How to smooth out shaky GoPro footage

Everyone with a GoPro camera knows the drill. You head out to film some footage with a camera attached to your helmet. Cycle up to the location. See the stunning scenery with your very eyes. Head home to see just what the journey there was like and realise that it’s one jagged and shaky mess.

Microsoft researchers could have the solution in the shape of a method that uses “hyperlapse” and it is claimed that this drastically improves clips that are taken whilst travelling at high speeds.

The software that has been developed combs through the footage and makes new frames that smooth out the jumps and the following step-by-step guide explains how the hyperlapse technology works.

1. Video Analysis

Microsoft’s program goes through the video to find significant features in every scene that allow it to recreate an approximate reconstruction of the area that the camera has travelled through. This gives the perspective for the finished video that comes out at the end.

2. Find the best path

After the approximate area has been reconstructed, the algorithm works out an optimal camera path for the output video that gives the smoothest passage past input cameras. At the same time it makes sure that the virtual camera is pointed in directions that can be rendered properly from the input.

3. Rendering

The camera travels across the path suggested by the algorithm to produce a smoother version of the film. This also generates extra frames that are then added to remove the jumps and jerks in the original footage that fit around the smooth path of the original camera.

The finished article can be seen in the video at the top of the article and although it’s not perfect, it certainly makes a welcome change from the jerky videos that GoPro cameras often produce.

Microsoft developers Johannes Kopf, Michael Cohen and Richard Szeliski are currently working on an app that will allow consumers to benefit from the new technology and there has been no date given on when it will be released.