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DaVinci Resolve Tutorials / Video Editing

How to Stabilize Video in DaVinci Resolve

stablize davinci

Did you start editing your video and realize that your handheld shot is too shaky? Did you ask yourself how to stabilize a video in DaVinci Resolve? You’re in luck, it’s easy to stabilize video footage in DaVinci Resolve and there are a few ways to go about it. Get ready to learn how to do it!

To stabilize a video in DaVinci Resolve, you must follow these simple steps:

  • Step 1: Select the video from inside the timeline in the Edit tab
  • Step 2: Go to Stabilization and adjust the right settings
  • Step 3: Be ready to go through trial and error. Depending on the footage, you may need to try many combinations of settings until the video is stable.

Pro Tip: Leave the Mode set to “Perspective.” It is the most efficient one out of the three modes available. If that does not work, try to use others.

Step 1: Select the video you want to stabilize in DaVinci Resolve

Import the video inside your project and go to the Edit tab. Drag the video inside the timeline, select it and look for the Inspector menu in the top-right corner of the screen. 

Step 2: Stabilization in DaVinci Resolve

In the Inspector menu, go to the stabilization tool. To stabilize your video, you can use one of the three available algorithms: Perspective, Similarity, and Translation. To find them, click on the drop-down menu located near Modes. These will interpret your frames and try stabilizing the video in different ways.

Stabilize Video in DaVinci Resolve

Perspective

Just like in Premiere Pro, Perspective does something similar to Warp Stabilization. It enables perspective, tilt, pan, zoom, and rotation analysis and stabilization.

Similarity

Similarity enables pan, tilt, zoom, and rotation analysis and stabilization. You can use this when the perspective analysis results in unwanted, exaggerated motion deformations.

Translation

Translation enables pan and tilt analysis and stabilization only. Usable only when X and Y stabilization gives acceptable results.

Stabilize Video in DaVinci Resolve

Camera Lock will try eliminating all of the movement in the footage. Incompatible with too much camera movement. Check the Camera Lock check box to activate it.

Left unchecked, the Zoom function will not scale the image. It will not remove all the black areas left on the edge that will appear after the footage is stabilized.

The Cropping Ratio tells DaVinci Resolve how much of the image are you willing to lose. The 0.250 value is the highest, while 1 is the lowest. Yes, I am not mistaken, the lower number is the highest in this case.

Smooth will smooth things out without trying to eliminate the movement. The higher the value, the more it will increase the cropping.

Strength tells DaVinci Resolve how strong you want your stabilization to be.

  • Value 1 is the maximum;
  • Value 0 is the lowest;
  • Value -1 is the opposite of value 1; it will create more movement.

Step 3: Trial and error

To stabilize a video in DaVinci Resolve you must choose the settings you want and press Stabilize. If it does not look good, all you have to do is try again and again with different settings till you get it right, if the footage is way too shaky or has focus issues, you might not be able to do it.

I will give a bad example of footage that has strong shakes and autofocus problems to see the extent to which DaVinci can or can’t stabilize.

Original

Perspective

Similarity

Translation

As you can see, none of them are perfect, but with Similarity mode, I got the best results.

Done!

Cool! Now you know how to stabilize a video in DaVinci Resolve and you have three ways to do it. Use Perspective mode at first and if that does not work, try the others. Some footage will simply not work, so do not get discouraged!


About Author

After spending 6 years in the post-production studio, Mihai decided to share his insights on video editing and computers.

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