Stabilizing GoPro footage

To the mountains

To me, vacation is a relative term. When I went to the mountains earlier this summer, I packed the usual camera gear and wanted to do some GoPro experiments.

If you have ever tried shooting actual POV with a GoPro, you know the result wont look nothing like GoPro’s own ads. Because of their light weight, those little cameras are very exposed to vibrations, although the large FOV makes it slightly more bearable. Then again, the fisheye distortion can make for some strange effects when the camera moves around.

There are 2 ways to combat this problem:

  1. Stabilize the actual camera.
  2. Digitally stabilizing the recorded footage in post.

I do have a motorized 3-axis gimbal, but as soon as I leave the roads and head onto rougher terrain, it will simply not keep up. Is still use it on the trail, but that’s just to keep the camera leveled.

Stabilizing in post

Post production stabilization has gotten a lot easier over the years, with tools like Adobe’s Warp Stabilizer often producing usable result with the click of a single button. GoPro footage however, can be a tough nut to crack, with lot’s of action and lens distortion making it difficult for the automated tracker to understand what’s going on. I was eager to crack this nut with the simplest tool-set possible, but when it comes to tracking, I often end up in Syntheyes. This summers vacation footage was no different, and below is a quick test with the original, the Warp Stabilized and the Syntheyes 3d-stabilized version of the same clip.

The Warp Stabilizer looks good at first glance, but creates some nausia indusing distortions at times, and also crops away a lot more of the frame than the Syntheyes solution.

Click here to play all simultaneously

To Kilimanjaro or not to Kilimanjaro

This case is from a while back, but it really shows the value of invisible effects done right.

What is real and what is not?
What is real and what is not?


A different view of Bøler

When producer Kjetil Omberg and director Ole Endresen came to Hocus Focus to finish The Wendy Effect, I was tasked with quite a few VFX shots. Not many of these were planned for ahead, but would still tie the movie tighter together and enhance the feel beyond what is possible with just a grade. Among other things, I tweaked a lot of scenery to create a more urban feel.