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Old March 27th, 2009, 10:16 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Kerrville, Texas
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Thoughts and Questions after my first helicopter video flight

So yesterday I had my first experience ever in a helicopter -- with or without a video camera. I rode shotgun in a Robinson R22 helicopter with a friend of mine who's a pilot, and took some test footage for a project I'm working on. I have a few questions and some thoughts...

It's difficult to sit in the left seat and film as a right-handed camera man, partly because the LCD of my XH-A1 is on the left side of the camera. It's hard to get a good downward-angle shot, or much of a forward-looking shot unless the pilot will "crabwalk" a little bit to get a better view.

The handheld footage is not as good as I thought it would be. There's a lot of vibration, which I expected, but there's also a lot of left/right, up/down shake due to the random movements of the chopper.

I loaded the footage into After Effects and tried to use the motion tracker to stabilize it a bit. Trouble is, the motion tracker seems to be suited more for "zoomed" shots or other shots where the subject remains in the frame the whole time. But when flying in a chopper like we did, the subject is constantly changing and moving out of the frame. Is there a better method of stabilizing this type of footage?

I'm going to upload the raw footage to Vimeo when I get it captured, and when I do, I'll update this thread to show you what I mean.

Photo & Video specializing in real estate and events
Aaron J. Yates is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 2nd, 2009, 12:48 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Trinidad
Posts: 166
Hello Aaron,

You might try Mercalli Stabilising Software (which I learned about when I joined this site). It has an abundance of stabilising options to choose from, you're sure to find the right one to smooth your helishots. I used it to stabilise footage shot from a Cessna aircraft which was vibrating and it did a fine job.

See this thread for an actual video example of before and after use of the software.
Helen Habib is offline   Reply

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