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Shaky Video Fix?

TullyB's picture
Last seen: 6 years 12 months ago
Joined: 09/07/2007 - 4:14pm
I'm brand new to video, and I notice my hands shake some when I'm taping, resulting in shaky videos. Is there an editing program that will help remove that? Thank you. Tully

OnaRoll's picture
Last seen: 8 years 3 months ago
Joined: 05/30/2006 - 12:13pm
Short answer: nope.

Less short answer:

If you're exceedingly patient, in theory you could use your editing software to go in frame by frame, and adjust every frame so that the picture was stable, but this method would take forever. Seriously, there are 30 frames per second, and even if you could move with lightning speed and do one frame every four seconds (I don't think I could do that), you'd be looking at two hours of non-stop editing just to stabilize one minute of video.

The best advice I can give you is to quit shaking so much when you videotape. How do you do that? Practice, practice, practice! The first time I took a camera off the tripod, I was all over the place. Today, my handheld shots are only slightly less stable than the ones we get from tripod shooting.

Here's an exercise to try. For the next few weeks, every spare moment you've got should be spent with your camcorder. Record everything handheld, and at the end of each day, sit down and watch your tape. Make notes of when you're more stable, and when you're all over the place. Try holding the camera different ways, like holding it low, against your body while you brace yourself against something. Try holding our camera in your right hand, and grasping your right wrist with your left hand for extra support. In a couple weeks time, you'll stabilize your shots a lot. And if you can't take your camcorder someplace, take a 5 lb. weight. carrying around a little extra weight will build those muscles, and the more arm strangth you have, the less shake you'll see.

But sadly, there's not a whole lot you can do for the footage you've got. There are some programs out there that claim to help reduce this, but they usually don't work all that well, and your video quality suffers greatly after punching them through.

jetson's picture
Last seen: 8 years 10 months ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 4:49am
Agreed - there really is no way to remove shake without a tripod or a balancing device. Spread your feet slightly apart, hold the camera with two hands, take a deep breath before you press record, make sure your elbows are bent and essentially resting against your body. Breathe out slowly while you tape. Also, with hand-held recording, you shouldn't be taping long segments - that should be reserved for the tri-pod.

If your video is that bad, maybe you can edit a sequence of good still frames together along with some music to get through the shaky segments - I know it's not exactly what you taped, but it would be a much better viewing experience!

Good luck.

Brian Alves's picture
Last seen: 9 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 06/13/2005 - 8:14pm
There is no replacement for a tripod or monopod and real shaky footage almost always can't be fixed... but all is not lost.

There are standalone software products, techniques, plugins, special hardware and some editing software that is made for fixing shaky footage or has video stabilization built right in.

Standalone Software

ArcSoft's Video Stabilizer
http://www.arcsoft.com/products/videostabilizer/

DiGiStudio digital video stabilizer
http://www.dv99.com/product.htm

Software with stabilization built in:

Avid, PowerDirector, Shake and Ulead Video Studio - just to name a few.

Plugins and filters

Final Cut Pro has a few filters like the smooth cam filter and the image stabilization filter:
http://www.chv-plugins.com/cms/Fx-Script/MotionTracker-collection/Image-Stabilizer.php

DeShaker filter for Virtual Dub
http://www.compression.ru/video/deshaker/index_en.html

FXstabilizer for iMovie
http://digitalthoughtsoftware.com/fx/

Hardware:

The StableEyes video stabilization system
http://www.ovation.co.uk/Video-Stabilization.html

Techniques

An editing technique to use in any editing software is to to enlarging the video, then cut off the edges to stabilize it.

After effects:
http://www.dvpa.com/public/536.cfm

TullyB's picture
Last seen: 6 years 12 months ago
Joined: 09/07/2007 - 4:14pm
Thank you so very much! I wondered if it was something that would get better as I practiced, or if it was just the way I am. I'm glad I didn't decide to be a brain surgeon. I"ll try the suggestions and check out the software. I just downloaded a trial version of Premier Elements to play with. Haven't looked at it yet, I bet I'll be back with questions within minutes....Thanks again. Tully

diningroomProductions's picture
Last seen: 6 years 12 months ago
Joined: 09/08/2007 - 2:38pm
One item to keep in mind is that most if not all "deshake" software works by "zooming" the original footage and then shifting while cropping the frames to eliminate the "shake." This of course will degrade the footage quality. Some software packages are better at this than others. This should be an absolute last resort of course.

One item you may want to invest in is a "Monopod." This will be a tremendous help to you in the future. More convenient to carry around than a tripod and can usually be used in ANY situation which would require hand held over tripod. I've found the additional weight hanging from the bottom of my camera when I do need to lift the monopod from the ground helps me to steady my "handheld" shot.

I purchase cheap units ($18.00). When I inevitably damage it I can economically replace it. Cheap means cheap X-D but still much more stable than handheld.