18 Replies Latest reply: Aug 15, 2012 7:11 AM by Ed.Macke RSS

    How To Improve GoPro Video Quality / Make it "Pop"?

    Ed.Macke Community Member

      The video you see on GoPro's website and in their in-store displays is gorgeous - bright, crisp, super vibrant. The video my son has actually been getting with his GoPro Hero2? Decidedly less exciting. It's definitely sharp and nice HD quality, but my complaint is that it almost a desaturated look, with the colors muted and a little washed out.

       

      Given the differences between GoPro website footage and our footage, I'm guessing their website and in-store display video has had some liberal video editing applied, which is fine, except... I can't figure out how to get the same results!

       

      If it was a picture and I was using Lightroom, I could probably get it pretty close, but I can't seem to get anywhere close to what I'd like to see using the PRE Image Controls (brightness, contrast, saturation). The image controls seem kind of limited in what they do.

       

      Brightness seems to wash everything out instead of just increasing the highlights.

       

      Contrast... I don't know what the heck it's doing - moving it definitely has an effect but I have yet to find an effect that actually improves anything.

       

      Vibrance definitely helps with the washed-out colors, but it gets garish quickly.

       

      So, am I pretty much stuck with those three options, or is there a video effect in the PRE library that gives better results? Is there a 3rd party tool?

       

      Also, in the fall, we'll be upgrading to PrPro CS6 - does that offer any advanced (read: better) tools for boosting my so-so GoPro footage to something closer to what the web site shows?

       

      Here's some details, if it matters

      Using Hero2, not original Hero

      I know the GoPro's don't do well in dim light, but footage is shot in broad daylight

      Using 1080p mode (1920 x 1080, 30p) h.264 MP-4

      Video sucked in directly from SD card, has green render bar upon import

        • 1. Re: How To Improve GoPro Video Quality / Make it "Pop"?
          whsprague Community Member

          Ed,

           

          The usual culprit is light.  The pros get up early and stay up late.  The rest of us play with our toys at noon and have a hard time getting results that have the pop of morning and evening. 

           

          You might try looking through some of the tools at http://www.newbluefx.com.  You might notice that some of there tools have been included in PRE10, but also that there seem to be many more tools/effects that are available with a little more horsepower. 

           

          In the Video Essentials III package there are a couple that look like they could up the "pop" a little and they are free to try. 

           

          Bill

          • 2. Re: How To Improve GoPro Video Quality / Make it "Pop"?
            Ed.Macke Community Member

            Bill,

             

            Thanks. We just got the GoPro and haven't played with it enough in various light to see what kind of difference that makes. I've tried enough to know that the GoPro does not do well in low-light. But experimenting with different light is easy enough, and usually fun, so that is something I'll definitely try.

             

            I'll take a look at the NewBlue stuff.

             

            I was hoping there'd be something included with PRE (or PrPro) because I'm cheap! Well, maybe not cheap, really - I'm not opposed to paying for tools to do what I need, I'm just opposed to paying for them unnecessarily.

            • 3. Re: How To Improve GoPro Video Quality / Make it "Pop"?
              whsprague Community Member

              Ed.Macke wrote:

               

              I was hoping there'd be something included with PRE (or PrPro) because I'm cheap! Well, maybe not cheap, really - I'm not opposed to paying for tools to do what I need, I'm just opposed to paying for them unnecessarily.

              There are free tools included.  They are called 'effects'.  I didn't want to insult you by suggesting you didn't know what they are or how to use them.  If you have not found how to add effects and then adjust them, we should start there. 

               

              If the free and provided effects are not sufficent for the "pop" you want, it has to be the original lighting.  Mid day pictures are always flat.  The pro's use big reflectors held by assistants to help provide pop on the subject.

               

              Until you posted your question, I had not even considered looking for third party "plug ins" that add additional effects.  But, the idea is intreguing. 

               

              Bill

              • 4. Re: How To Improve GoPro Video Quality / Make it "Pop"?
                Ed.Macke Community Member

                There are free tools included.  They are called 'effects'.  I didn't want to insult you by suggesting you didn't know what they are or how to use them.  If you have not found how to add effects and then adjust them, we should start there.

