Special Tools: Warp Stabilizer
We're gonna look at three of my favorite effects that come native in Premiere Pro. These are special tools that I find have saved my bacon more times than not. And I want to show you how to use them and explain a little bit how they work, so you don't get frustrated by making them do more than they need to do. And that's the Warp Stabilizer, which allows you to actually smooth out footage that might be handheld or might be a little bit bumpy. Or if it's a time-lapse with a bump, you can apply this and solve the problems, we'll look at that. We'll look at the Morph Cut, another great feature that wasn't really marketed by Adobe, but it literally allows you to do a straight cut between one part of an interview to another one. And it creates a smooth transition as it morphs the person from point a to b. It doesn't work in, there's ways you can break it. If the person's on this side of the screen, and you try to morph to that side, it's gonna go. But, if the person's kind of in the same po...
sition, it allows you to make the cut without having to go to B-Role, and it's very cool. And it's just a matter of playing with it, and we're gonna look at that. We're gonna actually do, again, work with Mike. And then, we're gonna look at how you would do if you shot something on a green screen. A video, how you remove that green and put it over any background you want. And again, as long as you know how to do a few specific clicks, it's amazing how easy it is to remove a green or a colored background and make that transparent, create basically what we call an Alpha Channel. So with that, let's go ahead and step into Premiere and learn about these great little tools that are really fun to work with and that can, again, solve a lot of problems and raise your show entirely to a new level. So in reference to the Morph Cut, I'm gonna actually work with two different images here. This was shot out of a helicopter over Kauai. And for those people who've ever been in a helicopter trying to shoot, you never get any kind of a stable footage, even though you think you might get brilliant stuff. So, this was me being thrown around the helicopter. And, y'know, it's pretty, I like the clouds. But, y'know, there's lots of shake and whatnot. So, I want to see if I can fix that. And by the way, the way I built these, especially for the folks who may be downloading the files, I have a before and after, so that you can see it. But we're gonna actually go through the process. So, if I wanted to stabilize this, I would select the clip, go again to our Effects selection tab. I'll just type in the word "Warp." And I'll see that there is a Warp Stabilizer, and I'll throw it on the clip. And as soon as I throw it on the clip, it will start analyzing the motion in this clip because it needs to analyze where every pixel is, so it knows how to adjust for that movement. This is pretty challenging, it's pretty. If it's just like handheld, maybe you have to do an interview, and it's handheld, and you're just moving a little bit, it's amazing how steady it can make the shot. Now, the thing that always scares me when I tell people about this, it's like, oh, I don't need a tripod. If you have a tripod, you don't have to spend time using a Warp Stabilizer. So, really, use a tripod if it's appropriate. But if you get footage in a situation where you need to smooth something out, or even create what we call a lockdown, as if it's locked down on a tripod, this is an amazing tool. And it will work in the background. So if I wanted to, I could go ahead and throw this filter on. It's actually, if I look up here, it is analyzing every single frame. There's 747 frames here, it's taking a good amount of time. So I could keep editing, and it just uses any of the CPU power that I'm not using when I'm editing and does this in the background. And once it's done, it'll the do the Stabilization Analysis. So, technically, you do not have to wait. You just throw it on and keep going. Then the people go, "Well, why don't I just throw it in all my clips?" You don't wanna throw it on all your clips. You wanna use it on specific spots that you need. It is a highly intensive calculation. I mean, we're only doing a little over 700 frames. But, there's some choices you can make when deciding how it analyzes that may make things quicker or actually may make the smoothing better. So, we'll look at those, I'm not gonna change anything, I believe at the moment because I don't want it to start reanalyzing. But, you throw it on, it automatically starts working. And by default, it's going to want to give you Smooth Motion vs. like a tripod lockdown. You can select No Motion. So what it will do with Smooth Motion is it'll just try to keep it and make it more gentle vs. trying to, say, I am a lockdown on a tripod. Often, it's a matter of just trying both. Sometimes, I use that No Motion with my time-lapses where there's a camera bump. I don't want anything to change, and the nice thing is they're all nice, crisp shots pretty much. At least, there's parts of the shots that are crisp even if I've done long exposures, so it really can position things very well. So, I often will put this on a time-lapse that's almost perfect and try to make it perfect. While we're in there, so I could go No Motion, but we'll look at these. I can also control how smooth I wanted to make it, how much compensation I want to the motion. So maybe I have