7 Replies Latest reply on Apr 2, 2017 6:51 AM by whsprague

    Stabilization: What does "Crop vs. smooth" do (and does it anything?)

    matthiasbasler Level 1

      Hi.

      One of the most relevant features of a video processing software for me is stabilizing videos. I played around with Premiere Elements 15 (DE) and its options. I have read the manual page (Adobe Premiere Elements – Hilfe | Stabilisieren von Videomaterial mit der Verwackelungsstabilisierung ) regarding these options and tried them all.

       

      However, the option "Crop Vs Smooth" (German version: "Freistellen und Abrunden") puzzles me. I read the German and English help text and I still don't understand what I am influencing here. Note that the German label has a slightly different and more confusing meaning. The probably more fitting translation would be "Zuschneiden vs. Glätten", if it is what I think it is.

      The english docu says "Lower values are smooth, however, more of the image is viewed." This sounds stange, as it implies that you do not have to to decide between smoothness vs. a large field of view, but you can habe both by lowering the value? Then why should I ever increase the value at all? My suspicion is that one of the two statements should say the opposite. Would be nice if Adobe developers could shed light on this.

       

      Anyway, I tried to find out its influence by changing the values from the default 50% down to 20% and up to 150% I tried this with 3 different videos, but I cannot see any effect on the output. Is it not working at all? Is the effect so subtile that it is hard to notice? Am I looking for the wrong thing?

       

      Any help is appreciated.

      Matthias

        • 1. Re: Stabilization: What does "Crop vs. smooth" do (and does it anything?)
          Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

          The program smoothes out shaky video by locking onto a spot in the center of the video and moving the video around to keep that object in the center. To hide these movements, the program must zoom in a bit on the video.

           

          The more the program zooms in, the more movement there can be and the more the movement in the video is smoothed out. However, zooming in compromises the video's resolution -- so the more you zoom in, the blurrier your video gets.

           

          The program defaults to a Zoom/Crop of about 50% -- which is way too high, in my opinion. I've found I get a nicely smoothed video with minimal zooming at around 15%.

          • 2. Re: Stabilization: What does "Crop vs. smooth" do (and does it anything?)
            matthiasbasler Level 1

            Thanks steve.

            I do understand the general way stabilization works and that there is always a tradeoff between resolution and smoothness. You answer confirms this.

             

            But what I observe is:

            1. The default Zoom/Crop of about 50% does not mean the effective resolution shrinks to half.
            2. The tradeoff you describe seems to be handled with the "Smoothness" slider. I checked this by setting the video frame to "Smooth and crop" in order to check just how wide the crop margin is. I found that in general a smoothness of 50% results in heavier compensation movements, thus a smaller available frame/resolution than for 20%. Not a surprise.

            So ... if the smoothness slider seemingly influences the smoothness vs. resolution, then the "Crop Vs Smooth" seems redundant???

             

            Originally I thought that maybe "Crop Vs Smooth" influences the way the cropping rectangle moves over time within the original footage. But I cannot confirm this either.

             

            I would be thankful for additional comments.

            • 3. Re: Stabilization: What does "Crop vs. smooth" do (and does it anything?)
              Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

              So your issue is with the words "Crop vs. Smooth"?

              • 4. Re: Stabilization: What does "Crop vs. smooth" do (and does it anything?)
                matthiasbasler Level 1

                > So your issue is with the words "Crop vs. Smooth"?

                 

                More with its German translation. Since, as I described, I do not see any effect of this specific slider, I cannot know it is correctly labeled or not.

                One issue certainly is that the description on the help page is irritating for me: Stabilize video footage with Shake Stabilizer in Adobe Premiere Elements

                 

                Matthias.

                • 5. Re: Stabilization: What does "Crop vs. smooth" do (and does it anything?)
                  whsprague Adobe Community Professional

                  matthiasbasler  wrote

                   

                  > So your issue is with the words "Crop vs. Smooth"?

                   

                  More with its German translation. Since, as I described, I do not see any effect of this specific slider, I cannot know it is correctly labeled or not.

                  One issue certainly is that the description on the help page is irritating for me: Stabilize video footage with Shake Stabilizer in Adobe Premiere Elements

                   

                  Matthias.

                  Matthias,

                   

                  If you are serious about improving video stabilization, you might enjoy the products from ProDad, a German company.  (proDAD GmbH, Gauertstrasse 2, D-78194 Immendingen, Germany)  I have their "Mercalli V3 SAL" and chose it for it's affordable price.  The "Mercalli V4 SAL" is an improved version and one day I will upgrade.

                   

                  ("SAL" seems to mean Stand Alone.  It runs independently of any NLE so can be used by all of them.)

                   

                  My personal experience is that the Shake Stabilizer built into Premier Elements is pretty good.   But my results from Mercalli V3 are better.

                   

                  Bill

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Stabilization: What does "Crop vs. smooth" do (and does it anything?)
                    matthiasbasler Level 1

                    Hi Bill,

                    out of curiosity I gave Mercalli v4 a try. With default settings the stabilization of a completely unstabilized video was slightly better, but rolling shutter wobble was visible here too. With rolling shutter correction set to "Vibrationen / Wobbeln" the end result was much better - not perfect but very good indeed. Having more control about correcting (or not) certain parameters (tilt, zoom etc.) also makes a difference in specific situations, e.g. with a moving camera.

                     

                    Still, I am a hobby videographer and I do not earn a single cent with my videos, so spending almost 300€ just for video stabilization is too much for my liking. PE will do for me at the moment. But it is interesting to see that specialized software gives so much better results than the considered "top dog" Adobe.

                     

                    But back to topic. There's still my unanswered original question about that strange slider.

                    • 7. Re: Stabilization: What does "Crop vs. smooth" do (and does it anything?)
                      whsprague Adobe Community Professional

                      I bought Mercalli V3 on a promotion and spent far less than V4. 

                       

                      I think Adobe remains in the "top dog" category with their Premier Pro CC that you rent.  In it is what they call "Warp Stabilizer".  Demos on YouTube make it look very good and perhaps better than the best Mercalli software.

                       

                      Interesting to me is how Adobe tries to keep one foot firmly in the top of the line market as well as the bargain segment.  By bargain, I mean under $100 with a perpetual license.  My personal view is that Premier Elements is extremely good!   That said, a German company called Magix seems to be even more serious about the non-professional, under $100 market.  

                       

                      Recent business news says that Adobe has 9 million subscribers to the various parts of their "CC" subscription system.  Only the Elements products remain outside that system.   Long term Adobe may find the Elements model does not fit their "big picture" of rental only. 

                       

                      Meanwhile (!!), Steve description of the slider function fits my experience.   Steve's video tutorial on Youtube seems to explain it well for me.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GZzXpT-by8

                       

                      Bill