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TOPIC: GoPro Hero5 Workflow with FCPX

GoPro Hero5 Workflow with FCPX 09 Sep 2017 02:38 #90402

Hello all,

New to the posting here on the forum, long time lurker. I recently updated to FCPX after many years of using FCP 7 very heavily.

So I am very shaky with the new FCPX. I have done some online tutorials but have a long way to go until comfortable.

So to start: I have quite a lot of GoPro Hero 5 footage (shot in 4K @ 30 FPS) to edit and eventually compress to use on various platforms, mainly vimeo and youtube.

I would really appreciate some clarification on the workflow process starting from the native camera files and getting them to an acceptable format to edit in FCPX. I have spent like 2 days researching this topic with very drastically different information on what the best workflow process is:

Opinion 1) I have read it is best to put the native GoPro files (compressed MPEG-4 files I believe) through a program like MPEG Streamclip or the GoPro Studio App (which I severely dislike) and transcode them to ProRes 422 HQ to then be imported into FCPX.

To me this seams like a lot of extra steps to get footage into the editor. Also I trailed this method with a 15 second clip > Chucked it on the timeline > Opened in compressor > Made "New Setting" (Choose MPEG-4, left at 3840x2160 and 29.97 fps, high H.264 Profile, 15,000 kbps data rate) > added that compression setting to FCPX and exported. Resulting file was 30 MB, and looked passable in VLC when played back, quickly uploaded it to youtube and it looks PASSABLE but NOT GOOD!

So, before I go on trying new processes and trailing stuff, can someone PLEASE let me know their workflow process with GoPro 4K 30 fps footage in FCPX?

I read that a lot of this information regarding needing to transcode native GoPro files to Process 422 HQ is obsolete and you can just check the box in FCPX "Optimise Settings" and then FCPX does the leg work and no quality is lost?

If anyone can chime in on this that'd be great because there seems to be quite a lot of confusion on the best process .

Heres my first test clip on youtube quality is alright but I am not shooting in 4K for alright quality...



Cheers
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GoPro Hero5 Workflow with FCPX 09 Sep 2017 11:05 #90403

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Malcolmgalloway wrote:
....have quite a lot of GoPro Hero 5 footage (shot in 4K @ 30 FPS) to edit and eventually compress to use on various platforms, mainly vimeo and youtube....I would really appreciate some clarification on the workflow process starting from the native camera files and getting them to an acceptable format to edit in FCPX...

My documentary team has about 12 GoPros, including four Hero5 Blacks. You can simply copy the 4k/30 files from camera card to your hard drive then import straight from there to FCPX.

You have the option to import with "leave files in place" or "copy to library". We always use "leave files in place" because the import is faster and it keeps the library smaller and more portable.

A top-spec 2017 iMac 27 can edit those directly with fair performance -- without creating either optimized or proxy media. However on most other machines editing performance in the timeline and Event Browser may be somewhat sluggish due to the high CPU demands of H264 4k.

You do not need to import using "create optimized media", although you can if you want. It will take a lot more space, will not improve quality, but will greatly improve editing performance.

We always import 4k H264 (whether from GoPros or anything else) and create proxy media (not optimized). This can be done at import time or after you import. FCPX>Preferences>Import lets you set the default for this.

If using proxy, after importing you must set the viewer to proxy mode. In the upper right corner, select View>Proxy. Be sure to set this back to View>Optimized/Original *before* your final export, or it will be in proxy resolution.

FCPX can export directly to Youtube, but I never use that option -- I export to disk, examine the file then upload it. To export high-quality H264:

(1) Ensure viewer is in optimized/original mode, not proxy mode
(2) File>Share>Master File
(3) Settings: Format: Computer
(4) Setting: Video codec H.264 Faster Encode
(5) Resolution: 1920 x 1080

I can't really see any difference between "Faster Encode" and "Better Quality" , so use faster. You can experiment with this if you want. Re output resolution you can export and upload 4k but I'm not sure many viewers would use 4k or would notice the difference.
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GoPro Hero5 Workflow with FCPX 09 Sep 2017 13:06 #90404

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Based on working a reality TV show using upwards of 50 GoPros daily, edit them in native codec for sure, import directly from the card or backup to another drive. No need to transcode to anything before hand.

ProRes 422HQ is overkill for GoPro, ProRes 422 works just fine for us, IF you have a need to transcode.

We always export ProRex 422, then upload that to YT or Vimea, as they're going to re-encode it anyway, feed them best quality to start with. May take a little longer, but worth the extra image quality. IMHO.
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GoPro Hero5 Workflow with FCPX 11 Sep 2017 00:58 #90441

Awesome information, thanks for the responses. Super helpful because I am trying to get back into the swing of things after a bit of a hiatus and a lot of things have changed.

So heaps on with learning fcpx and having to try to get comfortable with the go pro workflow.

Im working on a 30 second test edit for my partners blog of mostly underwater free diving footage (shot 4k 30 fps) so once I have the final product on that and get it onto vimeo ill post a link so we can asses the end video quality.

