Subject: The Wire Coral Crab or Xeno Crab (Xenocarcinus tuberculatus) goes by many names and lives solely on black wire or whip corals. The tubercles on its body match almost perfectly with the polyps of its host. The little crustacean is exceptionally well adapted to live on these cnidarians.
Technique: Whip and wire corals are subject to the ocean’s current and have the tendency to tremble and/or swing back and forth in the rhythm of the water movement. Unless there is no current at all it is nearly impossible to create a stable shot. By key-framing the shot every 5 frames or so it was possible to manually drag the little critter in the middle of the picture. After we exported the shot a first time as a mpeg file it was placed on the editor’s timeline a second time where the built-in stabilizer did an awesome job in smoothing the footage.