So you’ve just come back from vacations (wohoo), having filled 10 gigs of photos and video, only to discover you’re a (let’s be honest here) shitty cameraman without your tripod?
Fret not, for this article will show you the secret to solve your problems!
In an ideal world, your hands are as steady as a rock, and you get Hollywood quality takes. In the real world, however, your clumsy hands could use a hand (hah!).
So here’s your two main options:
This is the proper solution: a system that will compensate for the vibration of your shaky hands and the movement of your body while walking – not unlike the springs on your car allow for a pretty comfortable ride through all sorts of bumps.
Ideally, it will compensate for all the 6 axis (3D traslation + 3D rotation), but in practice you may be limited to less than that. Unfortunately (for most), this depends on how deep your pockets are (buying a ready-to-use steadicam, ranging from 100 bucks to several thousand), or on how handy you are with your toolbox (building a home-built equivalent).
The result could (in theory) be similar to this:
(ah, yeah… a segway, minor detail)
If you can’t spare a segway + a steadycam backpack, there are affordable alternatives. And if you already have many shaking, blurry videos lying on your hard disk, then this is your only option!
We’ll rely on PC software to fix those videos. This, you can do for free at home. There are some payware software packages that may produce slightly better results: but what I’m going to show you is freeware, very quick to use, and good enough quality for most purposes.
The software method may not be that good when compared to an actual steadicam, but hey, it’s better than nothing!
I’m not going to go much into details, so here’s the basics.
For a more detailed guide (including rolling shutter values for some cameras), just read the official Deshaker page, or browse Youtube; there’re some tutorials there too.
The settings basically tune the detection of camera movement, as well as what method will deal with the parts of the image that are left empty after deshaking.
The video below is an example I’ve cooked for you. Each of the 3 processed videos uses a different combination of settings, and was created in no more than 20 minutes each.
I sticked them all together for your viewing pleasure. The improvement can be easily appreciated!
That’s it. Happy filming! 8)
If you insist on using hardware solutions (good!), here’s a neat little trick that’ll allow some smooth panning (provided you’re not walking):