a guy riding on a bicycle, point of view. And instead of being more rock solid, I want to have a little bit of play, just not all of it, so I may dial down the amount of stabilization using that smoothing slider, or maybe I wanna dial it up, and we'll actually play with this. The other thing that you play with is, by default, it does something called Subspace Warp. It sounds like something out of a Science Fiction movie, doesn't it? But let's talk about the analysis with these different selections. So, Position is basically looking at an image, and you wanna stabilize it basically in a horizontal or vertical, an x, y. And that's because the camera only moved in this environment. So, why make it think about this, or this, when only the camera did this? Okay, because sometimes it tries to fix problems that aren't there. So that's Position. Position, Scale, and Rotation is you're shooting something, but maybe it zooms in a little bit, so you're trying to adjust for that scale. The camera got bumped, and also maybe you have that turning, so maybe that would be better for my helicopter stuff. Perspective takes you into the z space also. And this is how it's analyzing it. And Subspace tries to look at everything and does the best guess. Sometimes it can work brilliantly, sometimes it looks like your image in now like on jello. Y'know, it stabilizes and looks like jello. And these are also progressively more complicated analysis, so this will happen faster in the analysis than that. So, it's just things to keep in mind, and so that is based on the shot. So, it actually has done the work. Let's take a look at the result. The truth is, let's just play this on full screen. I'm gonna go ahead and hit the tilt x key. So this is theoretically stabilized. And, what it's doing, by the way, you're saying, "Why is it fuzzy?" Well, remember back to a few lessons ago, we changed this to half a quarter resolution, so let's see how it plays at full res, see if it drops frames. So, I would say that did a pretty good job. Just to kinda remind you where we came from, I'm gonna go ahead and hit an Undo. This is what it was. You've gotta sometimes remember, and let's go ahead and Redo, this is what it is. So it really took out some of that little bit of shake, and now I could probably use this shot. Now, I can go in, and I can control how smooth I want it, but let's go look at another shot because probably this is perfect for a helicopter. I don't want it to look like, I can't even make it look like it was on a tripod, and I do want a little bit of shake. I did another shot here, these are some flamingos, and I did this handheld, so it was like okay this is kind of fun, again, I think I did this with my little camera. I have all these cameras, I'm bringing this little one everywhere. And this is really kinda cool, but it would be great if I had used a tripod. I don't want to be distracted by the fact that I can't hold this still. So again, I would go in, I'd throw on the Warp Stabilizer. I'm gonna try to simplify this, I'm gonna say don't even do Subspace. Let's just do Position, Scale, and Rotation. And, I don't want it to be smooth. I want to see if it can figure out and make it as if it's a tripod. So, I do that, I make those selections, and then I'm gonna let it calculate. It says it's gonna take about a minute, it will give me the frame count, so it's about 400 frames. And so, I'm gonna go ahead and I could let that do it in the background. I could also cheat because I'm impatient. I did run stabilization on it, and what I wanna do is show you really what it's doing when it's stabilizing on my pre-baked one while it actually analyzes this. I'm gonna go ahead and load that in. And if I look under the Effects controls, when it's stabilizing, what it's technically doing is looking at all of the pixels and then it usually has to blow it up a little bit, so that when it's stabilizing, you don't see the black edges of the frame. So, what I'm gonna do is just show you what Stabilize Only would look like where it's not blowing it up or cropping it, so you can get a sense of what's happening behind the scenes. So, when it's trying to stabilize this, let's see, it should be moving. Did I turn off the wrong one? Let's try that again, okay. Warp Stabilizer, No Motion, yeah that should've been moving around a little bit. Maybe it just didn't update, maybe I rendered it. Stabilizing Crop, we'll also show you what it'll do is, okay, so this is where instead of seeing it move around, it should move around, I'll probably switch it back, it'll be okay. So, it actually had to crop out some of this outer area. Let me go back to this one, I'm just gonna see Stabilize Only, c'mon. There we go, that should do it. Y'know, it is, if you look at the very edge of the frame when I play, you can see that this is coming in and out of frame. Let's cheat and go back to the chopper, and then we can really see what happens when we do that. So, we're gonna go back down, Stabilize Only, and you'll see what it's doing, it's actually moving that frame all over the place. You see the edges? Okay, and then what it has to do, and I'm gonna show you with the crop, so if you want, and I never use Stabilizing Crop unless maybe I'm doing it as a Picture-in-picture. It cuts off the edges, so it doesn't dance around. And then, what it really does, is when I do the full trick, I actually, it blows it up a little bit, and it magnifies it, in