For everyone who wondered how the guys behind this Vimeo Staff Pick pulled off this beautiful aerial shot, keep reading to find out!
No, you haven’t missed the announcement of the latest “superdrone”. In fact, the maneuvering around such tight spaces was done with a very cheap, very shaky 250-size mini quadcopter like this one, a GoPro Hero 4 and, of course, a very good pilot.
The secret, as they say, is in the sauce. In this case, the sauce is a new plugin for After Effects called ReelSteady. Here is the before shot:
ReelSteady features a very streamlined design, with some very useful tools. Apart from stabilizing your video, the plugin can correct the jello effect from your camera’s rolling shutter, as well as removing the fish-eye distortion from wide-angle lenses. This will not only make your footage look nicer, it’ll also help ReelSteady work better.
Another handy feature is the ability to refine a selected portion of the already stabilized footage through a second pass of correction. This allows for fast tweaking of any part of the clip that may not have come out looking smooth the first time around.
The software is still in its beta stage, but the watermarked demo is available for free. One important thing to keep in mind is that—due to a known bug in CC 2015—the software will currently only work with CS6, CC, and CC 2014. A little bit of a workaround may be necessary if you’re running the latest version of AE.
The website offers a few short tutorial videos on how to deal with common problems, such as artifacts and other known issues. They also demonstrate a couple of simple techniques to improve the performance of the plugin through masking and color correction. You can also see how it compares to the ubiquitous Warp Stabilizer.
V1 of ReelSteady is available for pre-order for $399, with instant access to the beta version.