For Beginning Photographers

De-shaking a hand-held video

Here is a tool and method I used to de-shake a HD video taken by the JY-HD10. The result is really smooth as glass, however the processing time, and file sizes involved, are very taxing. There must be a better way.

First, see the results: Original here in WMV9 HD, 720p, 30 frames/sec. Deshaken version is here.

I used VirtualDub v1.5.10 as the video editor, with a plugin called DeShaker v1.6. Virtual dub is here, an open source project. DeShaker is here. A guide to using DeShaker is here, thanks to John Meyer.

VirtualDub only works with uncompressed .avi files, which for HD is a huge file. For better or worse, here is the process I used:

1. must have video in .avi uncompressed format for VirtualDub
Use tmpgenc to convert JVC's .m2t files to avi
Use "uncompressed video", which takes about 80Gbyte/30min
-start tmpgenc
-click upper right button "Start new project"
-click button: Add file
-navigate to folder and select the .m2t file.
-tmpgenc will pop open a window, showing the opening scene, just click OK.
-click SetOutput at the top of tmpgenc
Select "AVI Output" from the list, then Select.
window should show "uncompressed RGB", for "Video output".
-click Encode at top row.
-click Browse and navigate to the destination folder, e.g. File2-UN.avi
Add "UN" to the end of the name, for uncompressed, just so you don't get confused.
-click Start Output
-tmpgenc is finished only when the Progress shows 100%.
This will take 1-2 hours for 15min of material.
Exit tmpgenc.

2. deshaking.
This output file takes another 80Gbyte/30min.
-start Virtual Dub from the desktop.
-Video - "filters", select Deshaker, Configure. Click on Pass 1,
set processing settings as recommended in the Guide, and save them!
Click OK, OK.
-File - "open video file", select the .avi file just output in step 1. above.
-click on the |< (rewind) button, at bottom, 4th from left.
-click on the >o Output button, 3rd from left.
This will take about an hour or two, and causes a tiny marker under the
image to slowly move across. Audio spurts of sound occur every second.

-when done, marker is all the way to the right,
-IMPORTANT - click on |< (rewind)
-click on Video - "filters", select Deshaker, Configure, click on PASS 2, OK,OK
-File-Save as AVI
Navigate to destination folder. Select filename to be same as input, BUT put deshake in name,
e.g. File2-deshake.avi
click Save.
After 10 or 20 seconds, a progress box will appear, showing total estimated time.
It will probably be an hour per 15 minutes of material.
-deshaking is done only when the progress box disappears.

3. Re-compress. use tmpgenc to convert the resulting .avi to .wmv or mpeg2.