                 

                Oh, now I see what you were saying....I don't think I read your post closely enough.

                 

                I thought you were saying I should just look at NewBlue's website. But in re-reading I think you were saying that PRE has some built-in effects that might help, but if those didn't help then I could look for more powerful ones available at NewBlue.

                 

                OK, so, yes, I know about PRE's effects, but I haven't tried any of those yet (and no, no insult taken )

                 

                All I've tried is the standard brightness / contract / vibrancy tweaks. So that was kind of my question: whether anybody knew of any specific built-in PRE effects that I could use to give me better results. Like if there was an effect called "NewBlue GoPro Better Looking Video", that'd be easy.

                 

                But honestly, I haven't looked real hard at the effects because I first wanted to rule out other things like maybe I just wasn't using the brightness / contrast properly, or maybe what I'm asking for just can't be done, or maybe even there was something wrong with my camera. For example, if everybody else wrote back and said "my GoPro video is jaw-droppingly beautiful just like the website", then maybe I'd think it was something with my camera.

                 

                I'll definitely try some different lighting and see what happens. If you happen to know of a specific effect(s) that I should be trying first, that would be great. Otherwise I'll just hack at it and if can't find anything I'll try the NewBlue site to see if they have something likely.

                 

                I'll try to post some screen grabs to illustrate what I'm seeing - maybe that will help....

                • 5. Re: How To Improve GoPro Video Quality / Make it "Pop"?
                  whsprague Community Member

                  You have me a little confused too, because I'm not sure what you mean by "standard brightness / contrast / vibrancy tweeks". 

                   

                  My guess is that you have not discovered or explored the "Edit Effects" part.  Here goes:

                   

                  Make sure a clip is highlighted on the timeline.  Click the Edit tab and then click Effects.  Select Video Effects and Show All.   Look for the tiny eyeball to the right of those two buttons.  Click on it and the Effect thumbnails will look like your selected clip. 

                   

                  Click on one of the effects like "Brightness and Contrast".  A white box displays around it.  While the box is displayed, push the Apply button.  You should see your clip change a little.  Next, click the Edit Effects button.  For this effect, there are two sliders that you drag back and forth to get lots of change.  Other effects have more controls.  You can stack the effects and toggle them on and off independently until you get what you want.

                   

                  Between "Brightness and Contrast",  "Image Control", "Lighting Effects" and "Channel Mixer" you should be able to get a some "pop" into anything that has close to the right exposure.  The two color correction effects are impressive.  And try "Gamma Correction".

                   

                  Until you first apply the effect and then get to the sliders under the Edit Correction, you won't see much.  When you start sliding the sliders, lots will happen.

                   

                  You can stack Effects and then using the "Edit Effects" tools manipulate them until you like it. 

                   

                  If you get a combination that you like, you can save it as a personal effect and quickly apply it to other clips.

                   

                  I've yet to find a better way to figure the effects out than playing with them.

                   

                  Bill

                  • 6. Re: How To Improve GoPro Video Quality / Make it "Pop"?
                    whsprague Community Member

                    I wish he would come back and say if it worked for him!

                     

                    Bill

                    • 7. Re: How To Improve GoPro Video Quality / Make it "Pop"?
                      the_wine_snob CommunityMVP

                      Bill,

                       

                      Ed's usually very good at coming back to any of his threads, and reporting (unlike some posters, who never show up again ).

                       

                      My guess is that he's testing some of the Effects mentioned, to see what improves his GoPro footage. At least I am hoping that is the case.

                       

                      Good luck to Ed,

                       

                      Hunt

                      • 8. Re: How To Improve GoPro Video Quality / Make it "Pop"?
                        whsprague Community Member

                        Bill Hunt wrote:

                        ...... (unlike some posters, who never show up again )......

                        You're at 50,000 posts and I'm at 40 here.  You must get frustrated!

                         

                        Bill

                        • 9. Re: How To Improve GoPro Video Quality / Make it "Pop"?
                          the_wine_snob CommunityMVP

                          Oh, I cannot tell you. I work about six Adobe forums, and love helping others, where possible. I have seen so very many posts, that pose a problem, and then many others jump in to help, only to never hear if any of their suggestions has done any good. The thread will lie dormant for ages, then another user will find it, and post "Hey, did you ever get this solved? I have the same problem." None of us know if ANYTHING worked originally, so have to start all over at zero - "Tell us about YOUR system, your Source Files, your Project Preset, and what you're doing, when the problem arises... ?"

