In the video making and editing world, stabilization is an important quality criterion and impacts greatly the viewing comfort.
Professionals have developed their own solutions that enable stable shots for movies and feature films with a high budget. But in the recent years, with the expansion of Internet media like YouTube and company, a lot of amateur producers have appeared. These passionate people don’t have the same means as professionals, and don't usually have access to the same tools. But, they are more likely to do things by themselves so as to get the same quality as professionals. Stabilization being an essential point concerning the overall video quality, these semi-professionals and passionate amateurs will want to achieve it at the best price-to-quality ratio. The system we wanted to create is based on the same principle as the electronic stabilization system that already exist but for an affordable price, and based on an open source model. This means the user can modify the system to adapt it for his camera, create his own functionalities using our project as a skeleton. In addition to the stabilization, we also want to provide a way for the user to see what he is shooting.
After developing the hardware and the software part separately, we obtained the following results. Concerning the software, we created an Android application in order to provide a way for the user to see what he is shooting. This application gets the stream from the camera thanks to the Raspberry Pi mini-computer which, after retrieving the images from the camera, sends them via Wi-Fi to an Android terminal. We also added some features to this application. The application will also provide a menu. This menu contains more precise information such as the precise offset in degrees from the initial reference point. This part of the interface will be an access point to more minute settings, such as a way to modify the offset on an axis and apply it directly to the stabilizer.
On the hardware part, we managed to create a model of what could our final product be. This model contains all the elements for the stabilization: brushless motor, a gyroscope and an accelerometer. We are able to stabilize the camera on one axis. Indeed due to time and budget, it was hardly possible to make a 3 axis stabilizer. We could have obtained better results if had for instance a faster Arduino board and more powerful motors. However the main principle of the stabilization we wanted to create is still shown in our project.
This project allowed us to create an open source prototype of stabilizer. Indeed, even if it isn’t finished, our product proves that it is possible to make an affordable and customizable stabilizer. Besides we also managed to create a functioning streaming application using open source operation systems.