How to Use Gyroflow – Video Stabilization Tool for FPV

by Oscar
Gyroflow Gui Interface 0

Gyroflow is an open source video stabilization tool, it’s free and works with any cameras. It stabilizes video using gyro data, either recorded internally (inside the camera), or externally (from Betaflight Blackbox) then imported into Gyroflow.

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This is a basic introduction to the interface of Gyroflow. There’s so much more, I strongly recommend going through the official documentation if you want to learn more. Hopefully in the future I would have time to expand on the topics to include more instructions and tips on how to use Gyroflow in this article.

Compared to Reelsteady GO

Gyroflow has the following advantages:

  • It’s free (Reelsteady GO is $99)
  • Works with any camera (Reelsteady GO only works with GoPro)
  • User interface is a lot nicer and smoother to use
  • Preview playback is a lot smoother
  • Exporting/rendering is much faster

Cameras such the GoPro and Insta360 records motion data from gyroscope internally, so they are be used with Gyroflow directly. However, if the camera you are using doesn’t have that, you would have to get the gyro data from Betaflight Blackbox, some even use a dedicated flight controller for this. More and more cameras have built-in gyro designed to work with Gyroflow, such as the Runcam Thumb and Split HD.

Despite the more polished user interface and faster exporting time, some people might argue the result from Reelsteady GO still edges out Gyroflow. But remember the main benefit of Gyroflow is the ability to stabilize footage from any camera you want. Not to mention Gyroflow is still constantly evolving so it will get better for sure.

Download

https://github.com/gyroflow/gyroflow/releases

Scroll down to Assets, choose the download link for your operating system.

If you want to have a deep dive into how Gyroflow work, they have a well written document here: https://docs.gyroflow.xyz/

Here I will explain briefly the work flow.

How It Works

Open Gyroflow software, and drop your video file in the middle.

Gyroflow Gui Interface 1

For example, I am using the Runcam Thumb action camera.

Gyroflow Gui Interface 0

On the top left window you will see all the basic info about the video file such as what camera it’s recorded on, encoding, format, resolution etc.

Below that, you have the lens profile, simply enter the name of your camera in the search bar there.

The next part is to select gyro data file. If you are using the GoPro, the gyro data is already embedded in the video file. If you have the GoPro and another camera recording at the same time, you can actually use the Gyro data from the GoPro to stabilize the footage from the other camera which is a pretty cool feature.

Under the preview window, you can use the “[” and “]” buttons to trim the footage for the part that you need. The button next to the volume allows you to enable/disable stabilization.

On the right, you have the stabilization panel.

The default FOV is 1 and it’s pretty good for almost all my flying, you can zoom out or zoom in depends on your taste, but zooming too far out you might see the black edges when the camera is moving too much.

Next is Smoothness, basically that’s how much stabilization is applied to your footage. It’s important that you don’t over do it, too much stabilization (too high in smoothness) actually makes FPV flying looks robotic and unnatural. I found 0.3-0.4 to be a good starting point for most of my freestyle flying.

You can play the footage in real time to decide what FOV and smoothness you need before exporting which is great.

Dynamic Zoom controls how fast the zoom in/out happens when stabilization takes place. When zooming is faster, stabilization is more effective, but when it’s too fast it becomes unnatural. 2-2.5 seconds is more natural for me.

In my opinion, the user experience of Gyroflow is better than Reelsteady GO (purely talking about the GUI and operation, not the image quality or stabilization). You can take a look at my Reelsteady GO tutorial to get a feel how it works.

Understanding Stabilization Mechanics

Gyroflow stabilizes footage by zooming in then moves the view point around to keep the frame stable. How much it zooms in and moves around, depends on the field of view (FOV) and smoothness settings, and how shaky your video is. However, there’s a trade-off between the amount of cropping (or zooming) and the smoothness of the output.

The more you stabilize, the more the software needs to crop in. This means that while your video might look smoother, you’re losing a wider view of your surroundings. On the flip side, reducing the smoothness allows the frame to zoom out, offering a broader perspective but with less stability.

[There’s a toggle below the screen that shows you the raw frame and stabilized view point]

Adjusting Zoom Speed and FOV

Gyroflow also offers the ability to change the zooming speed, which controls how quickly the video zooms in and out in response to movement. Slowing down the zoom speed results in a smoother transition and can prevent disorienting sudden changes in the video frame.

