What you'll need
Before you can edit your GoPro footage, you need to go out there and capture something. (I've provided sample footage at the link above so you can start right away.) Pay attention to your camera’s settings so you’ll capture optimal footage for your situation.
The GoPro Hero 4 camera line captures everything from high-resolution 4K video (3840 x 2160 pixels) at a low frame rate of 15 frames per second (fps) to WVGA video (848 x 480 pixels) at a very high frame rate of 240 fps. The settings you choose will greatly impact your final video, so it’s important to understand what you are choosing. (This tutorial uses footage from the GoPro Hero 3 camera line.)
Here are some things to consider:
- Look at the camera resolution. Standard 1080p HD video is 1920 x 1080 pixels. The 4K or 2.7K video settings are both higher resolutions than the 1080p setting, so you can safely crop or scale those videos down to 1080p without losing image quality. On the other hand, 720p or WVGA settings are smaller than standard 1080p HD video, so if you want to achieve 1080p, you need to scale your video upward, which may make your video appear not as sharp.
- Think about the video frame rate. It controls how many video frames are captured or played over time. The higher the frame rate, the smoother the video will appear during playback. The lower the frame rate, the choppier the video will appear — in such cases, it may appear to stutter.
Very high frame rates are great for slowing down a scene to achieve a slow-motion effect. Slowing down a high frame rate can produce very smooth and realistic output. Slowing down a low frame rate, however, causes even more stuttering and jerky movement, and generally doesn’t lend itself to high-quality output. In my own work, I prefer to shoot at either 1080p at 60 fps, or 2.7K at 30 fps, depending on how much action there will be in the shot.
Watch the following demos and try your hand at some of the techniques I describe by using the supplied sample footage.
Using the sample clips provided above, you’re ready to experiment with assembling your GoPro footage into a story like a pro. Now get out there and do amazing things — just don’t forget to turn on your camera.
The first step in any video workflow is to import your footage from the camera into your editing tool. From there you can start assembling your video composition.
In this video I show you how to import your footage from the GoPro camera into Adobe Premiere Pro CC.
As you assemble your video composition, it’s good to know about adjusting the colors in your footage — especially if you shoot in the flat-looking Protune mode.
In this video I show you how to apply interesting color effects and cinematic Lumetri looks to your footage — and even use the Direct Link workflow to Adobe SpeedGrade CC to fine-tune your color scheme further.
GoPro videos are often used for action shots where there is a lot of movement. Mounting the small camera on an off-road vehicle is bound to introduce vibrations from the engine and from driving over rough terrain.
In this video I show you how to apply the Warp Stabilizer effect to smooth the motion in a bumpy video. I also show you how to remove the lens distortion inherent in GoPro footage due to the camera’s fisheye lens.
Once you assemble your composition, you’re going to want to share your creativity with the world.
In this video I show you how to export your video from Premiere Pro using Adobe Media Encoder CC so you can upload it to YouTube or Vimeo, or output it to other social media endpoints.
Contributors: Andrew Trice, Chad Leto