I love my GoPro camera. It takes amazing pictures and captures incredible videos, and can get into some extreme situations that other cameras probably would not survive – no wonder it is one of the best selling cameras in the world. I also love the fisheye lens, but there are times when the fisheye effect is too much. We’ve had lens correction in Photoshop and Lightroom for a while, optics compensation in After Effects, but now it is easier than ever to non-destructively remove the fisheye effect from GoPro video footage directly inside of Adobe Premiere Pro. Check out the video below to see it in action.
Applying lens correction (or lens distortion removal) is incredibly easy. There are new effects presets in the effects panel that enable video editors to simply drag an effect onto their clip to have the lens correction applied. Just select the preset for the resolution and field of view (FOV) that match what you used to capture your footage, and drag it right onto your clip. They under Presets -> Lens Distortion Removal -> GoPro. For those fellow quadcopter enthusiasts, you may also notice some presets for the DJI Vision cameras!
Once you’ve applied the preset to your footage, you can tweak it as you like to customize the amount of correction. You can under-correct, over-correct, or change the center/focal point of the correction. I normally tend to leave it with the default settings…
Once you’ve applied the correct preset for your footage, you’ll be able to see that the lens distortion has been removed. The straight lines will now appear straight, and everything will line up to scale.
Now get out there and go capture some amazing footage of your own!
Every year the town I live in has a weekend-long spring festival. There are rides for the kids, live music, beer, and lots of food. This year I have a great view overlooking the carnival area, so I decided to do a time-lapse video capturing all of the activity. The trucks pulled in before I got to the office on Thursday morning, but I managed to capture most of the set up, all the way until the trucks drove away on Sunday night.
I set up two GoPro cameras. One was a stock GoPro Hero 3+ Black edition capturing 7MP narrow FOV stills every 60 seconds. The other was a GoPro Hero 3 Black with a “flat” lens capturing 5MP stills every 60 seconds. Unfortunately the 3+ stopped recording after about 24 hours – I’m not sure if the camera over heated, had a bug in the firmware (I realized I’m 1 version back from the latest), or if my memory card had a corrupt sector. The image sequence for Thursday is from this camera. The backup camera kept running all 4 days and captured the entire festival.
Assembling this was simple – I imported the images as image sequences in Adobe Premiere, arranged them on the timeline, cut out the night sequences (there was almost no activity during them), added some transitions, titles, and color correction (contrast and saturation), then added some background music. I added slow zooming and panning to each of the shots to add drama, which helped make things a lot more interesting.
First, you can make so-so video look great with a few simple color correction techniques. Second, a video is only as good as its audio, so you need solid audio to keep viewers engaged. Hopefully this post helps you improve your videos with simple steps on both of these topics.
To give you an idea what I’m talking about, check out this before and after video. It’s the exact same clip played twice. The first run through is just the raw video straight from the camera and mic. Colors don’t “pop”, it’s a little grainy, and the audio is very quiet. The second run through has color correction applied to enhance the visuals, and also has processed audio to enhance tone, increase volume, and clean up artifacts.
Let’s first look at color correction. Below you can see a “before” and “after” still showing the effects of color correction. The background is darker and has less grain, there is more contrast, and the colors are warmer.
The visual treatment was achieved using two simple effects in Adobe Premiere Pro. First I used the Fast Color Corrector to adjust the input levels. By bringing up the black and gray input levels, the background became darker, and it reduced grain in the darker areas. Then, I applied the “Warm Overall” Lumetri effect to make the video feel warmer – this enhances the reds to add warmth to the image.
You can get by with a mediocre video with good audio, but nobody wants to sit through a nice looking video with terrible audio. Here are three simple tips for Adobe Audition to help improve your audio, and hopefully keep viewers engaged.
In this case, I thought the audio was too quiet and could be difficult to understand. My goal was to enhance audio volume and dynamics to make this easier to hear.
I first used Dynamics Processing to create a noise gate. This process removes quiet sounds from the audio, leaving us with the louder sounds, and generally cleaner audio. You could also use Noise Reduction or the Sound Remover effects… the effect that works best will depend on your audio source.
Next I used the 10-band graphic equalizer to enhance sounds in specific frequency ranges. I brought up mid-range sounds to give more depth to the audio track.
Finally, I used the Multiband Compressor to enhance the dynamic range of the audio. Quieter sounds were brought up and louder sounds were brought down to create more level audio that is easier to hear and understand. However, be careful not to make your audio too loud when using the compressor! If you’ve ever been watching TV and the advertisements practically blow out your eardrums, this is because of overly compressed audio.
Want to learn more? Don’t miss the Creative Cloud Learn resources to learn more about all of the Creative Cloud tools – the learning resources are free for everyone! If you aren’t already a member, join Creative Cloud today to access all Adobe media production tools.
In addition to my addiction to aerial photography, I’m also fascinated by time-lapse photography. With time lapse photography, you set up your camera to take pictures on an interval. This could be every few seconds, every few minutes, every few hours, or heck, once a day. It’s really up to you how you want to set up your shots and what you want to shoot. In any case, you can end up with a lot images – each by itself could be great, but it only tells a limited story. However, you can put all those images together in a sequence to create some truly amazing visuals. Subtle motion becomes pronounced, and you can clearly view the passage of time. Often, this ends up with an amazing visual story that would be hard to otherwise capture.
All that you need start diving into time-lapse photography is a camera that is capable of capturing images on an interval – normally there is some kind of time lapse mode that lets you set up your image frequency and duration. Then, once you’ve got your images, you can process them with Creative Cloud tools to bring out their full potential.
