How to stabilize Video?

tterrill wrote on 2/12/2016, 10:33 AM
I added the Sony Stabilization feature to my video. I can change between default, light, moderate, heavy, but all the settings underneath are grayed out and I cannot click on "apply". I am using the panning feature, but I want to stabilize the hand-held video. The camera person changed hand positions from time to time and the lens is all over the place. It's too quick for me to counter in the panning window. Or, at least, I don't know the method for doing so, if there is one.

Basically, why isn't the "apply" button clickable?


I'm using version 13 on Windows 10.


vkmast wrote on 2/12/2016, 10:49 AM

"The Stabilize plug-in must be applied to a clip or subclip as a media effect.
To apply media effects, select an event on the timeline (or a clip in the Project Media window) and choose Tools > Video > Media FX."

Try the above and the "Apply" button should be clickable.
tterrill wrote on 2/12/2016, 11:44 AM
Thank you! I've always clicked on the icon in the clip. I'm "applying" now...

Jack S wrote on 2/13/2016, 10:19 AM
As vk says, but I'd like to throw in a few more comments.
You say that the lens is all over the place, so don't expect miracles. If you use it on a clip that's very shaky you won't be satisfied with the results. It also depends upon which version of Sony Stabilise (I'm English) you're using. The one in MSP12 wasn't much good but the one in MSP13 is very good and is simpler to use. I use it quite a lot because my hands aren't as steady as they used to be. My camcorder has a very good optical stabiliser and most of my clips are Ok but they suffer from 'drift', where the subject slowly drifts within the shot. I find that Sony Stabilise works wonders to keep the subject stationary. Just leave the 'Stabilisation amount' slider at default (0.5) and set the 'Pan smoothing' to the maximum (1.0).
One other thing. If the clip that's to be stabilised has been cropped, make sure that you create a subclip of it and apply the stabilisation to the subclip. Otherwise the whole clip will be stabilised not just the cropped part, possibly giving an undesirable effect. You should also make sure that all your editing is complete before stabilising your clips.

Edit:- I've just noticed that you are on MSP13 but I'll leave the post as it is for the benefit of those on 12.
Jillian wrote on 2/13/2016, 10:57 AM
If you are using MS13, you should use the BCC Optical Stabilizer rather than the Sony "built-in" stabilizer. Apply it to an event just as you would use any other effect. It takes a little learning, but it is much more effective and useful than the Sony effect.

The most important thing to learn about the BCC Optical Stabilizer is that you must set the Mode switch to "Smooth" rather than "Stabilize." Otherwise it will make your event rock steady but "magnify" the image so much you will hardly recognize it.

So, apply BCC Optical Stabilizer
Set Mode: to Smooth
Set Stabilize: to Translation, Translation + Rotation, or Translation + Rotation + Zoom, as needed.
Press Analise
Wait for the processing to complete.

You might want to set up three presets for the three Stabilize choices. But, you must remember to set Mode to Smooth, rather than Stabilize unless you want it to over-stabilize your event. You can play around with the other settings if you have a special situation.

Stabilization is an aid... not a cure-all! It will not rescue bad footage, only make marginal footage a little better.

One other note, the BCC Optical Stabilizer uses a lot of CPU power, so it takes time unless you have a reasonable computer.

Hope this helps.

vkmast wrote on 2/13/2016, 11:58 AM
Those Movie Studio Platinum 13 users, who may be wondering where the BCC Optical Stabilizer is to be found, please note that the BCC Units (64-bit only) come only with the MS Suite 13 package.
Jack S wrote on 2/13/2016, 1:15 PM
I used to use the BCC stabiliser but found that if I wanted to smooth out a panned shot it was useless. The Sony stabiliser copes with panned shots very well. It's also a lot simpler to use than the BCC stabiliser.
If you want to get rock steady footage from a non-panned shot and don't mind the complexity and time effort, you can use the excellent Hitfilm 2 Express plugin (which is free - don't go for the Hitfilm 3 Express plugin as this won't work in MSP). I've used this in some of my projects and the results are amazing. You have to decide whether the difference in results are worth the extra effort though. I now only use the Sony stabiliser - it's quick and simple - and it gives good enough results.
UKharrie wrote on 2/14/2016, 9:42 AM
Easy to be wise after the event ( all my Life ! ). but I found ( In v10), the stabiliser just magnified the centre - and none too well. I've not bothered with v12 as I bought a Sony CX410 with BOSS (= Balanced Optical Steady Shot ) ....... but there are very few Camcorders with this - it's quite magical, provided you aren't moving about.
You cannot later recreate pixels that aren't there.

Odd that Sony marketing don't really explain how good BOSS really is. . . . I guess these folks never use the gear they are advertising.

If you imagine you are carrying a glass of water on a tray - that's about the equiv. to holding the camcorder . . . it reads like OP's friend was drinking the water in between shots.... and I suspect there is no cure for that.

A final alternative - vey poor IMHO is to convert the bad footage to stills and recreate the length of the shoot with several steady stills that are far easier to align (Pan/Crop)...but don't overdo it. as there is limited pixel-count when taken from video. This should work if the audio is more-or-less intact . . . or you have a "clean" recording taken under similar conditions/location so no-one notices.

+ Let us know how it works out +

Good Luck.
D7K wrote on 2/16/2016, 11:40 AM
While the BCC stabilizer is very good for an included free bee, if you want PRO level stabilization after the fact, I'd recommend Mercalli PRO 4.0 - pretty much magic. Since I don't have a Mac and Sony doesn't have a prores codec, another benefit you that you can output if folks need prores. Expensive but for me worthwhile. 13 reads the prores files (even 4k).
musicvid10 wrote on 2/16/2016, 9:30 PM

Don't let "the camera person" actually hold the camera.

John222 wrote on 2/17/2016, 5:56 PM
And don't forget about deshaker. Always done a great job for me.