this case, you can see, 104% of its original size, so you don't see those edges. The more motion, the more it's gonna have to blow it up. Now, one of the questions that I was asked at the beginning of the course was, "Why can't I put it on a clip in my Project Pane?" Or, "Why shouldn't I just throw it on a long clip "and let it do it's thing?" It needs the one to see it in perspective of the sequence for how it can move in the frame and blow it up is part of the situation. Also, you don't want to analyze a 15 minute clip for stabilization because there's a lot that could happen there, moving the camera and whatnot. Literally, you just want to have it look from the beginning to the end to figure out how it can make that chunk as stable as possible. And you'll notice that if I stretch this out, it's going to reanalyze the image, even if I've added a couple of frames because it wants to look at that as its entire self-contained clip. So really, that's the way to work with it, so you don't get frustrated, and also to trim it to what you need before you start playing with the stabilization because once it does the analysis, it remembers where things are. And so, after that, you can start changing things and seeing the result. The only time it usually reanalyzes is if you choose a different method of analyzing, in which case, it says, oh, I'm not gonna look at perspective, I'm only gonna look at rotation. So, that's technically what is does. This is something that I have never gotten it to work where I've liked it, but there's something called Stabilize and Synthesize Edges. And for those who are familiar with Photoshop, we have the content to where, Fill Content, to where Edge Crop is in the newest version. Well, what this is doing is, instead of enlarging it, it's gonna try to recreate what would've been at the edges mathematically. And in some case, maybe this'll work, because when you think about it, it's pretty standard. But, a lot of times, I just see weird, weird tearing. So, is it thinking? No, let's see what it did. I think it's still thinking because it's red. This is also ridiculously time intensive. I know it's thinking, it's probably waiting for the flamingos to finish. So, the flamingos have finished, and you notice that it does zoom in a lot to smooth it out. But this allows me, remember I said, I want this to be a lockdown, and I don't care. I just deal with not warped space. So, this looks like I actually knew what I was doing. Like, y'know, okay, he used a tripod. And just again, to remind you what it looked like, oh, I just did an Undo, and guess what? That Undo doesn't work for this, it just undid the helicopter. I'm gonna go in and deactivate this, and let's see if it'll update. Sometimes it takes, as we learned before, it may take a while to refresh turning it off and on. So, you can remember that it was kind of handheld. I'll cheat, I'll do a match frame. The match frame, you can see, is not too steady, little bit of movement. So, that's again, it's probably easier for me to do a match frame to compare like we did with color correction. So that's the Warp Stabilizer, and I think I've tossed out the hints that make it easier to use. It's really useful, use it judiciously. Don't assume that, okay, I'll just fix everything and stabilize it, y'know, when you're shooting. But there are times when you're like, I wish I could use this shot, and I just need to make it a little less jerkier. Why did I, y'know, do this handheld? So, I'm a huge fan of this. It does have another feature that you might hear about. I don't want to go too deep into it. Let me go ahead and load that in. If I scroll down to the bottom of this filter, in addition to doing the stabilization, if you go to Advanced, you'll see there's something called Rolling Shutter Ripple repair basically. So, with some of the digital cameras, you see this in GoPros, you'll even see this in your DSLRs. The way that the image is painted on the censor, that if you move the camera sometimes, and you have like really hard vertical lines, you kinda see a jello effect. Have you seen that in some GoPro footage and whatnot, that it kinda looks like the wall should be perfectly straight, but it moves so quickly that you get this jello, and that's because it's literally drawing the image really fast, but you're moving your camera even faster. That's called Rolling Shutter, and this feature, you can also get repair in the Rolling Shutter as its own plug-in, its own filter within Premiere. It will analyze that and try to keep that edge straight, as you're doing, say that pan or that move. Rolling Shutter is one of those things, you know it when you see it because it does feel like jello in the original shot, and this just a way to fix it. I just wanted to point that out, especially for, I see it a lot in GoPro footage, especially because there's so much movement and action. It is also great to stabilize GoPro footage, it's just absolutely brilliant. Before I move on to working with the Morph Cut, any questions on the Morph Stabilizer? But you like it, right? You're gonna go play with this, and if you're doing time-lapse, you're gonna really like this, right? I have honestly gotten the hair to stand up on the back of my neck sometimes when I've been able to stabilize a time-lapse that I thought I had not been able to use. I was like, this is crazy. So, yeah, the Warp Stabilizer, one of my favorite go-to, not so secret filters.