2D Stabilization: How to Smooth Jittery Tracks?

I often use the Movie Clip Editor for 2D Stabilization.

For short shots (let’s say 5 seconds and fewer), it is fantastic.

However, whenever I have a very long shot, where the subject is moving around a lot, it becomes very difficult to track. One common use of this is sports footage: Tracking one specific player on a sports field for several minutes.

Now, the track does NOT have to be perfect. (In fact, in the Tracking Setting > Tracking Settings Extra > Correlation, I often set the value to 0.00.) I’m simply trying to have the specific athlete, generally, in the center of the screen.

However, the problem comes when the track is TOO precise, and there is motion blur which jerks the Track around, and so forth. When you render out the final video, it looks all jittery. In fact, it can look so jittery that often times it’s more pleasing to the viewer to simply forgo the 2D Stabilization and just watch the original shots and track the athlete themselves.

So, the solution to this is, I think, fairly simple:

Have the Track only take effect every x frames (usually 10 or so)
Then, have the intervals between those keyframes smoothed out with Bezier curves

This would result in a less precise, but also far less jittery Track and 2D Stabilization than tracking every single frame.

However, there is currently no simple way of achieving this. (Instead, I have to convert the Track into an Empty in 3D space. Then, I have to use “Simplify F-Curves” on the Empty. Then, I have to to render out a circle slaved to the Empty. Finally, I Track that circle and then use THAT Track in the Compositor.)

So, does anybody have any suggestions for making 2D stabilizations of long, jittery shots less jittery, besides my exhaustive work-around?

Thanks as always.

Have you tried adding track to something static in the scene then adding that to your 2D stabilise selected trackers? Blender should average between them. The more static ones you have the more weighting to them you’ll get :wink:

Yeah, well the problem there is obvious: It doubles the workload.

If we could just SMOOTH the Track, that’d be a much faster (and probably better) solution.

Render via compositor and hack the value there, but you can’t average… sorry