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Need to Simulate Hand-held Motion

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Gary Thomas
Need to Simulate Hand-held Motion
on Oct 20, 2015 at 11:47:29 pm

I have a video of a concert that was shot on a tripod. I would like to add a hand-held motion type of effect so it looks a little less static. I read a post somewhere else that described shooting some hand-held video of an object, say the side of a house, then using that video to "use the movement from that clip to keyframe the motion of the clip you want to have the handheld motion". That's exactly what I want to do. Unfortunately he didn't describe how to do it. I didn't let that minor detail stop me. I recorded some video and googled and experimented myself to exhaustion. Could someone explain how to do what he describes? Or is there another "free" method to do it? I've tried using a tiny bit of jitter but it doesn't have the same effect.

Thank you.

Here is where I read about it. 3rd post down.
http://www.indietalk.com/showthread.php?t=36574


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Sverrir Fridriksson
Re: Need to Simulate Hand-held Motion
on Oct 21, 2015 at 4:18:46 pm

Only thing I can think of is to click on event pan/crop on your clip, zoom in a bit so you have a little wiggle room for the motions, and then move the clip around and adding keyframes. I tested this and you can get OK results with it, but it will be a hassle to add this to a long clip.


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Aaron Star
Re: Need to Simulate Hand-held Motion
on Oct 22, 2015 at 1:37:34 am
Last Edited By Aaron Star on Oct 22, 2015 at 1:41:03 am

Similar to Steve's recommendation, you might try shooting a focus chart or even a simple cross on foam core handheld. Now track the movement of the handheld using key frames in Pan and crop. Then copy and paste the key frames onto your clip you want to appear handheld.

The cross on the foam core allows you to also track the rotational changes and not just the x and y.

This is how a lot of shaky car and spaceship scenes are done.


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Wayne Waag
Re: Need to Simulate Hand-held Motion
on Oct 25, 2015 at 9:19:29 pm

I've come up with an automated way of adding the motion characteristics from one from video clip to another. It makes use of the freeware motion stabilization software Deshaker. In a nutshell, the motion characteristics of the first video clip are determined during the first pass. But rather than applying them to stabilize the original clip, they are then applied to the second video clip in the second pass. Here is an example using some handheld footage taken simply "walking" and then applied to a still image.







I only used two points--the orginal movements (simple pixel changes from one frame to the next) applied to the still and second, those movements simply doubled. These can be easily changed.

If there is any interest, I can provide details. If not, it was a fun exercise. Regardless, this would seem to be a lot more realistic and certainly easier than trying to produce movement through keyframing.

wwaag


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Gary Thomas
Re: Need to Simulate Hand-held Motion
on Oct 29, 2015 at 1:49:08 am

Thanks everyone for your excellent ideas. I ended up trying Aaron's method, which worked well. Wayne, I would like to know more about your use of Deshaker. It sounds very interesting.


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Wayne Waag
Re: Need to Simulate Hand-held Motion
on Oct 29, 2015 at 4:53:35 pm
Last Edited By Wayne Waag on Oct 29, 2015 at 4:58:43 pm

[Gary Thomas]

If you're interested in trying out this method, you will need to have the following installed: (1) Debugmode Frameserver http://www.debugmode.com/frameserver/ (2) Virtualdub. I'm still using the 32 bit V 1.9.11, although a new version is available. http://www.videohelp.com/software/Virtualdub and (3) Deshaker 3.1 http://www.guthspot.se/video/deshaker.htm Since I already had these installed and use them frequently, at least the Frameserver and Virtudaldub, it was pretty easy.

The first step would be to install these and make sure you know how to frameserve to Virtualdub. Deshaker is a Virtualdub video filter used for for image stabilization. It used to be my preferred means of image stabilization for quite awhile and still offers advantages over the more popular Mercalli plug-ins, including the fact that it is freeware and doesn't cost hundreds of $. Essentially, Deshaker like Mercalli is a two pass process. During the first pass, motion changes within the video clip are calculated. On the second pass, these motion changes are applied to the video clip in an attempt to make the video clip more stable.

Now to the nitty gritty. In order to apply the motion of one video clip (clip 1) to another video clip (clip 2), the first requirement is that the two clips are the same length. Conceptually, it's like copy and paste--copy the motion from clip 1 and paste that motion on to clip 2. To do this the following steps are required. (1) For clip 1, frameserve to Virtudaldub, apply the Deshaker filter, and run the pass one analysis. Close Virtualdub, return to Vegas and stop the frameserver. (2) Go to clip 2, frameserve to Virtualdub, apply the Deshaker filter, and this time select Pass 2. Choose your compression codec and then save. That's it--pretty simple. I might add that, within Virtualdub, you can save your configuration settings (filter, compression, etc.) and simply "load" them. E.g. Deshaker Pass 1, Deshaker Pass 2, etc. Makes it a lot quicker than having to manually add the filter, select the compression codec, etc. each time.

If you want to change the motion, like I did in the last clip of the demo, you will need to use Excel. From the Filter:Deshaker window in Virtualdub, open the Deshaker.log file, copy and paste into Excel. Then change the X,Y,Z values however you like, copy, and replace the Deshaker.log values with the new ones. Again, pretty simple. The documentation in the Deshaker website is pretty good in describing the various parameters in both the Deshaker window and the log file contents.

If you want to try this approach and run into problems, just post back. Good luck.

wwaag


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Wayne Waag
Re: Need to Simulate Hand-held Motion
on Oct 29, 2015 at 10:10:48 pm

I've done a little more work on this to further simplify the process. I've learned that if you want to increase the "amplitude" of motion that is added, simply increase the values of the Motion Smoothness parameters. The default values are 1000, which actually seem pretty good. I tried values of 5000 and 10000--the result being increased shakiness. Conversely, if you want to reduce the amount, simply reduce the Motion Smoothness parameters. Using this procedure, there is no need to fool around with the log file in Excel.

wwaag


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