How to Use the Stabilization Tool

Have you ever captured great footage, only to find it ruined by shakiness? Shakiness in videos can be caused by many things when using handheld devices like smartphones or GoPro cameras when you don’t have a portable stabilizer to set your camera on during recording. That’s why VSDC's Stabilization tool is here to rescue your videos from unwanted jitters. It allows you to remove the effect of camera shake from captured videos, transforming shaky shots into polished, professional-quality content.

The stabilization process involves examining the shaky footage and making frame-by-frame adjustments. This may include cropping the edges, rotating or shifting frames, and using advanced algorithms. The outcome is a smoother, stable video that's visually appealing. Continue reading to learn about this useful tool and watch our video tutorial to see everything with your own eyes.

Getting started

First, launch VSDC and navigate to the Tools tab on the Ribbon command bar in VSDC and select Video stabilization. Please, note that this is an advanced feature and is only available to PRO users.

After selecting Video stabilization, a pop-up window will appear warning you that the stabilization tool does not have a real-time preview. This means that the effects of the settings you apply will only be visible after you export your video. Click OK to start working with the tool.

To get started, you need to add your footage. Use one of the following options above the Source files panel:

  • Open files: Use it to select one or multiple files from your computer. Note, that if you already added files to the Source panel, this option will delete them and replace them with the ones you select.
  • Add files: Use it to add files to previously added items.
  • Add folder: Use it to add all files from the selected folder.
  • Add DVD: Use it to add files from a DVD or from an HDD.

If you made a mistake in file selection or want to remove the entire list, use the options Close files or Close all files. To access information about the properties of a specific file in the Source files pane, use the File's information option on the same panel.

Adjust stabilization settings

Stabilization settings are located on the upper toolbar of the video stabilization window. In the Stabilization tab you can smoothen the video and ensure the most optimal stabilization result. Let’s review it in more detail.


Shakiness setting controls how much the video stabilizer corrects the shakiness in your video. Imagine, you’re recording holding the camera in your hands or moving quickly, and the video looks shaky or unsteady. This setting will help to make it smoother.

This is how it works:

  • You can select the value of shakiness correction from 1 to 10.
  • If you set it to a minimum, the stabilization will be gentle. It’ll fix some shakes but still keep some of the original movement. It will result in a more natural look of the video like in a documentary.
  • If you set the value to 10, the stabilization will be strong enough to fix even really strong shakes. This option is great for a video with much action or movement.
  • The default value is 5. If you set it like this, it will smoothen the shakes but still keep some natural motion. It’s a good starting point for most videos.


The Accuracy setting controls how carefully the video stabilizer looks for shaky movements in your video.

This is how it works:

  • You can set the value of accuracy from 1 to 15.
  • If you set the value to a minimum, the stabilizer will operate faster but it may miss some shakes. It is suitable for videos where speed is essential and minor camera shakes can be tolerated.
  • The default value is 15. If you keep it, the stabilizer will analyze the video very carefully and catch even tiny shakes. This will make your video look really smooth, but it might take longer to process. So, choose the value that matches your video's complexity and how perfect you want it to be.

Step Size

The Step Size setting determines the interval in pixels at which the video stabilizer scans the region for the best way to fix shaky footage.

This is how it works:

  • You can set the value of step size from 1 to 32 pixels.
  • If you set the value to a minimum, the tool will analyze each pixel in the frame to look for unstable footage. This can make the fix very accurate, but it might take longer to process.
  • If you set a value closer to maximum, the tool will use a bigger step size, jumping over pixels. As a result, fewer spots will be checked, but the scanning process will be much faster.
  • We recommend using the default step size (6). It is a good balance between being accurate and not taking too long to fix the video.
  • Smoothing

    The Smoothing setting applies a denoise filter to the camera movements resulting in a smoother and more stable video output. This setting refers to the number of frames (forward and backward) used for filtering.

    This is how it works:

  • If you set it to 0, the smoothing filter will not be applied. The camera movements will stay as they are in the original video without any changes.
  • If set at larger values, like 20 or more, it’ll make the video very smooth, but may slow down the way how quick the camera can move around. It is useful when you want gentle and slow camera motions, like in slow and steady shots.
  • We recommend setting the default value (15). It means that 15 frames before and 15 frames after the current frame will be used for smoothing. It’s an optimal value for most of the videos to get rid of shaky and jumpy motions.
  • Max Shift

    The Max Shift setting determines by how many pixels the frames in the video can move to fix the shaky camera movement.

