Smoothing Camera Motion in Blender

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Handheld camera work is very common today, but if you’re out there shooting your own movies, sometimes you may find your footage has a high frequency shake that is just really annoying. I’ve found that the smaller the camera is, the more chance there is of introducing that jittery motion. With people shooting movies on smartphones and GoPros, cameras really can’t get much smaller! That means there is a lot of high frequency jitter in those handheld shots.

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As usual, someone in the Blender community created a great add-on to help solve this problem. It’s called Highpass, and it’s created by Björn Sonnenschein (sunboy at blenderartists.org). You can read his own post about it on his blog here, or check out the blenderartist post here. It’s extremely easy to use, just check out the video below to see how it works.

 

Keep in mind that if your track doesn’t run the full length of the shot, it will fail and give you an error message. That can limit the usefulness of this particular add-on, but in some upcoming posts, I’ll show you a few more options for stabilizing and smoothing other types of footage, such as footage where the markers go off-screen.

Try the add-on out and share links to your smoothed clips in the comments!

Click HERE to download the Highpass add-on.

Assets required:

Before & After comparison:

 

 

10 comments

  1. Love it, and I guess that rotation stabilize is possible as well as trackers going of screen? Any way my only minor gripe is not seeing the before and after in a side by side comparison. The effect can be so subtle that I can’t work out what is going on. Especially if stabilise is only taking out some of the excess motion.

    Anyway, thanks so much Sean.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point! I’ll upload a side by side comparison today! And using this add-on, I wouldn’t recommend using rotation, or if you do, you’d have to animate it’s influence. I got some bad results trying it out. And if a track goes off-screen, the add-on will fail. So that’s what I meant when I said the add-on is a bit limited. But in the next few posts, I’ll cover a bunch of other stabilization tools and techniques. 🙂

      Like

    1. You can use either one, both are great options. Both use slightly different approaches to smoothing or stabilizing footage, so the decision should be based more on what you’re looking to do with your footage. In fact, this smoothing add-on can’t actually fully stabilize footage, that’s not what it’s designed to do. You can, however, use the new stabilizer features for smoothing footage, but it will require more work and more setup time. And if your footage is a panning shot or a zooming dolly shot, this smoothing add-on won’t be much help. But both tools are definitely worth learning if you do a lot of camera work.

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  2. hi Sean

    Missed your conversational teaching style on Blendercookie and glad I stumbled across you here!

    I read this post with interest and will give it a try.
    MEanwhile I wondered your wisdom on an annoying issues where Im getting various jumping issues when I render that are not present in the tracked footage – could it be related to using video files to track rather than image sequences?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That would be my first guess. Compression always seems to make a problem for me, but you can’t go wrong with an image sequence. Then you can recompress to a movie afterwards.

      Hahaha, glad you enjoy my conversational teaching style. I like to think of it as comfortably unprofessoinal. 😉

      Like

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