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]