Monday, 29 June 2015

Stabilizing and slowing down videos

Those of us with a regular camera and no tripod are used to shaky videos. To fight this disease, we can use software to help stabilizing it. In my current system, Ubuntu 14.04, the software 'transcode' already has everything you need, and it is extremely easy to get it working. Assuming you have a shaky video, just issue the following two commands:

transcode -J stabilize -i ORIGINAL.MOV
transcode -J transform -i ORIGINAL.MOV -y xvid -o STABILIZED.MOV

The result can be pretty good. As a comparison, see below (left: original; right: after stabilizing).

Another nice thing to be able to do with videos is to slow them down in certain parts, but creating interpolated frames between the original ones to allow for smooth transition between frames. This can be accomplished with 'slowmoVideo'. The user interface allows you to select which parts you want faster or slower by changing the slope of the line describing the relative speed of the rendered video vs. the original one. As an example of how the GUI looks like:

And a demo of the resulting video, where we slow down the part from second 2 to 5 approximately (again left: original; right: modified video).

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