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How to import SynthEYES Stabilization footage into AE CS5?

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Skylar Weeks
How to import SynthEYES Stabilization footage into AE CS5?
on Oct 7, 2011 at 12:07:10 am

I have used SynthEyes to stabilize an aerial video taken from quadricopter. I exported the 3-D info from Syntheyes as a .ma (Maya) file. I then imported the .ma file into AE, re-imported the original footage, interpreted the original footage to make sure the frame rate and pixel aspect are correct, then dragged the original footage onto the top layer.

According to the Syntheyes instructions, this is all I have to do, but the shot is not stabilized in AE. What I have is the original footage layer, then 180 null 3-D layers with the tracking info, and a camera layer.

How do I get the original footage layer to pickup the null layers below with the tracker data to stabilize the shot?

I have already viewed all of the the tutorials available on the SynthEyes site and I have not found any answers or help.... Thank you!

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ben g unguren
Re: How to import SynthEYES Stabilization footage into AE CS5?
on Oct 7, 2011 at 3:40:26 am

Is your 3D tracking export for the stabilized footage or for the non-stabilized?

A typical workflow is to stabilize in Syntheyes, then export the stabilized video as a self-contained movie. In the same pass, you generate your 3D solution from the stabilized footage. These two pieces -- the 3D data, the stabilized-footage export -- go into Maya, go into AE, etc.

It sounds to me like you are trying to perform the stabilization in AE (using 2D trackers from syntheyes) and make that match a 3D motion track in Syntheyes. I've never tried that, so I can't say for sure, but it certainly feels unusual, and considering that syntheyes uses different methods from AE to stabilize, it's unlikely to work.

An alternate workflow would be to track the non-stabilized footage, but send the 2D trackers to AE. Then in AE (or Maya, etc) you would match all your 3D imagery to the non-stabilized footage, then nest that in a new AE comp and average the 2D tracker info into the anchor point data, effectively creating a stabilized image. I can't think of a situation where this would be the better way to go, but if that's what you're going for... go for it!

Ben Unguren
Motion Graphics & Editing

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Skylar Weeks
Re: How to import SynthEYES Stabilization footage into AE CS5?
on Oct 11, 2011 at 9:18:14 pm

Basically, I am not going to be tracking any 3D elements onto the footage... I only want to stabilize the footage. The footage was shot on a GoPro HD attached to a quadrocopter and is very shaky especially when it was hovering. The shot I need to stabilize is the top of a historic building in Salt Lake City.

So I have used the auto track feature in SynthEyes but I have not found any other resources that will help me render out a stabilized shot or at least export the tracking data to AE so that I can stabilize it and render it out from there.

Thanks for the help!

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