Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Digital Audio, Video > Adobe After Effects

Using the New Warp Stabilizer in Adobe After Effects CS6

  • Print
  • + Share This
In this excerpt from Adobe After Effects CS6 Classroom in a Book, you will learn how to use the Warp Stabilizer to stabilize a handheld camera shot and to track one object to another in an image so that their motion is synchronized. Then you will use corner-pinning to track an object with perspective. Finally, you will explore some of the high-end digital effects available in After Effects CS6: a particle system generator and the Timewarp effect.

Note: This excerpt is from the forthcoming book Adobe After Effects CS6 Classroom in a Book, ISBN 9780321822437.

From the book

In previous lessons, you’ve used many of the essential 2D and 3D tools you need for motion graphics design. But Adobe After Effects CS6 also offers motion stabilization, motion tracking, advanced keying tools, distortion effects, the capability to retime footage using the Timewarp effect, support for high dynamic range (HDR) color images, network rendering, and much more. In this lesson, you will learn how to use the Warp Stabilizer to stabilize a handheld camera shot and to track one object to another in an image so that their motion is synchronized. Then you will use corner-pinning to track an object with perspective. Finally, you will explore some of the high-end digital effects available in After Effects CS6: a particle system generator and the Timewarp effect.

This lesson includes multiple projects. Take a peek at all of them before beginning.

  1. Make sure the following files are in the AECS6_CIB/Lessons/Lesson13 folder on your hard disk, or copy them from the Adobe After Effects CS6 Classroom in a Book DVD now:
    • In the Assets folder: flowers.mov, Group_Approach[DV].mov, majorspoilers.mov, metronome.mov, mocha_tracking.mov, multipoint_tracking.mov
    • In the Sample_Movies folder: Lesson13_Multipoint.mov, Lesson13_Particles.mov, Lesson13_Stabilize.mov, Lesson13_Timewarp.mov, Lesson13_Tracking.mov
  2. Open and play the sample movies in the Lesson13/Sample_Movies folder to see the projects you will create in this lesson.
  3. When you’re done, quit QuickTime Player. You may delete these sample movies from your hard disk if you have limited storage space.

Using the Warp Stabilizer

If you shoot footage using a handheld camera, you will probably end up with shaky shots. Unless this look is intentional, you’ll want to stabilize your shots to eliminate unwanted motion.

The Warp Stabilizer in After Effects automatically removes extraneous jitters. When played back, the motion appears smooth, because the layer itself is scaled and moves incrementally to offset the unwanted movement.

Setting up the project

As you start After Effects, restore the default application settings for After Effects. See “Restoring default preferences” on page 3.

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Shift (Windows) or Command+Option+Shift (Mac OS) while starting After Effects CS6 to restore default preferences. When asked whether you want to delete your preferences file, click OK.
  2. Click Close to close the Welcome screen.

After Effects opens to display a new, untitled project.

  1. Choose File > Save As > Save As.
  2. In the Save As dialog box, navigate to the AECS6_CIB/Lessons/Lesson13/Finished_Projects folder.
  3. Name the project Lesson13_Stabilize.aep, and then click Save.

Importing the footage

You need to import one footage item to start this project.

  1. Double-click an empty area of the Project panel to open the Import File dialog box.
  2. Navigate to the AECS6_CIB/Lessons/Lesson13/Assets folder. Select the flowers.mov file, and then click Open.

Creating the composition

Now, you will create the composition.

  1. Drag the Flowers.mov clip in the Project panel onto the Create A New Composition button (icon) at the bottom of the panel.

After Effects creates a new composition named Flowers with the same pixel size, aspect ratio, frame rate, and duration of the source clip.

  1. Click the RAM Preview button in the Preview panel to preview the footage. This clip was shot with a handheld camera in the late afternoon. A slight breeze rustles the vegetation, and the camera moves unsteadily.

Applying the Warp Stabilizer

The Warp Stabilizer gets to work as soon as you apply it. Stabilization is a background process, so you can work on other compositions while it works. How long it takes depends on your system. After Effects displays a blue banner while it analyzes the footage, and then displays an orange banner while it applies stabilization.

  1. Select the flowers.mov layer in the Timeline panel, and choose Animation > Warp Stabilizer. The blue banner appears immediately.
  2. When the Warp Stabilizer has finished stabilizing, and the orange banner has disappeared, create another RAM preview to view the changes.
  3. Press the spacebar to stop the preview.

The clip is still shaky, but it’s smoother than it was initially. The Warp Stabilizer moved and repositioned the footage. To see how it applied changes, view the effects in the Effect Controls panel. For example, the clip’s borders were scaled to 102.8% to hide black gaps that occur when the image is repositioned in the stabilization process. You’ll adjust the settings the Warp Stabilizer uses.

Adjusting the Warp Stabilizer settings

You’ll change the settings in the Effect Controls panel to make the shot smoother.

  1. In the Effect Controls panel, increase the Smoothness amount to 75%.

The Warp Stabilizer immediately begins stabilizing again. It doesn’t need to analyze the footage, because the initial analysis data is stored in memory.

  1. When the Warp Stabilizer has finished, create another RAM preview to view the changes.
  2. Press the spacebar to stop playback when you’re done.

It’s better but it’s still a little rough. The Auto-scale setting in the Effect Controls panel now displays 103.75%; the effect moved the frames more dramatically, requiring more scaling to eliminate black gaps around the edges.

Rather than change the amount the Warp Stabilizer smooths the footage, now you’ll change its goal.

  1. In the Effect Controls panel, choose No Motion from the Result menu. With this setting, the Warp Stabilizer attempts to lock the camera in position. This requires even more scaling. When No Motion is selected, the Smoothness option is dimmed.
  2. When the orange banner disappears, create another RAM preview. Press the spacebar to stop the playback.

Now the camera stays in position, so that the movement you notice is the rustling of the flowers in the wind, not the shakiness of the camera. In order to achieve this effect, the Warp Stabilizer had to scale the clip to 114.5% of its original size.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email ask@peachpit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.peachpit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020