Video Stabilisation

So Google have recently added a stabilisation algorithm to their Youtube upload service, meaning that video you shot on your phone while riding a unicycle over cobbles will now be perfectly usable! This is great news for all of us…

Of course image stabilisation isn’t a new concept. The software we use, Final Cut Pro and After Effects, both have settings you can use to smooth out your image. The process works by analysing the footage for untoward movement in the frame, and making adjustments to the frames to smooth it over and keep your subjects on a level field. Usually this means you will lose some detail in the image as the program compensates for the frame positioning.

If you have a look at the example YouTube give in their blog, you’ll see the processed footage is of a pretty low quality with some odd shifting happening with the horizontal lines. To be honest though, considering what the video was like before, it’s pretty impressive. Because you’re losing quality, stabilisation should only be used as a last resort, for when you can’t lay a track or get your camera on a rig or dolly. We’ve used it after riding in speedboats and helicopters (yes, we do work for MI5), when we can’t adequately support the camera itself. The good news is it used to be a pro feature that took hours of processing time.

Now your videos can be processed automatically on upload to the internet. Futures looking good for my planned off road extreme unicycle promo

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Heehaw is an Edinburgh based production company working across promo, film and animation

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