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Adobe Premiere Pro - Advanced Training

How to fix shaky handheld or drone footage in Premiere Pro

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi everyone, in this video we're going to take this shaky footage on the left, and look, smooth it out, like it's on a tripod, on the right, with the click of a button, in Premiere Pro. Here's a better one, check out this one on the left, me walking in my office, all jiggly, and look at it, it's nice and smooth, on the right, one more time, oh, it's called Warp Stabilizer. I'm going to show you how to use it in Premiere Pro. 

Let's bring in some Exercise Files, they're in a new folder called 'Fixing', there it is there. Bring in 'Fixing 01', down to '05', throw it in there, and what we'll do is we'll start with 'Footage 01'. We'll make a sequence from it, let's check it out. You can see, great shot, hand held, because there's a bit of jiggliness going on, we want to see if we can stabilize that. 

To stabilize it, it's pretty easy, go to your 'Effects', let's go to our 'Effects Panel', type in, it's called 'warp stabilizer'. Warp, I'm not sure why, stabilizer makes sense. Click, hold, drag it onto your clip, it's going to do two things. The blue bit is going to analyze, and then it's going to eventually go orange, and say, stabilize. Does two parts, clearly, step one of two, so let's have a look. Actually I didn't speed that up, that was just pretty quick. It's only HD footage, but let's have a look. Oh, silky smooth. 

So I don't know, nine times out of ten, if you just dump it on, and it works pretty great, nine times out of ten, I take that back, 65% of the time. With it selected, what can you do if it doesn't work, or you want to make it different, or better? So with that clip selected, let's find your Effect Controls, actually let's compare the two, and show you why Comparison view is weird. We've done it before, right? Comparison view on, let's make sure we are comparing, not the shot we want it on, and you'll notice that they both look the same. What you need to do, weirdly, turn Comparison view off, turn your effect off, I'm going to do it here, in the Effects, but turn Comparison view on, because now it's the original, right? 

It's the jumpy one, so I turn this on now, and turn my effect back on. It's got a before and after, it's weird. So before-- let's make it a bit bigger, if you hover between the center of all this, you can get the little cross hairs to drag them all down, it's pretty amazing, huh. 

One thing you might notice, you might not, is, can you see, it's cropped in a little bit, that's part of the deal, let me show you how it works. So with the clip selected, in your Effect Controls, can you see, over here we've got Warp Stabilizer. So once it's analyzed you can decide on the kind of stabilization. There's two kinds, two main kinds, Smooth Motion and No Motion. Smooth Motion is going to try and ease, or smooth out the movements, can you see that this actually still moves, but it's quite slow. Can you see the ground moving over here, have a look. Can you see, it still moves, just a little bit. So that's Smooth Motion, the default, No Motion, he's going to try and pretend, like the camera person was a tripod, and try and force it into place. 

So we're going to go to that one, see what it looks like. There'll be times where you want one or the other, we'll do both. So this here, we want to say, don't move at all, let's play it from the beginning, that's the jumpy one, can you see this one here, it's not moving at all, rockstarted-- rock started? Rock steady. So that is No Motion, kind of like a tripod. There are some trade-offs, can you see, the bigger crop here, had to crop it out, can you see over here, it's 120%, the last one was like 103. So to get it to fix there, had to crop it quite a lot, and that might be important to you, because it is scaling the video up a bit. Let's have a look at what it's actually doing. 

Let's check out the border and framing, just for a kick. So let's have a look at Stabilize Only, watch this, that's what it's doing in the background, look, it's pretty amazing, like it's trying to jiggle around and distort it, and can you see, try and make it feel like it's not going anywhere. Can you see the balloon in there, it's not moving but it's had to, like really work hard at trying to jiggle everything out. So if that guy needed to be in your clip, No Motion might not work for here, you might have to go for Slow Motion. 

Now you can go through these options here, Subspace Warp, which is, Star Trek uses to travel in space, also used here in Premiere Pro to try and get this to work. That one works the best, this kind of works, that doesn't really work at all. Have a play with it, if your results aren't working, you're like, "Man," have a play with these, and you're probably not going to get there, to be honest, but there are different ways of trying to control it. So we don't stabilize, only we want the Stabilize Crop and Auto Scale. Actually let's work on the second one together, and then I'll give you a few to practice in a class project. 

So I'm going to use Shaky Footage 2. Let's make it into a new video, this is me, yesterday, doing a little drama, oh wow, doing a little shaky footage thing. I was being a little bit exaggerating with my shakiness, because I was, yeah, I was trying to do it. So let's have a look at this one, and this one here, obviously, I don't want it to be No Motion, like a tripod, I want it just to smooth it all out. So let's find that effect, 'Effects', Warp Stabilizer, dump it on, give it a second, Smooth Motion, you can change this before it's finished, if yours is taking a while, don't just wait, go, "All right," go to No Motion or Smooth Motion. Smoothness, 50% seems to work pretty great on everything, you can obviously play around with that. Now in my case how much is it, scaled at 115%, oh how much, how much can I live with that? Let's have a look at the result. Spectacular. I can't believe how good that thing is. Let's try it again, look how jumpy I was, look at that, there's my desk, there you go. 

All right, last things before you go, I've got some footage for you, Shaky Footage 3, 4, and 5. one's kind of a drone, have a play around with No Motion motion, remember, No Motion, trying to be a tripod, it's going to work terrible for this one, because it's trying to pivot and, pan, and a lot going on, but it's amazing how much nicer you can make, kind of a shaky drone footage. Can you see all the jiggles in there, with the slow motion, play along with smoothness as well, see what you feel. When you are playing around with it, maybe copy and paste the clip a couple of times on the Timeline, just so you can play yourself, or you can play around with the crazy Comparison view. 

What else you got? This one here, again this is me trying my best to not move, I was just holding the camera, I thought I was dead straight, but I turned the image stabilization off the camera, it was zoomed in, so kind of amplified it. Have a play around with that, that one's going to be pretty good, probably with No Motion, just saying. This one here is my old co-working space, me walking through it, trying to be super smooth. So play with that as well. No need to hand in any assignments or homework, or do anything, I just want you to play with those ones, that's why it's kind of buttered here at the end of this video, rather than a separate class project. All right, have fun, I will see you in the next video.