Image stabilization, a budding editing technique on the rise in certain circles of the Internet, may be bringing the camera phone revolution to its logical conclusion. Image stabilization is traditionally talked about as a feature of DSLR and point-and-shoot digital cameras. Some editors are changing that, though, taking previously unusable, unstable footage and stabilizing it. This creates a clear, powerful sequence when before there was chaos.
For example, this video of truck towing a lawnmower and crashing off of a bridge is confusing and shaky:
But Reddit user Iainmf used image stabilization software to take that chaos and make it clear:
The effect is mesmerizing. Video of trucks flying off of bridges is never this clear unless several million dollars in Hollywood cash is making it happen. Now stable recordings of the world are available to anyone who can learn a bit of transcode and download Deshaker, Vid.stab or Blender.
If the idea of learning transcode gives you the jeebies, you can also use panorama stitching software like Hugin to stabilize your footage. Reddit user TheodoreFunkenstein created a handy tutorial on Imgur which you can check out here.
Image stabilization has extreme potential to revolutionize the way we use GIFs, phone cameras, and even professional filmmaking equipment. In other words, you have the chance to up your Tumblr game a lot with this tool.
It can shed light on shaky sports footage:
It can illuminate amateur nature shots like this eagle trolling a bear:
Or these two bears getting in a tiff:
It can show us what really happened in indecipherable historical footage:
And it can just be fun:
Image stabilization hasn’t even begun to reach its full potential. To keep an eye on the rise of stabilized GIFs and videos, dig into the subreddit r/imagestabilization. According to the folks of the stabilization community, “Here you'll find shakycam unshaken, rotating objects unrotated, moving objects made still, and more.” We’re shaking in our boots with excitement just thinking about it—maybe they have a software for that too.