Video-editing tips: How to enhance your 4K footage
Video has been the largest data hog on the internet for some years now, and as resolutions get bigger, that problem is only set to increase. But getting your footage ready to show off online or on your smartphone in the first place has a parallel problem. If you’ve made the leap from Full HD to 4K resolutions with your action camera or smartphone clips, you will be encountering huge file sizes and data rates. Your broadband connection might not be ready for uploading 4K footage to your favourite sharing service, and your smartphone’s memory might not cope either.
What you need is software that is optimised to handle 4K video in the latest formats produced by action cameras like GoPro’s Hero 7 Black or recent smartphones. This is where VideoProc comes in. If you don’t fancy the expense and complication of professional-grade software such as Apple’s Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere Pro CC, VideoProc provides hardware-accelerated performance for essential editing and enhancement tasks, alongside streamlined output to a host of everyday target devices and online streaming services.
Before you start creating your videos, you’ll need to install VideoProc. Follow the steps below to download the software and get a free licence key:
- Visit this VideoProc 4K footage tutorial page.
- Scroll down and click the “Free Download” button to get the setup file for either Windows or Mac. The licence key will then be generated and appear on the page.
- Install the software then, to activate the key, go to “Register”, paste in the key you were given then click “Activate”.
When you first install VideoProc, it will scan your system to detect what hardware you have installed and its capabilities. VideoProc utilises level 3-GPU acceleration – this tech is fully powered by Intel, Nvidia and AMD, and can accelerate encoding, processing and decoding of H.264 video and the new HEVC format, H.265. It’s a really important feature because 4K footage has four times as many pixels per frame as Full HD, meaning it will require four times as much data for the same quality. Also, if you shoot your GoPro footage in ProTune mode, the data rate will increase by about 50% over standard settings. So your computer system will have a heavy throughput data load.
VideoProc has a range of capabilities for all manner of video activities. However, in this article we’ll focus on its editing facilities and how these can be used to improve your 4K GoPro footage. So we will be turning to the Video section by selecting the left-most icon.
Your first task is to load the video files or folders you intend to use in your finished piece. By default, the list order is a processing order. VideoProc isn’t an editing solution with transitions and multiple video tracks, because that would bring unnecessary complications and a steep learning curve. However, you can merge all the clips into one, providing the ability to take the best bits of each one for a single output file.
Cutting, cropping and reframing GoPro footage
The unique power of VideoProc comes into play once you start working on individual clips. The buttons underneath each clip in the list let you access various adjustment features. You can crop into your footage to reframe it if you didn’t get quite the right zoom originally. This uses simple handles on the left-hand pane, with the results previewed in real-time on the right.
You can also use the Cut feature to extract the best bits from a clip. This isn’t just topping and tailing one piece: you can take multiple portions from the same clip, which will be merged together into one clip.
Stabilising your GoPro footage
With smartphone and action-camera footage, you’ll almost certainly be shooting handheld, which could mean shaky results. Although you could make your handheld footage more stable with hardware like a gimbal, these add cost to your setup, as well as bulk to the kit you have to carry with you. Instead, VideoProc has a powerful software alternative to fix shaky clips.
Head to the Tools tab along the bottom and select Deshake. This is a highly configurable utility, where you can get just the right balance between the amount of shake you remove and image quality. The tool does have to crop into the frame slightly to do its work, and more so for pronounced shake. But the end results can be very effective.
A GoPro has a broad angle of view, particularly if you choose one of the Wide settings. This is great for capturing the environment and not missing the action during extreme outdoor sports. But the downside is that the lens will distort the image around the edges. VideoProc has another very useful capability for correcting this. Head to the Fisheye option (you will need to scroll along the icons in the Tools tab at the bottom). This is quite a complicated tool to use, and will take some trial and error to achieve the best results. But it’s worth it.
Effects, focus and filters
When you shoot with an action camera such as a GoPro, you’re likely to leave the device itself to adjust for colour, brightness and contrast. It will do its best, but you may want to improve the end results. Click on the Effects button below the clip, and you’ll find sliders to adjust saturation, contrast, hue, brightness and gamma, so your footage can look just the way you want it to.
If your footage has low-level background noise, you may want to reduce it to improve the audibility of the main sounds in the video. VideoProc includes a Denoise filter in the Tools section that has high- and low-pass options to help remove different types of background sound.
You may also have footage that is a little out of focus. VideoProc has a solution for this problem as well in the shape of its Sharpen filter, which is in the same Effects section as the colour-correction parameters mentioned above.
In fact, there are lots of fun filters to be found in this Effects section, such as quasi-painting, vintage film and embossing.
Outputting your GoPro footage
Once you’re happy with your video, it’s time to output it for playback on your favourite device or online service. The true power of VideoProc becomes even more evident at this stage, when you encode your footage. Even if you choose the High Quality Engine option, the encoding process for 4K footage could well be a number of times faster than the clip duration, depending on your hardware. There are profiles for a huge variety of common devices and streaming services, including smartphones, consoles, Facebook and YouTube. You can even pass through your videos into MKV containers with no encoding at all – just repackaging into the appropriate file format. This will preserve the original quality.