0

I would like to take a video that I recorded of the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse edit it to keep the center of the Sun in the center of the video. I used a SkyGuider Pro tracking device but was not able to get the device properly aligned with the north celestial pole in broad daylight before the eclipse began and there were at least two (maybe three) times I had to re-adjust the camera to keep the Sun within the frame of the video.

I have used the FFMPEG application to export 1 frame ever 2 seconds which resulted in ~5500 individual image files from the video itself. I realize that as the moon eclipses the sun, the shape of the sun changes which can be problematic when it comes to holding a reference point in a frame and I'm dreading the thought of having to manually stack them one by one in a video editor but if that is what must be done, then so be it.

If there are any softwares or tools that can be used to automate such a task, I would greatly appreciate suggestions/recommendations?

Thanks.

1
  • You need video stabilization. Ideally, you would do it in an app like After Effects where you can manually tweak the keyframes after running the stabilizer once. But for a first attempt, you can try the vidstab filters in ffmpeg:
    – Gyan
    Apr 30 at 4:09

1 Answer 1

2

Start by converting your images into a video. Based on your question, I'm assuming you either have done this or know how to do it.

You can then take your file into After Effects, and use a stabilizer there. There's a few ways to approach this. The first, which may be worth a shot, is just to slap a warp stabilizer on it. Depending on your footage, this may or may not work (more than likely it won't).

So, if that doesn't work, time to try something else. If you're open to learning a more in-depth piece of software, Mocha AE is really good at tracking, but it has a bit of a learning curve. With mocha, you'd be able to place a circular mask around the sun and track it that way, and you'd likely get a solid result. It's too involved to write a full tutorial here, but here's a checklist to get you started:

  • Take your footage into Mocha. It's free and comes with AE.
  • Use an internet tutorial to track the sun. Something like this might get you going in the right direction.
  • Once you have your tracking data, you can export it back to AE. This is the process by which Mocha sends keyframe data to some object in AE, you'd probably want to use a null. Again, this is something you could find details about online.
  • You can then parent a camera to that null, so the camera always points at it. This would have the effect of stabilizing your footage.

If you want a slightly less involved approach, you can just use the built in AE tracker. It's less precise and may or may not work as well, and you'd probably have to do tweaking, but it'd help at least a little. The process would be similar, track to a null and parent a camera to the null.

If you don't have access to AE or don't want to buy it, DaVinci Resolve is excellent and free, and I believe it would achieve your goal, but I don't have as much experience with it.

Good luck!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.