    This is how it works:

  • If you pick the default value (-1), you set no limits to how far the frames can move. This helps the video stabilizer do whatever it takes to fix the shakiness without being restricted.
  • If you set another custom value, for instance 5, it will limit the tool in terms of how far the frames can move. The stabilizer will still do its job but make sure that the frames do not move more than 5 pixels in any direction. This is useful when you want to fix shaking but still want to keep the video looking natural.
  • Max Angle

    The Max Angle setting determines how many degrees the frames in a video can be rotated to fix shaky camera movement.

    This is how it works:

  • If you set the default value (-1), it means that there is no limit on how much the frames can be rotated. This lets the stabilizer rotate the frames as much as needed to fix the shakiness without any restrictions.
  • If you set a positive value, for instance, 10, it will limit the stabilization tool in rotation. It means that the stabilizer will work on fixing the shakiness while making sure the frames don’t rotate more than 10 degrees. This is helpful if you want to avoid frames being turned too much and keep the video looking as close to the original as possible.
  • Contrast Threshold

    The Contrast Threshold setting determines how noticeable objects should be in the frame for the stabilizer to catch it and fix it. This parameter sets the contrast threshold that the program takes into analysis during the stabilization process.

    This is how it works:

  • You can set the value of contrast threshold from 0 to 1.
  • If you set the default value (0.25), it means that the stabilizer will work only on areas that have a clear difference in color or brightness. This helps make sure that the tool fixes things that are easy to see in the frame.
  • If you set it lower, like 0.1, the stabilizer will extend the analysis and work on the objects that have a less clear difference in color or brightness. This may help to capture more details, especially if the video has lower-contrast scenes or subtle movements. The downside is that the video may look a bit messy if the stabilizer catches on objects that are unclear within the frame.
  • If you set a higher value, like 0.5, the stabilization tool will only work on areas with a very clear brightness difference. This can make the video look smoother, but it might miss some subtle details. This setting will work perfectly well with a high-contrast video and well-defined features.
  • Zoom

    The Zoom setting specifies by how many percent the image will be enlarged or reduced during stabilization. This means you can either zoom in (make things bigger) or zoom out (make things smaller) in the video. The Zoom effect can be cool for focusing on details or creating a specific look.

    This is how it works:

  • If you set the default value (0) there will be no zoom effect. The video keeps its original size without any changes.
  • When you set a positive value (like 10), it will hide the video boundaries, making it less noticeable that stabilization has been applied. A negative value (like -5) will allow stabilizing the video without losing important areas at the edges.
  • Zoom Speed

    The Zoom Speed setting controls how fast the zoom changes from frame to frame during stabilization. This option helps you control how quickly the video zooms in or out from one frame to the next. It's great for making engaging and dynamic videos.

    This is how it works:

  • The default value is set to 0.25, indicating that each frame can be maximally zoomed in or out by 0.25% during stabilization. This setting provides a gradual and moderate zoom effect over time.
  • You can pick a different number from 0 to 5. Smaller numbers (closer to 0) make the zoom change slowly, like a gentle transition. Bigger numbers (closer to 5) make the zoom change faster, which can create a more noticeable effect.
  • Optimal Zoom

    The Optimal Zoom setting controls how the video stabilization handles zooming to avoid empty borders.

    The following options are available:

  • Without zoom. The video will retain its original scale.
  • Static zoom (default setting). The stabilizer picks the best zoom value to minimize empty borders. This works for most cases.
  • Adaptive zoom. The stabilizer adjusts zooming for each frame to ensure no black borders are visible. The Zoom Speed affects how fast this happens.
  • It's important to note that the Optimal Zoom value interacts with the Zoom parameter, where the value set for Zoom is added to the optimal zoom value determined by this setting.

    Smooth Zoom

    The Smooth Zoom setting controls how zoom adjustments are handled.

    The following options are available:

  • Without smoothing. Zoom changes happen directly, suddenly. This might work for artistic effects.
  • Use the smoothed zoom. Zoom changes gradually and smoothly.
  • Interpolation

    The Interpolation setting allows you to specify the type of interpolation used during the video stabilization process. Interpolation is a crucial aspect of video stabilization, determining how frame adjustments are made to reduce jerky motion and ensure seamless transitions between frames.

