It’s happened to all of us. You film something on the spur of the moment but realize afterwards that parts of your footage are really shaky. When you’ve filmed freehand or shot footage with an action cam, in particular, shaky footage can take the fun out of video editing. We’d like to show you how to stabilize shaky footage with MAGIX Movie Edit Pro in order to get great results quickly.
Step 1: Select your footage
As soon as you’ve dragged your film footage from the Media Pool to the Timeline, left-click on the footage you want to edit. The selected object will turn blue.
Step 2: Apply the “image stabilization” effect
Now go to the “Effects” tab in the menu bar at the top of the screen, select “Video object effects” from the drop-down menu, then click “Image stabilization”. Alternatively, you can access the feature quickly with the shortcut “Ctrl+L”.
Step 3: “Image stabilization” settings
The main video stabilization window will open, which includes a window for previewing your results.
In the first parameter, a radius can be set to limit the area where shaking can be identified. If the shaky footage is minimal, you can set the radius to smaller. In our case, we have a lot of shaking, so we’ve moved the fader up to the maximum (80) (see red frame).
The second parameter is the area with the most shaky scenes (white frame). If your footage is particularly shaky in areas in the foreground or in the bottom left-hand corner, for instance, you can select these areas using the mouse. For us, there are issues in several parts of the whole image, so we’ve set the area to the maximum (see orange frame).
We recommend leaving the maximum displacement as 10%. This unit value specifies the extent to which borders should be removed during motion compensation (blue frame). Experiment with the unit by increasing its value – you will see that the program zooms in closely on your image. This is because larger borders are cut out to automatically create a closer image area and avoids too many black borders being visible.
The last parameter determines the speed of the movements that the program identifies as shaky. This allows you to differentiate between a panning shot and a hand-held shot. Try out different speeds to find the one that’s right for you.
Keep the box checked for “Suppress black borders caused by picture stretching”. This ensures that the ugly black borders won’t be visible (yellow frame).
Understanding video stabilization
To understand the concept of image stabilization more fully, you can unclick the “Suppress black borders caused by picture stretching” at the end of the process. This will make the black borders that have resulted from correction visible (see red frame). If there is an instance of shaky footage appearing first at the top of an area, then at the bottom, the program will attempt to fix this using countermotion. This means that the image area will shift below and then above.
So don’t get annoyed by shaky footage the next time you’re editing videos, because with MAGIX Movie Edit Pro, you can fix it! Play around with the parameters to get the results you want. You can find the test version here.