Please tell me I'm not crazy

Explorer ,
Feb 16, 2021 Feb 16, 2021

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I'm troubleshooting an unusual situation that I've never encountered before.  I want to make sure it's not a Premiere glitch of some kind as I eliminate all possible causes.  Here's the situation:

I did a talking head interview shoot.  The subject was seated at a table.  The camera was on a tripod about 6-8 feet away from the subject and the table, in a locked off shot.  The room was a large office, solid concrete floor with carpeting.  There was no physical contact between the tripod and the table or the subject.  He was wearing a lav that was connected to a separate recording device.  There was no operator touching the camera nor was there anyone near it once shooting began. 

Here's where the fun starts: The subject spoke animatedly and every so often would slap his palm on the table when he was making a point. I was watching on a monitor in the room and didn't notice anything unusual, but when I brought the media into Premiere and looked at it, I noticed that every time he hit the table, the camera appears to bounce slightly.  

I see no way that this is possible, as the camera was not even near the table, the camera was locked off on a tripod and the floor was solid - there's no way any vibration from the table could have traveled the distance to the camera.  I'll also mention that the table is not visible in the shot, but you can hear the impact of his hand when it touches the tabletop.


I know it sounds crazy, but I'm looking at every possible option.  Is there any scenario in which Premiere might be responsible for this happening?

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Enthusiast , Feb 16, 2021 Feb 16, 2021
Just a wild guess here, if there's a build-in stabilizer and it was in 'auto' mode instead of  'off', camera sensors actually may have picked up the vibration. Probably just enough to activate and turn off immediately, but it has some inertia, hence the effect.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 16, 2021 Feb 16, 2021

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If you play the interview outside of Premiere Pro, does the camera shake when the subject slaps his hand on the table?  If so, then you know that the camera shake is recorded in your footage.  If not, then you know something unexpected is happening in Premiere Pro.

 

I'm guessing you need to stay on the subject whenever this happens and do not have b-roll to cut away to?  Even if you do, forced cut-a-ways are never ideal.

Have you tried to stabilize it?
Stabilize shaky videos in minutes with Adobe Premiere Pro
https://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/video/discover/stabilize-video.html

 

You could also try to stabilize the camera shake in After Effects, Mocha AE, or Mocha Pro.

 

You could try using hold frames, but even if it's just one frame it'll look a little weird.

I'm not sure Premiere Pro's Morph Cut is going to be of any use as it's meant for when there's a jump cut with no camera movement (and minimal subject movement), but it might be worth a try to add an edit at the shake and then apply Morph Cut.  Who knows, maybe it'll help.  (I'm not hopeful, but report back if you try it.)

 

RE:Vision RE:Flex is a great 3rd party After Effects plug-in that can be used to remove bad frames by stitching over them with a morph between the last good frame and the next good frame.  You can get it here:  https://revisionfx.com/products/reflex/  It has other creative uses, but it's expensive and takes some time to learn.  Once you have the process down, though, it's pretty quick and very effective.  This tutorial explains how to use RE:Flex to stitch over bad frames: https://help.revisionfx.com/tutorial/121/.   There's a trial version available so you can test it before you purchase it.  I've used it a handful of times and it's saved the day.


 

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Explorer ,
Feb 17, 2021 Feb 17, 2021

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Yeah, there's b-roll but it would be out of context to cut to it in the middle of his sound bites.  Plus the rhythm of his table pounding is erratic so that would just look weird.   And unfortunately I don't have the budget for new plugins or the luxury of time to learn them on this shoot.  I've used morph cuts a lot and I agree that probably won't work here.  I might try the Warp Stabilizer, but I'm afraid it will make the situation more obvious.

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Enthusiast ,
Feb 16, 2021 Feb 16, 2021

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Just a wild guess here, if there's a build-in stabilizer and it was in 'auto' mode instead of  'off', camera sensors actually may have picked up the vibration. Probably just enough to activate and turn off immediately, but it has some inertia, hence the effect.

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Explorer ,
Feb 17, 2021 Feb 17, 2021

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This actually makes sense, but the camera and tripod were 8 feet away from the table on a carpeted concrete floor in a large office.  Is it possible the vibration could have carried that far?  He wasn't slamming his hand down angrily, just slapping the table top to emphasize his points.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 17, 2021 Feb 17, 2021

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You'd be amazed how much vibration can transfer. Especially depending on the tripod, the head and camera mount, the weight of the camera even. I've shot stills and now video over 40 years professionally. Been there done that.

 

And you have carpet and a pad over that assumed concrete floor. Which both, in my long experience, can transmit vibration. Concrete floors can transmit vibration.

 

As noted in the first response, simply watch this on any player outside of Premiere. I would bet easily that the movement happens with any player, and is a 'naturally' occurring thing. I know of no way whatever that the sound of the file would cause Premiere to move the image.

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