Premiere Elements: Two suggestions for improved video stabilization with moving camera

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  • Updated 12 months ago
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For me the video stabilization is one of the core features of every video editing suite, even though my camera already has a good stabilization. I tested two programs, one of them being Premiere Elements 15. While its stabilization works well for static footage, it produces unwanted side-effects if the camera moves (e.g. for footage taken from a car, plane or helicopter). However just these are the cases where stabilization is most urgently needed, at least for me.

There are two distinct issues with the current stabilization algorithms:
  1. For footage from a moving camera, the algorithem tries to correct relative shifts between foreground and background, which results in skewed, stretched or compressed frames within the result footage. When trying to stabilize a video shot from the front of a safari car, the stabilizer repeatedly tries to stabilize the moving road in front of the car (compressing and stretching it alternately) which results in strange effects.
    Possible solution: Offer a stabilization mode which only moves/rotates the original frames, but does not try to apply additional distortions (skewing, stretching, compression)
    This will result in a somewhat lower smoothing, but will hopefully avoid the current strange side-effect where parts of the foreground and background seem to wobble around relative to each other.
  2. I shoot footage from a shaky helicopter circling around Victoria falls. The falls are not always in the center of the image. As a result of the camera movement the foreground, the falls and the landscape behind are moving relative to each other. Of course the software does not know where on the video it should focus, so it stabilizes everything a bit. This is not always the desired result.
    Possible solution: Allow to set "focus points" along the duration of the video which tell the stabilizer which areas of the video frame are most important for stabilization. The algorithm should try to minimize movement in this part of the frame even if other parts of the frame (background etc.) move more heavily.
    This would also help to solve the above mentioned issue with footage from a car. I could just tell the algorithm to stabilize the background landscape and ignore the foreground road.
I hope this helps making the stabilization function more versatile.
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Posted 12 months ago

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