Digital Image Stabilization

Digital Image Stabilization

Updated Jun 13, 2014 at 02:12PM EDT by Don.

Added Jun 02, 2014 at 03:49PM EDT by Don.

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Digital Image Stabilizationis an image and video editing technique used to reduce unwanted motion blurs in photographs or jitters in video clips for optimal viewing experience. This process involves shifting the position of electronic images frame-by-frame to compensate for various angular movements of the camera during recording. On the Internet, the technique has been used to improve the resolution of videos that have gone viral on sites like YouTube and Reddit.


On April 19th, 2011, Redditor Juu-hachi submitted an animated GIF featuring a stabilized clip from the Patterson-Gimlin of an unidentified subject purported to be the cryptid known as "Bigfoot" to the /r/pics[2] subreddit (shown below). Prior to being archived, the post received over 500 upvotes and 70 comments.


On April 16th, 2013, YouTuber taisui uploaded stabilized footage taken during several explosions at the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings (shown below). On July 16th, Vimeo[8] user Greatest Hits uploaded a stabilized version of the entire 2008 science fiction thriller film Cloverfield. The video has since been removed.

On November 5th, the /r/ImageStabilization[1] subreddit was launched for stabilized video requests and submissions, gaining over 14,300 subscribers in the first six months. On January 1st, 2014, Redditor 4rrow uploaded a stabilized GIF of actress Jennifer Lawrence wearing a revealing top to the /r/JenniferLawrence[5] subreddit, where it gathered more than 1,300 upvotes and 20 comments in five months (shown below, left). On February 6th, Redditor jacho11 submitted a stabilized GIF of a skier performing a stunt off a ski jump to the /r/woahdude[4] subreddit, garnering over 17,000 upvotes and 270 comments in three months (shown below, right).

On February 19th, the arts and technology news blog The Creators Project[3] published an article about stabilized images, which highlighted several notable examples posted to Reddit. On May 31st, Redditor Death-By-Circlejerk submitted a stablized GIF with footage from the control bridge of the starship Enterprise in the science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation to the /r/gifs subreddit (shown below). Within 48 hours, the post received upwards of 22,000 upvotes and 530 comments. That same day, the /r/startrekstabilized[6] subreddit was launched for stabilized GIFs made from Star Trek episodes.

Notable Examples

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Animal Head Stabilizers

On June 15th, 2008, YouTuber SmarterEveryDay uploaded a video titled "Chicken Head Tracking," which demonstrated how chickens have the ability to keep their head stable while the rest of their body is being manipulated (shown below, left). In the first six years, the video gained over 2.67 million views and 2,900 comments. On August 18th, 2009, YouTuber Alex Holcombe uploaded a similar video featuring an owl (shown below, right).

On August 4th, 2012, YouTuber MieciaTheCat uploaded a video in which a cat's head remains stationary while its body is moved around by a person (shown below, left). In two years, the video gathered more than 1.05 million views and 400 comments. On September 27th, 2013, the LG Mobile Global YouTube channel released a commercial featuring cameras mounted on chickens to stabilize recorded video (shown below, right). In eight months, the video accumulated upwards of 5.9 million views and 2,600 comments.

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