Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 Warp Stabilizer Slow: No GPU/CUDA, Maybe no MultiThread?

My current project, a live rock performance (at an offshore radio party on a ship) involved significant quantities of handheld footage.  I’m editing this one in Adobe Premiere,  A lot of the handheld footage benefited from stabilization.  The easiest stabilization to hand is the Warp Stabilizer effect within Premiere.

It is really handy, and worked for me maybe 75% of the time, other situations gave unrealistic or unusable results.  So there is still a role for keeping back-up options such as Gunnar Thalin’s excellent Deshaker (and rendering to intermediates e.g. in GoPro-Cineform).

It is SLOW, a real time-loser, the main delay being its Motion Analysis stage.

  • This stage is computationally intensive in principle, a fundamental issue for any such device.
  • Some systems employ parallel execution here, to good effect: vastly reduced analysis (waiting) time.
  • However it seems that Premiere CS6 does not employ GPU here, and from Windows’ Task Manager, I infer that it is not even using multithreading (though I don’t know that for a fact).

Other than that, it does apparently use GPU/CUDA for its subsequent stabilize/deshake stage, and indeed that stage is very quick indeed, facilitating experimentation with settings (e.g. Subspace Warp or Position mode) to obtain the desired effect.

Incidentally, I found the default Subspace Warp mode to be “fragile”, so I use Position instead:

  • It often makes things in the background flap or wobble in unrealistic manner.
  • I therefore use Position mode, the simplest mode, as my default, then only advance to “Rotation” (etc.) if there is camera rotation.
  • It didn’t work well with very noisy footage, e.g.  Sony Z1 in Hyper-Gain mode, even if when denoising was applied earlier in the effects-chain.

Lastly, it’s a shame there’s no way/settings for:

  • Defining a mask, rectangular or otherwise, for region(s) to focus on or to avoid.  For example to prevent it locking onto a singer’s head instead of the stage.
  • Telling it to definitely not try to compensate for rolling-shutter.  When I know the camera is CCD, I ought to be able to tell the software not to consider rolling-shutter.  I never fully trust “Auto”, not in any application or context…


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