Stabilization and Tracking


Adobe® After Effects® for Beginners


Lesson Info

Stabilization and Tracking

Well our next segment is taking things that were shot in life in them bringing them to watchable because a lot of times we're out with our even in you know, good video cameras d s lars or whatever and we're out there shooting stuff and you think you're you're holding it really steady and you know have a tripod in you're panning or you're holding something and you're zoomed in and you get it back and you go oh my gosh I look like I'm doing this with my camera when you see here footage and you're not you're just like holding it really steady well you want to stabilize that footage and so there's ah great effect in after effects it's also in premiere from six and above it's called the warp stabilizer on dh what we do to get that say I've got this footage here preview that really quick this is unaffected this is just handheld me holding the camera trying to pan it manually you see, I've got aa lot of rotation there's a lot of jocelyn there's you know, dips and problems in it I want to stab...

ilize that and make it that something that's usable so if I really needed that shot teo to be part of the role for a production or something I need to stabilize that so what I'll do is I'll come up here to my way window menu come down here tio the tracker will turn that on and that's going to open up this panel again I like to move my panels up here so I get all the timeline I could get down here so here's my tracker I have to select the layer that I want to stabilize and I click on warp stabilisers and what this is going to do is it's going to analyze all the pixel data in there and do its woo magic in seeing what needs to be stabilized how its going tio lock things into position I'm just leaving it at its default where it eyes using the sub space warp method which sometimes works and sometimes doesn't you kinda have to play with this plug in little bit thie problems can happen if you are holding something steady or you're moving in you're aimed on something steady sometimes the lens distortion may freak out the software and it may think you're trying to do something else and you can actually make it look like it's you're filmed on a rubber sheet or something or you're like projecting on it and it does some really crazy stuff so sometimes you want to take it out of sub space warp mode but I'm just leaving it a default right now I'm also leaving the stabilization and smooth motion mode just because I'm making a pan if I was locked off on a shot then I'd want to take it out of a smooth motion smooth motion and freeze it I want to stop the motion from happening at all and this is analyzing in the background there we go now it's actually doing the stabilising so as soon as it's done with that it's an effect so we can turn it on and off once it's done all of its data we don't have to worry about it unless we make major changes too to anything so now let's render that back let it render with effect and we'll see how smooth this really worked yeah it's rendering rendering rendering rendering rendering music here we go green bar there we go so there it's not as perfect as if I had it on a tripod and was panning it but it's pretty darn smooth purty purty darn smoothie so that is a lifesaving piece I've got another one here that is just a hand held steady shot well not so steady steady shot and I'm zoomed in a bit so tele photos out there and I'm trying to be steady in the winds blowing and I'm getting jostled around and that's basically unusable footage unless I'm making a home movie so same thing I'll go ahead and apply my work stabilizer and this time instead of smooth motion I'm going to no motion I wanted to freeze in and lock in that space and I'm letting it analyze and do its thing it tells me my time remaining here is so many seconds and actually now it's telling me the frame count that it's doing so less than a minute this will be finished analyzing there are some advanced features we won't get into, but you can do things too help reduce rolling shutter ripple things like that that d s lars are notorious for we're going to leave all of that off right now because this shot really doesn't need all of that it's a pretty simple shot so we won't get into two much depth is to what all of this stabilization does so it's almost done about ten seconds and it's coming down and we'll see what the results are here in just a few seconds so it's analyzing and then we'll do the stabilising a few seconds for that and then we can ram preview it there we go let's do around preview and see what this looks like now and even though we had some motion in there ah, a little bit of craziness this does fairly remarkable job of stabilizing it, so now we're in real time play back and look at the difference and we can look at the difference because it's an effect it's not really doing anything to the footage permanently we can just hide the effect by clicking on the little f x box so their ramp reviewed again and we can see that's what our before was like so pretty remarkable job of stabilizing I think that this does because that's really pretty wonky footage, so another thing we can do while we're in the tracker is to actually do some tracking. Now, I've created a text layer here and say, if I'm panning across this and I want the text golden gate bridge to follow the bridge as it's going across, then I need to motion track the bridge, right? So I'm going to start here where I've got it centered it's, kind of where I want the text to be and click on the movie file actually the movie file, which is the footage file here and I can do a track motion click on the track motion tab here let's zoom in a bit so we can see it and it gives us this little track point out here. I can make this little inner square little bigger what this is is that means that's the region of interest, this is the area that we want the tracker to look at, you want to find a point that has high contrast when I click on it, it it zooms in so you can really see it so I can put that little x right on the tip of the bridge there, I've got a lot of contrast there between the sky and the top of the bridge, so that's the area I want the tracker to look at if I've got a lot of emotion I