Do you have footage that you just can’t stabilize? If warp stabilizer gets you nowhere, create a projector in After Effects with this handy technique from the guys at Corridor Digital.

If you aren’t familiar with the name Corridor Digital, there’s a very good chance you’ve seen several of their short films on YouTube. They are behind many viral videos like Real GTA, The Glitch, and Superman With A GoPro.

One of the coolest things about their videos is that they come with a behind-the-scenes look or tutorial. For this stabilization technique, we will be looking at their work on Stop-Motion Karate.

Stop-Motion Karate is actually their second attempt at a similar stop motion project. Check out the original Stop-Motion Parkour to see how different the videos look. They were able to get a much more stable look for Stop-Motion Karate, but it wasn’t from the new GoPro rig they built out of PVC pipe. In fact, both videos were shot with a GoPro and PVC rigs. It actually came down to figuring out a new technique in post.

For the original Stop-Motion Parkour, they ran the footage through warp stabilizer. It didn’t provide the ideal look, but it worked well enough. For the karate video, they built a new PVC rig that would keep the camera locked in position. Unfortunately, PVC is not very rigid so there was plenty of camera movement. When they took that swaying footage in After Effects and applied the warp stabilizer, nothing happened. Then they tried fixing the footage in mocha, but still had no success. They weren’t able to use point tracking either, so they had to come up with another way to stabilize the footage.

At the 3:00 mark in the behind-the-scenes video below, you will see how they used the Track Feature and Camera Solve options in Boujou to track the camera’s movement. This allowed them to reconstruct the camera’s location and use that in After Effects. They used Camera Mapping and a solid white plane to create a movie screen. Finally, they used the 3D camera to build a “projector” that would project the footage onto the white plane, thus creating stabilized footage.

Thanks to Corridor Digital for sharing this and all their other great tutorials.  You can get access to their exclusive tutorials and fund more of their films by supporting their Patreon page.

Want to learn more about stabilization in After Effects? Check out a few of the following links:

  1. Tracking and Stabilization – Adobe 
  2. Remove Warp From Warp Stabilizer Using After Effects – PremiumBeat
  3. After Effects Tracking Fundamentals – PremiumBeat

Have any other tips for stabilizing footage in After Effects? Share in the comments below.