New Microsoft Project Makes Shakey Timelapse Video Watchable

Trying to keep first-person video steady involves skill and the right equipment, but a new Microsoft Research project aims to help the everyday adventurer create hyperlapse creations that won’t induce unintentional nausea.

Microsoft researchers Johannes Kopf, Richard Szeliski, Michael Cohen, and Richard Szeliski, developed the software (and soon-to-be Windows app) to help create timelapse videos without multiplying camera shake. As the video above shows, this algorithm takes video stabilisation a step further with buttery smooth results. Here’s how it works as described on their website:

Our algorithm first reconstructs the 3D input camera path as well as dense, per-frame proxy geometries. We then optimise a novel camera path for the output video that is smooth and passes near the input cameras while ensuring that the virtual camera looks in directions that can be rendered well from the input.

Next, we compute geometric proxies for each input frame. These allow us to render the frames from the novel viewpoints on the optimised path.

Essentially the software creates a 3D map of the original path, and then recreates the shots on a “novel camera path” or one that won’t make you hurl. This other video does a pretty great job of breaking it down from a technical standpoint.

After that, the software stitches and blends together each frame into a thankfully smoother viewing experience. TechCrunch explains that this project is similar to another Microsoft video editing endeavour called Photosynth, a project that Kopf and Szeliski also worked on, which was designed to create in-depth panoramas and synths.

This project will be part of SIGGRAPH 2014, a conference held specifically for computer graphics and interactive techniques, and others, including Disney, will also show off new video capture technology to the world. If you love making video, this is your week. [TechCrunch]