Here are two time-lapse sequences I created this week–one a snow storm, one a sunset.
Neither sequence required a lot of specialized or expensive equipment. I used a GoPro Hero 3 Black camera, set it on my window sill, and let it do it’s thing. (I do want to upgrade to better gear, but this still works fantastically, and I love the GoPro.)
The sunset was a ten second interval captured over about 2 hours and played back in 30 seconds. The snow storm was a 60 second interval captured over roughly 14 hours, played back in 40 seconds.
So, you’ve captured the images, what next?
You can check out the video below, or read on for further explanation how I processed and assembled the images into a video sequence, complete with links to Adobe documentation and tutorials.
Before putting everything together as a sequence, I wanted to enhance the photos to bring out as much detail as possible. Here’s where Adobe Lightroom comes into the picture. I used Lightroom to import all of my photos, add them to a collection, and then perform bulk/batch processing to enhance all of the images.
First, select an image to use as your baseline for adjustments. I wouldn’t start with your darkest image, and I wouldn’t start with your lightest either. I normally start somewhere in the middle. Select the image, and then switch over to the “Develop” module. I use the basic panel to make adjustments to this image. For the GoPro, I like to bring up the shadows and bring down the highlights to pull out details out. If I’m shooting a landscape, I also like to bring up the clarity and maybe even the vibrance and saturation – just don’t over do it. You could also use one of Lightroom’s presets if you want; it’s really up to you. Just be extra careful that it is not too dark or too light b/c we’re going to apply these settings to all images in the sequence.
If you want to adjust hue, saturation or luminance of specific colors, you can do that within the HSL/Color/B&W panel. Using this you can make specific colors more or less intense. I normally try to tone down the yellows in my GoPro images after I’ve increased overall saturation.
Since I used the GoPro, there is a lot of fisheye distortion from the lens – the GoPro has a 2.77mm lens whichgives an ultra-wide 170 degree field of view. This makes for some awesome wide angle shots, but sometimes you don’t want that extreme distortion. This is where lens correction gets really handy. Next, I opened up the Lens Correction panel. As soon as you check the “Enable Profile Corrections” checkbox, Lightroom should automatically select the GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition lens profile based upon metadata within the image. I didn’t want to fully flaten the image, just reduce the wide angle, so I turned down the distortion correction using the “Distortion” slider.
Once you have your baseline image the way you want it, you need to apply these settings to all of your images in the sequence. Just select them all, and then either click on the “Sync…” button in the bottom right of the Develop module, or use the Settings -> Synch Settings menu. This will apply you changes on this image to all of the images that were selected. This will happen automatically if you are using auto-sync. You can learn more about synchronizing metadata between photos in the Lightroom documentation.
Next, be sure to view several images in your collection, the lightest to the darkest, and make sure they all look decent. If you need to make any changes because they are too light, or too dark, or don’t have the right contrast, then now is your time to fix it. Once you’re happy with the images in your collection you next need to export them. I exported as JPG with 100% quality at full resolution with sequential names.
Now we’ve got a lot of processed images. What’s next? We need to make a video!
If you’re wondering how I got the motion in the time lapse sequence, no I didn’t have the camera moving. There are devices which make this possible, but I just used a video editing trick. The images are 12 MP, or 4000 by 3000 pixels. A “standard” HD video sequence is 1920 by 1080 pixels. The image below reflects this scale – the red area represents the 4000 by 3000 still image, and the yellow represents the 1920 by 1080 video.
You’ll notice that leaves us with a lot of room to zoom and pan around the image. I zoom into the image so that it fills the entire horizontal space within the video sequence – you can zoom in more if you want. This leaves a fair amount of vertical content outside the clipping rectangle of the video. You can use this to your advantage by panning vertically within this area. I just made the pan very slow and deliberate so it appears that there is constant motion of the camera throughout the entire video.
The final result is that the content in the video (yellow area) appears to move because the actual image sequence is moving relative to the video viewport.
In my last post, I talked about masks in After Effects, specifically the new motion tracking feature for rigid masks. In this post, I’m again focusing on video composition, but instead of compositing using masks, I’m going to talk about keying.
Keying is a technique for selectively removing areas of a video based on content inside of that video, so that there is transparency. With this transparency, you can add layers and special effects to your video compositions. There is color keying, which removes pixels with specific colors from a video, luminance keying (luma key), which removes pixels based on brightness value, track matte key, and more… all of which are just different methods of removing pixels from a video and adding transparency.
If you’ve ever wondered how news programs get the weather person to appear in front of an animated weather map, they’re just using color keying/green screen techniques. This is when the subject (the weather person) is captured on a green background, and the green background is removed using color keying. Then you’re just left with the weather person, which can easily be composited/overlaid on top of the weather map.
Check out the video below to see two examples of keying in action (scroll down to jump directly to the video)… The first example shows how to use a green screen/color key technique in Adobe Premiere to overlay a subject on a background video.
Attribution: Dog Video, Beach Video – You’ll get better results with higher quality video – I just used these for simplicity. The dog video is licensed under Creative Commons with attribution, and the beach video is a preview file from Pond5.
The second example shows usage of color keying to overlay an explosion over a more complicated scene in After Effects – complete with motion tracking, and additional masking to make the explosion look like smoke is billowing down the streets between the buildings.
Now, check out the full video to see how to apply these techniques. You already have have everything you need for these within Creative Cloud.
Here are the techniques that I used in these samples: