Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the Subspace Warp method, part of After Effects Guru: Tracking Cameras and Stabilizing Footage.
The method you'll see me use most often is the subspace warp method, and this is because it produces the best results, as long as the scene has some depth in it. Remember, if you're dealing with strong, geometric backgrounds, or situations where there's really close movement to the camera, there are things that can throw this method off. Try it as the first method, but then I recommend you experiment with the other three, to see which one works the best with each shot situation. Let's open up that last clip. And this is a very tough shot. You'll notice in this case with the stabilizer turned off.
Not only do I have a hand held camera, but I'm walking on an unstable surface, crossing a suspension bridge. In this case, this is essentially an impossible shot to fix, because we have two types of camera movement. We have the handheld bounce of walking with the camera, in addition to the erratic shaking of a suspension bridge, cobble together from wire and plywood, hang over a river. And if you look at some of the movement here up close, you'll notice that we occasionally have impact.
So, for example, on some of the wires here, let's put this at full quality. As the foot impact occurs, there can be motion blurring, or sensor shake. While you can fix camera movement, you can't get rid of, shake. If the sensor has a vibration or impact, or the object is moving at such a fast rate that it creates blurring or streaking, that's going to be there. In this case, let's see what we can do to fix the shot. I'll use the Warp Stabilizer VFX, and I've also already performed a detailed analysis under the advanced option to try to fix this as much as possible.
Using the preserve scale value, I'll attempt to keep a consistent scale throughout. And you see that the auto-scale has locked in. As I step forward frame by frame here, you'll see some of that sensor vibration I talked about. There is a foot impact. And then it goes back to a clean line, when the vibration of the rope, and the shaking of the camera was minimized. This particular shot is very problematic due to the fact that the ropes are moving, the camera is moving, and the floor is moving.
Lets do a ram preview here at full quality, so we can judge whats happening. And you'll notice the shot is much more stable with the smoothness value turned up. However. Some of the shaking objects or vibrating ropes can not be stabilized. The blur in the sensor is going to persist. But, if you look at the overall quality of the shot, it is improved. The purpose of showing you such a rough shot here is to really point out the limitations. Remember, while you can stabilize a shot, you can't remove visual imperfections like sensor blur, shaking objects, vibration or really, multi-access vibration.
In this case, the camera was moving. The ropes were moving, and the floor was moving. Getting a truly stable shot with all of those things moving at different rates, and in some cases different directions, is essentially impossible. The detailed analysis with Subspace Warp did wonders to make it better, but it's not going to make it look like this camera was floating over the river without any vibration or shake occurring on the bridge. Remember, the warp stabilizer VFX can enhance a good shot and make it great. It can't make a bad shot good, however.
- Analyzing footage
- Using the 3D camera tracker to stabilize footage
- Choosing and moving a target
- Adding 3D text to a scene
- Tracking an object
- Applying the Warp Stabilizer VFX
- Choosing a stabilization method
- Reducing rolling shutter distortion
- Matching movement
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: This course was updated on 10/10/2017. What changed?
A: The following topic was updated: adding 3D text to a scene. In addition, new videos were added that cover masking out elements that can ruin a track, improving the Warp Stabilizer results by masking, and removing camera shake blur.