I had a client wonder why it was necessary to upgrade to CS5.5 when we already had CS5. I should have made this video back then. Back in the days of CS5, you take footage like this and you just shake your head and say, “I’ll do my best.” Bring it into After Effects, create a null object, drag in the Stabilizer plug-in, find tracking points, parent layers, write a few expressions and…still janky looking. Some of the shake is gone, but it doesn’t look very stable. And frankly, what did you expect? Handheld DSLR footage is way too shaky to expect anything better than that, right? Well the video speaks for itself.
Among the many iterative tweaks and bug fixes, Adobe snuck in some ground breaking new features. Warp Stabilizer is the only plug-in you’ll need when it comes to smoothing out your shaky camera moves and it comes packaged with After Effects CS5.5. I just brought the footage into After Effects and dragged Warp Stabilizer onto it, a few minutes to analyze the footage and then stabilize and it was done. The plug-in has several different settings that you could tweak, but I like what I got from the default settings.
I brought my cheap Nikon D3100 and Warp Stabilizer in 5 minutes made it look like I had brought a Steadicam to Mount Vernon.
I edit now primarily in Premiere Pro and it has saved me a ton of time. I put my edit together on the timeline, then the clips I need to stabilize I right click “Replace With After Effects Composition” and After Effects opens up a new composition with that clip all ready to go. Drag and drop Warp Stabilizer, let it do its thing, then save and all the changes are already reflected in my edit. No need to render out, it’s seamlessly bridged.
If you’re wondering why you need to upgrade to Adobe CS5.5, Warp Stabilizer is more than enough reason for me. I’ve been abusing it.