Video Stabilization for Everyone: From Research to Launch on YouTube

Video Stabilization for Everyone: From Research to Launch on YouTube

Place: Large Lecture Room

Affiliation: Georgia Tech, School of Interactive Computing Atlanta, GA. USA.  

For the last two years, we have been working with Google Research on an approach for Video Stabilization, that has been launched and running on YouTube since May 2012. In this talk,, we will give some insight into the technical details behind this approach and an overview of lessons learned.

Our goal was to develop a simple, easy to use system to enhance the video by removing excess shake common in casuals videos shot using handheld cameras. We were specifically focused on an approach that supports video stabilization as a post-process, so the stabilization can be applied without any a priori knowledge about the camera, or calibration of the sensors, and is applicable to low-frequency shake. This allows our approach to be applied to any video, either recently captured using standard smart phone cameras, or legacy footage from an old camera, recently digitized.

The current system running on YouTube, which is in wide use, allows anyone to upload a video and can automatically enhance it. If the video is shaky, the user is asked if they’d prefer to view the enhanced video, which is displayed in real-time, and accept the enhanced video.

 In this talk, we will describe our novel algorithm for automatically applying constrainable, L1-optimal camera paths to generate stabilized videos by removing undesired motions. We use this to compute camera paths that are composed of constant, linear and parabolic segments mimicking the camera motions employed by professional cinematographers. Our method allows for video stabilization beyond the conventional filtering of camera paths that may only suppresses high frequency jitter. We will also discuss some of our recent extension, like removal of rolling shutter artifacts that originate from CMOS cameras such as mobile phones.

We will show comparisons of our freely available and widely used automatic “one-click-to” stabilize system to several of the commercially available systems and discuss some of the lessons learned to transition from research to a launched system.