GoPro Fusion Studio (version 1.3)
“Easy as Pie!” : User Interface
Launch the program
GoPro Fusion Studio 1.3 has a clear and easy UI. For the first time i launch the program i didn’t need any tutorial to help me working with it. It just couldn’t be more simple and clear.
First time you open it you’ll need to select the directory to GoPro import your footage. Click on Add Media and select the folder. Then wait and Voilá!
On your left side you have the Camera Media where you find your footage and you can see it all or apply a filter and select only photos, multishots, etc…; on the right you make the edition you want and it includes color correction, stitching, pitch, stabilization, etc. To make any of these changes you just need to move the tab of each property to the left or to the right while you watch the changes at the same time on the video. Done to many changes, want to go back? There’s a reset button just on top of the bars. Easy as i’m saying.
You can switch between the edit and the render windows just by selecting the window you want to view on the middle top of the UI.
To edit a video you just need to select the clip from the Camera Media tab on the left side of the screen and on the right press play on the preview screen (you can click on Full Screen to increase the size of the preview window) to decide which part you want to select for rendering. How? Just dragging a little blue tab on the begging of the playing bar to define the start and dragging the white tab on the end of the playing bar to define the end of the clip. Then just click on Add to the render queue, a big blue button on the bottom right side (that turns grey when the clip is already on the render queue).
The first time you select to render a video it will open a window and you just need to select the render options, that goes from the purpose you want to give to the clip (eg. Facebook, etc…) to the quality (eg. 2K, 3K,…) and audio properties. Then you just need to click on the middle of the video bar on the render queue and it will opens the rendering properties window and click on Render Selected.
You just need to make this selection once because as it will assume that you’ll keep rendering the videos with the same properties during that session, the options you first choose will appear selected already every time you put a new video on the render queue. But if for some reason you want to change the render options of any video on the render queue, click on the middle of the video bar you want to render differently and on the rendering options window select the changes and click on Render Selected again.
“OMG! The software crashed!”: Reload Session
Reload Session it’s an option given by the program everytime it crashes and you reopen it. It reloads your last session, adding the footage you was working with without needing to select again the origin folder. Besides that, if your computer crashes in the middle of a rendering process it keeps the videos you already had in your render queue there. The only video that you will have to render again from the beginning will be the one that was rendering at the same time the program crashed, what saves you a lot of headaches and time.
Hands on: Edition and Rendering
Before choose to render, you can edit the video as i said previously, selecting the only part you’ll need for the final footage what saves you a lot of time editing the clips on other video edition programs (eg. Adobe Premiére; etc…). Note that if you already edited the video before rendering it, taking out the parts you won’t need for your footage, it decreases a lot the final size of the rendered clip, because depending on which size you decide to render i can tell you that a 4K rendered video with about 16 seconds can reach up the 500 MB, so it will save you a lot of disk space also at the end of the process.
“2K it’s fine…but if i can, why not have better quality videos like 4K!?”: Upgrade your rendered videos quality
The constraint i found using GoPro Fusion Studio was that when i decided to upgrade the videos quality from 2K to 4K i couldn’t do it from the already 2K rendered clips. On the first edition i made, i edited the videos before putting them on the render queue but i didn’t save the changes i made because it would change the original footage (unless i was using a copied folder of the original GoPro Footage, what i wasn’t). I really wanted to keep the original as it was, in case i needed to change the clips and check back scenes (remember that 360º footage needs more attention on reviewing scenes as everything visible on a 360 degrees and happening on that setting is catch by the camera). The problem was that the program only renders the videos from the original footage or from a copy from the original (by the way when you select your media to load the session on the GoPro Fusion Studio you need to select the main folder that should contain 2 subfolders with footage from the 2 sd cards used on the camera, one folder normally called “Back” containing 180º degrees of the setting and other named “Front” with the other 180º degrees).
In resume, my first rendered videos were in 2K. When i decided that i wanted to have a better quality in my videos and upgrade them to 4K, i couldn’t simply (re)render the already 2K videos, because the GoPro Fusion Studio only loads the session from the original footage as you copied from the sd cards of the camera and not with an already rendered footage. So i needed to go back to the original folder, edit it before render it all again (and as i didn’t save the editions i’ve made from the originals. So please people out there reading this: “Make a copy of the original just in case, edit the copy and save it! You’ll be thankful to do that if you need to upgrade your quality videos or just render it again with other properties!”). Do all the rendering process again took me a lot of time that i could be doing something else (like start compiling the final 360º cinematic videos, going to the beach or whatever!).
My suggestion is (and also a note for myself in future work):
- Create a copy of the original footage and load the session on the GoPro Fusion Studio from the copy folder. Keep the original folder just in case you need to go back and make a deeper review on the scenes you’ve putted on the side.
- Now that you’re loading the session from a copy folder of the original footage, save the editions you made and it will save you a lot of time if you go back and need to render it again with other properties.
Note: This review is based on my personal experience with the program. Any other person can find a different opinion or experience with it. For more technical and specific information visit the GoPro website at https://pt.gopro.com/ .