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Handheldifier

Hey guys! Here’s a helpful Nuke tool I built a bit back, ready to go for your downloading pleasure!

Download – Handheldifier_v05_release

Just stick this into your toolsets menu, and you’ll be ready to add a “handheld” camera feel to any of your static shots!

What, specifically, it is: 

The handheldifier is built on some camera tracker footage I made by putting some tape on a wall, filming it, and using it as a tracking marker. If you use it, you can apply some real, natural camera shake to any piece of footage you want. The motion data loops forever, so you won’t have to worry about the tracking data expiring.

It has the ability to build layers of parallax from the same motion data, so simply by applying a different percentage of Handheldifier to your different layers of footage, you can build believable parallax and still have a natural “shaky” camera feel.

The interface:

Shake Amount – This is the main control. If you set this to zero, your footage won’t move at all. Anything above that, and you’ll get increasing amounts of camera shake.

Smooth – This will, as the name says, smooth out the camera motion. It does this, essentially, by mathematically reducing the number of key frames to follow. For smoother motion, raise this to amounts above 1.

Scale to Fix – Since you’re applying camera shake to footage that has likely been formatted already, you’ll likely get black pixels around the borders when the footage moves. This is a simple scale based on the center of the input footage.

When to use this:

I have used this or a variation of it in most of my animation projects. It can be very helpful for adding parallax to otherwise motionless animation sequences. If you use two handheldifiers with similar settings, you can just use the “shake amount” variable to set the elements at different depths. Foreground elements will always display more X/Y motion than BG elements. This is a great cheap way to add motion to motionless scenes, but still have each layer controlled by the same movement data.

Future plans / Additional notes:

As of now, there is no rotation data being used in the Handheldifier. This is because, in my experience, rotation has a tendency to introduce too many problems when working with different layers of parallax. It can get tricky to get a nice simple motion when rotation is thrown into the mix.

If rotation data or any other features are requested by enough people, I might spend some time finding a way around this.