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Stabilizing footage from a camera on a car

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Steffen KelzenbergStabilizing footage from a camera on a car
by on Aug 18, 2016 at 11:51:29 am

Hello fellow editors,

I've been passively reading this forum for quite a while now but now it's time to get involved in this community.
This is my first post so please deal gently with me (and my english)...

I am currently working on a low-budget hyperlapse project. At night. From a camera mounted on a car. On a local highway.
You probably have guessed already how tricky this is but I managed to get some decent footage out of it.
What I'm not quite satisfied with is the stabilisation of the footage in premiere pro cc.
The warp stabilizer does it's job (and it takes ages to complete) but it always crops the footage too much or alternatively creates black bars around the footage. I think it gets too much confused because of the moving camera.

Please see the footage here: https://www.pxf-lab.de/owncloud/s/i13j51JN3VqpDNv
(The edit so far contains just denoise, distortion correction and speed.)

All I want is a little smoothing all across the footage and get rid of most of the shakes caused by road bumps.
I know that some of the lights are blurred as well because of longer exposures those bumps but that doesn't matter here.

Is there something like frame-to-frame-smoothing? Better settings on the warp stabilizer?
Any other ideas how I can accomplish this?

Thanks in advance!
Steffen


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Alan LloydRe: Stabilizing footage from a camera on a car
by on Aug 18, 2016 at 3:09:17 pm

Even without looking at it, my first thought is that you have to stabilize the car and (at the very least) the camera first.

Trying to fix road bumps, etc., after the fact is not the way to go.


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Steffen KelzenbergRe: Stabilizing footage from a camera on a car
by on Aug 18, 2016 at 3:33:42 pm

Well the footage is already shot...


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Dave LaRondeRe: Stabilizing footage from a camera on a car
by on Aug 18, 2016 at 5:31:10 pm

[Steffen Kelzenberg] "Well the footage is already shot..."

....and I say leave it alone. Don't stabilize it. It's a time lapse! It moves at a frantic pace! A little bump here and there doesn't detract from anything, in my opinion. I think you're worrying about something very trivial.

Now, if you had bumped a locked-down camera during a time lapse of the sun setting over a lovely field, I could see stabilizing the shot. But driving on urban roads? I wouldn't even bother.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Herb SevushRe: Stabilizing footage from a camera on a car
by on Aug 18, 2016 at 4:56:24 pm

[Steffen Kelzenberg] "The warp stabilizer does it's job (and it takes ages to complete) but it always crops the footage too much or alternatively creates black bars around the footage. I think it gets too much confused because of the moving camera."

These artifacts are related to the amplitude of the original movement - the more the original shot moves, the further the center changes from one frame to the next, the more the stabilizer tries to re-center the shot by moving it against the direction of the movement, the more the edge of your frame becomes visible. Vibrations have very little amplitude and can be removed without much cropping, wild camera movement - not so much.

There are many controls inside of Warp Stabilizer to help you find a compromise between smoothness and cropping.

the first thing to try is lowering the "smoothness" value, which is set at 50% as a default, to something less - the less smooth, the less crop.

The other thing you can try is to twirl down the "Borders" tab and in the "framing" menu choose "Stabilize, Synthesize Edges." This will attempt to synthesize a background instead of showing the black borders.
The amount of synthesis can be controlled under the "Advanced tab."

I will warn you that a poorly mounted camera on the roof of a vibrating and moving car riding over a bumpy road might be beyond the ability of Warp Stabilizer to fix to your satisfaction. The stabilizer isn't human, it doesn't know how to separate what you might call the acceptable car motion from the unacceptable bumps in the road - it merely analyzes pixels and compares them frame to frame. You might need something like Mocha to analyze and fix this properly, and even then you might be dissatisfied with the results.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Steffen KelzenbergRe: Stabilizing footage from a camera on a car
by on Aug 18, 2016 at 7:27:26 pm

Thank you very much for the detailed feedback!

I guess the warp stabilizer seems not to be the tool with which I will get my desired results...unfortunately.
And you are right, an urban road might need some bumps otherwise it would feel like a continuous dolly move.
But there is still one issue that bothers me.
I want to get rid of these micro-shakes. My goal is to get that "smooth feeling" as if you watch a 60fps video compared to 24fps.
It is already in 60fps but the results are far away from that feeling. Do you know what I mean?

My gained knowledge does not cover this. I can only imagine that this can be done by frame-to-frame-blending or something...any ideas/techniques?

Thanks again!


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Duke SwedenRe: Stabilizing footage from a camera on a car
by on Aug 19, 2016 at 2:07:11 am

That's how I drive when I have to go to the bathroom and I'm five miles from home ;-)

Seriously, I don't see anything that needs to be stabilized. If anything my only "complaint" would be that the sky looks like crap. You said you didn't denoise yet, right? I shudder at how long THAT's gonna take.


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Ann BensRe: Stabilizing footage from a camera on a car
by on Aug 19, 2016 at 12:28:59 pm

Warp STabilizer can do wonders it cannot perform miracles.
Imo the clip is not suited for Warp Stibilizer, too much motion.

-----------------------------------------------
Adobe Certified Expert Premiere Pro CS6/CC
Adobe Community Professional


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Vince BecquiotRe: Stabilizing footage from a camera on a car
by on Aug 19, 2016 at 2:12:49 am

I would check Reelsteady. Not exactly cheap, but it might do the job, at least worth checking the trial.

http://www.reelsteady.com/

Vince Becquiot

Indigo Live | Kaptis Media

San Francisco Bay Area


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