Fixing The Shaky Shot: Video Editing with Silent Draw Outdoors
By Matt Schauer

Posted: May 1, 2012

Video Editing 101 from Silent Draw Outdoors:

The shaky shot, it happens to all of us. On occasion when on a hunt, you may need to grab a quick shot with the video camera and don’t have the time to grab the tripod. No worries, there is a filter in Final Cut Pro called SmoothCam that will help steady the clip. Here is how it works:

SmoothCam uses a two step process to correct for camera movement. The first step of the SmoothCam process is to analyze the direction of the camera movement by tracking the movement of the pixels in each video frame. SmoothCam creates a file containing the tracking information about the camera movement and, by default, places the ‘analyzed’ file into the folder that contains the source video of the clip.Once the clip has been analyzed, FCP will use the information during RT playback or render, to compensate for and correct the unwanted camera motion.

So here is what is going on with the SmoothCam filter. During the ‘analysis’ process, SmoothCam tracks the motion of all the pixels in every frame and it calculates the distance from the starting point that the pixels have moved, due to the unwanted movement of the camera. So the analyzed file becomes ‘instructions’ for FCP, which uses them for RT playback or rendering.

There are several different ways to apply the SmoothCam filter. You can set In and out points for the clip in the Viewer and then place it on the timeline. Select the clip on the timeline and from the Effects menu > Video Filters > Video > SmoothCam. The SmoothCam filter is also available from the Effects tab in the Browser.

I recommend trying this filter, the process doesn’t take very long ant it does a pretty good job.

This post was provided by Silent Draw Outdoors.  Stop by their website at

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