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Stabilizing shaky footage

From: Motion 4 Essential Training

Video: Stabilizing shaky footage

The Stabilize behavior is a great way to smooth out your footage. Let's get started by watching the clip. Press Play in the canvas, and you'll notice this clip is actually pretty shaky. So let's see if we can smooth that out. Stop playback, select the clip, go up to Add Behavior > Motion Tracking > Stabilize. Let's open the HUD and you'll notice we have a couple of different options. But if you open the Inspector, you can click this little I in upper right-hand corner or just go to the Inspector tab.

Stabilizing shaky footage

The Stabilize behavior is a great way to smooth out your footage. Let's get started by watching the clip. Press Play in the canvas, and you'll notice this clip is actually pretty shaky. So let's see if we can smooth that out. Stop playback, select the clip, go up to Add Behavior > Motion Tracking > Stabilize. Let's open the HUD and you'll notice we have a couple of different options. But if you open the Inspector, you can click this little I in upper right-hand corner or just go to the Inspector tab.

Under Stabilize, we have another option called Quality, where we can have a track Faster or Better. Now for this example, Faster is going to work perfectly fine. So let's go ahead and click that and now to activate Stabilize, all you have to click is Analyze. So now you notice the behavior has moved the playhead back to the beginning and it's going through frame-by-frame analyzing the shot as a whole, and it's going to try and smooth out the movement of this clip. When that's done, click the Play from beginning button, so we can check out the results.

You'll notice it's smoothed out the behavior in the center, and it's done so by sliding the clip around in the canvas. Unfortunately, you end up with these black edges. So let's see if we can fix that, because this seems a little not usable. Go ahead and stop playback. This time, let's try a different method. You notice in the Method pop-up menu, there is an option for Stabilize. There is another option for Smooth. Smooth works really well on clips like this where there is a little bit of a camera move in addition to the shake.

Since the footage has already been analyzed, we don't have to click that button again. Just go ahead and click Play from beginning, and let's check out the clip. That's significantly better, at least the clips not sliding half way of the canvas. But we are still getting these black edges. Go ahead and stop playback for a second and make one more adjustment. If you notice, both in the HUD and in the Inspector, we have an option for borders. Go ahead and change that to Zoom. What this is doing is scaling the shot up as a whole to make sure that there are no black edges.

If you zoom out, Command+- on the keyboard, you'll see the edges of the clip moving around. Go ahead and click Play from start again, and you'll see the clip is now smooth out significantly, but the shot still looks natural. If you want to be a stickler for how stable this shot is, there is one more technique, but unfortunately, we'll have to delete the behavior to do that. Let's go ahead and pause for a second, move our playhead back to the beginning, select your Stabilize behavior in the Inspector and press Delete.

Go up to Add Behavior > Motion Tracking > Stabilize. Let's go ahead and close the HUD, change the Quality to Faster, and this time let's add a point called a Tracker. Go ahead and click Add and you'll see this little circle with a red crossing the center of it. When you click on that, it's going to zoom in, so you can choose a pixel that's kind of high contrast. I'm just going to choose where the edge of this dark area is and let go. So this point is going to be a basis for this tracker as it analyzes this next attempt.

Go to Movement and click Analyze. You'll notice it's tracking that point on the top of the runner's head. Now let's click Play from beginning and see what our results are. Pretty close, but now we still need to zoom the edges of the borders. Go to Borders and click Zoom, open up the Project pane so we can deselect the Stabilize behavior, and let's watch the final clip. Now, this is a really, really stable lock down shot, but I don't know about you.

This just looks a little too stabilized for my liking. But hey, if that's the look you are going for, go for it. So to recap, we had three different techniques with three different results. So hopefully when you use the Stabilize behavior, you'll find something for your liking.

