8 Replies Latest reply on Dec 18, 2010 3:10 AM by Makingtrax

    Smooth Pan


      Does anyone know of a tutorial on how to get a smooth horizontal pan from a still image. I want to put a HD video on the web. I can't find one, and the Internet is littered with people asking questions about jitter, judder, shake etc etc. All the answers seem to be different as well - up the frame rate, add motion blur, add directional blur, add frame blending. I've tried all this and more and still can't manage it. My PC is quite new and should be up to it! Any help appreciated.

        • 1. Re: Smooth Pan
          Mathias Möhl Level 2

          Not sure about your question,

          do you want to animate a still picture or stabilize a shaky HD video?


          For the first task it should be sufficient to animate the position of the layer.

          For the second task, here is a tutorial using Mocha (which is included in AE since CS4):


          http://www.mamoworld.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=96%3Atutorial-stabil ize-motion-without-the-need-to-zoom-in&catid=35%3Atutorials&Itemid=62


          Or here, if you have to use AE's build-in tracker:



          • 2. Re: Smooth Pan
            Makingtrax Level 1

            I have a still image 1880 x 720 and I want to pan 1280 x 720 across the image ie 600 pixels at 25 frames/s. That's 4 pixels/frame. I've set my positon at 0,0 and inserted a keyframe then moved -600,0 and inserted another. The pan seems smooth in RAM preview but judders badly when rendered. I've tried everything I can think of including varying compression types ie QT at different bitrates/quality, adding motion blur, frame blending, going up to 50 frames/s etc etc. The image is of a stone bridge and has quite a lot of detail as the pan moves across.

            I've seen so many unsolved posts on this topic that I'm beginning to think that it's not possible to get a smooth pan.



            • 3. Re: Smooth Pan
              Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

              Is QT able to play other full HD clips smoothly, e.g. movie trailers from the Apple site? Could simply be an issue with dispaly/ palyback acceleration and monitor refresh sync....



              • 4. Re: Smooth Pan
                Makingtrax Level 1

                Thanks for your response. Yeah, my PC is quite new and works well watching movie trailers. In any case if it doesn't work on my machine then it isn't going to work on Mr Joe Average's machine when I post my HD video on the web.

                I've tried just about everything that's been posted. I'd really like to hear from someone who can make their Pans really smooth on a still image using After Effects, so I can ask what settings they used. Or point one out on the web so I can see it can be done.



                • 5. Re: Smooth Pan
                  Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                  If your movie plays smoothly in RAM preview but stutters on output, my guess is that your output settings are such that you're creating huge movies that just can't be loaded and played by the media player fast enough. See this FAQ entry.

                  • 6. Re: Smooth Pan
                    Makingtrax Level 1

                    Hi Todd

                    Thanks for your response. Yes I'm rendering to an intermediate movie in QT, so then I can put it in Premier Pro with my timelapse clips, before a remix to H.264. But even after going into Premier Pro and compressing, it doesn't look any better. If I reduce the quality in QT and reduce the bitrate and size, it still doesn't look any smoother. Any chance you can show me a smooth pan on the web - made from a still image with After Effects?



                    • 7. Re: Smooth Pan
                      Dave LaRonde Level 6

                      Keep in mind that you're working at 25 frames/sec, which isn't exactly conducive to smooth horizontal movement when you create progressive, rather than interlaced, frames.  25p's not conducive to smooth movement of any kind, for that matter.


                      It probably isn't your computer.  It's that you've chosen to work at a comparatively low frame rate, rendering progressive frames, to boot.


                      You smooth movement?  Work at a higher frame rate.  If you can't do that, reduce the amount of motion.  If you can't do that, make the amount of motion take longer.  If you can't do that either, you'll have to live with it.  There's not much more to say.

                      • 8. Re: Smooth Pan
                        Makingtrax Level 1

                        Thanks Dave, really appreciate the time you've given to try and help me. Woke up to a stack of snow here in the UK - we're not used to the white stuff.

                        I've tried rendering to 50 frames per sec and no difference in stuttering movement. I've been looking more closely at the RAM preview and although it runs in real time, there is a slight stutter in places (at 25 and 50 frames/s), although much smoother than the rendered pan, which is bad.  When compressed in Premier to H.264 it looks even worse.

                        I've been searching the web for postings on this subject, and on this and other forums, the same question has been asked many times and I haven't found the situation resolved by the end of the thread - where some guy goes 'yeah thanks that's real smooth now'! Also, I've seen lots of smooth pans done with a camera on video clips but I can't find a smooth one done from a still image rendered by software.