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Best way to stabilize a moving object?

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Robert Gilman
Best way to stabilize a moving object?
on Jul 11, 2013 at 7:00:30 pm

I'm editing a conference presentation with footage from two cameras plus the slides as images. For most of the video, the slide occupies most of the frame and the presenter is in the remaining (portrait-orientation) section. I need to keep the presenter smoothly centered in that window, but I'm dealing with both camera motion and presenter motion (he walks around). What's the best way to stabilize just the presenter (allowing the background to shift as needed)? I'm working in FCPX 10.0.8 (multicam for the two cameras) and have Motion 5.0.7.

Thanks!


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Ronny Courtens
Re: Best way to stabilize a moving object?
on Jul 12, 2013 at 11:08:47 am

What you want to do is reframing, not stabilizing.

Did your two cams follow the presenter (one CU, one MS) and in your final edit you want to mix both cams in your portrait frame next to the slides?

Or did you shoot one cam CU presenter and the other one wide (including the stage and the slides), and in your final edit you want to mix the CU and the slides with the wide shot from the entire stage?



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Robert Gilman
Re: Best way to stabilize a moving object?
on Jul 12, 2013 at 3:51:28 pm

Thanks for responding. The two cams were not as consistent as that. The event was streamed and the director sometimes took a wide view from each cam -- and sometimes did MS and audience shots. The cams were on tripods but the movement isn't always smooth so I need some stabilization as well as reframing. Even the wide shots usually have material of the presenter that is usable for my purposes with some reframing, cropping and zooming. During the slide portion of the presentation I never use the full wide shot but always use the slide image with the presenter in the portrait frame.

The event was shot in 1080i and is an hour 35 minutes long. So far I've been doing the reframing manually, and the results aren't that bad, but I'd like to know if there is a better workflow. I could go through the whole thing with a manual pass and then take the difficult sections into Motion for a Track Region stabilization. Is there a better automated way to do this upfront? Should I be looking at other tools (Lock & Load?, AE?)?


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Ronny Courtens
Re: Best way to stabilize a moving object?
on Jul 13, 2013 at 10:13:28 pm

Ah, I see. Well, that's quite an undertaking (-:

If the manual reframing works for you I wouldn't do it any other way. Tracking works best on short clips. If the cameras have been shooting many different views over one long clip the tracker would lose its tracking information too often anyway. I think your idea of just bringing the difficult parts to Motion is good. For this kind of tracking/stabilization you really don't need anything else.



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