Improve stabilization

The automatic motion analysis (analysis without trackers) used by the Stabilize behavior works best with real images. Artificial images, such as those with no texture, are not recommended for use with the Stabilize behavior’s automatic mode. Shots with very strong pans are also not recommended.

Use the following techniques to improve the results of footage stabilization:

Add trackers to a portion of a stabilize operation

If a stabilized clip has a bumpy section that’s not getting smoothed, you can add trackers to noncontiguous sections of a clip. Any stabilize data from the automatic motion analysis is overwritten by the portions of the clip analyzed using the onscreen trackers.

  1. After the Stabilize motion analysis is complete, play the clip to determine the section you want to add trackers to.

  2. Set an Out point for the tracker analysis by positioning the playhead at the frame where you want to stop the analysis, then choosing Mark > Mark Play Range Out.

  3. Position the playhead at the frame where you want to start the tracker analysis, then do one of the following:

    • To analyze X and Y position changes in the footage, click the Add button in the Behaviors Inspector to add an Anchor tracker.

    • To analyze changes in X and Y position as well as rotation and scale in the footage, click the Add button in the Behaviors Inspector two times to add an Anchor tracker and a Rotation-Scale tracker.

  4. Position the newly added tracker on the reference pattern you want to track in the Canvas, then click the Analyze button in the HUD or Inspector.

    The specified play range is tracked, creating track points in the Canvas and tracking keyframes in the Keyframe Editor.

    Note: When using this strategy to track multiple noncontiguous sections of the clip, use the same tracker to simplify the track and to avoid clutter in the Keyframe Editor.

    This strategy needs meaningful data—a large range of frames—to yield the best results.

Modify smoothing parameters

If you’re trying to smooth the motion in a clip, first try adjusting the smoothing parameters (without reanalyzing the clip).

  • In the Behaviors Inspector, click the Method pop-up menu, choose Smooth, then adjust the Translation Smooth, Rotation Smooth, and Scale Smooth sliders.

Reanalyze the clip at a higher-quality setting

  • Before analyzing a clip, open the Behaviors Inspector, click the Quality pop-up menu, then choose Better.

    Although the analysis may take longer at this setting, the quality will be higher.