might wantto widen this out because it'll say ok search within this outer region that's a cz much motion we want you to focus on that way it's ignoring the whole rest of the frame so as it's doing that we can advance forward I'm just zooming out again so down here I only wanted teo look at the position I only wanted to track position it's not rotating we're not doing anything like that so by default it should just be position so I've got these buttons down here which are analyzed forward and analyzed backward we're going to use both of those because we're kind of starting in the middle of our shot s o I'm going teo click the analyze forward I'm going to just watch that right up to the point where it starts to go off the screen stop right before and maybe I can just step one two three because if I go off the edge is going to throw it go we make it go all crazy so what I'm going to do is see you see that it's created this green bar here it means that's made all those little track points in there I can slide this back right to the beginning of that and now I can analyze backwards I'm going to let it go the other direction so it's going to create all of these tracked points for me wait till it gets to just about the end before it goes off and I'm gonna stop and then I'll just nudge nudge nudge nudge nudge nudge nudge, nudge nudge okay so I've got all of those in there those are my track points and I'm ready to do something with them right now all it is's data it's read the data looks like it's following everything ok what do I do with it? Well I want to apply those track points to something and it has to be a layer that's in my timeline well right now I've got this golden gate bridge text in my timeline that I want to apply it to so I'm going to make sure that that's my target so it's golden gate bridge too that's the layer that's the one I want right there and click okay and then I just click apply and it says what dimensions x and y well of course there we go so what this has done now is its tracked that text to those track points so if I click off it will see okay cool the text is there it's not really where I wanted to be though well what it does is it looks at that anchor point remember the anchor point we had before if I click on my text layer here will see that it's showing it's actually moving in position is moving if I click p for position we'll see all of these key frames that generated for us that means it took the data from tracking the bridge and it says ok, I'm playing that data to this other layer so I'm going to make a new key frame for every single frame in here. So if we expand that out we'll see that's a whole bunch of key frames him there. So what that's done is it's applied those key frames to the anchor point text by nature starts that anchor point at the bottom left corner of where you start if it's left justified if its center justified text then of course it's going to started at the bottom centre but always starts at the bottom whether it's left justified center justified or right justified just like word or anything else you always have you know the left, the center or the right so that's where it's going to place the anchor point? So what did we do before we wanted to move something without changing position? We go to anchor point so the zoom back out a little bit and I'm going to move my anchor point over so I sent her my text above the bridge then going to click on the why position tau floated above the bridge and so now when I'm moving it it moves right over the bridge okay, so let me get this tio feel up two hundred percent, okay, so now I've got this text well, I can't let it run the whole time because it's going to stop its going to slide, right? So I wanted to just appear as we start seeing the bridge. So right, when the animation of the tracking starts, I see right about there scrub till I get there and remember, we've got key frames we can key frame this, so let me hit t for opacity or tea for transparency. That's how I know I've verbalized that I go t for transparency, I'm rebellious that way should be called transparency if you're going to make me use t not opacity, so I know this is going to be where I start. I set my first stop washed, create my first key frame and then I come over here to the end and it's going to be gone right about there. So I click this little diamond over here on the left at a remove key frames, so now I've got to keep friends in there. There are one hundred percent I'm going to come in just a few frames about like their grab, another key frame, then I'm going to come down toward the end, right before I, uh, end justo half a second or so click another key frames so now I've got four key frames they all are telling me the same thing well, what I want to do is go to the first key frame and said its properties difference I can use thes little arrows here that are on the side um see this here it says go to previous key frame or go to next key frame and notice how it says this property only you could have several things with key frames transfer parents see scale rotation position all of that and you can do this on each property but only the key frames on that property so you can have all those other things of key framed but you're only looking at this property so I'm going to come back out where I can see everything I want to go to that key frame I won't go the very first key frame going to set that to zero I want zero opacity s o that way what happens is it goes between that key frame in this one and there's our fade that's how you make a faded so I could do the same here I could go down to the very last ski frame click on that property go zero and there it is so now when I render it we'll watch render real quick and it will go through and then fade out so now when we're watching this so one thing that you can't do is ah, stabilizer footage first and then motion tracking unless you make it a sub comp into another common, then you track from that calm or you render it out first, so if I wanted to stabilize this first and then add the golden gate bridge thing, I would actually bring in my stabilized comp into here and then try to track that sometimes it works, sometimes it does sometimes it's better to just render it, make a movie of it, then bring it back in