How to Stabilize GoPro Video and Fix Shaky Footage

By Cecilia Hwung | Last Update:

Summary: Seriously, the shaking problem of videos shot by action cameras like GoPro is always a headache for sports enthusiasts. This article will show you what situations will cause shakiness in video shooting and how to avoid and fix shaky videos in production and post-processing phases.

GoPro 4K Video Stabilization

Why Is My GoPro Video Shaky

GoPro videos are more likely to jerk and shake because most GoProers shoot videos in movement or sports like during swimming, surfing, hiking, cycling, mountaineering and skiing. Especially, if you are using the earlier version of GoPro, it would happen more easily since the stabilization ability is not so well.

Even if you are using the new GoPro HERO 9 Black, GoPro Max or HERO 8 Black, shaky footage is inevitable - though the 5K support in HERO 9 does offers more area to be used for the algorithm to stabilization by cropping.

4K videos take on more risk, because the built-in video stabilization in a GoPro camera is useless in many situations at 2160p, such as 4K at high frame rate like @50fps and @60fps, and 360 mode.

Besides, digital stabilization on the GoPro is extremely shutter speed hungry. Only with the assistance of a fast speed, the image will look smooth under the hypersmooth mode. And videos filmed in low light, as well as slow motion videos will certainly go wobbly in bare GoPro videography.

1. How to Stabilize GoPro Video with VideoProc Converter

VideoProc Converter, can fix all your shaky GoPro (Max/Hero 9/8/7/6/5/4) DJI Osmo Action iPhone videos and time-lapse video easily. It will analyze original video, track motion vectors, get absolute motion vectors, move the entire frame, and get a relatively subject stabilized image through certain motion compensation. It will deliver gimbal-style super-stabilized 4K video that is better than the result from HyperSmooth mode of GoPro Hero 9/8 Black.

  • Easy and non-destructive editing & complete toolbox
  • Full GPU accelerated: fast 4K video stabilization and post-processing
  • Deliver best output quality with negligible frame loss
  • Allow you to adjust and customize stabilization parameters

Simply after downloading and installing VideoProc Converter on your PC or Mac, you are free to go. Here's the rundown of guides and tips for stabilizing different GoPro videos.

Step 1: Add source video to the GoPro 4K video stabilization software.

Launch VideoProc Converter, the software that is also capable of HERO 9/8/7/6 video trimming and cropping, click Video icon on the main interface, and tap +Video to add a shaky GoPro footage from your hard drive. It allows you to add more than one video for post stabilization at a time.

Step 2: Find the video stabilization feature.

Click "Toolbox", and find "Deshake" that is made for GoPro / DJI / iPhone video stabilization.

Step 3: Make settings for the best (smoothest) result.

Double click Deshake icon or click gear icon to access to setting window for possible GoPro video enhancement.

Settings for Video Stabilization - VideoProc Converter
How to Set Parameters for Video Stabilization

There are four parameters to consider:

Settings for Video Stabilization - VideoProc Converter

Note: These above are just suggestions. For more ideal GoPro or 4K video stabilization effect, you'd better turn up and down the values on this video stabilization software by yourself to have a try since footages differ from one another.

After all settings are well arranged, click Done.

Step 4: Make settings for best result.

Tick "Nvidia/Intel/AMD under" under "Hardware Acceleration Engine", and then VideoProc Converter embedded with Full Hardware Acceleration Tech will provide optimal utilization of your hardware for fastest processing speed.

Hardware Accleration for 4K Video Stabilization - VideoProc Converter
Hardware Accleration for 4K Video Stabilization - VideoProc Converter

Step 5: Set Output Folder.

Click Browse button next to Output Folder to define where to save the resulting file.

Step 6: Start deshaking the GoPro video.

Click RUN button on the video stabilization software app to start stabilizing your GoPro footage (supporting 4K @60fps, @12/15/24/25/30/50fps; 720p / 1080p up to @240fps).

2. How to Stabilize GoPro Videos in Premiere Pro

Adobe Premiere Pro is a professional video editing program and good GoPro image stabilization software. It has a specific effect called Warp Stabilizer to do stabilization.

Stabalize GoPro video in Premiere Pro

Pros:

  • It is a professional video editor.
  • Warp Stabilizer can help achieve idea effect through presets and advanced options in most cases.

Cons:

  • Warp Stabilizer is not working if the footage is too shaky, too wide, too dark or shot in a sharp depth of field.
  • The software is large and CPU consuming to cause slow loading / rendering speed.
  • Easy to get freezing, lagging and crashing.
  • Too complicated in parameter settings for beginners.

Step 1: Download and install Premiere Pro.

If you haven't Premiere Pro yet, download Premiere Pro from Creative Cloud. When installtion is done, launch it on your machine.

Step 2: Import GoPro shaky footage.

Add the shaky GoPro videos in your project panel > create a new sequence and drop the woobly footage to the timeline area.

Step 3: Apply the Warp Stabilizer.

Go to the Effects panel > click on Video Effects > scroll down and find Distort > choose Warp Stabilizer, click and drag it to the clip.