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This video is part of

Image for Motion 4 Essential Training
Motion 4 Essential Training

92 video lessons · 22816 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
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  1. 6m 52s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. Important definitions
      3m 5s
    3. What's new in Motion 4
      1m 51s
    4. Using the exercise files
      56s
  2. 45m 38s
    1. Launching Motion for the first time
      2m 20s
    2. Understanding the Motion interface
      4m 43s
    3. Understanding the Utility window
      5m 50s
    4. Understanding the toolbar
      1m 57s
    5. Navigating the Canvas
      4m 37s
    6. Working with layers and layer groups
      4m 52s
    7. Using the Project pane
      2m 42s
    8. Transforming objects
      3m 41s
    9. Controlling the Timeline
      4m 27s
    10. Using the HUD
      1m 27s
    11. Essential preferences
      2m 37s
    12. Customizing the keyboard
      4m 14s
    13. Getting smooth playback with RAM preview
      2m 11s
  3. 28m 52s
    1. Adding assets to Motion
      3m 12s
    2. Adding QuickTime movies to Motion
      3m 30s
    3. Adding still images to Motion
      3m 23s
    4. Adding image sequences
      3m 23s
    5. Adding layered Photoshop files
      2m 40s
    6. Adding Illustrator files
      2m 12s
    7. Using the Library
      3m 14s
    8. Understanding and using blend modes
      5m 39s
    9. Adding text
      1m 39s
  4. 13m 19s
    1. Creating and adjusting shapes
      7m 41s
    2. Creating simple masks
      2m 36s
    3. Creating masks with objects
      3m 2s
  5. 42m 24s
    1. Adding and adjusting behaviors
      5m 49s
    2. Adding parameter behaviors
      4m 2s
    3. Applying behaviors to layers and groups
      5m 16s
    4. Adding multiple behaviors
      7m 39s
    5. Exploring the power of the Link behavior
      5m 2s
    6. Trimming and sliding behaviors
      5m 18s
    7. Saving custom behaviors to animate stills
      4m 24s
    8. Using shape behaviors
      4m 54s
  6. 25m 3s
    1. Adding keyframes manually
      6m 10s
    2. Using the Record button
      6m 38s
    3. Manipulating keyframes with the Keyframe Editor
      6m 59s
    4. Combining keyframes and behaviors
      3m 33s
    5. Working with recording options
      1m 43s
  7. 26m 38s
    1. Adding and formatting text
      5m 35s
    2. Using text styles
      4m 33s
    3. Formatting text with the Adjust Glyph tool
      4m 8s
    4. Animating text with the Adjust Glyph tool
      4m 23s
    5. Creating text on a path
      3m 35s
    6. Using text behaviors
      4m 24s
  8. 22m 4s
    1. Stabilizing shaky footage
      4m 7s
    2. Match moving: Transform
      3m 56s
    3. Match moving: Four-corner pin
      4m 44s
    4. Retiming video in the Inspector
      5m 49s
    5. Using retiming behaviors
      3m 28s
  9. 11m 41s
    1. Applying and adjusting filters
      2m 46s
    2. Applying multiple filters
      8m 55s
  10. 8m 13s
    1. Pulling a luma key
      2m 42s
    2. Pulling a chroma key with Primatte RT
      5m 31s
  11. 11m 29s
    1. Applying and adjusting generators
      3m 25s
    2. Using the text generator
      4m 15s
    3. Generating a background
      3m 49s
  12. 19m 9s
    1. Creating basic particle systems
      10m 58s
    2. Using particle presets
      1m 51s
    3. Creating an advanced particle system
      6m 20s
  13. 13m 25s
    1. Replicating objects
      4m 52s
    2. Animating a replicator
      4m 53s
    3. Replicating a video file
      3m 40s
  14. 49m 46s
    1. Working in 3D space
      5m 11s
    2. Working with cameras
      8m 6s
    3. Viewing a 3D scene in different layouts
      2m 56s
    4. Creating depth with lights and shadows
      8m 22s
    5. Simulating depth of field
      3m 54s
    6. Using camera behaviors
      4m 7s
    7. Animating cameras with camera framing
      6m 8s
    8. Create interest with the Focus behavior
      1m 52s
    9. Using reflections and highlights
      5m 13s
    10. Creating particles in 3D
      3m 57s
  15. 20m 31s
    1. Using the Paint tool
      6m 1s
    2. Using advanced paint tools
      8m 9s
    3. Applying paint presets
      1m 51s
    4. Sequencing paint with the Stroke behavior
      4m 30s
  16. 9m 3s
    1. Adding and adjusting audio
      4m 37s
    2. Animating to music with the Audio Parameter behavior
      4m 26s
  17. 11m 52s
    1. Sharing files
      3m 36s
    2. Exporting files
      3m 15s
    3. Creating an export preset
      3m 0s
    4. Archiving your project
      2m 1s
  18. 15m 30s
    1. Round-tripping between Final Cut Pro and Motion
      4m 24s
    2. Sending your project to Compressor
      1m 59s
    3. Creating drop zones
      3m 0s
    4. Creating templates for Motion and Final Cut
      5m 2s
    5. Importing Motion projects into DVD Studio Pro
      1m 5s
  19. 22s
    1. Goodbye
      22s

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