                           

                          All it takes is for the OP to just drop back by, and say, "Yes, Harm Millaard's suggestion was on the spot, and fixed my problem."

                           

                          Also, marking a post as "Answered," and a Reply as "Correct," or "Helpful," is good too, plus that allows Adobe to actually track things better, and provide justification for their support of the forums. We have begun urging posters to fill in those functions, to help everyone.

                           

                          Still, if I can help just one person per day, I feel like I have contributed, and just hope that there was assistance in some of those other posts.

                           

                          Hunt

                          • 10. Re: How To Improve GoPro Video Quality / Make it "Pop"?
                            whsprague Community Member

                            Bill Hunt wrote:

                             

                            .....Still, if I can help just one person per day, I feel like I have contributed, and just hope that there was assistance in some of those other posts.

                             

                            I try to do the same in a motorhome forum, a camcorder forum and, now, a little here.  It is a sort of "pay it forward" thing.  I had no idea how to operate a complex motorhome 8 years ago.  I learned on a forum called rv.net.  Although I had taken pictures for 40 years, I had no idea what a camcorder was or how it worked.  I learned on avsforum.com.  With PE, I've gone through the lynda.com and video2brain courses and am now learning more here.  Where I can, I try to help others, even though I may be only a few steps ahead. 

                             

                            Bill

                            • 11. Re: How To Improve GoPro Video Quality / Make it "Pop"?
                              the_wine_snob CommunityMVP

                              Yes, I got my start in a similar fashion. Way back when, I dropped Aldus PhotoStyler for the new Adobe Photoshop. Though I had been doing advertising photography and analog image assembly for years, digital was brand new. Though Photoshop had a lovely manual, which I read cover-to-cover, and though I had been using PhotoStyler for about 6 mos., I still needed help. There was no Internet back then, and Adobe had zero presence, even on the nntp news groups. I found alt.graphics.photoshop and comp.graphic.photoshop, and got all my answers. After a bit, I found that I could help others, and especially when it came to some general image assembly, or creation problems. I kept at it, reading posts to learn, and helping, where I could. Fast-forward to Adobe's entry into things, first nntp, and then http. I kept up the reading and answering. It was my way of saying "thank you," for helping me out.

                               

                              Years later, I began doing video, and after several years, landed with PrPro, and the Adobe PrPro forum. I then picked up PrE to do some things, that PrPro was ill-suited for, and sat down, reading every post in this forum. With a few questions, and a lot of reading, I was soon fair with PrE, though I use it only about 10% of the time, relying more heavily on PrPro. Still, and especially with general video questions, I knew that I could be helpful, and also learn more about PrE, just by reading all of the posts.

                               

                              Now, I am retired, but still help out with several Adobe forums, when I can. Even though I used Photoshop commercially for 20 years, and even taught several courses in it, I still learn something new almost everyday on the PS forum!

                               

                              Thanks for what you do - the forums would cease to exist, were it not for subscribers, such as yourself.

                               

                              Hunt

                               

                              PS - bet Ed comes back soon - he's really good at reporting in.

                              • 12. Re: How To Improve GoPro Video Quality / Make it "Pop"?
                                Ed.Macke Community Member

                                I'm here! Sorry, I was posting on Friday from work, didn't get around to trying some things out until today.

                                 

                                So, first of all, some screen shots.

                                 

                                Here's the controls I was playing with (this is PRE version 7, if it matters). I'd right click on a clip and select Properties. One of the edits that always shows up is the "Image Control". As you can see, it has Brightness, Contrast, and Saturation.

                                 

                                2012-07-29_123245.png

                                 

                                Then, Bill, I followed your instructions and instead of the standard "Image Control", I tried using the "Brightness and Contrast" Edit Effect (I turned the Image Control off via the eyeball). Not sure why, but the Edit Effect "Brightness and Contrast" seems to work differently - and much better - than the Image Control Brightness and Contrast sliders. Using the Edit Effect, I was able to get the video looking MUCH more like I was looking for, as you can see here.

