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Adobe's New 'Warp Stabilizer' Effect to Fix Camera Shake and Rolling Shutter Automagically

Adobe has just previewed “Warp Stabilizer,” a new After Effects-bundled tool that fixes camera shake and rolling shutter artifacting with a simple drag-and-drop operation. Or so they claim; their technology sneak peek certainly makes it look like magic. While there are plenty of camera stabilization plugins on the market, this one fixes camera shake across all axes and will presumably ship with the next version of After Effects (instead of requiring a separate purchase, like many stabilization plugins). One thing I had in mind as I watched this demo: 4K.


There are many reasons to consider shooting 4K, but in my book “you can reframe your shots in post” has never been a good justification. If you need to reframe your shots frequently, then you should probably hire a different operator! On the other hand, I do see the value of being able to crop out an unwanted element (like a microphone, for example) or smoothing out a jitter from an otherwise perfect take. These things happen — especially in guerilla or documentary filmmaking. But with any scaling or zooming of a normal shot — on, say 1080p footage that will be watched in 1080p — you are sacrificing resolution. Unless you’re shooting in 4K and finishing in 2K, or 5K and finishing at 4K — and then suddenly this warp stabilizer plugin could theoretically work its magic without any loss in resolution (though you may notice some interesting motion blur artifacts).

One thing I also like about this AE functionality is that the plugin automates the scaling, rotation, and cropping, but applies those values to the clip on the timeline, allowing for further tweaking (which, being realistic, will be necessary a lot of the time). So, what do you think — impressed?

[via ProVideo Coalition]

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  • Saw this tech in the SIGGRAPH 2009 presentation. 2 years to market, but totally worth it! I can’t wait to see prices on camera stabilizers drop accordingly. I hope.

  • It looks like a perfect built in plug! I just wonder how the people who have spent good money on a thurd party software are going to react?

  • The jello correction is quite impressive, although other than that it’s very much like the Smoothcam filter – and as you say, motion blur remains a problem unless the shutter speed is cranked up as well.

    It was always telling that Apple demoed Smoothcam with shot made by a tripod on a gently rocking boat, ie. lots to stabilize, no motion blur or jellocam.

  • awesome! and also….does this not sound like a component on a spaceship?

  • Real new would be a stabilization without cropping: http://vimeo.com/19866100

    • I wanted so badly for what you linked to, to be the promised land. But that footage had what looked like interpolated mirrored pixels stretched along the gap space.

      Cropped? No. Does it look good? Unfortunately, also no.

      • You are partially right! Yes the footage is bad an for professional use only partial useable, but the shown algorithm is using up to 120 future and previous frames to reconstruct the missing parts (best seen, when the actor turns around the corner and the head top is overlaid by the background).

  • HOLY CRAP. That’s pretty impressive, and a godsend for the guerilla market; but you’re absolutely right Koo, about he cropping on the footage requiring 4K or 5K acquisition.

  • This is the kind of thing you expect to see posted on April 1st.

    If it works — if it isn’t just another mediocre thing from Adobe — then it’s the biggest deal since the 5Dm2.

  • Lostfootage on 04.7.11 @ 6:00PM

    Hmm, seems comparable to steady cam filter in FCP. I would like to see comparison.

  • This looks really similar to Mercalli’s ProDad Stabilizer – which is to my knowledge the most robust tool for this as it stands. I often get great results with it and I can tweak its settings to get exactly what I want unless its particularly odd footage. I actually don’t see what this Adobe tool will add besides being bundled in AE – which to me is a bit of a hassle in itself – I use Mercalli right on my Premiere timeline (it works for other NLEs too).

    http://www.prodad.com/home/products/videostabilizing/300391667,l-us.xhtml

  • Learning to shoot properly in the first place would be a lot more beneficial. Amatuer camera operators need to learn to use their whole body as the pivot point, keeping their arms locked still. Not using their elbows or wrists to move the camera. The same for walking shots.

  • cropping a bit with GH2 is still sharper than Canon so I am all for it.
    Jello correction would be a killer because that’s my biggest complaint about FCP Smoothcam.

  • Epic. Glad this is going to be bundled inside CS6… going to have to acquire more memory to have AE and Premiere running at the same time though.

  • Good one adobe but people should not rely on stabiliser if they learn to shoot steady.

  • Good one Emil too many people think because they own a camera they are g Lucas , they never try practising shooting free hand. Practice makes perfect

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