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Digital video is a medium that is now available to almost everyone. It can be captured on anything from a mobile phone to a high-definition camera, and published anywhere from YouTube to Blu-ray discs. In Premiere Elements 4 Essential Training, Adobe Certified Instructor Chad Perkins explores all the video editing capabilities of Premiere Elements 4. Chad starts with a real-world sample project, then covers techniques for importing and editing video; and adding effects, transitions, and animation. He concludes with a final project incorporating all the steps, including exporting and posting. Exercise files accompany the course.
For this tutorial movie, we will be using the Stabilizing project from the Chapter 6 folder of your exercise files and we're going to be talking about stabilizing footage. How often you go out and you shoot something and you don't have a tripod with you and the footage just gets all shaky and looks terrible or if you're zoomed in really closely, every little tiny movement you make is extremely exaggerated. So, when you bring in the footage and you start editing it, you realize its just a little to shaky to be super cool. So, what you can do is use the Stabilize effect to balance that motion out a little bit and that's what we're going to be doing here in this movie.
So, if you would like to follow along with me here, you could feel free to use any piece of shaky footage you like. Now, click the Effects button here in the Tasks panel and we could scroll all the way down to the last effect which is the Stabilizer. So, just click and drag and drop, that either in the Monitor Panel or in the Sceneline on the clip that you want to stabilize. You will notice that right away it zooms up just a little bit. The reason why that is because when your footage is stabilized, the edges are going to look crazy because it is going to have to balance out the position of the footage to compensate for the shakiness which causes some black borders around the edges.
So, it automatically zooms up a little bit. So, you don't have those crusty borders. Now, what I want to do now is preview what I have so far, but the Stabilizer is something that Premiere Elements usually has a tough time just previewing on the fly, like it does with regular footage. So, I'm going to render this first by hitting the Enter key on the keyboard. That will be great, now I'm going to go back over here to my Timeline real quick first, just right click on my footage and delete the audio, we will talk about that in the Audio chapter, I just don't want the audio getting in the way when I'm trying to talk over what is going on here, but you're more than welcome to leave that audio track there, that's not going to hurt anything.
So, hit the Home key and hit the Spacebar to play this back and this footage is stabilized a little bit in that, these ducks are pretty much staying in the same place throughout the video which is good, it is better, but it still is a little shaky. So, what I need to do is go over here to Edit Effects and open up the Stabilizer Parameters by clicking this little disclosure triangle here and what I want to do is increase Smoothing. You will see that as I do that, the clip goes a little bit more crazy and some of that black edge shows because what it is doing is it is increasing the smoothness of the stabilization in order to really smooth this out, it is going to have to move and rotate these clips a little bit more which is going to have these border show a little bit more as well.
In a case like this, it might work to check the background or to use original checkbox for background. What that's going to do is use the original source footage as the background of the clip instead of the black. So, we're getting some duplicates here in this area that was black because this is where the footage originally was. So, it is not always going to work to use a background, but in some instances, when you have like a solid border around your footage, it could work to make things look a little bit better. Also, notice here the Zoom settings that's basically like the scales percentage, it is set to 1/10th, it is basically 10% bigger automatically.
If you want to restore that you can take down Zoom back to a 100, then it is going to show you more of these borders. Likewise, you could also increase this a little bit bigger, so that you have less of the border, but it is going to soften your footage a little bit because you're making it bigger. So, now I'm going to hit the Home key, let's try to preview that again, well preview without rendering, yeah it will do a pretty good job. So, it is still a little bit shaky, so we're getting this Stabilizer thing is not completely perfect, but those ducks are pretty much in the same place and that's not how I filmed it at all, these ducks were all over the place and it was crazy.
So, obviously the best footage that you can get is what you should take, you shouldn't automatically just not worry about it and leave the tripod at home because the Stabilizer will fix all mistakes, that's not the way it is, the Stabilizer just helps a little bit to make things look a little bit better than they initially were, but as you saw, it definitely is not perfect all the time. Basically, it just averages out where the subjects should be, but in the averaging sometimes, it is not super smooth and it is a little bit shaky. But all in all, this is a really great feature to have.
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