December 15, 2010

Stabilize motion without zoom

Mathias Möhl has a new After Effects tutorial video (and project) on his Mamoworld website, Stabilize Motion Without the Need to Zoom, which reconstructs missing parts of the image from other frames (with the freedom to tweak and adjust not found in one-click solutions):

"In this tutorial you learn how to stabilize a shaky shot with the Mocha tracker and the MochaImport script. After stabilization, you usually need to zoom in a bit to get rid of empty areas that show up at the borders of the image. Instead of this, we use a clever technique to fill the missing parts at the borders such that there is no need for zooming any more. The technique uses frames before and after the current frame to fill in parts of the image that are missing in the current frame. Sounds complicated but works very well and is done with a few clicks using MochaImport.

Things to learn in this After Effects tutoria
  • Learn how to track in Mocha (I use Mocha Pro, but it also works with any other variant)
  • Learn how to stabilize a shot with the MochaImport script.
  • Learn how to smooth the camera movement with a simple expression.
  • Learn how to fill in missing parts at the borders of the stabilized footage by inserting appropriate material from the frames before and after the current point in time."

A comment on the tutorial mentions an alternate method using the Echo effect to reconstruct missing areas; another option for minor adjustments is the YY_MorphShake plug-in by Andrew Yang, which stretches the edges of the layer to fill in empty spaces. See also Content-Aware Fill for clean plates + extending edges at AE Portal.

Here's Mathias:

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