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Old May 14th, 2012, 02:15 PM   #1
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Warp stabilizer for wind shake

I am considering upgrading from Premiere Pro CS5 to CS6 mainly for the warp stabilizer function, as some of my wildlife footage was shot at very long focal length in windy conditions resulting in irritating camera shake for otherwise good footage. An example is here:

My question is whether warp stabilizer will help with this kind of footage, accepting that some loss of clarity will result because of blur in individual frames. Or does warp stabilizer only help with the lower frequency drifts associated with hand holding a camera.

I would only invest $300 in the upgrade if I could be reasonably confident that I could improve this kind of footage with the stabilizer function.

Many thanks,

Neil
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Old May 14th, 2012, 02:37 PM   #2
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Re: Warp stabilizer for wind shake

Warp stabiliser might help a bit but I've just scanned your video and I think you would be better off putting that money towards a better, more heavy weight tripod. I use the Warp Stabilser in CS5.5 and before that Smoothcam in FCP and they work to a fashion - but nothing beats getting better footage into your NLE, whatever it might be.

If weight of the tripod is a factor (because you're carrying it long distances out in the field and don't want to do a body building course!) consider attaching a bag below the tripod head which you can fill with rocks and stones and/or earth from the locality to give your tripod much more mass (and thus much better wind stability) when needed. That way you only have to carry round an additional empty bag with maybe a small trowel. Any cheap bag will do ;-)
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Old May 14th, 2012, 03:30 PM   #3
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Re: Warp stabilizer for wind shake

I'm sure it will, but you should try the trial and find out!
Adobe - Download free trial version CS6 Production Premium | Adobe
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Old May 15th, 2012, 06:28 AM   #4
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Re: Warp stabilizer for wind shake

The warp stabiliser is an awesome tool and will surely be able to steady your footage significantly. However, if you're shooting on a CMOS camera then rolling shutter will cause some problems. What you end up with is a strange effect where the footage is steady but seems to be stretching and twisting then bouncing back into place.

CS6 has a rolling shutter repair tool which might help correct this as well, but I haven't used it yet.
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Old May 15th, 2012, 12:50 PM   #5
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Re: Warp stabilizer for wind shake

I think Warp Stabilizer would do very well on that windy shot. I have CS5.5 (will order CS6 later this week) and had a shot on a really windy day recently. I was using the 5DII with the 70-200 f4 L lens zoomed in to 200mm. I had to park on a street with no parking, jump out of the car and prop the camera on top of the car and shoot without a tripod in between the traffic. No time for a tripod, and I had forgot the beanbag, so I just steadied the lens with my hand flat on the car and under the lens as much as possible. There was quite a bit of wind vibration. In fact the whole car was jiggling because of the high wind. I used the Warp Stabilizer mode called "no motion." In that mode it makes the shot look like it came from a locked down tripod, rather than the gentle motion from the other mode. It worked beautifully. It does crop in some in that mode, but not much, and in my case that was desirable. It works much better than the smooth motion in FCP7, and the degradation is very minimal. End viewers never even notice it.
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Old May 15th, 2012, 01:25 PM   #6
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Re: Warp stabilizer for wind shake

Hi
Try this proDAD products - Adorage, Heroglyph, Mercalli, VitaScene
Mercalli works great but you will also learn that footage that is not recorded steady includes motion - and motion blur you cannot repair. I record in 50P and with shutter when I know I need to stabalize afterwards :)
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Old May 15th, 2012, 07:58 PM   #7
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Re: Warp stabilizer for wind shake

Neil,

I've tried Warp Stabilizer with Premiere Pro CS6, and I would say it would definately stabilize the bird video. The only exception, if you know you are going to need stabilization then you should up the shutter speed some - otherwise stabilization can show motion blur. I can't quite tell whether that would be a problem for your video. In any case you could edit out parts that have blur.

I like Warp Stabilizer much better in Premiere Pro than in After Effects. Warp stabilizer does correct for rolling shutter. But it is still awfully slow, especially if you use the advanced modes.

I still find Deshaker that runs in Virtualdub to be the very best stabilizer. It is really worth learning to use this combo. And it is free. It correctly compensates for rolling shuter, and it fills in from other frames so there is no magnification. Warp stabilizer can do this, but Deshaker runs much faster - and it is easy to pre-process any shaky video, and then take it into Premiere Pro for editing.

