Tips & Suggestions to stabilize my hyperlapse

#1
Hey I've been fascinated with hyperlapses for a while now, I've been a regular timelapser for quite some time and have pretty much mastered that. but introducing motion and creating hyperlapses is a whole new realm. I've been practicing the technique and workflow quite a bit. Sometimes I can get perfectly stabilized results while other times I just can't seem to wrap my head around what I could have improved upon, it's a very frustrating and time consuming technique to master as I'm sure many of you know.

In my latest test I show you my results straight from camera, then what it looks like post After-Effects with custom Position & Rotation stabilization, then with an added warp stabilizer on top of that.

I choose the top middle of the building for my shoot reference point, I made sure to use my in camera level as well for each shot, was following a defined line path from the tiles on the ground. I used my shoe length each time to move the tripod forward, I initially thought perhaps the culprit was not moving the tripod enough for each shot, but when I sped the footage up (skipping every other frame) then ran warp stabilizer the same issue was present (although a bit better).

Checkout my results here: (may have to fullscreen to fully see imperfections)

I am wondering if some of the experts could offer some advice as to what is causing the distortion in my process. I was feeling very confident after I had taken the shots, although the second half of my shooting was a bit more rushed due to security trying to kick me out as you'll see. I am very dedicated and patient and would love to master this effect and create some amazing content. I'm eager to learn and soak in any tips I can for how I could've shot this better for a perfect result.

Thanks!
 

Tomasz

New time-lapser
#4
Hey.
The straight forward hyperlapses are a little bit more difficult than the others, especially to stabilize. You've got to be super exact when doing such.
I saw there was a line on the ground, did you follow that with two tripod legs (like that: http://tlvideo.pl/en/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2015/11/dolly-zoom-path-01.jpg )?
There could be two reasons of your problem. One: you didn't follow that line enough accurate. That means your camera didn't follow straight line, but it has w little movement between the shots, once on the left, once on the right. Than you point your camera on the reference point, which cause change of perspective. For example, your camera moved a little on the left side of the line. So now you rotates it to the right to match the reference point (the camera now isn't in the straight line axis). When you turn you camera to the right, the left part of image is a little bit closer to the sensor, while the right one is further than on the 'perfect' straight image. That's causes changes in the perspective, that are hard to stabilize. Second reason could be inaccurate aiming in the reference point, and that causes the same problems, but it's easier to make it right ;)
Sorry for that long answer, I hope you understand that :)
 

Zoeperkoe

Active time-lapser
#5
Actually, the problem is not necessarily in how accurate you shot it (I would argue that shooting forward movement actually gives you more room for error than sideways hyperlapses), but in warp stabilizer (WS).

Put simply, don't apply any automatic effect to forward hyperlapses. WS doesn't handle the extreme perspective changes in forward movement very well (especially since you probably shot this with a wide-angle lens), causing the sudden jumps that you see around the edges of your stabilized footage.

So, if I would have to stabilize your footage, I would do it like this: stabilize rotation (using 2 manual control points in Stabilize Motion); put it in a new comp; stabilize position on the reference point that you used (either using position in Stabilize Motion or just animating position with keyframes using grid lines to determine where the reference point should stay); put it in a new comp; do a final check and correct all minor problems that still exist (usually small rotation errors that weren't corrected good enough during step 1).

That should give you a pretty smooth result, and you could use some motion blur to further smoothen it if necessary.

For example, the forward hyperlapses in this video (starting around 0:45) were all shot handheld and stabilized without warp stabilizer:

 
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#6
Hey.
The straight forward hyperlapses are a little bit more difficult than the others, especially to stabilize. You've got to be super exact when doing such.
I saw there was a line on the ground, did you follow that with two tripod legs (like that: http://tlvideo.pl/en/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2015/11/dolly-zoom-path-01.jpg )?
Yes, that's exactly how I shot it with two legs following the line for tracking, aiming each shot at my reference point.



Actually, the problem is not necessarily in how accurate you shot it (I would argue that shooting forward movement actually gives you more room for error than sideways hyperlapses), but in warp stabilizer (WS).

Put simply, don't apply any automatic effect to forward hyperlapses. WS doesn't handle the extreme perspective changes in forward movement very well (especially since you probably shot this with a wide-angle lens), causing the sudden jumps that you see around the edges of your stabilized footage.

So, if I would have to stabilize your footage, I would do it like this: stabilize rotation (using 2 manual control points in Stabilize Motion); put it in a new comp; stabilize position on the reference point that you used (either using position in Stabilize Motion or just animating position with keyframes using grid lines to determine where the reference point should stay); put it in a new comp; do a final check and correct all minor problems that still exist (usually small rotation errors that weren't corrected good enough during step 1).

That should give you a pretty smooth result, and you could use some motion blur to further smoothen it if necessary.

For example, the forward hyperlapses in this video (starting around 0:45) were all shot handheld and stabilized without warp stabilizer:

For my stabilization I used position tracking first in AE, then I ran a pass of position+rotation, then I ran another pass of position+rotation again. Do you think I would see a drastic change if I did what you suggest and stabilize rotation, and then stabilize position afterwards?
 

Zoeperkoe

Active time-lapser
#7
Possibly. I find that the results from using Track Motion to track position are not as good as when I correct motion manually using keyframes, so that could be one source of jitter. Also, I usually track rotation on objects on the same plane that are as far away from each other as possible (either top and bottom, or left and right, and I track multiple objects if they go out of the photo during the hyperlapse), whereas I track position on whatever is in the middle of the photo, as that's what's supposed to be the subject of the hyperlapses and therefore needs to be most stable.

So detaching rotation and position gives you more and therefore better objects to track, and usually better results.

I am not sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if Track Motion also gives better results if you track just one property at a time (i.e. rotation OR position). Maybe someone else can weigh in on that?

Could you post your footage with Track Motion applied, but without the Warp Stabilizer applied?
 

Zoeperkoe

Active time-lapser
#8
For my stabilization I used position tracking first in AE
Tracking position first and then tracking rotation doesn't make sense anyway as rotating an image can shift the tracked object out of its original position, unless you position the anchor on the object that you tracked. That's why I do rotation first and only then position.
 

Tomasz

New time-lapser
#9
Nice video Zoeoperkoe ;)
Your stabilize work flow would work on well shot hyperlapse, because you do rotation stabilization in 2D. The perspective changes that digitalchaos shows are in 3d space, and it's caused by changing distance from the corner of the image. And that's caused by inaccurate shooting ;)
 

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