Microsoft's Research division in Redmond, Washington has published material detailing a method for turning shaky first-person camera footage into a stabilized hyperlapse video. Hyperlapsing is a technique used in multimedia to string together a collection of photographs or video frames in order to produce a cinematic experience; the methodology is also more commonly known as a stop-motion time-lapse.

Microsoft researchers, Johannes Kopf, Michael Cohen, and Richard Szeliski, all noted that first-person video cameras could capture interesting footage during activities such as 'rock climbing or bicycling', but can be 'dead boring' to watch at normal speeds.

The three researchers found that simply speeding up the video by a factor of 10 (also known as subsampling), did not produce the smooth result they wanted, but instead an extremely shaky video where every movement was amplified. When the researchers attempted to, instead, stabilize the video, they found that they simply didn't have enough information to do so.

The algorithm they've developed uses a 3-step process to produce exceptionally stable videos that play back in a single fluid camera sweep. First researchers reconstruct the scene by creating a 3D model of the world based on similar structures detected within each frame. Next, they proceed to plan a camera path through the world and create 3D point-clouds from overlapping frames. Lastly, the dense depth maps are stitched together, color changes are made, and the video is rendered for viewing.

The resulting video, seen in the demo below, is quite impressive. As of now, the team does not have a release date, but mentions that those who are interested should stay tuned as they 'are working hard on making [their] hyperlapse algorithm available as a Windows app' - Note that the word app most likely hints at a Windows 8 application and not legacy desktop software (sorry Windows 7 users).

For more information, you can visit the official research page for technical papers and supplemental material.


Michael Archambault is a contributing writer for DPReview.