NEW TUTORIAL: Stabilizing Video & More

As promised, here is the second tutorial this week with minutes to spare here on Saturday night.

In this new 2-part tutorial you will learn a great method for stabilizing footage in After Effects that smooths the result rather than freezes the tracking center. We will also create smoke flying behind a police car, which is as fun as it sounds.

This one tutorial has many great tips and techniques including, rotoscoping, expressions and matte blending.

Watch Tutorial

Download the footage and try the technique out for yourself. I’d also like to thank Mark Christiansen for allowing me to demonstrate his stabilize technique in this tutorial. For more information about his great After Effects book Click Here.

PS: Getting ready to go to NAB, more info about the T-shirt contest when I get back.

April 12th, 2008 @ 10:57 pm
I was wondering when you were going to show your take on this. Thanks Andrew.
April 12th, 2008 @ 10:59 pm
excelent! just what i need! thank you! cant wait for the tshirt details either.
Ben Wotton
April 12th, 2008 @ 11:05 pm
sweet, I have some shaky footage at the moment!

can't wait to watch it!

keep up the great work Andrew!
April 12th, 2008 @ 11:08 pm
Awesome, It's funny I was showing a class yesterday some basic techniques I learned from you (such as holding alt and then using the scroll wheel to zoom onto your cursors position in the comp window) while helping them by going some color correction issues with HDR from his book. This was just yesterday....

I'm also looking for another copy of this book (I currently have one at a school but I leave it there for students) if you have a used one leave a comment and I'll get back to you. Can't afford new right now.

It's a great book though. Highly suggest it as well as AK's products like evolution.

Alright Andrew I said it. I'll be expecting my check later this week. :p
April 12th, 2008 @ 11:17 pm
Sounds Great... Although I do wonder how you got that footage.
Tut, Tut, Tut... ;-)
April 12th, 2008 @ 11:32 pm
Thanks Sir Andrew for this 2.5D tutorial, very useful. Can you bring the rest of Mark Christiansen's book to life as well please? (rhetorical question).

Hey people if you buy VCP products AK will mention you in his tutorials like he did me at 10:50 in this one ;)
April 13th, 2008 @ 12:03 am
This rocks. cheers AK...
April 13th, 2008 @ 12:25 am
Thanks alot!!!! that's just what I needed, very cool tutorial!!! I also like the second part :D
April 13th, 2008 @ 12:26 am
Wow ! This end of this tutorial is... Spectacular :)

GG man :)
April 13th, 2008 @ 12:28 am
Oh my god !!!!!!! Excellent
April 13th, 2008 @ 12:28 am
Man this is just AWESOME! thanks
April 13th, 2008 @ 12:28 am
Thank you Andrew for this great tutorial. I did buy the book AE CS3 Professional Studio Techniques ( ) myself and learned a lot from Mark Christiansen book. Not as much I learned from your great tutorials like the one you published recently.

Thorsten ~
April 13th, 2008 @ 12:41 am
U R A GENIUS, U R THE BEST, thats it.

I'm getting speechless day by day. :D
Your tutorials are just AWESOME.

sidefx of Andrew's tut = u will speechless day by day. (hehehehhe) :D

Thnx Andrew - Thnx a lot
April 13th, 2008 @ 12:46 am
alot of choices "SIR" very usefull ,did you get a ticket by the way?
April 13th, 2008 @ 12:48 am
Awesome. I'm looking forward to seeing your technique on this. I know a couple ways, but it's always good to have multiple ways of doing things. Thanks for all your hard work!
April 13th, 2008 @ 1:33 am
Thanks Andrew, got no words, you are still a god
April 13th, 2008 @ 1:49 am
really nice thank u andrew
tommie12P(Thorsten Miess)
April 13th, 2008 @ 2:32 am
NICE, I waited for a tutorial about Motion Tracking /Stabilizing!!! THANK YOU! you saved my live!!!! especially if you have a bad camera like me, every single tip is useful!!!

damn, i need to start design the T-shirt now!
April 13th, 2008 @ 3:04 am
Great! It's really coool.
Germany says thanks!
April 13th, 2008 @ 3:30 am
Wow....U rock Andrew....I have been waiting for this awesome tutorial..U made me an After Effects addict. :P
April 13th, 2008 @ 3:37 am
Andrew doesn't seem to have got my email :( so here is another shameless plug for our doritos ad! we could really do with some more vote from fellow copilots!!

Please help us get this on UK TV guys and move our productions into HD...

Big love to video copilot!
April 13th, 2008 @ 3:48 am
Man Andrew I need this exact lesson about 3 weeks ago. I made a CG car and need smoke coming off the wheels. I dreaded using 3d smoke effectors due to the large render times for HD compositing.
I turned to particular but I could not control the speed of the particle generation since the car played back at 90fps and the smoke had to generate super slow.
With one day to brainstorm the effect, I left the car smokeless. It was still an awesome effect yet it could have been even more dynamic.
So in essence I am thanking you for such an awesome tutorial.
Thanks a million once again. I will experiment and add the car with smoke for my reel tape.
Peace out.
Oh btw the car was sliding sideways and then had to turn (all at 90fps) and when that happened I did not have time to properly track the effect using particular and your null control tutorial about 30 lesson back. I thought of asking for you help but could not contact you on the matter. All is well and have a great day.
April 13th, 2008 @ 4:05 am
Very nice SIR :D
Keep up the great work!
April 13th, 2008 @ 4:12 am
Thank you SIR! Have fun at NAB 2008.
April 13th, 2008 @ 4:49 am
@ Realm Pictures:
Good work! Planning on submitting my own ad for this soon.

@ Andrew: Nice tutorial, it will come in handy.
April 13th, 2008 @ 8:53 am
Hey Andrew,
another great tutorial.
April 13th, 2008 @ 10:15 am
Andrewww all your tutorial are great! Thanks for all
April 13th, 2008 @ 10:19 am
is it possible to do this smoke effects only with the smoke still pics from the project with out the trapcode or you realy need to have the trapcode?
April 13th, 2008 @ 11:59 am
This is purely awesome. You, Sir... Are a genius.
April 13th, 2008 @ 3:00 pm
I bought the book a while ago and its awesome!!!
April 13th, 2008 @ 3:57 pm

Did anyone else have problems with the sample footage of the car at 23.98? I keep getting repeated frames in the timeline.

April 13th, 2008 @ 4:21 pm
I wonder if it's a Premiere Pro thing with 23.98 instead of 23.976?

This is what I see vs. an import into Final Cut Pro and export (automatically does 23.976).

Anyone on a Mac have success? I wonder if it's just me.
April 13th, 2008 @ 6:56 pm
Have I told you I love you!!!! (in a very non gay way)
April 13th, 2008 @ 8:15 pm
*bows down to AK*
April 14th, 2008 @ 12:53 am
Nicely done Sir andrew,

i have worked with some shaky footage befor, but it was intended at that time.
but this will most certain come in handy one day.

keep up all this good work you are learning lots of people alot of stuff, including me ofc.
April 14th, 2008 @ 4:28 am
Very nice!
I was wondering, is this the most realistic way to create smoke in AE? Or could you use the same technique as in the tut where Sam breathe smoke/fog out of his mouth? Or maybe other ways? Maybe it's just me, but somehow the smoke seems a little bit animated in action.

Anyway, I love the tutorials. In every lession I learn more about how AE works, and sir Andrew, you are the boss of teaching it :-)
April 14th, 2008 @ 6:10 am
andrew did you see maltaannon tutorial
about the Growing 3D Vines
and if so what did you think about it
April 14th, 2008 @ 6:11 am
Again... and again you amaze! You are half man half amazing! On another note I just order some products from Video CoPilot... arrived at my house the very next day... again amazing!
Allen Ellis
April 14th, 2008 @ 7:17 am
I've just ordered Mark's book. Thanks for the recommendation, I'm looking forward to reading it. :)
Jacob Behunin
April 14th, 2008 @ 8:09 am
April 14th, 2008 @ 8:32 am
Well, I'm just putting my shoes on and going to NAB.
April 14th, 2008 @ 8:38 am
Nice! but post the info you promised about the advanced training dvd!!!
April 14th, 2008 @ 8:57 am
Some good stuff!!!