and track your movie that's rendered sometimes effects they freak out in layers sometimes, but anyway, that's, simple tracking and that's appropriate for a lot of people's use that's why? I thought that was a good one to show today, but there's a lot of ways of doing motion tracking there's three d motion tracking we're not getting we're not going down that rabbit hole today, so before we moved to the next thing we have any questions on this part here stabilizing and tracking not is there an advantage or disadvantage to just not starting at the beginning of your clip rather than the middle? Oh, the only thing is, if you're trying to line something up and it happens to exist in the middle of the clip that's, why I started here in the middle typically, if you know what the very beginning of your clip, say if my clip actually started here you know it didn't start with the bridge off camera, we're off the scene, then thing yeah, I just started the very first clip, so if something isn't even in the frame in the view of the window, you obviously can't start at the very beginning you have to start when there's some data to track in that case, if I needed that golden gate bridge to stay on sooner to come on sooner, I'd probably track something else that in the scene like maybe the edge of this tree or maybe the intersection of the tree and the mountains there didn't change much over time if I wasn't too close to the sea, it does change because of the depth of the distance there, so it just depends on when you need something to come on screen and in what is to where you started and stop it cool. And jeff will be getting a handful of questions regarding this subject matter on dh on this particular point. Wei don't want to go down the rabbit hole, but I'll throw it out at you anyway and you could give us your two cents, sarah gardner asked. Are their differences are advantages to stabilizing video footage after effects versus premier people are asking about your your your two cents on why, after effects for all that you know for everything? Well, typically because I'm also motion tracking and I'm doing other things and after effects and it was here first, so that just made made good sense. Now premier does the exact same thing it does has uses the same math and everything to do the warp stabilizer effect on dh rolling shutter repair and that kind of thing, so it really doesn't matter which tool you're using. The effect works the same same kind of setting some kind of math is going on in there. It's it's really your preference? So it started I believe in five five after effects on then in six point six that's when it was also introduced into premier to which was great because there's times where you just want to stabilize and keep editing and stay and premier do that don't you don't have to come to aftereffects to do that specifically ask kumar asks from india how much tracking can be used in one video footage you can add as many track points as you want, you can keep adding track points in track points and track point they just have to point to somewhere so if I wanted to track the bridge and add text there, I wanted teo attach something tow a boat out there in the ocean at another track point it's just data it's just collecting data that it sees on screen and you pointed to something you can't have two different track points apply to the same thing is one's going overwrite the other so I wouldn't want to say track the bridge and a boat out in the bay and have them both you know pointed to the text it's got no one's going to overwrite the other all right, maybe one final question this is from a guest what do you use more points to track if the bridge was covered with a tree for some frames yeah most definitely if that if a tree came in frame I would track up to that point then I would start again when it came visible and track beyond that point and then somewhere in between is where you have to get a little creative and subjective and I've had to do this before to we have to actually create new track points in between so say if I was at a place here somewhere in the middle something obscured my my view let me go p for position and all deletes and track points here because they are just key frames so zoom in here and just delete a few apps going like this I'm trying to just select him so let me do this where I see more there we go uh just going to select a few here there we go and delete him so now I'm going to have kind of a jump between there and there they see that it's still smoothed it out even though I've got missing track points there, it's still kind of stays in there a little bit of a jump, but nothing too egregious as we go back and forth from there. So if I had to track up to a certain point, skip ahead, then tracked from that point on, I can do that and it's just going to do a basic tween ing is what it's doing in between those two key frames it's just going to say, oh, you're moving from here to here and if it's a smooth move it's not a problem, if it's a jarring move, then you have to adjust it so I'd have to put something in there and then say, I got to move this up here and you know that woo so you could do that to you to do something kind of creative and we make things jump so again they're just key frames, you know, that's the beauty of it. Once you understand the basics of key frames, then everything else that moves in after effects comes right back down to that it's all key frames it's, that's, what's, beautiful about it

Class Description

Adobe® After Effects® for Beginners is part of our special week-long event Adobe Creative Apps for Beginners.

Join author and Adobe® Certified Expert Jeff Foster for an in-depth tour of the industry leading program for creating motion graphics and animation - Adobe® After Effects®. During this course, Jeff will teach you how to import your images from Adobe® Photoshop®, create engaging motion graphics and export them so that you can share your work with the world.

Adobe® After Effects® software lets you deliver cinematic visual effects and motion graphics within minutes. Plus it allows you to extend your creativity with built-in text and shape extrusion, mask feathering options, and a fast, easy-to-use 3D Camera Tracker.

Software Used: Adobe After Effects CC 12.0