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Monday, May 4, 2009

Deshake It, Baby, Deshake It

As you may be aware, I've got a digital camera attached to the handlebars of my bike that I use to take video. Most of the time nothing interesting happens, but sometimes there's good stuff I can work with. Now, I have seen good video shot from bicycles, usually mountain riders for some reason. Fat Cyclist has started making videos of some rides, and they look great. When I look at my own stuff or on youtube for commuting / street footage, however, it is often very shaky, and sometimes bad enough to give one a headache, especially with "first person" perspectives using cameras mounted on the bike.

Here are a couple of representative examples:










I think better cameras and helmet mount systems can remove a lot of shake... but I don't have any expensive gear. I also think there is a reason that the best cycling videos are not shot from the first person perspective. There are, however, FREE (I am incapable of typing the word 'FREE' without capitalizing it... hmmm...) after-the-fact remedies for all the shake and vibration inherent to inexpensive setups like mine (and theirs). The remedies I speak of are two bits of FREE software; VirtualDub and a plugin for it called Deshaker. I forget where I got them, but just google 'em up, they weren't hard to find. What was hard to find was a mix of deshaker settings that worked well with the moving camera on my bike, which I finally found after much trial and error. This stuff isn't perfect. The edges of the video get weird. The improvement, however, is remarkable. I'm going to show you some before and after video now, of course! Watch the whole thing... there's a 'happening' near the end that's kind of funny.


First, the bad:





Please know that when I was riding by, that kid was laughing her head off over something, so no worries on the shove. Now, the deshaked version:




Crummy wind-noise and camera-rattle audio on both, I know. Normally I would replace that with some music, but didn't bother for this quick demo.

I don't want to bore everybody with the details of setting up deshaker. If you have an interest, email me and I will send you screenshots of the deshaker configuration screens and try to explain the process.

Shake It Only When You Should,

R A N T W I C K

8 comments:

Robert H said...

If you shake it more than twice, you are just playing with it.

Detroitus said...

Damn, only one comment? That blows.

This makes two.

(Good blog, btw. Another BSNYC fan here.)

Rantwick said...

Thanks for reading, Detroitus, and for your comment count awareness!

Robert H said...

I've been enjoying the blog so far as well. I had nothing intelligent to say, so I went the low brow route.

*high five*

Rantwick said...

Robert,

I'm glad you're liking it. I'm pretty new at this, so highbrow, lowbrow, or BSNYC's "wheelbrow", it's all appreciated.

*on the side*

MJ Klein said...

thanks for the info on Deshaker!

Rantwick said...

MJ Klein,

The deshaker config screens can be pretty tough to set up well. Please feel free to email me if you have any trouble with it.

nbbb said...

Yay, Baltimore:)

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