3 Ways You Can Stabilize Video in Final Cut Pro

3 Ways You Can Stabilize Video in Final Cut Pro


In this video, we’ll take a look at three ways you can stabilize shaky video in post, using Final Cut Pro. Hey guys, whats up. This is Serge, and welcome back to my channel. Let’s not waste any time, and jump right into Final Cut Pro, and take a look at three ways you can stabilize shaky video. The first method to stabilize video in Final
Cut Pro is by slowing it down. This doesn’t actually stabilize your video, just makes it look like it’s more stable, and really, that the whole point. Let’s take a look at the first clip in our
timeline. As you can see, there’s a little bit of shake in the camera
move. It’s not too bad, but definitely noticeable. If we select this clip, and press Shift F to reveal it in the media
browser, in the Info window of the inspector, you can see this clip was filmed at 60 frames per second. My timeline is 24 frames per second, so there’s lots of room to slow it down. Select your clip in the timeline, and press Command R to open the retime menu. Click the dropdown menu and select custom. You can now slow your clip down by entering a slower rate of playback, or if you select Automatic, Final Cut Pro will adjust your playback rate based on your clip’s frame rate. So, my clip filmed at 60 frames per second in a 24 FPS timeline, can be slowed all the way down to 40 percent. If I play this back, the camera shake is still there, but a lot less noticeable. Let’s try this on another clip, except this time, the original clip was shot at only 24 frames per second. Since we don’t have the extra frames to
work with, if we slow this down to 50 percent, the playback is very jumpy. You can smooth this out by opening the speed dropdown menu, and for video quality, select Optical Flow. Final Cut Pro will analyze your clip, and instead of just duplicating every frame, it creates intermediate frames to help smooth out playback. At 50 percent playback speed, the camera shake is a lot less noticeable, and optical flow really helps smooth out our
playback. The second method for stabilizing clips in
Final Cut Pro, is to use the stabilization built right into
Final Cut Pro. The downside here, just like with any other method of electronic image stabilization, is that it will crop in on your image. This isn’t an issue if you use 4K footage in an HD timeline, but if you only have HD footage to start with, you will loose a bit of quality. Lets take a look at how well it works. My next clip in my timeline is clearly shaky. To apply Final Cut Pro’s built in image
stabilization, select your clip in the timeline, and in the video inspector, down at the bottom, select the Stabilization checkbox. Final Cut Pro will analyze your clip, and apply what it thinks is the best stabilization
option. If you want to learn more about this, I’ll link a video in the description I did a while ago where we take a look at
it. Lets take a look at our clip before, and after. Considerably better. You can also adjust the smoothness slider to increase or decrease how stable your clip
is. The only thing to keep in mind, is the more you increase this setting, the more you crop in on your image. Also, depending on the clip you apply this
to, you might have the tripod mode option. Selecting this will take all the movement
out of your clip, so it looks like the camera was on a tripod, with no camera movement at all. The third method of stabilizing video in Final
Cut Pro is by using a third party plugin. There is a number of great stabilizing plugins
out there, and the one I use is the FCPX Stabilizer 2.0 plugin from pixel film studios. With this type of plugin, you select an area in your clip to focus on, and track your clip. The plugin then creates keyframes for the position of your focus area, that you can apply to your clip. This changes the position of every frame in your clip to keep the focus area in the same spot throughout your entire clip. You can either select and track a specific
area on a moving subject, or use a stationary part of your background
to focus on. Selecting and tracking a moving subject will give you a similar effect that was used in the Powerbeats pro commercial. Using a part of your background as a focus
area, will steady your entire frame. You should always try and record your video as stable as possible, but if you do have a bit of camera shake in
your video, as you can see, there is a way to fix it in
post. The method you use depends on your clip and the look you are going for in your finished
video. If you found this video helpful, let me know by hitting the like button, and if you’re new here, make sure to check out the rest of my channel for more Final Cut Pro tutorials. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you back here next week.

Eugene Islam

14 thoughts on “3 Ways You Can Stabilize Video in Final Cut Pro

  1. Nice! Loved the first tip actually since I often forget that you can simply slow down the framerate using retime and it will have great impact on the perception of smooth video. Nicely done Serge… as always!

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