Well, it can only stabilize so much. It's not magic, after all.
Remember, the effect works by zooming in slightly on your video image and then creating motion keyframes so that a given object in the middle of the frame stays in the same position throughout the clip.
But the wilder and faster the jiggle, the harder it is to fix it. And, if the jiggle is so bad that your video is blurred, it's nearly impossible to stabilize.
And some 3rd party stabilizers seem to work better for some footage also. I tried the New Blue stabilizer for PE8.01 and it produced a smoother video than the one in PE. It was a horse riding video. However, that New Blue stabilizer also had issues which were finally resolved on a forum.
Thanks for all your magnificent other answers. I can't imagine where you all get the time to do this!
In my case I shot a hand held closeup of a three faces in a group of people with a camera with an otherwise very good optical stabiliser.
The subsequent wide shots were as stable as if the camera were on a tripod.
I held my elbows to my sides to try to stop moving but the picture moves around slightly as I breath in and out and there is a slight quivver (from my nervous system).
The picture wanders around as you would expect about 5% of the pic height but not enough to blurr the frames. I think a some of my movement was intrepreted by the camera as a pan.
I was hoping to at least cut the movement to a half.
The whole frame jitters equally so I am not just trying to correct the movement of an object in the frame.
The stabilizer doesnt seem to make any improvement at all and I wonder if there was something I had to do first to make it work?
When adjusting stabilisation, the zoom certainly enlarges the picture as you would expect but the smoothing doesnt seem to work even at maximum.
I would have thought that with zooming at zero you should see the black edges of the screen appear in the opposite direction to the jitter? I cleared the tick box that limits the movement so you dont see the edges.
I wonder if it is something to do with the detail of the picture and if it needs one large clear object to lock on to for it to work? Has analysising any thing to do with it although I couldn't see anything in help?
I increased my memory to 4gb and the stabilizer now sort of works as long as you dont have the stabilized clip selected when you render it -just position the work area bars first.
It takes ages doing a few frames per second and is not terribly effective - nowhere as good as virtualdub..
Also until you render the area, it freezes the preview of that area. Even just clicking on the stabilized unrendered clip makes the CPUS run at 100% for a few seconds.
Not very good!
The program not being able to play segments that haven't been rendered is to be expected -- depending on how drastic the changes to this unrendered area and how powerful your computer is. (Final Cut won't even display some segments of its timeline if they haven't been rendered! You just get a red screen with the words "unrendered video" over it.)
Rendering is just part of the process of working with effects.
Therefore the only practical way of using the stabiliser is to make a seperate file of the bit to be stabilised and stabilise that and reimport it as an additional pre-stabilised file! Otherwise any attempt to edit it in the timeline destroys the rendering resulting in another long wait! and I mean like 10 minutes for a 30 second clip!