                                 

                                2012-07-29_124326.png

                                 

                                Secondly, I went to the GoPro site to look for examples where their stuff was really eye-popping and mine was bland, and wouldn't you know it: almost every video that looked fantastic was during the "golden hours" surrounding sunrise/sunset.

                                 

                                When I found a video on their site that kind of matched my lighting conditions, it was actually pretty similar. Here's a shot of video clip from their site superimposed overlayed with video I shot... as you can see, it's fairly close (of course, theirs has palm trees and mine has bushes )

                                 

                                2012-07-29_122218.png

                                 

                                So I think I have some workable solutions: use the Edit Effects instead of the "built-in" effects (i.e. "Image Control"), and shoot on clear, bright days an hour before sunset!

                                 

                                Thanks guys!!

                                • 13. Re: How To Improve GoPro Video Quality / Make it "Pop"?
                                  the_wine_snob CommunityMVP

                                  Ed,

                                   

                                  Glad that you have been able to improve the footage.

                                   

                                  I understand what "time of day" can do, when shooting. Just saw a lovely ad for a local golf course, that I play fairly often. I almost gasped at the lovely light & shadow. The course looked fantastic! I paused for a moment, and then thought, "heck, I play it mid-day, or very early afternoon, and never immediately before sunset, or immediately after sunrise - of course it looks different here!"

                                   

                                  Good luck,

                                   

                                  Hunt

                                  • 14. Re: How To Improve GoPro Video Quality / Make it "Pop"?
                                    Ed.Macke Community Member

                                    Thanks, Hunt.

                                     

                                    I've been doing this editing this for a few years, but it tends to be the same process, you know? Once you find a flow that works, you stick with it. So while I've used quite a few of the Transitions effects (or, more accurately, a few of the transitions quite a bit), I never really paid attention to the edit effects.

                                     

                                    Now that I'm investigating the edit effects, I'm finding they can do some pretty nice things - I wish I would have discovered them before.

                                     

                                    I actually do photography more than I do video (videography?), so you think I'd be a little more aware of how lighting affects an image. But I think with video I usually don't pay attention to lighting, because the primary objective is to capture what's happening, and the light is what it is. I've never thought, "hey, let's hold the birthday party at 6:32pm because the light would be great!".

                                     

                                    But, like the edit effects, maybe I will start thinking a little differently now. That's what I like about these forums.

                                    • 15. Re: How To Improve GoPro Video Quality / Make it "Pop"?
                                      whsprague Community Member

                                      Ed,

                                       

                                      I'm glad you found the vast world hidden under the tiny 'Edit Effects' button.  It seems a little odd to me that it is so easy to apply an "Effect" but under that small button, 'Edit Effects', is such a complicated maze of powerful controls.  Figureing out how to get the most out of those controls is pushing the limits of my imagination -- not that there was alot there to start with. 

                                       

                                      Bill

                                      • 16. Re: How To Improve GoPro Video Quality / Make it "Pop"?
                                        the_wine_snob CommunityMVP

                                        Bill,

                                         

                                        About the best that I have seen, at helping unlocking the "secrets" of Edit Effects, is Steve Grisetti's PrE books. Still, there is so very much material there, that it would almost take a book for many of the Effects.

                                         

                                        Luckily for me, many are versions of Effects from Premiere Pro, and I was able to start that program, when they did a nice, printed manual. Much from PrPro applies to Effects in PrE.

                                         

                                        Personally, I could not edit without the Effects Control Panel (accessed differently between PrPro and PrE), because of the control that it offers. While I am very tame on my Effects, there are few Clips that do not have a couple, just to enhance things.

                                         

                                        Good call,

                                         

                                        Hunt

                                        • 17. Re: How To Improve GoPro Video Quality / Make it "Pop"?
                                          Christoph.Ramsey

                                          Ed, what preset are you using for this video format?

                                          • 18. Re: How To Improve GoPro Video Quality / Make it "Pop"?
                                            Ed.Macke Community Member

                                            Christopher, that's a good question, but I don't remember. I just did a couple of "temp" projects as tests to see if the format worked and how it looked.