April 07, 2011

Sneak peek: After Effects Warp Stabilizer

You might remember that Adobe researchers have been developing next-generation technology for stabilizing shaky video. Now the tech is getting closer to being real-world ready, as After Effects PM Steve Forde demonstrates:

[Update: See comments for some additional info & links from AE brainiacs Dan Wilk & David Simons.]

Posted by John Nack at 8:08 AM on April 07, 2011


  • ricardo galvão — 8:56 AM on April 07, 2011

    I hope as PS edit video now you put this tool on it
    cause No PRO needs more then PRO
    and photocams are making movies now….

    [I’ve passed along your suggestion; thanks. –J.]

  • Ryan Butterworth — 9:09 AM on April 07, 2011

    This is amazing stuff. I really hope this background rendering gets applied in other areas of AE.

  • Fuad Kamal — 9:16 AM on April 07, 2011

    At a glance this looks nearly identical to the SmoothCam effect in Final Cut Pro. The rolling shutter correction looks pretty unique, though. Would be interested in a comparison of the the new AE tech vs. SmoothCam in FCP.

  • Dmitry Kitsov — 9:48 AM on April 07, 2011

    Very nice, hope it is able to correct for rolling shutter on the objects with different angular speeds.

  • Dan — 9:57 AM on April 07, 2011

    Faud, if you look at the project pages linked to in Mr. Nack’s previous post:


    you will see a comparison with with stabilizer in iMovie, which is the same technology that’s in SmoothCam. The Warp Stabilizer technology is based on even newer research than that described in the link.


  • Mike — 10:49 AM on April 07, 2011

    This blog used to be a whole lot more interesting and relevant when there was more focus on Photoshop. Still, I look in every day!

    [I hear you, and I knew my day-to-day association with Photoshop wouldn’t last forever; hence the title “John Nack on Adobe” (and not “Photoshop”). Glad I’m still keeping you checking in, though! –J.]

  • Jennifer Apple — 12:01 PM on April 07, 2011

    John – off topic – watch this trailer, last segment has a great Photoshop joke in it!

  • Walden — 1:02 PM on April 07, 2011

    Ok – so, WHEN can we expect this to actually become available in the REAL WORLD??? …and will we be able to obtain it as an add-on to our existing software (in my case, I have the Production Premium CS5 suite, with Affter Effects & Premiere Pro), or will it only be available when a newer version of software is released, and require us to buy or upgrade to a future newer version a year or 2 down the road as the only means of obtaining it, and be in a “holding pattern” in the meantime?

    Also, a side-note to some of the “better-than/holier-than-thou types here who seem to feel that such a product is beneath the consideration of a “professional”… good grief!!! get over yourselves!!! …the world is bigger than just YOU, and whether you like it or not, there a whole lot of new people getting into the world of creating content – your territorialism and preference for exclusivity are out the window and down the tubes. The world is changing, and if you aren’t capable of changing with it, you’re going to get run over by the technological & creative Mack truck that happens to have you in its cross-hairs (halelujah!!!) In case you hadn’t already noticed, I absolutely DETEST ARROGANCE.

  • DaveS — 2:05 PM on April 07, 2011

    Here’s a link to the more recent paper that Dan alluded to above:


    Compared to the previous paper, the new method avoids the fragility of a full 3D camera solve. In addition to general robustness, this gives the added benefit of working on footage that has rolling-shutter artifacts.

  • Iain Anderson — 3:17 AM on April 08, 2011

    How does this compare to Lock & Load X?


    (Note: Yes, I do work with CoreMelt, the makers of Lock & Load.)

  • Ubi Quabar — 4:19 PM on April 13, 2011


    I don’t work for CoreMelt but was thinking the same thing – you guys have done this a long time ago (now the analyze in the background bit is a nice edition) and I am not sure it is worth the upgrade price if one already has L&L. What other new features are in v5.5?

  • Andy — 9:24 AM on April 24, 2011

    Will the warp stabilizer work well with footage shot with a handheld glidecam/merlin or other similar stabilizer? I would hope you could use the warp stabilizer to make an absolutely perfect shot of footage that was already decently shot on a handheld stabilizer. Is there any reason why the warp stabilizer would not work well in this situation?

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