    The following options are available:

  • Without interpolation. This means no smooth connection between frames. The adjustments might look abrupt as if frames are changing suddenly.
  • Linear. Only smooths things horizontally, like left to right. It helps make horizontal movements smoother.
  • Bilinear (default setting). This is the default option. It smooths both horizontally and vertically, making the changes between frames look smoother and more pleasing.
  • Bicubic. This is a higher-quality option that smooths both horizontally and vertically too. It gives even smoother results, but it takes more time to process.
  • Camera

    The Camera setting allows you to choose the algorithm to optimize the camera movement to reach a smoother video representation.

    The following options are available:

  • Optimal (default setting). The algorithm determines the best way to adjust the camera movement to make videos look steady and high-quality.
  • Gaussian. The algorithm applies a Gaussian filter to the camera motion. It helps smooth out the camera's path and makes the transitions between frames look more pleasing and stable.
  • Average. The algorithm blends the camera motions with neighboring frames to achieve smoother transitions and enhance overall stability.
  • Crop

    The Crop setting allows you to define how to handle empty frame borders or gaps formed during stabilization.

    The following options are available:

  • Keep border (default setting). The gaps are replaced with the content from the previous frame.
  • Crop border. The gaps are filled with black, making the edges clear. It means that you may lose some content from the edges.
  • Invert

    The Invert setting determines how the position of the pixel in the image will be adjusted during stabilization. There are 2 options: based on the previous frame and based on the next frame.

    The following options are available:

  • Forward transforms (default setting). It adjusts the pixels' positions in each frame based on how the previous frames moved. This helps make your video steady by making sure each frame is aligned with the ones before it.
  • Invert transforms. It adjusts the pixels' positions in the current frame based on how the future frames will move. This can have artistic or technical effects, but it might not make your video as steady as the default forward choice.
  • Relative

    The Relative setting lets you choose whether to adjust frames based on their differences from the previous frame or independently without considering the previous frame.

    The following options are available:

  • Relative transforms (default setting). Each frame will be adjusted based on how it's different from the previous one. This helps make your video look smoother as frames align with each other.
  • Absolute transforms. Each frame is adjusted without considering the one before it. It might make transitions between frames less smooth, but it can have artistic or technical uses.
  • Motion

    When you're fixing a shaky video, you need to know how the camera moved overall in each frame. This is called "global motion." The "Motion" setting lets you choose how to figure out this movement. There are two choices:

    The following options are available:

  • Accurate method (default setting). It uses a precise method to detect how the camera moved. This gives you high-quality stabilization results.
  • Fast method. It detects camera movement rather fast, but it might not be as precise as the default method. It's useful when you want your stabilization done quickly and you don't need super accurate results.
  • That’s it! Now you are ready to proceed to the next step and see the result. In case you want to reset all settings to default values, simply click the Reset to defaults button next to the Export project button.

    Preview and Partial Video Export

    As we’ve already mentioned, the stabilization tool does not have a real-time preview. This means that the effects of the settings you apply will only be visible after you export the stabilized video. Therefore, if you are satisfied with your current settings adjustments, you can proceed to exporting by clicking on the Export project button right in the stabilization window.

    However, if your video is lengthy, and you would like to assess the impact of the applied settings before exporting the entire file, you have the option to export only a shorter segment of your video. To do this, navigate to the Editor tab located on the right to the stabilization window. Here, you can use the cutting and splitting tools available to shorten your video and focus on specific sections. To learn more about cutting and splitting tools, we recommend you to watch our video tutorial.

    Wrapping up

    In the world of video creation, shaky footage can be a real downer, but with VSDC's Stabilization tool in your arsenal, those worries are a thing of the past. By offering a range of powerful settings that cater to your specific needs, VSDC empowers you to transform amateur videos into professional-looking masterpieces.

    Whether you're a content creator sharing memories, a social media enthusiast, or a professional working on important projects, the Stabilization tool enhances your videos' quality and elevates the viewing experience. Remember, while mastering the tool might take a bit of practice, the results will undoubtedly speak for themselves. So go ahead, dive into the world of smooth, polished videos, and unlock the full potential of your creative vision with VSDC's Stabilization tool. Happy editing!