10 Replies Latest reply on Oct 1, 2015 2:19 AM by Mathias Moehl

    Stabilizing and centering the moon on a timelapse

    enzov54049477

      Hello !

       

      I made a Timelapse of the recent moon eclipse. I am working with 7360 x 4912 RAW images. I am a the point where I need to "extract" the moon and center it so we can see the eclipse stabilized. Is there any simple ways to do it ? I tried tracking but it's simply too slow with those big pictures, and if I kill the resolution first i loose every details on the moon. Everything is black on my screen, exept the moon, so that might help maybe ?

       

      Thanks in advance

        • 1. Re: Stabilizing and centering the moon on a timelapse
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          You could possibly write an expression using sampleImage(), but here's a better idea: try the auto-align and merge tools in Photoshop, then import a layered PSD. It's still going to be processing heavy, but should work.

           

          Mylenium

          • 2. Re: Stabilizing and centering the moon on a timelapse
            enzov54049477 Level 1

            Sounds nice. Can you tell me how do I quickly import every pictures of my timelapse in PS ? I could use Import > Video images as Layers; but it means i already half my resolution. Is there a way to directly process the RAW pictures in PS as layers already ?

            • 3. Re: Stabilizing and centering the moon on a timelapse
              Dave LaRonde Level 6

              What are you using to stabilize the motion, and how are you doing it?   It seems to me that AE's built in Motion Stabilizer (NOT Warp Stabilizer) would work just fine.

               

              And those are some pretty darned big images you're working with.  What you might think is a long time mauy be perfectly normal for such large images.

              • 4. Re: Stabilizing and centering the moon on a timelapse
                Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Personally, I would use Lightroom to export your image sequence to a new folder at a size compatible with video and then do your stabilizing there. If you need to push in on the image figure out what size it needs to be. The full-size images are way too big for time lapse.

                 

                Now just import the resized image sequence into AE, select the motion tracking workspace and stabilize using the moon or part of it as your tracking area.

                • 5. Re: Stabilizing and centering the moon on a timelapse
                  enzov54049477 Level 1

                  Okay, I've tried everything that has been told in this thread and nothing works as good as i want :

                   

                  - Auto Align layered PSD : The auto-align tool just doesn't work with this, it aligns nothing and does funny things.

                  - Motion Stabilizer : I tried to lower my resolution to 1080 but even then, as I need to track the motion in the whole footage, my comp can't process it. Even in 720 it's too heavy and anything lower makes the moon a regular white ball

                   

                  Here is what my footage looks like :

                   

                   

                  Composition 1.gif

                   

                  Hopefully it can help find a solution

                  • 6. Re: Stabilizing and centering the moon on a timelapse
                    Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                    - Motion Stabilizer : I tried to lower my resolution to 1080 but even then, as I need to track the motion in the whole footage, my comp can't process it. Even in 720 it's too heavy and anything lower makes the moon a regular white ball

                     

                    You can still try that - crank up the contrast on a dummy sequence or respectively tweaked pre-comp, track it and use the keyframe data e.g. on a Circle effect with Stencil Alpha mode to act as a cookie cutter. The position data can easily be scaled back up using an expression. If you provide the values, we can provide the code. The only risk I see with this approach is potential precision problems due to the scaled keyframe data, but I suppose having a tiny black fringe around the moon is acceptable and there may be ways to get rid of that later after stabilizing the position.

                     

                    Mylenium

                    • 7. Re: Stabilizing and centering the moon on a timelapse
                      enzov54049477 Level 1

                      Yep, I did that too. I got stuck when i needed to scale to tracked motion back to the original dimensions. I still got it though. How to I extract the position data in a way i can send it to you ?

                      • 8. Re: Stabilizing and centering the moon on a timelapse
                        Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        You have moved the camera several times during the shot. I would cut up the sequence into sections stabilizing each the sections where the camera does not move as a separate project, then I would align the sections. It also looks like the frame rate changes during the shoot. I downloaded your gif, opened it in Photoshop, doubled the size, rendered the file as an Animation Codec Quicktime movie and started splitting up the shot. Then I picked what looked to be the most difficult section and started tracking for stabilization using only the bottom edge of the moon. By adjusting the tracking area and the search area to cover enough area I tracked from the middle of the shot both directions one frame at a time fixing errors as I went along. This is what that looked like:

                        Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 7.04.35 AM.png

                        Even with the very low quality image only a few corrections were necessary. It took about 3 minutes, then I applied Stabilize to the layer, duplicated the layer then pre composed the duplicate moving all attributes to the new comp. I then picked a frame in the timeline, selected the pre-comp and selected Layer>Time>Freeze Frame to generate a reference frame. The blend mode of the pre-comp was set to difference. This turns the comp screen black. Then I set the zoom factor to 400%, set a position keyframe for the bottom copy and started stepping through the timeline one frame at a time. When I found a spot where the shot was not perfectly lined up with the reference frame I used arrow keys to move bottom copy 1/4 pixel at a time to line it up. Dragging out some guides helped a lot. It took about 5 or 6 minutes to get the moon perfectly aligned with the reference frame. It looks like this:

                        Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 7.38.22 AM.png

                        I turned off the pre-comp and previewed the shot and it was perfectly stable. You will have to do this for each of the sections of your film. I'm guessing a couple of hours and you'll be in good shape. Once you get each segment with no camera movement stabilized you'll need to line up the segments and then blend in the background.

                         

                        Next time plan a little better and don't move the camera while shooting time-lapse unless you have a motion control rig. Also, make sure you maintain a constant frame rate when shooting.

                        • 9. Re: Stabilizing and centering the moon on a timelapse
                          enzov54049477 Level 1

                          Amazing work, thank you very much.

                           

                          I needed to move the camera, because i wanted to shoot the moon as close as I could, and, well, you know, the moon moves in the sky, heh.

                           

                          I'll definitely gonna look into it your way. Splitting the footage in sections will help for sure, great idea.

                          • 10. Re: Stabilizing and centering the moon on a timelapse
                            Mathias Moehl Adobe Community Professional

                            enzov54049477 wrote:

                             

                            I tried tracking but it's simply too slow with those big pictures, and if I kill the resolution first i loose every details on the moon.

                            Have you tried tracking it in mocha? With mocha you can also use low res proxies for tracking, to speed-up the actual tracking process.

                            I would try to convert your images to high res jpegs and track those in mocha with a proxy with 1/4th resolution.

                            Then you use those lower res jpegs only for tracking, and in your AE project, you can still work with your original high quality images.

                             

                            Cheers,

                            Mathias