Warp Stabilizer Effect

Lesson Details

Subject: Editing

Title: Warp Stabilizer Effect


How to use Premiere Pro CC's Warp Stabilizer effect to fix shaky footage.


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Premiere Pro CC has a really useful effect you can use to stabilize shaky footage. Let’s take a look at this boat footage clip. A lot of the motion is coming from the boat movement itself, but there’s a slight shake on the camera as well. To fix this, I’ll go to my Effects tab and type ‘warp’ into the search field at the top and then click and drag it onto that clip in my timeline.

As soon as I drop it, a message appears in my Program monitor to let me know that Premiere Pro CC is analyzing my clip in the background, which allows me to continue to work on something else while that’s happening if I want to. It also says that this is Step one of two, step two being the stabilization adjustment.

If you want to see the progress of the Analysis and stabilization adjustment, then double click on the clip in the timeline to open it into your Source monitor, and click on the Effect Controls tab. Under the Warp Stabilizer effect parameters, you see a percentage and number of frames that have been analyzed and then finally a display of seconds remaining.

If I click on the Method pulldown menu, I’ll change it from ‘subspace warp” to Position, Scale and Rotation. Then I can use the smoothness slider to reduce the amount of smoothness or increase it. Each time I move the slider, Premiere Pro CC will need to Stabilize it again. Notice that as I add more smoothness, say all the way to 100%, my image has zoomed in.

Premiere Pro CC uses a very advanced algorithm to correct a shaky image and it can include zooming into the image and rotating it to make the shot steadier. Next, under the Borders parameters, I have a few different ways I can view my image.

If I choose “Stabilize Only” then I’ll see black or white checkerboard borders around my image. If I choose “Stabilize and Crop” my image will be centered with black or white checkerboard borders around my image. If I choose “Stabilize, Crop and Auto Scale”, I’ll see the corrected image without any borders, which is the preference that we recommend. Now let’s play our clip back and see how it looks. It looks better, so we’ll keep that adjustment. Just as with any of the corrective Video effects, it’s always to shoot your footage without a shake, but the Warp Stabilizer can be a helpful solution to the problem.

© Michael Rosenblum & Lisa Lambden 2015