Last edited by Charles W. Hull; May 15th, 2012 at 08:41 PM. Reason: l
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Old May 16th, 2012, 12:42 AM   #8
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Re: Warp stabilizer for wind shake

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Skelmose View Post
Hi
Try this proDAD products - Adorage, Heroglyph, Mercalli, VitaScene
Mercalli works great but you will also learn that footage that is not recorded steady includes motion - and motion blur you cannot repair. I record in 50P and with shutter when I know I need to stabalize afterwards :)
Mercalli v.2.0 is brilliant, easy to use right on the PPro timeline, and very fast.
There is very little image softening- it's almost like free lunch :)
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Old May 16th, 2012, 05:47 AM   #9
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Re: Warp stabilizer for wind shake

Thank you for the advice. The footage was shot using a Canon XL H1A with a Canon 100-400 mm lens at around f8.5 - f10, at the long end of the zoom. As I did not have ND filters to hand that day (lesson learned) I was forced to shoot at high shutter speed, aound 1/400. This of course risks strobe effects when the subject moves quickly, but perhaps fortuitously may allow the footage to be better stabilised with less blur. I could not go to narrower aperture because diiffraction limitations are very noticeable beyond f10 on that lens. This is typical of the set up I use for long reach with difficult subjects where there is little natural cover from which to film.

I am tempted by the Adobe subscription service, as this would allow me to access other components of CS which otherwise I cannot afford as a one-off purchase!

Neil
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Old May 16th, 2012, 01:46 PM   #10
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Re: Warp stabilizer for wind shake

You can get the mercalli as a tryout version. Test it - it really works great and fast. Others recommending other things have not tried it :)
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Old May 16th, 2012, 03:42 PM   #11
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First shot at stabilization

Here is some of the footage - original and stabilized - using the default settings of Warp Stabilizer from a trial of Premiere Pro CS6. It took around three minutes to analyse and stabilize the ten second clip. It works really well and will salvage my footage very nicely (except for the audio!).


I'm sure the advice to try third party stabilizer applications is good and worth looking at. I will download the Mercalli plug-in and put some stabilized footage up later on for comparison.

The advice given about taking steady footage in the first place is well taken. Most of my locations involve a fair bit of walking over rough ground and I don't have an assistant. I do have a reasonably stable video tripod / head combination on which to mount the camera - this is at the limits of what I can carrry. There is always going to be a trade off between portability and stability!

Last edited by Neil Grubb; May 16th, 2012 at 04:37 PM.
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Old May 16th, 2012, 04:08 PM   #12
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Re: Warp stabilizer for wind shake

Have installed the trial plug-in version of Mercalli, but on dragging the effect onto the target clip, simply get the error message ' The video analysis must be executed again'. On following the instructions from the resources folder, I am unable to open the user interface as no set-up button is visible (as per step 5 in the Windows NLEs / Adobe Premiere HTML instructions) in the effect controls window. Any ideas ?

The plug-in version of Mercalli is $249 (stand alone $149), whereas the upgrade from Premiere Pro CS5 to CS6 for me is $299 - so probably worth paying a little extra and going for CS6 if I don't go for a Cloud subscription.

Neil
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Old May 17th, 2012, 01:00 AM   #13
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Re: Warp stabiliser for wind shake

Do you have any transitions applied to the clip when you apply Mercalli? If so, that is the cause of the error message. Remove them and it should work.

If you need to apply transitions to a Mercalli stabilised clip, it is better to export the stabilised clip, complete with handles for the transitions, and any other effects that you want,and then import that to use in your project.

Note that you should always apply Mercalli to a clip before any other effects, for the best results.

I also find that a touch of unsharp mask improves the results of stabilisation.
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Old May 17th, 2012, 01:33 AM   #14
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Re: Warp stabilizer for wind shake

No, no effects or transitions had been applied to the clip before applying Mercalli. Could this be a CS6 compatibility issue ?
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Old May 17th, 2012, 01:35 AM   #15
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Re: Warp stabilizer for wind shake

Mercalli is expensive, and there are indeed a few tricks for using it, as mentioned above by Alan.
And certainly, I would think that the priority would be to get the CS6 suite.
BUT, for me Mercalli v.2 is priceless.
I shoot a lot of handheld ENG/Travel/Event type programing with handicam cameras (not shoulder mounted),
Because Mercalli is so effective, fast, and easy to use, I really do use it a lot.
Sometimes I will use it on every clip in a project- if a clip is stable already, Mercalli won't really alter it, so I'm not finding a downside to using it indiscriminately.
The bottom line is that my finished programs look very close to actual tripod set-ups.
IMO, this adds huge production value to the final product
The final HD image quality- sharpness, lack of artifact, etc. is excellent- i.e. Blu Ray on 1080 HDTV.
The time involved in using Mocha, or Warp stabilizer would be prohibitive for me, although both produce excellent results.
I am truly spoiled :)
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