How to make GoPro Videos Look Better

Gopro Image

GoPro is a versatile tool that can create epic videos and can fit in your pocket at the same time. But how do you make the footage go from the fisheye-like style to a more cinematic look? You can get professional results on a GoPro by using these techniques. 

Now you can approach making Go-Pro footage look more cinematic in two ways:

1) Getting better footage before the edit
2) Post-production 

To get the best results both of these must be looked into. Let’s get into some details.

Fixing The Wide-Angle(Fisheye) Look

The super wide-angle look is the signature aspect of the GoPro, which is pretty useful to showcase action-packed shots but when it comes to getting film-like cinematic shots, it doesn’t necessarily help. So, let’s fix that.

Now before you shoot anything on a GoPro, try to shoot in a resolution that allows you to record using Linear FOV or (if your resolution/frame rate combination does not offer Linear) reduce the camera’s Field of View (FOV) by zooming (or selecting Medium or Narrow on earlier model cameras).

Now if you couldn’t get LinearFOV, you can fix the video in After EffectsLoad up your footage into After Effects and do the following:

  1. Open up the Optics Compensation Plugin
  2. Check Reverse Lens Distortion
  3. Set  FOV orientation to ‘Diagonal’
  4. Select Optimal Pixels

Then set the field of view to around 70(play around with it until you’re satisfied).

Stable Footage

Having super smooth stable footage is really important for a professional & clean look. So, use a gimbal while you’re shooting or stabilize your footage in post-production using warp stabilizer(or a similar tool)

Film In Protune

Protune is GoPro’s cinematic recording codec that captures flat colour and contrast but enables you to adjust white balance, ISO, sharpness and exposure to capture as much digital light information as possible. Since most of the information in your footage is preserved, you can color grade the footage with minimal damage to the quality. 

Use Manual Settings

Peter McKinnon shares these GoPro settings for best cinematic results. Use these.
Shutter: auto
ISO: min. 100, max. 800
White balance: auto
Sharpness: medium or low
Color profile: flat (ProTunes)
Audio: medium

Using these settings helps you get the flattest(most amount of dynamic range) footage possible which will help a lot in the process we’re gonna discuss in the next section(color grading).

Color Grading

Since you have filmed all your footage in Protune, which is a flat picture profile that gives you footage with the most information. Now it’s time to color grade this footage to bring it to life. 

Your footage can be color graded using a LUT. LUT stands for Look Up Table and it’s basically a file that tells your picture & video editing software how to transform existing colours to the colours you want to have. It’s a bit like an Instagram filter, but better and more flexible.

So find a LUT pack online and start using it in your projects. Here are a few awesome LUTs for your GoPro Projects. Here are a few of the best LUT packs for GoPro Projects:

1. GoPro Cinematic LUT Pack:  We recommend this LUT pack because you get 15 cinematic looks for your video footage and can be used for a variety of projects. Click here to download.

2. Teal & Orange LUT Pack: One of the most popular grades for getting super cinematic look is the teal and orange look. These complementary colors help make the skin tones pop and adds color contrast to the shot. It’s used is most action movies. Click here to download.

Denoising

Sometimes your footage may have a lot of noise depending on the settings you’ve used and mostly since GoPros have a smaller sensor and tend to pick up more noise. You can denoise your clips in After Effects using the plugin ‘Dark Energy’ to strip out the noise and clean it up with a more natural-looking film-like look.

Invest In A Masterclass

Getting good at making videos is a long process. You need to constantly practice, fail, learn and try again to fill the gap between what you like and what you can execute. 

Getting help from a Mentor who has already gone through all of it and has mastered cinematic filmmaking on a GoPro can greatly reduce the time needed for you to get amazing results fast

So if you’re someone who’s passionate about cinematography and want to get results as soon as possible, invest in this Masterclass that deals specifically with handling GoPros to get professional-grade cinematic footage that can change your life. 

Cinematic GoPro Masterclass

 

Learn how to use your GoPro camera to create cinematic videos that people actually watch!

In this course, Pascal, a filmmaker who works specifically with GoPros teaches you all the secrets and techniques that he uses in his YouTube and commercial GoPro videos.

Click here to access the course.

Conclusion

Even though GoPros are not used extensively used for cinematic filmmaking, it is definitely possible to get great footage whether be it a cinematic travel film, an action short film or a talking-head video. People have been successful with GoPro filmmaking and you will too. So get started creating! 

Let us know what else you folks needed help with in the comments below. 🙂

Posted by

Amogh is a filmmaker and a content creator helping businesses tell their stories and to grow a connection with their clients using video. He is the founder of SoundOfTheShutter, a video production studio that produces visual content for businesses. His focus every day is on his clients, what they need, and what will bring them one step closer to their overall goal.

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