Fixing Rolling Shutter Jello Effect in Aerial Footage

It can be a real headache to get rid of the rolling shutter jello effect in your aerial video footage. Its resolution could either require a quick change or it could take a number of different workarounds over the course of time to exterminate the jello effect. If your video footage is adversely affected by the rolling shutter jello effect, it could mean some serious disappointment.


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The video footage that you capture might turn out to be stunning but when the vibration from the device makes its way to the camera, the time and effort that you would have put in could go down the drains. If you are engaged in some business such as capturing videos for real estate or hotel resorts, then the rolling shutter jello effect could be a real pain in the ass.

This detailed guide along with the set of videos will provide you significant insight into how to eliminate rolling shutter jello effect or to remove it from your captured video.

How it works

The rolling shutter also known as the jello effect creeps into your video footages when the camera starts vibrating. It may take place when you are capturing aerial video footages or recording videos with the camera in your hands or while you are shooting a video from a moving vehicle. The rolling shutter effect makes the camera and hence the image jump around.

The modern day DSLR cameras and those with CMOS sensors are loaded with rolling shutters. More often than not, the rolling shutter is so swift that it goes unnoticed. However, when it comes to shooting fast pans or fast moving objects, we could have some issues with the rolling shutter jello effect.

Fast pans force the image to jump around like jello and images can become distorted. Rolling shutter is not about the jello effect alone. Here are some of the implications that can arise because of the rolling shutter:

Skew: In this effect, the image tends to get distorted diagonally in one direction or the other as the camera or the object being filmed moves from one place to another; thereby exposing varying parts of the image at different intervals of time. Skew is a small scale of the jumping or jello effect discussed above.

Smear: This effect is easily visible while viewing a rotating object such as a propeller with the help of a smartphone. The smear effect takes place because the propeller starts rotating at virtually the same speed as the frame rate at which the camera is capturing the video footage.

When viewed at right angle to a blade rotating in the clockwise direction, the blades located on the left side tend to appear thinner while those to the right appear thicker. They may even appear as if they are not attached from the center.

Partial Exposure:  If the flash of a camera gets illuminated for only a certain part of the time of the exposure, only particular rows of pixels in a given frame may get the desired illumination while the others may not.

For instance, the upper one third portion of the image may get illuminated while the lower two third may remain dark. This is because of the fact that the flash was switched off by the time that portion of the CMOS got processed by the sensor.

The difference between the illuminated and dark portions of the image can be rather disturbing. Such issues can also take place when fluorescent lights, strobe lights, lightning or other situations when very swift bursts of light are captured in the time when the CMOS chip processes the frame.

How to Fix the Jello Effect

Slowing down

In this technique, you have to fly your drone at a slower speed while ensuring that the shutter speeds are slower so that the blurring of the video that takes place because of the motion can be reduced to the greatest extent possible. The jello effect is greatly emphasized when you are moving your device at an excessively fast pace; thereby producing the undesired vibrations. We suggest you to try shooting your videos at 60 frames per second.

Get your propellers balanced

Ensure that your propellers are balanced. There is a general perception among drone enthusiasts that propellers that come out of the factory are balanced and do not need to be stabilized.

You will have to ensure that you get your propellers balanced after a flight or two. Balanced propellers will give you a stabilized video shooting experience as they will greatly reduce the vibrations in the frame. Turbulent flight can be due to unbalanced propellers.

Check out the gimbal vibration dampers

These dampers tend to absorb all the unnecessary vibrations that make their way from the drone to the camera. By upgrading to good quality vibration dampers will tremendously reduce the undesired vibrations and hence the jello effect.

Enhanced camera enclosure

Have a deep hard look at the enclosure in which the camera is housed since a loose camera will naturally produce vibrations that will inevitably produce the rolling shutter jello effect. Stock enclosures may not be the best possible options in this case so you may have to resort to those produced by third parties.

Try out a better quality gimbal 

If your quadcopter is a relatively new one and is of a well known brand, then there is high probability that you can get your hands on a better quality gimbal that has been manufactured either by the original brand or by some third party enterprise. A number of spare parts manufacturers have become a part of the mainstream. We suggest you to browse through Amazon or even enquire from your original manufacturers if they have some better option in store for you.

Get to know your angles

 In case the jello effect persists in an object that is not the focus of the video, make an attempt to formulate the shot again so that the contentious object is not caught within the frame. If you do not require a propeller blade to be a part of a certain shot, then we suggest you to rotate your camera around so that the audience are not able to view the propeller blade. If the distortion takes place in the background, you can blur it out by varying the depth of field.

You should try to improve your knowledge about rolling shutter jello effect as much as possible. Read as many blogs and visit as many forums on the internet as possible.

Slight Rolling Shutter Jello Effect Resolved 

ND Filters 

In case you are getting very little amount of rolling shutter jello effect in your video footage, you can get rid of it by using the Neutral Density lens filters. These filters conserve colors while ensuring that the intensity of light gets varied.

As a matter of fact, you should carry with yourself your lens filter kit to add that additional bit of dynamism and clarity to your aerial photograph.

Removing rolling shutter jello effect using software 

The ideal solution to removing rolling shutter jello effect is to curb it at its source using the above mentioned techniques. Having said that, if you are still not able to get rid of this issue at the source, then you can look for some software to get the job done at the post production stage. Here are a couple of best software solutions to fixing rolling shutter jello effect:

  • Adobe After Effects: The warp stabilizer tool helps you stabilize video footages with undesired jerks
  • Final Cut Pro X: Tends to resolve excessive rolling shutter and shaking issues in videos. The software has been developed by Apple Inc. but a version for Windows is also available

Inbuilt gimbal and camera 

The latest pattern that is being followed in the drone manufacturing industry is that integrated gimbal and camera is being fitted in drones. This ensures that the engineers get to exercise maximum control over the aerial footage.

This configuration tends to produce high quality jerk-free aerial video footage. You can have a look at the modern day drones such as the DJI Mavic Pro and DJI Phantom 4. These drones are being used by professional cinematographers to produce absolutely stunning video footage.

Angled or tilted horizon is yet another issue that has been irking a vast majority of aerial cinematographers. At the end, we bring to you few video tutorials.



 

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