(Last updated on February 13th, 2023)
Shaky, unstabilized videos are common in videography. As videographers, we use the best gimbals and other stabilizing equipment to ensure we have stable, clear videos. But despite taking all precautions, it’s during editing that we realize that the footage is too shaky and challenging to work with.
Considering that this issue happens with even the best videographers out there, Premiere Pro (the most reliable editing software) has come up with a handy feature – the Warp Stabilizer. Thanks to the Warp Stabilizer, you can fix shaky videos quickly and continue your editing without any hiccups.
As a video editor, it’s essential to know how to use the warp stabilizing feature of Premiere Pro.
If you’re a beginner, rest assured because mastering the Warp Stabilizer effect isn’t tricky – especially with our easy-to-understand guide. Let us show you how to use the Warp Stabilizer in Premiere Pro:
How to Use Warp Stabilizer
Step 1: Apply the Warp Stabilizer Effect
Warp stabilizer effect
First, pick a shaky clip you wish to stabilize in Premiere Pro. Then, from the Effects panel, select Video Effects. You’ll see a drop-down menu, from which you have to scroll down to Distort and then double click Warp Stabilizer. You can also select the Warp Stabilizer option and drag it onto the shaky clip to apply the effect.
Step 2: Automatic Analysis of the Video
Automatic analysis of the video
Now that you’ve applied the Warp Stabilizer effect to the video clip, Premiere Pro begins analyzing it in the background. It would require some time; until then, you can continue working with other parts of the video footage. You can track the analysis progress on the first two banners in the Project Panel.
Step 3: Adjust Various Basic Parameters
Basic Parameter Adjustments
Premiere Pro offers various stabilization parameters – Result, Smoothness, Method, and Preserve scale. You can adjust each as per the requirements of your footage. Let’s have a look at each of these:
⦁ The result allows you to control the intended outcome for the footage, where you can choose from two options – Smooth or No Motion. The former makes the footage smoother while retaining the original camera movement, while the latter attempts to remove all camera motion from the shot.
⦁ You can also set the Smoothness percentage, which helps control the extent of stabilization of the camera’s original motion. Usually, 5-10% is sufficient, but it depends on your video’s shakiness.
⦁ Under Method, we have Position, Perspective, Subspace Warp, and the Position, Scale, and Rotation parameters. Each offers different types of stabilization, bringing your footage to near perfection and accuracy.
⦁ Lastly, you can opt for the Preserve Scale checkbox, which ensures that the scale of the clip stays the same.
Step 4: Border Adjustments
The Border settings allow you to adjust the moving edges of the footage stabilized in Premiere Pro. Under this, you have Framing, Auto-scale, and Additional Scale. But, first, let’s understand the border adjustments a bit better:
⦁ Framing allows you to control how edges appear in a stabilizing result. Framing can be set to one of the four options – Stabilize Only, Stabilize Crop, Stabilize Crop Auto-Scale (default), or Stabilize Synthesize Edges.
⦁ Auto-scale displays the current auto-scale level and allows you to set limits on the extent of auto-scaling. For example, you can enable the Auto-scale only when you put the framing to Stabilize Crop Auto Scale.
⦁ Additional scale upscales the clip without extra resampling of the image.
Step 5: Advanced Settings
Premiere Pro also offers a range of advanced settings under the Warp Stabilization effect. In addition, it has Detailed Analysis, Fast Analysis, Crop Less – Smooth More, Synthesis Edge Feather, and a range of other such parameters that help sharpen, hone, and stabilize your shaky footage, transforming it into a clear, bright, and vibrant video.
Tips to Make the Most of Warp Stabilizer
Trim off the Shaky Frames
Warp Stabilizer analyzes the entire clip, including its shakiest parts. The amount of subspace warp and autoscale required to stabilize the shakiest parts would also be applied to the smooth parts of the video. Instead of this, you can trim off the head and tail of the clip (which have the worst camera shakes, thanks to the operation button) before you run the Warp Stabilizer.
Control The Project File Size When Using Advanced Options
Your project file will turn bigger when you select the Detailed Analysis checkbox in the Advanced options of Warp Stabilizer. To control the limits of the project file, you can choose the Crop Less -Smooth More option. You can also consider using the Synthesis Edges framing option.
Apply Effects in the Right Order
The effects at the top in Premiere Pro and After Effects are the ones you need to apply first. After this, you can proceed to apply the Warp Stabilizer effect. However, if you mess up the order of effects (and choose to apply Warp Stabilizer first), the source analysis would change, and you’d have to analyze the video again. However, this would require a lot of time, so it is advisable to stick to Premiere Pro’s correct effects order.
Mastering Warp Stabilizer is easy if you experiment and practice. First, you need to experiment with the settings and different parameters to understand the effect of the Warm Stabilizer on video clips. The more you work with these effects, tools, and different types of Premiere Pro templates, the easier and more seamless your workflow!
Chris is an LA-based filmmaker and video editor who has a passion for writing and creating video content. He has produced and edited a wide variety of projects, most notably his documentary series “Off the Cuf,” which explores the world’s most fascinating and obscure communities. He has over 10 years of experience under his belt and is known for explaining complex concepts in simple, easy-to-understand way.
He is extremely familiar with all the top video editing software out there such as the Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, Final Cut Pro, iMovie, Adobe Animate, and DaVinci Resolve. Chris also has extensive know-how of top graphic design & photo-editing tools, including Photoshop, GIMP, Canva, Snappa, and more.