April 14th, 2008 @ 9:32 am
Hi, Andrew Kramer :D
Your tutorials are great, and you gonna get a place in Visual Effects History,
that your works made vfx guys to go deep in to AE. before After effects was an industrial software and only experts can work on it, now its a toy for young inspired artist, we gonna see some awesome works among the Andrew's Fan.

Even in my university, guys doing some great works, when we ask, hmm, excuse me, from where u inspired to do such an awesome stuff, they reply simply. "VCP" what is VCP, ohhhh, its Andrew.

and I really waiting for the offer of Adobe to Andrew. Good luck Andrew. your work is More than Appreciate. From me, i dont know how to thank you, the great thing is you shared all the tutorials in the net. I pray for you, its the best thing i can do for you, and cant get by money.


April 14th, 2008 @ 12:32 pm
Andrew, if you have the time check out RED's stand. I'd like to hear your opinion on the Scarlet (more info: Thanks!
April 14th, 2008 @ 5:40 pm
hey andrew and all the VC band.

i want to invite you to see a little video aplying some of your tips.

that'd be nice if some of you guys post your opinion, and if some one see andrew or know how to let him know about this please tell him of this little tribute

saludos desde mexico
April 14th, 2008 @ 7:20 pm
Where are you at here, been looking around for you guys! Just tell Sam to do the Demon Face so I can find you guys in the crowd! Have Fun and dont forget to spin the wheel in the front of the convention get a free pen, ........its pretty sweet.
Matt in MO.
April 14th, 2008 @ 8:46 pm
Hey Andrew,

I have 6.5. Does the tracker work differently in 6.5 because I tried to track the same point you did and I couldn't make it work for the life of me. What settings do you recommend for tracking?
April 14th, 2008 @ 9:01 pm
Hey Andrew!

So, my friend and I are out here at NAB as well, and he's 100% he saw you today at the convention center sporting some sweet "" t-shirts. It was also awesome to see one of my AE heroes, Steve Holmes from Energi Design, using YOUR Evolution stuff in his demo @ the Adobe booth. He plugged the daylights out of you as well. It was great to hear. Anyway, while you're out here, I'd love to meet you. Hope I get a chance. Take care.

Ralph Helm
Level 3 Media Productions
April 14th, 2008 @ 11:59 pm
Matt in MO

I tried it in 6.5. It works it's just a pain in the ass. Remember you can go to the point where it screwed up. Move it, Change it, and restart the track from there.

I do not think the tracker was updated in 6.5. I recall having a hissy fit over it in the adobe forums long ago. Don't quote me though.
April 15th, 2008 @ 12:01 am
Also, If all else fails track from the middle forward then go back by dragging the CTI to the middle and track backwards. It's done wonders for me int he past.
April 15th, 2008 @ 1:18 am
sweet tut!!
April 15th, 2008 @ 3:25 am
Hello Andrew,

talking about NAB - do you know the fmx at Stuttgart/Germany?
Take a look:

It is a very fantastic conference with a lot of talents and many guest speakers from all over the world. Maybe some guys from Adobe could invite you to do a little AE workshop there ;)

Greetings from Germany,

Matt in MO.
April 15th, 2008 @ 5:06 am
Okay. I am looking to update to CS3 sometime soon so I won't be working in 6.5 anymore in a while. Are there certain settings I should use? What works better RGB, Luminance, or Saturation? Should I process before?
April 15th, 2008 @ 10:13 am
Thanks andrew. great tutorial but you should had told everybody that you lose a lot of quality when you zoom in the footage. DV and even hdv. is there a way to do it without losing quality, without zooming in
April 15th, 2008 @ 10:53 am
Thanks!! I haven't even watched the Tut yet but I have been looking forward to this one. Don't have time now, but I'll come back late this evening to watch it and deprive myself of sleep. Thanks for all you share with us, Andrew! Blessings,
April 15th, 2008 @ 11:24 am
I have a question!

I have and continue to have trouble tracking/stabilizing anything.

I set my tracker exactly as you did in the tutorial. I track a few frames perfectly, then it all goes out of whack and I end up having to do it frame by frame.

I don't understand the problem. I am using AE 6.5.

