YouTube is full of videos shot on smartphones and you have to say a good number have enough handshaking and wobbling to make Jack Sparrow seasick. While our exclusive VideoShakeFix app works on almost any video, YouTube itself now has a shake remover built in to its online editor. You can only use it on videos you upload to YouTube, so it’s not as versatile as our VideoShakeFix app, but if you’re looking for a quick fix to your YouTube videos, it’s definitely worth a look.
How it works
YouTube’s editor uses a similar principle to the VirtualDub Deshaker filter we used in our app – it looks at your video, frame by frame, measuring the movement change and calculating how to reverse it. The difference here is that the YouTube fix allows you to select how heavy or light you want it to work. A simple way to see how it works is to put a watermark in the centre of your video and watch how it moves around as the shake remover compensates for the video movement.
The trick to using the editor is actually ‘less is more’. If your video is meant to have some movement, don’t crank the control all the way to 11. This thing is like embedding your tripod in granite and then wrapping it in cement. It’s impressive, but to achieve this rock-steady feat it partially zooms in on your video so you lose some of the outer detail. Still, use it on the default setting and it can do wonders. The online editor also has other tricks; for example, you can change the brightness and contrast, and even turn your colour videos into old-style black-and-white home movies.
If you have a YouTube video downloader, you could download your fixed videos, although the highly compressed video format used on YouTube may mean these videos don’t look as clean as your originals. If they were going up on YouTube anyway, this is a simple option. Just be sure not to include any copyright watermarks on moving video or you’ll see them wobble around all over the screen.
Log in to your YouTube account, go to youtube.com/editor and drag a video you’ve already loaded into the Timeline.
Move your mouse cursor over the video and select the magic wand. To remove videos, just click on the video in the timeline you want to remove and press the Delete key. It’ll disappear from the Timeline, but still be in your YouTube library.
Tick the ‘Stabilise video’ checkbox in the new window and you’ll see a preview. If you’re happy with it, click the ‘Save’ button. Otherwise, move the slider (lower numbers = less effect). When you’re done, click the ‘Publish’ button at the top-right.