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Best workflow for adding real-world handheld camera wobble?

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Phil Williams
Best workflow for adding real-world handheld camera wobble?
on Jul 19, 2018 at 5:57:01 pm

I've built a corkboard with some photos stuck to it and animated the camera to move between the photos, revealing them one at a time.

I also want to add some real-world handheld camera wobble. I've created this by shooting about 30 seconds of footage on my phone pointing at a target on my desk while letting my arm shake a bit, motion-tracking the result, and applying that track to a null.

Then I precomped all the image layers and parented the precomp to the null. Bingo, a completely organic-looking handheld camera shake effect.

But is this the best/most efficient way of achieving the result I want?

I've been wondering if there's any way to do this just using the AE camera. Is there a technique for applying the motion track to the camera while also maintaining the specific keyframes that move it from one photo to another at specific points in the timeline?

I know I could use an expression to generate camera wobble, but I think that motion-tracking genuine camera shake produces a more realistic result.


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Blaise Douros
Re: Best workflow for adding real-world handheld camera wobble?
on Jul 19, 2018 at 6:39:35 pm

You may be overthinking this. Your method sounds like it works fine! The "best/most efficient way of achieving the result [you] want" is the way that works the first time, with minimal effort, without adding unnecessary complexity and/or render time. There's not always a Platonic Ideal way to achieve results in AE--writing some magical expression isn't the "purest" way of doing things.

That said, you could also experiment with the Wiggle expression. It also works fine!


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Chris Wright
Re: Best workflow for adding real-world handheld camera wobble?
on Jul 22, 2018 at 2:52:30 am

yes, AE has 'motion sketch' that will record your mouse movements in real time and turn it into keyframes


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