Archive for the ‘stabilizer’ Category

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

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

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…


Mocha & AE for Tracking & Stabilising

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

In fact there is an excellent-looking series of tutorials at

Effects-Order: Denoise before Deshake

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

This is my impression, from the expressed views of others:

  • If you have e.g. 60i or 50i then do any stabilization first, so it gets maximum temporal information, prior to any deinterlacing e.g. to corresponding 30p or 25p.  Presumably if double-deinterlacing e.g. to 60p or 50p then this is immaterial.
  • If you’re using noise reduction, always do that prior to stabilisation as it helps the algorithm to concentrate on wanted detail and not on random noise. But then if it’s Neat Video denoising then that works best with stable progressive material.


iPhone Camera Enhancement: stabilization & wide-angle

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

The idea of the OWLE Bubo is to get better video from your iPhone. You place the iPhone into the provided silicone case; pop it into the Bubo and go. You now have wide-angle optics on your iPhone as well as a more stable grip.  Can also (reporte

The wide-angle is especially desirable since the inbuilt camera lens is too zoomed-in for most filming purposes.

Deshaker by Gunnar Thalin: Usage & Background Info

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Some good links:

  • Doom9 forum attended by Deshaker’s author (Gunnar Thalin):
    • Highly recommended, give it a trawl-through (allow an hour or so!).
    • Many specifics and clear explanations beyond the user manual.

Deshaker by Gunnar Thalin: Tips

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Tips from Deshaker’s author, Gunnar Thalin []:

  • Q:
    • Any recommendations specifically for vehicle, motorcycle in my case, mounted videos?
    • Are there particular settings that would work better for high speed movement? 
  • A:
    • I know a lot of people seem to be using Deshaker for those kind of videos, but it’s not really designed to handle videos where the camera “moves around”, at least not where it moves very fast. Deshaker can only handle panning, rotation and zoom. That said, I’ve seen some very good deshaked videos of that kind.
    • As always, make sure you’re using a high enough shutter speed, if possible. There shouldn’t be any motion blur in each frame.
    • Also, you would probably get *a lot* better results if the camera didn’t have a rolling shutter. But I believe most helmet mounted cameras today have a rolling shutter. Deshaker can remove rolling shutter effects but only if the shaking isn’t extreme.
    • I would also recommend trying to stabilize only on the most distant parts in the frames, since the “moving inwards”-effect is less there. You can do that by ignoring the other areas.
    • And turn off zoom smoothing by settings zoom smoothness to 0. You will also need to change the edge compensation type if you do that. Start with “None”, maybe.
    • Finally, you should probably increase the value for “discard motion of blocks that move > X pixels in wrong direction”. That’s to allow the blocks to move “freely” a little, since Deshaker can’t handle the “moving inwards”-effect.
    • But maybe you should ask someone who’s actually stabilized these kind of videos. I haven’t.

Glide-shots: Steady-Shot / Smooth-Deshake-Stabilize / SteadyCam

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Which is best?   Depends on the camera, scene and shot dynamics I guess.  The same point is queried at the following thread:

Some general advice from a computer-post-savvy author: definitely use the camera’s SteadyShot:

Limitations of post

  • Stabilization necessitates motion estimation and image reconstruction, which are extremely CPU-heavy, hence really slow to execute.
  • Most stabilization apps (in post) can’t currently cope with motion-blurred edges or parallax effects (though both should be possible in principle, by deconvolution and 3D modelling both informed from multiple frames).
  • For rolling-shutter-ed footage (e.g. CMOS sensors as in Sony Exmor as in Sony XDCAM-EX e.g. EX1 & EX3), there exist options to reduce the effect (don’t expect perfection, but may suffice):

My experiences:

  • Stabilizing Tools:
    • Gunnar Thalin’s Deshaker works really well.  And it is multi-threaded, really speeds up the process.  The author says it is more intended for handheld pans etc. than fast-shaking shots from vehicles etc. (but has nevertheless seen good results in such situations).
      • The author says [] to try “to stabilize only on the most distant parts in the frames, since the moving inwards-effect is less there”.  And “you should probably increase the value for [discard motion of blocks that move > X pixels in wrong direction]. That’s to allow the blocks to move “freely” a little, since Deshaker can’t handle the “moving inwards”-effect.
      • Possibly equally applicable to other smooth/stabilize/deshake tools ?
    • Boris’s Optical/Motion Stabilizer (in Boris Red 4.3.3 on XP) is only single-threaded and I find it slower, clunkier and less intuitive than Deshaker.  Has a Smooth mode, which is like the others here, as well as a Stabilize mode (try to keep frame static, no good for motion then).  The other tools can be configured to do the same thing.
    • Mercalli in Sony Vegas has no mode for 720p50 but otherwise is pretty good and very intuitive and configurable.
    • FCP’s SmoothCam Effect worked best for a challenging clip for wobbly-hand-held camera tracking close past an object (a Formula-1 car) hence huge degree of moving-inwards effect.  The default settings worked straight away.  The result quality was way above that of the other tools.  On the other hand sometimes it’s not the best (sorry, forgot the exact situation).
  • Cameras & Shots:
    • Historically, using a TRV33 DV HandyCam indoors (hence low-light hence long shutter time):
      • Way back in the past, using a (now ancient) TRV33 DV handy-cam (which has huge sensor margin i.e. spare pixels), when I shot big zooms to lecture audience individuals (e.g. question-time) I had the camera’s steady-shot (digital, not mirror) enabled  and used Gunnar Thalin’s Deshaker (VirtualDub plugin) also.  The result was astoundingly steady.
      • The same arrangement worked OK with hand or shoulder mounted cam for walk-throughs past nearby objects (e.g. walls, people, furniture).
      • An attempt to do the same thing without steady-shot enabled on the camera resulted in seriously motion-blurred edges.
    • Now, using a Sony EX3:
      • With camera Steady-Shot set to Medium, hand-held pans and motion past nearby objects seem to acquire a positional instability, as if the camera feedback mechanism needs greater damping. Maybe the camera’s internal mirror “suspension” has to be tighter (than the TRV33 digital equivalent) because it lacks the generous pixels margin of the TRV33?  or maybe something to do with the mirror’s inertia?  Or (real-time-constrained) processing-power?
        • Experimentation is needed with the camera’s other SteadyShot modes (High, Low).
        • In the absence of more generous sensor pixel margins, I wish it could be loosened-up e.g. to allow black borders (to crop in post) so as to permit smoother rides overall.

FCP “Lock & Load” image stabilizer

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

Lock & Load imagestabilizer for FCP, allegedly 12 times faster than SmoothCam and more featureful.