This was graciously provided by Gonza, and I hope that it helps others:
Editing GoPro HD with Premiere Pro CS4
GoProHD has many different resolutions, all of them progressive scan (p) with square pixels, titled R1 to R5. It records in MP4 files, using H.264 video (AVC) and AAC audio.
Here I will address R2 to R5:
R2 = 1280 x 720 30p (widescreen 16:9)
R3 = 1280 x 720 60p (widescreen 16:9)
R4 = 1280 x 960 30p (standard 4:3)
R5 = 1920 x 1080 30p (widescreen 16:9)
Preparation of files
It seems Premiere Pro CS4 does not like the way GoPro builds the MP4 container. So you have to re-write it so that it has a more standard form. You can do that using MPEG Streamclip (or Quictime Pro, but that one is not free)
If you open your GoPro videos in MPEG Streamclip (or Quicktime Pro) , and then you just save them again ("save as... MP4") , then the MP4 container will be re-written but the video will not be re-encoded (hence, there will be no quality loss!)
You can also process many files at once, using the batch feature: Just go to List>Batch List and start adding files. Then as task, choose “save as”.
Now that you have all your files converted, we need to pick the right project sequence preset for the resolution you are working on, all of them based on AVCHD
· For R2 choose AVCHD 720p30
· For R3 use AVCHD 720p60
· For R4 you will need to create a custom profile, because there is no built-in profile for this resolution: Select AVCHD 1080p30 and then go to the General tab. Change Editing Mode to Desktop, so you will be able to modify the resolution. Change the resolution to 1280 x 960 and then press the Save Preset button to save your newly created sequence profile for GoPro R4
· For R5 use AVCHD 1080p30
After all your editing (using the modified MP4 files) you will want to export your final product.
I usually export in meg2 or MP4 files, for direct use on my PC, but you can try many others.
· For MP4 files (H.264 video and AAC audio) choose “H.264” as format. I started out with the HDTV 1080p 29.97 High Quality profile but the bitrate was too high for me. So I set out to create a bunch of MP4 export presets for the GoPro, doing some tests and trying to preserve the aprox. bit-rate that GoPro uses for each resolution.
I did them with the Baseline ecoder profile, but you can change it if you want to to use other.
There’s one normal profile and one “low” profile for each resoultion. The “low” one will have a lower video bit rate and 64kbps AAC audio (instead of 128 kbps)
· For Mpeg 2 files choose MPEG2 format (nahh!! really?? J )
For R2 and R5 you can use the corresponding HDTV profiles, but for R3 and R4 I had to create them myself.
To install my profiles just extract them from the archive zip file , and copy them to:
C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR_USERNAME\Application Data\Adobe\Premiere Pro\4.0\Presets
Then they will automatically appear under the MPE2 and H.264 formats.