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Lock-on Stabilization Effect: How to Do it with Hot Editors

Liza Brown
Liza Brown
Originally published Oct 22, 21, updated Feb 29, 24
Excellent Video Editor - Wondershare Filmora

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Experienced editors often face the damage to their fantastic video by a case of the shakes when evaluating clips. No one would film shaky or unsteady footage if they didn't want to in an ideal world. But, in the real world, the shaky film is the norm. A lock-on video effect is when it looks like the camera is locked onto one aspect of the clip, keeping that one point in the middle even as the subject moves. This is a popular effect for workout and dancing videos because of how it highlights the athlete. With a lock-on stabilization effect, you can repair shaky video and obtain completely steady videos without sacrificing quality! In this article, we have mentioned the top editors to achieve lock-on stabilization in 2021, so keep reading.

Part 1: How to Create Stabilization Effect with Filmora

To create a lock-on stabilization effect with Filmora, follow these easy and simple steps:

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You will need a high-resolution clip because you will have to blow up the image a bit to avoid black edges. You can use a 1080p clip, but 4K would be better. Higher-resolution clips look better when you Zoom in, so let's blow it up a bit.

Double click on your clip to open up the editing menu and find transform under the video tab. Drag the scale slider right to Zoom in. To mark your spot, drag a text effect into a track above your clip and replace the message with a plus sign. Depending on the color of the point you're locking onto, you may want to change the color to see the mark better.

text effect

Place the mark over your point when it is in the middle of the screen. Then adjust the length of the title effect to match your clip.

You may want to click the lock icon to lock this track in place, so you don't accidentally move the marker.

adjust length and lock

Now double click on your clip to open the editing menu again and click into the animation tab. Then go to Custom. We're going to use keyframing to create camera movement.

use key framing

First, click on add to create a starting point keyframe, then jump forward about three frames. In your video preview, drag your clip to the point you want your camera to lock onto is under your marker again. This will create a new keyframe.

repeat the process

Repeat this process in Filmora for as long as you want the effect to last. If the movement in your clip is very fast, you may want to jump fewer frames between keyframes, or if the movement is slow, you may want to jump more. Once you're done, unlock the track with your marker and delete it. Your perfectly stabilized shot with object locked in the center is ready with Wondershare Filmora.

delete the marker

Part 2: How to Create Stabilization Effect with Final Cut Pro X

Creating a stabilization effect with the camera is borderline impossible, so the effect is achieved in editing. I have lined up a video in my timeline on Final Cut Pro, and if we play this through, you will see that it is just 2 seconds long. Now, you will want to keep in mind a couple of things when you go out to shoot your footage. Shoot your footage in 4K, ensure that you get a nice clean track, shoot your footage at a higher shutter speed, and pay attention to the framing of your subject when you're shooting your footage. Bring in the FCPX Stabilizer 2.0 plugin and add it to your footage. The first thing we're going to do is uncheck our rotation and scale data because we do not need these for this effect. Open the track editor, and this brings up a new window, and this is where we're going to be tracking our footage.


So over here, we've got a couple of shape options, but I'm perfectly okay just using the square. Now, these controls down here do not actually affect our footage. It just makes things a little bit easier to see when we're tracking. You've also got a hand here to move things around, and you can select it again to turn it off. Take the box and put it around the air pod, and then adjust the size accordingly.


Make sure that that your playhead is set to the beginning of your timeline down here because that is where we're going to be starting our track. Push the track quality all the way up to 100%. Leave the tracking type on position only. Click the track forward button, and you can now see that the auto tracker has started tracking frame by frame without us actually having to go in and create keyframes individually on our own. And you can see that the auto tracker has actually done a perfect job tracking our AirPod. So once we're happy with that, we'll go ahead down here and click the export data button.


And just like that, you will have a perfectly tracked clip, and your object is in the center of the frame with Final Cut Pro.

Part 3: How to Create Stabilization Effect with Premiere Pro

To stabilize a shot with Premiere Pro, so the object stays exactly in the center, follow these steps:

Create a mask around the point that we want to track by using a Gaussian blur effect in the effects control. Click on the mask to create a mask around the object, and if you move it, you will be able to automatically track the movement of this mask, the position of this mask. We are not going to be using a Gaussian blur. The only reason why I added it is because we need some kind of mask that would not change our clip.


We could take the keyframes of this mask path and convert it into the keyframes of position. It is not normally possible inside Premiere Pro. So to achieve this, we are going to need a plugin. To open up the plugin, go to window extensions and click the plugin called mask to transform. Select the position, rotation, or scale. Click on position. Go to this Gaussian blur and click on the mask option. Right-click on it and copy, then go to the plugin and click get from the clipboard.


The plugin will tell you that how many keyframes you have read successfully. You can just apply those keyframes as a transform effect. For instance, I have the motion graphics layer right here if I prolong it, and if I use it as transform, as you can see, it is pasting those keyframes. When it is done, I can scrub through, and the text is perfectly following the object in the shot.


To stabilize the shot. Let's actually delete this text layer as we don't need it. Select the clip itself and paste those keyframes as transform. Transform effect will be added, and our position keyframes will be pasted if you want to move the clip to the left when the camera moves to the right and vice versa. Collapse this and add another transform effect. Go to the effects, click on transform and drag it below the transform that the plugin created for you. Scroll down and go to rotation and rotate it by 180 degrees.


Now rotate it back 180 degrees again in order to fix the fact that we now have upside damn clips: right-click here and nest. When the clip is nested, go to the motion properties of this nest. Go to rotation and rotate it back to 180 degrees.

rotate the footage back again

Just like that, you will have a perfectly stabilized shot in Premiere Pro. In the end, zoom into it a little bit to get rid of the black bars.

Part 4: FAQ - How to Shoot a Video that is Suitable for the Lock-on Stabilization Effect?

Shoot 4K video, so you don't lose resolution when zooming in

It's essential to realize that because to the re-framing, you'll need to scale in quite a bit, so the video you're utilizing should ideally be shot in 4K at the very least if you're downscaling to 1080p, or even higher if you're intending on delivering in 4K. You will need a high-resolution clip because you will have to blow up the image a bit to avoid black edges.

Shoot wider to avoid the black bar

Keep in mind that the shots should be a little broader than a standard close-up, giving you plenty of flexibility to alter the margins around your subject and avoid black bars.

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