The editing will be choppy though like I said still very new to fcpx after being so so comfortable with fcp7 from the old skate days. So there will be a learning curve.

Thanks again :cheer:
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GoPro Hero5 Workflow with FCPX 12 Nov 2017 16:57 #91629

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joema wrote:
Malcolmgalloway wrote:
....have quite a lot of GoPro Hero 5 footage (shot in 4K @ 30 FPS) to edit and eventually compress to use on various platforms, mainly vimeo and youtube....I would really appreciate some clarification on the workflow process starting from the native camera files and getting them to an acceptable format to edit in FCPX...

My documentary team has about 12 GoPros, including four Hero5 Blacks. You can simply copy the 4k/30 files from camera card to your hard drive then import straight from there to FCPX.

You have the option to import with "leave files in place" or "copy to library". We always use "leave files in place" because the import is faster and it keeps the library smaller and more portable.

A top-spec 2017 iMac 27 can edit those directly with fair performance -- without creating either optimized or proxy media. However on most other machines editing performance in the timeline and Event Browser may be somewhat sluggish due to the high CPU demands of H264 4k.

You do not need to import using "create optimized media", although you can if you want. It will take a lot more space, will not improve quality, but will greatly improve editing performance.

We always import 4k H264 (whether from GoPros or anything else) and create proxy media (not optimized). This can be done at import time or after you import. FCPX>Preferences>Import lets you set the default for this.

If using proxy, after importing you must set the viewer to proxy mode. In the upper right corner, select View>Proxy. Be sure to set this back to View>Optimized/Original *before* your final export, or it will be in proxy resolution.

FCPX can export directly to Youtube, but I never use that option -- I export to disk, examine the file then upload it. To export high-quality H264:

(1) Ensure viewer is in optimized/original mode, not proxy mode
(2) File>Share>Master File
(3) Settings: Format: Computer
(4) Setting: Video codec H.264 Faster Encode
(5) Resolution: 1920 x 1080

I can't really see any difference between "Faster Encode" and "Better Quality" , so use faster. You can experiment with this if you want. Re output resolution you can export and upload 4k but I'm not sure many viewers would use 4k or would notice the difference.

Thanks for this clear and concise overview of the entire process! I'm a rank amateur and this cuts through all the clutter. Can I ask a little more about your workflow? Do you use ProTune, and if so, do you 100% manually grade it or do you begin with a LUT? Also, do you remove fisheye, and if so, with what?

Thanks,
Danny (S.F., Calif.)
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GoPro Hero5 Workflow with FCPX 13 Nov 2017 12:01 #91641

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dmisaacs wrote:
...Do you use ProTune, and if so, do you 100% manually grade it or do you begin with a LUT? Also, do you remove fisheye, and if so, with what?...

We don't generally use ProTune because we have many GoPros to manage and most of the manual features such as manual white balance, manual ISO, etc aren't a good fit for a camera strapped to a construction worker's hard hat, etc.

The log or "flat" profile feature I also don't like because it trades dynamic range for noise, and for indoor shots we need improved noise more than we need dynamic range.

The higher bitrate feature is theoretically more useful but I cannot see much difference. E.g, I thought none of our GoPros used ProTune but I was just told a few of them use it (for bit rate, not for any other feature). Despite me being in charge of QC and editing the material, I never noticed it and could not tell the difference, unprompted.

However ProTune is a potentially useful feature and it's nice it exists as an option.

I have several 3rd party fish eye removal tools but I'm on a field assignment now and I don't have them at hand, so I can't remember what they are.
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GoPro Hero5 Workflow with FCPX 14 Nov 2017 20:43 #91690

Thanks for all the helpful replies and glad the thread has some very useful information no it now, thanks to all the experienced GoPro users for chiming in.

My workflow with GoPro is now very simple (thanks to the info from posters on here).

Import .mp4 directly from camera in well labeled and dated folder
Back up these files on external HD
No transcoding needed just import into FCPX with "optimise media box" checked
Edit
Export process (not going to explain this)

However the 4K render files are pretty huge, even with a large internal HD on my Macbook Pro, I try to only bring in roughly 100 gig of footage into FCPX at a time currently, or else it will create too many heavy render files and the internal HD fills up.. (Its a 500 gig internal HD)

I am also on the road traveling New Zealand in a van so I don't have a stable editing area, so all of that will be done when I get home in a few months.

Either way I am happy with the quality of the GoPro 4K 30 fps footage - Also, yep, I use ProTune settings on the GoPro (I change the EV comp anytime lighting is inadequate basically in between -1.0 and + 1.0, I have the White Balance settings at the warmest 6500K (used to have a VX1000 so I like warm colors in video), and have the sharpness on high.

I am pretty sure the ProTune settings are automatically applied to the footage when its imported from the camera.. Can someone correct me on this if I am worng please? No, I do not grade any of my protune gopro footage. Should I be and with what application would I do this in? GoPro Studio (hopefully not because it is terrible)? I still have a lot to learn about GoPro.

Thanks for the replies
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