Article from Issue 275/2023

This month Graham looks at Gyroflow, gRainbow, Polyrhythmix, mfp, Mission Center, and more!

Video stabilizer


There was a time when many of us laughed at the silly people and their selfie sticks – absurd periscopes sticking out of a crowd holding front-facing phones in the air or ski-pole-attached cameras hovering ahead of some great action jump or remarkable descent. But times have changed, and what one generation considered narcissism has now become completely normalized. We are now recording more videos than we ever thought possible, from mountain biking and snowboarding, to chasing people around the garden.

For any of this footage to be watchable, it needs motion stabilization. Back in the olden days of filmmaking, motion stabilization came from the physical setup of a shot, including wheeled dolly carts on rail tracks, and weighty gimbals that counter physical movement with opposite movements of their own. Modern motion stabilization mostly replaces these costly and bulky paraphernalia with embedded gyroscopes and accelerometers combined with an abundance of image resolution for image processing. GoPro devices are particularly effective at combining these elements into their video stabilization, but it's a difficult trick to pull off in open source without either a great deal of manual editing or Gyroflow.

Gyroflow is a mature desktop application that helps you use embedded gyroscope and accelerator data to stabilize a linked video recording. It does this by intelligently cropping each frame to leave an overscan area it can cut into, frame-by-frame, to compensate for any detected movement. For this to work, the video must come from a supported camera so that Gyroflow can parse the motion data, but a wide range of devices are supported, including nearly all modern GoPro, DJI, Sony, and Insta360 cameras. GoPro support is particularly well implemented as videos from these devices can be dragged directly into the main window without requiring the synchronization step that other devices require to link the motion data to the video.


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