabilizer advanced parameters
      7m 26s
  3. 30m 6s
    1. Setting up a stabilization
      2m 57s
    2. Track points explained
      5m 48s
    3. Performing a track
      5m 11s
    4. Applying a stabilization
      2m 42s
    5. Cleaning up the results of a stabilization
      3m 0s
    6. Performing a motion track
      5m 57s
    7. Applying the results
      4m 31s
  4. 13m 48s
    1. The Radio Waves effect
      4m 16s
    2. Tracking the mountain
      5m 31s
    3. Compositing the effect
      4m 1s
  5. 24m 28s
    1. Perspective tracking overview
      2m 40s
    2. Tracking to a corner pin
      7m 1s
    3. Improving the composite
      5m 39s
    4. Tracking with mocha-AE
      9m 8s
  6. 31m 49s
    1. Tracking in 3D (new in CS6)
      4m 31s
    2. Creating 3D objects (new in CS6)
      5m 12s
    3. Hanging a poster (new in CS6)
      8m 8s
    4. Adding text (new in CS6)
      5m 33s
    5. Using shadow catchers (new in CS6)
      8m 25s
  7. 16m 46s
    1. Tracking dots
      5m 43s
    2. Dealing with obscuration
      5m 12s
    3. Cleaning up the stabilization
      5m 51s
  8. 12m 40s
    1. Basic keying
      7m 20s
    2. Refining the key
      5m 20s
  9. 13m 32s
    1. Quizzler challenges
      3m 35s
    2. Quizzler #1 solution: Stabilization plus masking
      2m 58s
    3. Quizzler #2 solution: Stabilization plus tracking
      2m 50s
    4. Quizzler #3 solution: Copying a camera's motion
      4m 9s
  10. 12m 28s
    1. Tracking for multiple effect points
      4m 44s
    2. Converting to ray-traced 3D (new in CS6)
      7m 44s
  11. 23m 59s
    1. Legacy tracker advice
      8m 14s
    2. Tracking interlaced sources
      5m 59s
    3. Using garbage masks for keying
      4m 51s
    4. Using the Rolling Shutter Repair feature (new in CS6)
      4m 55s

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After Effects Apprentice 12: Tracking and Keying
3h 22m Intermediate Nov 23, 2011 Updated Dec 12, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Explore how to use the motion tracker and stabilizer built into After Effects and shows how to handle a variety of shots. Author Chris Meyer leads a quick tour of the third-party software mocha and demonstrates the workflow for The Foundry's KEYLIGHT, both bundled with After Effects. The course also covers tracking a greenscreen shot with a handheld camera and replacing its background.

The After Effects Apprentice videos on lynda.com were created by Trish and Chris Meyer and are designed to be used on their own and as a companion to their book After Effects Apprentice. We are honored to host these tutorials in the lynda.com Online Training Library®.

Topics include:
  • Understanding motion stabilization and keying
  • Performing a track
  • Applying tracking to effects
  • Keying with KEYLIGHT
  • Replacing images
  • Improving the composite
  • Garbage masking
  • Dealing with interlaced footage
Subjects:
Video Motion Graphics Visual Effects
Software:
After Effects
Authors:
Chris Meyer Trish Meyer

Setting up a stabilization

If you have access to the Exercise Files that came with this course, open up the project file, AEA_Tracking and Keying.aep. If instead, you are following along using our book After Effects Apprentice 2nd Edition, open up Lesson_09.aep. Over in the Project panel, inside the Comps folder is a composition named 01-Stabilization*starter, double-click that to open it. I'm going to start you off with a simple motion stabilization challenge. I am going to press 0 on the numeric keypad to RAM Preview, or if you don't have access to an extended keyboard, you go ahead and click on the RAM Preview button over here in the far right of the Preview panel.

This is some stock footage of wildebeests walking across the landscape, but you'll notice that the shot is bouncing up and down. If you're not quite sure about the motion, put your mouse over something that should be stable, like these clouds, and see how they move in relation to your stable cursor. That will show up any stabilization problems in the shot. If I had to guess I would say this camera is placed a long distance away from the wildebeest, and even if it was on a tripod, something such as the wind coming by and shaking the camera can cause this amount of shake in the shot. No problem, we'll remove it.

I'll stop my playback, all tracking and stabilization must take place in Eclipse Layer panel. So I am going to double click this layer to open it up in this Layer panel, and then I need to open up the Tracker panel. I'll go to Window > Tracker and here it appears down in the lower right corner. I am going to move it up here just to put it close to my footage and make it easier for you to see what I am doing. If you are using After Effects CS5 or earlier, clicking on the Stabilize Motion button would bring up the Classic Stabilizer in After Effects.

However, After Effects CS5.5 introduced a brand-new Warp Stabilizer. It works fantastic on some shots, doesn't work so well on other shots. In our separate course, After Effects CS5.5 New Creative Techniques, we spend some time explaining the ins and outs of Warp Stabilizer and how to get the most out of it. It just so happens that this shot is one it would not work well on. The Warp Stabilizer is looking for dominant motion and attempts to stabilize that. In this shot, the wildebeest were the dominant motion, but we don't want to stabilize them, we want to stabilize the clouds and the landscape.

Therefore, I am going to use the Classic Stabilizer in this shot. In After Effects CS5.5, instead of clicking on Stabilize Motion, I would click on Track Motion and change the Track Type to Stabilize. You'll notice this adds 1 Track Point, a series of boxes and a cross to my footage. In the next movie I'll explain what this Track Point is all about and how to set it up.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects Apprentice 12: Tracking and Keying.


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Q: This course was updated on 12/12/2012. What changed?
A: We added new chapters on the Warp Stabilizer and the exciting new 3D Camera Tracker, and new movies on the Tracker panel, converting to ray-traced 3D, and rolling shutter repair, all new features introduced in After Effects CS6. In addition, there are new sets of exercise files designed for After Effects CS5.5 and After Effects CS6 and a companion movie that shows our premium subscribers how to use the exercise files.
 
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