Microsoft Plans on Bringing Hyperlapse's Automagic Stabilization to First-Person Shots
Instagram's Hyperlapse app has been relegated by Apple to the island of misfit toys, as it apparently no longer appears on any top 100 App Store lists around the world. As filmmakers we most often make use of stabilization features in post like Adobe After Effects' Warp Stabilizer, but another "automagic" solution could come from an unlikely source: Microsoft. Microsoft is focusing primarily on first-person timelapses, which presents more of a challenge than handheld timelapses due to the increase in camera shake.
As an independent filmmaker I'm always interested in solutions that could take something that would appear as an expensive line item in a budget and reduce it to 20% of the cost at 80% of the production value. Warp Stabilizer already did to even more expensive tools; could consumer-facing Hyperlapse techniques do the same to Warp Stabilizer (at least where timelapse is concerned)?
While this is not a common shot in features, I think you will always find creative filmmakers who make use of new tools and techniques in interesting ways, while others grumble that something has "nothing to do with filmmaking." This is, potentially, one such tool (Microsoft is planning on releasing this as a Windows app). For more on how they achieve this, here's a technical explanation:
But wait, you say — what about Instagram's Hyperlapse, doesn't that do the same thing? They are same same, but different. It can be hard to tell the difference from the finished videos, but the problems with first-person video is the degree of shake is much greater than what Instagram's Hyperlapse would be able to correct for, according to Microsoft:
Instagram's Hyperlapse is similar to existing video stabilization algorithms in that it warps each video frame in order to remove slight camera shake. Unlike Adobe After Effects or the Youtube video stabilizer it does not rely on image analysis but rather the camera's built-in gyroscope to determine the necessary amount of rotation for each frame. To avoid visible out-of-frame regions it zooms into the video to leave some buffer area for cropping.
This works well for sequences with only a little bit of motion, such as walking carefully around an object or filming out of a plane window. However, in less controlled situations, for example with a wearable camera, it breaks down.
Any interest in a Windows app that brings this to the masses, or do you only see yourself using post-production tools like those found in Adobe After Effects and Apple Final Cut Pro X?