Step 4: Regulate the settings

Wait until the software finishes analyzing your video, and you can adjust settings following the tips in Adobe here.

Notes: Sometimes Warp Stabilizer won't analyze. In such cases, try to delete the GoPro clip, re-clip it and add it to the timeline again. Besides, make sure no tracks are overlapping/remapped the current clip(s). You can move the GoPro clips or disable track visibility.

3. How to Stabilize GoPro Video with Equipment

1. Use a gimbal

If you are a serious GoPro user, you can buy a gimbal. Such handheld stabilizer is the most effective way to realize GoPro video stabilization. You can choose from the top GoPro gimbals in 2021 after checking their specifications as well as pros and cons.

Stabilize GoPro with a gimble
Stabilize GoPro with a gimble

Pros:

  • The result is excellent.

Cons:

  • Expensive, normally around $100;
  • Has the risk of no battery power;
  • The app requires a jailbroken iPhone or rooted Android.

2. Use a pole a rig

A rig or a pole is similar to a gimbal, but they are not the same thing. A good rig/pole will allow you adjust the camera on the rig front-to-back and side-to-side so that you can get a smooth shot. Here is a little tip from veedyou: put your GoPro downside of the stabilizer pole and make the video recording flip, the result will be less shaky.

Stabilize GoPro with a Pole
Stabilize GoPro with a pole

Pros:

  • The price is only around $30.

Cons:

  • The effect is just so-so.
  • It is cubersome for travelers.
  • It has restrictions on movements.

3. Tie your GoPro on a mouth like a chin mouth

This method sounds ridiculous, right? It is a cheap way to stabilize GoPro footage. You can set it up on GoPro easily and use it through biting in your mouth.

Pros:

  • It is cheap and affordable.
  • The effect is good.
  • It is easy to use, as easy as speaking.

Cons:

  • You'll get uncomfortable especially after a while.
  • It is insanitary (and not humanized).
  • The size is not suitable for everyone.

4. Make Use of GoPro Built-in Stabilization

GoPro company has given much heed to video stabilization for better image quality. It applies Hypersmooth and TimeWrap (for TimeLapse video) since Hero 7 Black. Now in HERO 10 Black, stabilization features are upgraded to HyperSmooth 4.0 with horizon leveling in which the tilt limit reaches up to 75 degrees.

The HyperSmooth 2.0 makes the stabilization in GoPro HERO 8 Black greatly enhanced, and the menu options are diversified. Nevertheless, such electronic image stabilization (EIS) is bound to FOV-based cropping. So, similar to Dji Osmo Action's RockSteady, GoPro's Hypersmooth cannot be used (fully) in shooting high fps videos, e.g. 1080p@120fps, some 4K videos and Wide/SuperWide FOV mode.

GoPro Hypersmooth Mode
GoPro Hypersmooth Mode

Pros:

  • Although not as stable as using a gimbal, it is better than nothing.

Cons:

  • Not always perfect.
  • The feature is not available for 4K video higher than 30fps.
  • Can't preset or adjust stabilization value.
  • Against post video processing.

Q&A

1. Why digital GoPro video stabilization will cause image cropping/zooming?

Both GoPro's in-camera stabilization and the deshaking feature of video editor will end up with image cropping.

Yes, no matter you are using post-processing or built-in GoPro feature for GoPro 4K video stabilization, there is a quirk: Without dimension being changed, your image will be slightly zoomed in however, and some of the image around the edges will get lost.

The reason?

Different from the extremely expensive optical stabilization, digital stabilization reduces or eliminates jitters through translation, rotating and cropping in three main steps: solve block motion vectors (BMV) estimation, solve absolute motion vectors (AMV) of a reference frame, and eliminates interference displacement and executes compensation.

The image cropping in post-processing stabilization is inevitable; by far, there is no universal adaptive algorithm, but different algorithm level in different video editors may bring different results.

2. Which is the best way to stabilize shaky GoPro videos?

As you can see from above, there are more than one way to achieve GoPro video stabilization. Auxiliary equipment (wearable GoPro shake stabilizer ), GoPro built-in stabilization, and video stabilization app or software can all take effect. But which is the best way? Let's see our conclusion:

  1. If you want to prevent shakiness effectively, mount an accessory like a gimbal or GoPole before filming.
  2. If you want to do a full set of professional non-linear video editing, Adobe Premiere Pro CC (with Warp Stabilizer) is a good choice.
  3. If you simply need to stabilize your shaky GoPro 4K 60fps videos without gimbal, and perform basic editing such as cutting, merging, splitting, resizing GoPro 4K video without quality loss, VideoProc Converter is surely good for you. Besides, it is always the fastest and easiest-to-use solution.

Free Download VideoProc Converter to Fix Shaky Footage Easily in Post-Production!

About The Author

Cecilia Hwung is the marketing manager of Digiarty Software and the editor-in-chief of VideoProc team. She pursues common progress with her team and expects to share more creative content and useful information to readers. She has strong interest in copywriting and rich experience in video editing tips.

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