How to Stabilize Shaky Video Like a Pro

By Cecilia Hwung | Last Update:

Even though we have a bunch of phone or camera stabilizer brands, or a little more professional Steadicam ones, to choose, camera shake still happens a lot when we are filming. Honestly, this is not because your mechanical stabilization method is wrong or useless. Stabilization devices indeed can decrease the camera shakiness, but not completely eradicate it. To get clean and smooth images, we will need some post-production work. Here in this guide, we will list three such methods to help you with stabilizing shaky video, with detailed steps. Now check them and choose the one you prefer.

Method 1. How to Stabilize Shaky Video Using VideoProc

We recommend VideoProc as the best option if you are looking for an easy way, friendly to beginners, to get rid of the footage shakiness on windows. There will be no hard to get parameters to set. Considering that the clip becomes shaky for some images, not for all the frames, VideoProc enables users to set the time range, when shakiness happens, to edit. Besides, VideoProc also supports level-3 hardware acceleration technology, so it will take less time to render and export your edited file.

So why not free download it now and follow the steps below to check how we use it for stabilizing shaky video?

Step 1. Install VideoProc on your computer after downloading it.

Step 2. Run it. And then you will see four major menus: Video, DVD, Downloader, and Recorder. Click on the Video one.

choose Video option on VideoProc

Step 3. Then you will get into the video editing window. Choose +Video button to load your shaky clip. After that, head to the Toolbox, which is located at the bottom of the window, find Deshake option, and double-click on it.

Step 4. Now you are in the video stabilization page. On the right, there are four options which help us with stabilizing clip. What you need to do is just moving them and previewing how smooth the clip plays.

If there is just one part of your clip shaking, please set the Start Time and End Time to specify the exact period. By this, all operations that you have done to stabilize clip will be just applied this part of the clip.

settings for video stabilization in VideoProc

Tips on the 4 Deshake Parameters

VideoProc Deshake parameters

Method 2. How to Stabilize Shaky Video Using iMovie

iMovie would be highly recommended for the Mac users who are searching for a beginner-level way to remove video shakiness. Compared to VideoProc way, iMovie would be more automatic. You import the clip, and iMovie will scan the clip and find its shaky images for processing. But the bad aspect about iMovie stabilization is that it probably cuts out some parts of the images to maintain the major part stable. We will talk more details about this in the following how-to steps.

Step 1. After you import the clip into iMovie timeline, select it by double click on the clip. And then find the Stabilization button, which looks like a camera recorder, choose it, and iMovie will show you two options Stabilize Shaky Video and Fix Rolling Shutter. Obviously the first one is what we need.

At first, the Stabilize Shaky Video button would be gray and you can do nothing about it. This is because iMovie will analyze the clip first to find the clip shakiness information.

iMovie Stabilization

Step 2. After the analysis finishes, the Stabilize Shaky Video slider would be workable. You can move the slider which shows a percentage number, meaning how stable the images would become.

stabilize shaky video in iMovie

However, this does not mean you can move the number to the max., and you will get the best result. Like we have said above, iMovie stabilize your clip probably by sacrificing some portion of the images. If you find that it remove some important portions, you can adjust the number and roll back the removed portions. However, it will mean that the clip would be less stable. Anyway, what you need to do it find the perfect percentage number which balance between clip stabilization and image elements.

Method 3. How to Stabilize Video Using Adobe Premiere Pro

Beginner-level tools, like VideoProc and iMovie above, may help you finish the job easily, but may not with perfection. This is why we write down the third part, introducing Adobe Premiere Pro to stabilize shaky clip. But it may take more of your time to get used to how to use it. Adobe Premiere Pro will also work like iMovie to crop some portion of the image to help the clip seem more stable. The difference is that Adobe Premiere Pro provides users with options to save it. We will tell you how to make it in the following contents.

Step 1. Import the shaky clip into Adobe Premiere Pro by dragging the file into its timeline.

Step 2. Select the clip in the timeline, then go to Effects > Distort, and find Warp Stabilizer. Double-click on or move this effect to your selected clip in the timeline. Warp Stabilizer feature will automatically analyze the clip in the background. It may take a while, depending on the amount of the information about this clip.

Adobe Premiere Pro Warp Stabilize

Here is a trick for the analysis, if there are just some periods of the clip shaking, you can first split the clip into small parts by the keyboard shortcut Command + K (for Windows), or Control + K (for Mac). Then you can just choose the shaky part for analysis, and less time would be consumed.

When the analysis is done, Adobe Premiere Pro will show you a banner to tell you about it. At this moment, Adobe Premiere Pro not just finishes the analysis, but also the stabilization work. You can preview the edited file to see if it is what you want.

Step 3. You can make some adjustments if Adobe Premiere Pro crops some portions of the images. What you need to do is to change the setting to Stabilize Only under the Framing menu, and reduce either the Smoothness or Crop Less Smooth More function in the Advanced Settings.

The Bottom Line

To sum-up, if you prefer an easy way with less complicated operations, VideoProc and iMovie would be the better choices for stabilizing shaky video. However, if you want to make this job perfectly, then Adobe Premiere Pro would be what you want, even though there will be more settings to make.

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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