Stabilising walking camera shot

Hi, I’m new to Mocha. Been using AE for a while, but didn’t know it existed! Every day’s a school day!

Anyway, on a recent holiday I walked round a ghost town, but it was a short notice trip so only had my phone. Normally I’d take a gimbal, 4th axis stabiliser plus action cam. I knew it might be problematic, so filmed in 60FPS on the phone to play back at 25 - slow motion.

I filmed the old buildings whilst walking around, so as well as the subject moving, so is the camera. I’m trying to improve the footage stabilisation with Mocha, and have had some success. The problem I’ve got is that in one shot as I walk there is a doorway I’m focussing on. Tracking this does give me good results for stability, but the shot now starts with half an image as the left hand half is off screen, a bit where it’s central, then half a screen on the right as I move along.

Any recommendations as to how I can have a full frame, but stable?

Hi, can you share a few pictures, full screen Mocha,?

You say you’re new to Mocha, do you know about tracking Planes & what Mocha likes to track?

Hi, and thanks for the reply. I’ve got to say I’m at the bottom of a learning curve here, and I know from the tutorials it’s best to track objects that are not occluded. I have been watching a fair few tutorials to learn.

I know I won’t get a buttery smooth 4K gimbal shot out of some wobbly phone footage, but I plan to put black bars top and bottom for a widescreen effect / hide framing and will colour grade it to make it look like I filmed it that way on purpose.

This is the start of the shot. The door is the one item I want to use to stabilise the shot. For the first half of the shot the door stays in that approximate position. By the end of the shot it’s moved to the left of the frame.

The framing at the start of the clip having tracked the door looks like this

and at the end the frame gets cut to this.

What I’m trying to achieve is to use the door to stabilise the shot, but as I walk allow the door to drift left and right to get as much of the frame in the final result. It will be zoomed and cropped in editing.


Just a suggestion … can the 15 seconds shot be cut into 3 different segments based on the different framing and then stabilised for that framing, … and then on the NLE timeline edited with a cut, dissolve or other transition?

But on a broader view, maybe Mocha Pro stabilisation is not the best stabiliser for your video footage. There are many stabilisers on the market and each have their strengths and weaknesses. Mocha Pro stabilisation is brilliant for stabilising video where focussing on a specific object is easily achievable- like you are doing - but some other stabilisers “consider” the entire image rather than just a focussed object as in Mocha Pro.

While BorisFX may not like my suggestion all that much, I suggest that you give daVinci Resolve’s stabiliisation a try (the free version) and see if that provides a better result (it may or may not). I’ve found that dVR’s stabilisation provides really qood results with phone video in comparison to other stabiliisers.

Mocha Pro stabilisation definitely has its place - I’ve recently been able to effectively stabilise a shot of a city skyline in the far distance by using Mocha Pro’s splines - but other stabilisers had dreadful results because they were “distracted” by foreground tree branches blowing heavily in the wind.

Hi, you need to shorten the spline so it doesn’t inc the grass/weeds at the bottom, the doors & the weeds are at different distances to the camera & are so on different planes,
notice the top half of the spline sticks to the doors but the bottom half is following the weeds distorting your track,
If you want to learn focus on tracking Planes, this is what Mocha does, ie. every flat surface in your images is a different plane,

Some of these videos are in different software but Mocha works almost the same in all & the principle of tracking planes is the i think the basis of Mocha so will be the same in all,

PS, also avoid reflections, I notice some in the door glass, Mocha doesn’t know this is just a reflection so you need to avoid it or draw another spline to tell Mocha to ignore that bit,

This video mentions phone screen reflection but there’s a few other vids that mention how to avoid reflections

Thanks for the replies,

I have several shots I want to use and have tried all the methods you guys suggest. Mocha successfully rescued a couple of shots - including one where a tree occluded the building! The shot I have talked about in this thread I managed to get Adobe PP warp stabiliser to give me something reasonable, and in editing I have aligned the vertical every few frames. Then I’ll pick the best few seconds of the shot for the sequence.

I’ve learned an awful lot! Thanks for the help.

Hi, glad you’ve got some stabilized,
I forgot to mention that you need to apply the Planer Surface & if you want the pink Planer Grid,
The red spline doesn’t show the true track,