I used to think it was my footage DVX 100A Dv footage not giving a strong resolution to track, but I am using the same police car footage as you are, and setting everything up the same, but all I manage to do is create a bunch of new and exciting swear words!

Any ideas? Suggestions?

Thanks as always Andrew for all the awesome work you do,

April 15th, 2008 @ 11:33 am
Where`s that advanced trainind dvd info?
April 15th, 2008 @ 1:53 pm
wow, it seems like you are now using High definion footage (720P), may i know what kind of camera did you use to make this footage?

thanks for the tutorials!
this one is great

i wonder
how to create a rain effect using trapcode
i do mean a realistic rain effect

April 15th, 2008 @ 3:26 pm
Amazing! thats the only word I can come up with to describe this tutorial
April 15th, 2008 @ 5:36 pm

AK's camera is a JVC HD 200, yes it shoots 720P

For Rain, Aaron Robinowitz from CreativeCow has a cool 3 part tute on weather replacement. Check it out:

April 15th, 2008 @ 7:22 pm
Andrew Kramer, when will Video Copilot: Series One come out? And what about the Special Edition? Will you guys wait till you've made 100 tutorials or are you still sticking with 50 tutorials on the DVD? I've been waiting for this product for so long.

April 15th, 2008 @ 9:41 pm
Hi, Im not quite sure if Im asking in the correct blog but does someone know what font they use in this trailer?


April 15th, 2008 @ 10:33 pm
April 16th, 2008 @ 1:01 am
this is one of the best tutorials ever! very useful ... tnx Andrew ... there's also a plug in [2d3 move] for stabilizing the motion ... but it doesn't always work ... still useful if you don't have enough time to use AE motion stabilizer...
April 16th, 2008 @ 3:30 am
Very nice!

Can you tell me wich camera you used for that clip?

Thank you.
April 16th, 2008 @ 5:20 am
Anyone go to NAB and check out new plugins? I'm looking to get some sort of review on the new digieffects plugins..
April 16th, 2008 @ 12:40 pm
Hey Chris!

Yeah, there are a lot of amazing plug-ins out here. They've got the whole "Plug-In Pavilion" going on again, with tons of great presentations from Trapcode, DigiEffects, Digital Anarchy, Automatic Duck, etc. Also, The Foundry has a really nice booth this year, as does Black Magic Design. I'll be blogging about it on my sight tonight. Sadly, no more VideoCopilot sightings, save for the one my friend had on Monday, but I did get to meet Aharon Rabinowitz from Creative Cow today, which was really cool.


Ralph Helm
April 16th, 2008 @ 9:43 pm
actually I hoped for a tutorial for stabalizing footage shot with a dolly... now the tracking point still has to be in the shot.... great tut anyway
April 17th, 2008 @ 5:54 am
Ralph. Thanks a lot, I look forward to reading your blog


April 17th, 2008 @ 7:33 pm
brillaint tutorial andrew, i can't believe you went to the extra extent of the back window. your a very patient fellow. keep safe
April 17th, 2008 @ 8:33 pm
Incredible work Andrew, You cover all the bases in your tutorials, I am new to Ae but after doing some of your tutorials i have become very much familiar with what Ae can do. Thank you XD

P.s. If its not to much trouble and if you got the time or are stuck in on a rainy day could you please make a tutorial on how to make a teleporting effect like the one in X-men 2, where after the guy teleports he leaves a weird cloud behind then re-appears in the air and disappears again, it would help me greatly
thank you in advance
April 18th, 2008 @ 4:46 am
Hi Andrew,

You are Awsome man.. you are really a great person, honestly im telling you that i hv learned a lot from you, really i didnt know how to use after effects... but now.. in my work im using your tutorial in defernt way...and my company is really impresd with my work and thy hv increas my salary its all becase of you.. thanks a lot.... also i have so many question for you...also im going to buy some of your product i didnt hv enough money to send it you...

Thanks you again...
April 19th, 2008 @ 2:05 pm
Andrew have you seen this program Mocha for tracking? What are your thoughts about it if so thanx
December 2nd, 2010 @ 8:16 am
Looks like it would be good for a nice car chase.
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