I want to stabilize a video but I'm not sure whether or not I should crop it first.
Everything I have ever stabilized was a perfect 16:9 and or had no black bars what so ever in view. This source however is more like 2:35 and has black bars on the top and bottom of the widescreen video.
My question is, will this affect the stabilizer? Can it still stabilize properly with those bars on the top and bottom of the source, or do I have to crop them off first and then stabilize?
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Yes, you absolutely must crop before stabilization. This is because the stabilization algorithm doesn't know that there are borders on two or more sides of the video and it will therefore move those borders around as it stabilizes the video. Try it yourself on a few seconds of your footage, and you'll see what I mean.
If you want to keep the original aspect ratio, which will require those borders, the usual way to handle this is to:
1. Crop out the borders.
3. Add the borders back so you end up with the same aspect ratio