Moreover, playing with the FOV settings is crucial. If you force the FOV too far out, you might end up with black borders in your shots, which are undesirable. Generally, it’s best to leave the FOV at 1.0 and adjust the smoothness to control how zoomed in you want your video to be.

[if you keep increasing FOV too high, you will get red lines in the timelines indicating the black borders are showing]

Advanced Techniques: Keyframing and Dynamic Zoom

One of the more advanced features is keyframing. Keyframing allows for specific adjustments at various points in the footage. For example, if you know a rapid movement like a snap roll is coming up, you can manually set the zoom to increase at that moment, making the stabilization less noticeable and more natural.

This technique, while powerful, can be quite labor-intensive. It’s probably more effort than most casual users would want to invest, but for professional-grade projects, it can make all the difference.

To Stabilize or Not?

There’s a debate in the flying community about the extent to which one should rely on stabilization. From my perspective, there’s no right or wrong answer. It really depends on personal preference and the specific requirements of the footage. Some pilots use stabilization extensively and achieve great results. Others prefer the raw, unfiltered style of flying footage.

Runcam Thumb

The Runcam Thumb HD camera is probably the cheapest camera on the market that supports Gyroflow out of the box. It has a gyro built-in, and records motion data alongside with the video. You can import both video and gyro data files into Gyroflow without doing any extra work, it’s super handy.

Here’s are the settings and workflow when using the Runcam Thumb (recommended by Runcam), this is assuming you have updated the camera to firmware 2.1.0 or newer:

  • Lens profile: Runcam Thumb
  • Motion Data: Low pass filter 43Hz
  • Stabilization: FOV 1.0, Smoothness 0.45
  • Lens Correction: 100%
  • Click Auto Sync
  • Ready to Export

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10 comments

SteR 3rd February 2023 - 9:25 am

Gyroflow 1.4.2 does not stabilize Footage from Sony a7SIII 4k 50p !
After stabilization I have more shaking in the clip than without stabilization, although the gyro data was supposedly read.

Reply
N8eGr8 7th January 2023 - 10:46 pm

what video settings should I have my gopro hero4 silver set to? any time I load a video it says “no motion data was found”

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Oscar 8th January 2023 - 9:13 am

you need to turn off Hypersmooth in camera settings

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Austin Brown 17th November 2022 - 11:50 pm

CAN SOMEONE PLESE HELP!! Im trying to use gyroflow. WHOEVER CAN HELP ILL PAY THEM $30!! I have the dji avata and im trying to use gyro flow on an dell xps 13 i5. When i upload videos from the avata to the gyroflow app it says there is no gyro data. But the settings to get proper gyro data are to set it on wide and no stablizer turned on in the camera. Even when i do that it says there is no gyro data. i dont know what to do. can someone please please help im super duper frustrated and am about to drop gyroflow. id like to donate but ive had a terrible terrible time trying to figure out the app.

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Jake 4th January 2023 - 10:40 pm

Make sure your camera settings are on wide FOV and eis off.

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Bill 4th November 2022 - 8:12 pm

Can gyro data be extracted from Ardupilot flight controllers to use with Gyroflow? Thanks…

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Nathan 3rd October 2022 - 4:00 pm

Just discovered Gyroflow. Thanks for your write up. Is there a way to batch process multiple files? I can’t seem to see this option but someone mentioned there was. Can you point me in the right direction?

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Michael Nothnagel 23rd September 2022 - 9:37 am

Gyroflow does not work with any camera as you so proudly state. there are no lens profiles for ANY Garmin camera nor does it allow for import of the Garmin gyro data which is stored in .fit files by Garmin accessories and cameras so please review your statements or provide me with some solutions proving me wrong. If I could convert this fit file to a format that Gyroflow could read it would help then I could at least use my gyro data to attempt to use this software which at first glance looks very promising. I have loaded a lens profile I created but this is without rolling shutter compensation. I still can’t find any software that will level the horizon in kitesurfing footage taken on a Garmin Virb XE at 1920 x 1440 pixels, maybe you can assist.

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Robert Griffith 23rd August 2022 - 5:27 pm

Having trouble exporting I must be missing a procedure that I don’t see in front of me

Reply
Addison 9th October 2022 - 4:50 am

Im not entirely sure if its your problem but the issue i had with exporting was forgetting to sync

Reply