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Getting a more steady shot

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dallas kruse
Getting a more steady shot
on Aug 15, 2014 at 2:16:03 pm

I'm newer to the field of filming and production in the video world...

I have a Canon T3i and in production for a music video.

I have a lot of exterior shots where I'm tracking with the actor who's walking in a field at a fast pace. There's other shots where he's standing in a spot and I circle around him very fast.

I've been doing this just hand-held on the camera and while some shots look great with the hand-held (gives sort of a "manic" feel) ... the circular shot is just too shaky.

I've done some research online re: stabilizers and what not ... I've even built a small stabilizer using metal piping and a counterweight (I need to rebuild properly due to the drill holes not being 100% centered) ... but a lot of shots are being sped up in post and when there's shakiness in the camera movements, it comes out almost unusable when sped up.

I'm focusing in and out with my hand during these shots and I think that is adding to the shake due to my hand being on the lens.

Can anyone recommend, in their opinion, the best camera stabilizer on a budget? I'd even be willing to construct one on my own.

I can't really afford a full body rig (real steadicam).

If anyone has any pointers it'd be much appreciated.

Music Producer dabbling in Video.
FCP 7. CS3, 5. AE.
Canon T3i.


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Bill Davis
Re: Getting a more steady shot
on Aug 15, 2014 at 10:15:23 pm

Dallas,

There are plenty of stabilizers on the market at all sorts of price points, but before you go there, have you considered adding shot stabilization in post?

It's gotten a LOT better in recent years.

The newer software packages - and since I'm a FCP X guy, thats where my expertise is - can so a pretty amazing job of algorithmically smoothing out shots after the fact.

Most of these processes blow up the shot and then move the frame center in order to compensate for motion. So you often end up with a tighter final shot that you're original framing.

The solution is to start to shoot somewhat wider if you know you'll want to stabilize the shots in post.

If you want, to send me a PM link to a snippet of the bad "circle shot" I'd be happy to run it through the X stabilizer for you to see if it's an avenue you want to investigate.

Good luck.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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dallas kruse
Re: Getting a more steady shot
on Aug 16, 2014 at 6:52:47 pm

Bill

thanks for the post! Great ideas.I'm in FCP 7 and also have After Effects CS6.
The clip shown here is a push/pull reveal. The actor is really tall 6'4" and also standing on top of a desk in the shot ... so getting the camera as high as his head and pushing in and pulling out was really tough.
The clip right now is sped up probably 400% or so which adds to the shakiness.

This is why I'm looking for a good stabilizer/steadicam/etc....

Push Pull Shakey Shot



Music Producer dabbling in Video.
FCP 7. CS3, 5. AE.
Canon T3i.


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Bill Davis
Re: Getting a more steady shot
on Aug 17, 2014 at 4:29:37 am

Here's literally about 1 minute's work in FCP X.

Nothing but the default stabilize filter. I could have "worked it" - but just wanted you to see what a standard pre-set could accomplish.

shakeyshot after x



Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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dallas kruse
Re: Getting a more steady shot
on Aug 17, 2014 at 6:17:03 am

WOW.

Thats impressive.

I do have FCP X but since I'm not as used to it as FCP7, I use 7. Can this be done in 7? Or in Motion? I have both.

Music Producer dabbling in Video.
FCP 7. CS3, 5. AE.
Canon T3i.


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Bill Davis
Re: Getting a more steady shot
on Aug 17, 2014 at 7:42:44 pm

Maybe, maybe not.

Part of the whole thing about X is that the dev team was able to dump all the old underlying foundational technology in favor or more modern code - so instead of the old-school Quicktime foundations that FCP Legacy was built on - they moved to AV Foundation, Core Video and other more modern frameworks and APIs. I'm not a coder, so i don't know where this shot stabilization code is coming from.

I just know it's there. It's simple to use. And it's VERY powerful.

One thing I DO believe is that the NLE world is changing. Hanging onto programs for your primary work that were written years or even decades ago, when there are so much more modern programs out there - is a pretty suspect strategy, IMO.

FCP X is totally chock full of similarly powerful and deceptively simple capabilities that make getting great results simpler than they used to be.

And a layer below that is almost mind-boggling precision control of nearly every part of the video making process, all built around a modern metadata focused workflow.

The problem is that most people STILL misunderstand what the program is and what it can do. The original "It's iMovie Pro" - slap is turning out to be one of the single stupidest analysis of anything ever articulated.

And Apple is proving that month by month with the way they're developing X's capabilities.

If you're just coming into editing, I can't recommend more strongly that if you aren't saddled with years of ingrained workflow - you should start exploring it.

It might just change your while outlook on editing.

Good luck.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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dallas kruse
Re: Getting a more steady shot
on Aug 17, 2014 at 8:42:25 pm

Good points. I think 7 just made more sense to me and delving into X was something that, given my inexperience and patience level, was something I didn't necessarily wasn't ready to learn/tackle.

I'm gonna take your advice and really dig into X.

THANK YOU!

Music Producer dabbling in Video.
FCP 7. CS3, 5. AE.
Canon T3i.


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Bill Davis
Re: Getting a more steady shot
on Aug 21, 2014 at 5:21:25 pm

You're welcome Dallas,

One last bit of advice, if I may...

If you're like most of us and you typically learn new software by diving in and clicking around until you figure out what's up - please do NOT take this approach to learning FCP X. Doing so fill needlessly frustrate you in a big way.

Instead, start by learning the FLOW of content (and metadata) through the program. Begin at import and study how that works. Then spend a good bit of time at the Library level understanding how files are managed and especially how the keyword database system works. Only after you have a decent understanding of this stuff, would I recommend that you move into actual editing in your story lines.

The biggest obstacle to success in X is typically people who have editing experience and try to make it work like their last NLE software. It's NOT like your last NLE software. It might look like it in many ways - but Apple truly gutted and re-imagined what an NLE should be, so if you just use it like older programs - you'll miss most of the goodness for too long and you'll fight it rather than opening up to the amazing power of having a range-based keyword driven database bolted onto a magnetic editorial system.

The moment you "get it" you'll really have a very hard time going back to anything else and you'll have a very strong sensation that this is a much better system for editing modern content.

My experience at least. Good luck.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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dallas kruse
Re: Getting a more steady shot
on Aug 21, 2014 at 5:28:53 pm

Bill...
great advice.

I'm currently in a project and gonna finish in 7.

I filmed 1 song live in my recording studio and thought it might be good to practice on X since there's no real deadline. Needless to say, I ditched it and went to 7 ... I'll have to practice on down time.

The editing is SO MUCH different. But, i did get the LYNDA training videos for X and I'll start going through them.

As I said, I'm not trying to remake Star Wars ... just a hobbyist who finds this stuff as an avenue for art and fun.

Music Producer dabbling in Video.
FCP 7. CS3, 5. AE.
Canon T3i.


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