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Suppose I have a drone video not properly shot, but the subject is always in the frame but not a constant point. Now, I want to crop that 16:9 drone video to a 4:5, and have the subject always in the centre of the video frame.

Is this equal to motion tracking or, perhaps, the reverse application of motion tracking? How would I go about this?

  • Manual motion tracking in After Effects will do the trick, but it's work. That's why you always want to have or get the best quality footage: "we'll fix it in post" costs time, pain, and money. – CyanideBaby Apr 18 '19 at 13:06
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The action you're trying to perform is called “stabilization,” which is usually performed by analyzing the entire frame when the goal is to eliminate camera shake, but when you want a single object to stay in place, you'd track a single point, or small area of the target, and apply the same counter-movement that you would to eliminate shake.

In AE, point trackers are under the animation menu→Track Motion. After you analyze the subject, click the “Stabilize Motion” button on the “Tracker” tab.

If you don't have AE, the free version of DaVinci Resolve can do the same thing, and there are several ways to do it.

Either:

  1. On the Color Page, go to the “Window” tab, add a shape to track, then switch to the “Tracker” tab, select “Stabilizer” from the dropdown, and click “Stabilize.”

or

  1. On the Fusion Page, hit shift-space to call the select tool menu, and start typing “tracker.”
    Click OK, hold Shift and drag this new node onto the line connecting “Media In” to “Media Out.”
    Move the green box that appears over the area of the footage you want to track, click the “Track Forward” button.
    When it finishes, switch to the “Operation” tab and select “Match Move” from the dropdown.

The Fusion method won't zoom in on the result by default, so you'll see black boarders around the edges as the footage moves to compensate, but you can easily zoom in on the edit page, or do it “properly” in fusion by adding a Transform node, and scaling there.

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To my knowledge there is no build in function in FCPX to do that. Either you could do it by hand with key frames, buy a plugin or maybe better use Apple Motion.

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Yes, it is somewhat like a motion tracking, just open your file in AE and then create a null object and track the motion of that video and save the data to the null object, and then parent your video file to the null object.

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