Use the Stabilizer to remove camera instability and motion jitter, and to track reference points in your clips. You can also use the Stabilizer to produce 2D motion or lock a bilinear surface to the clip's background. With tracking, a point or points on the clip are tracked as they move through the scene. You can then apply the resulting motion path to an object on another layer so that it follows the same path as the object you tracked.
Tracking and stabilizing are often processes of trial and error. It is recommended that you track or stabilize using the default settings. If the tracker box strays from its original point, you can fine-tune the analysis.
You access the Stabilizer differently, depending on how you want to track or stabilize a clip. For example, when you access the Stabilizer from the Tools tab, you stabilize with one tracker. When you access from Action, you have the option to use two trackers. You need two trackers when the clip you want to stabilize has a camera roll or zoom—the second tracker enables you to track the rotation and zoom of the camera.
|Access the Stabilizer from:||To:|
|The Tools tab||Stabilize.|
|Action/ Timeline Effects Axis||Track or stabilize.|
|Keyer/ GMask||Track a garbage mask or the vertices of a GMask.|
|Distort||Track vertices or the axis of a spline when warping or morphing.|
|Warper||Track points or an axis of a mesh when warping or morphing.|
|3D Tracker||Provide a 2D tracking path for 3D manual tracking.|
|Paint||Track an AutoPaint stroke.|
|Blur, Glow||Track the center point of the radial blur.|
|2D Transform||Provide correction for 2D motion, rotation and scaling.|
The Stabilizer uses trackers to generate tracking data. Each tracker consists of a solid box, called the reference box, and a dashed box, called the tracker box. The reference box establishes the reference point (the feature to track or stabilize) in any frame of the sequence. The tracker box indicates to the Stabilizer where to locate the reference point. The tracker box follows the frame-to-frame movement of the reference point.
(a) Tracker number (b) Tracker box (c) Reference box
You start by selecting one or more reference points on your clip. Locate the first frame containing the movement to be tracked (the reference frame). In general, the reference frame is the first frame of the sequence. The choice of the reference point depends on whether you are tracking or stabilizing. When tracking, the reference point is a feature you want to track; when stabilizing, the reference point represents the point around which the image is stabilized. See for details. Place the reference box(es) around the selected feature(s).
Once you have set the tracker positions, start the tracking process, also referred to as analyzing the clip. During the analysis, the tracker box associated with each tracker moves as the Stabilizer looks for a pattern that matches the reference in each frame of the clip.
The Stabilizer calculates the difference between the position of the tracker box and the position of the reference box to produce X and Y Shift values. Shift values represent a measurement in pixels and subpixels of how much the reference point has moved.
To track, the Stabilizer applies the Shift values “as is.” To stabilize, the Stabilizer inverts the X and Y Shift values in each frame of the sequence, and moves the image according to these values. This gives the impression that the reference point stays in the same position throughout the sequence. Because the image is moved during stabilization, a border appears on one or more edges, which means that you lose some pixels. The following illustrations summarize the process.