Reelsteady GO is a standalone application that is designed for stabilizing footage from a GoPro. It’s very popular in the FPV community for creating so called cinematic footage from either freestyle or cinewhoop FPV drones.
Update (Apr 2022): ReelSteady V2 is now available https://oscarliang.com/reelsteady-v2/
Best GoPro for Reesteady GO
Some GoPro works better with Reelsteady, some are trickier.
GoPro Hero 6 is the most reliable, it has the highest tolerance to vibration, followed by the GoPro Hero 8.
GoPro Hero 7 and Session 5 also work, but they require “soft mounting” on your drone in order to minimize vibrations. Vibrations can corrupts gyro data and the gyro is even more sensitive in the GoPro Hero 7 and Session 5. With the kind of vibration from our FPV drones, the footage is almost unusable in Reelsteady Go. It’s a hardware limitation as far as I know, so I don’t think there will be a fix any time soon.
Reelsteady GO currently does not support any other GoPro models.
If you get the Hero 6, make sure you also downgrade it to firmware V1.6. This version works best with Reelsteady. Youtube has many tutorials showing you how to do this.
To use Reelsteady and get the most out of it, you can try these GoPro settings.
It’s best to record in 4:3 aspect ratio and WIDE FOV. No need to use Superview in the GoPro, because Reelsteady GO will do that automatically after you exported the video. Exported video will be in 16:9.
Here is a little comparison demo:
Reelsteady GO Work Flow
Working with ReelSteady GO cannot be easier.
There are only two buttons in the main screen.
You import the video by clicking the “Load Video” button, and when you finish, just click “Save Video” to render/export it.
Replacing Sync Points (Key Frames)
After importing your raw video from the GoPro, Reelsteady will automatically insert key frames (those green markers in the timeline), these are sync points between the video and gyro data. They are sometimes okay, but usually not in the right places for FPV footage.
“Sync points” are used to match the gyro data to the video more precisely, as sometimes the video may be slightly ahead of or behind the gyro data. By placing those sync points correctly can reduce the overall amount of cropping due to stabilization.
Personally, I always delete these sync points generated by the program and place my own.
You can delete these (right click on the green markers and click delete) and insert your own (click on the green arrow next to the play button).
You need to find a moment in the video where the drone is flying forward with some horizon reference in the background. If you just add a sync point in a shot with horizon visible but the drone isn’t moving, the gyro track will have no relevant data to sync with footage and so the result will be less optimal.
The number of sync points depends on the camera. With GoPro 6 with firmware 1.6, two sync points are usually enough. With other cameras and GoPro 6 firmware 2.0, you might need more sync points but prioritise the quality of the sync point more then the amount.
There are two white handles in the timeline, one at the beginning and one at the end. You can drag these to crop the unwanted parts of your video (before take off and after landing), this will make rendering/exporting faster.
Here I will explain all the settings in ReestleadyGO.
Click the gear icon at the bottom right will bring you to the advanced settings menu.
I normally set this 2-3 ticks to the left of Normal (default), it works well most of the times for cinematic videos. For freestyle videos I even set this to Low. If you increase it to High, it will crop more of the image and reduces the field of view.
If you need wider perspective, you can reduce smoothness.
If smoothness is how much it crops in, Cropping Speed is how fast it crops in. In another word, this controls how fast the camera zoom in and out in order when stabilizing the footage. To set this faster, stabilization will work more effectively, but the zooming effect might become more noticeable and it looks “fake”.
I normally just leave it at Normal (default) for cinematic videos, and 2-3 ticks to the right of Normal for freestyle videos.
By enabling Lock Horizon will always keep video level to the horizon.
I sometimes enable it when I shoot videos with my cinewhoops, it makes the footage looks even more stable and gets rid of all the dips due to throttle mismanagement. But for freestyle you should probably leave it unchecked because it can’t handle any excessive roll motion or sharp turns, it will just ruin the footage.
A little demo showing the differences with Lock Horizon Turn on and off.
For “Naked GoPro” Users
Gyro on HERO 5/6/7 is located on the PCB behind the lens. RSGO should work with flat mounted motherboard, no problem. However the horizon lock in RSGO also uses accelerometer which is located on the motherboard, and so with a flat mounted board, horizon lock will not work properly.
Luckily Jaro Meyer came up with a simple solution that can be found here:
The patcher simply fixes the data orientation, so Reelsteady GO can read it correctly.
The HERO 8’s Gyro and accelerometer are both located on the same chip behind the lens, so horizon lock should work with flat mounted board without the need for patching.
Flip Gyro Data
Turn this on if you had your GoPro filming upside down.
One of the drawback of Reelsteady is losing audio after exporting. You can however get the audio track from the original GoPro video in video editor.
After the video is exported, you have to close and reopen the program to work again. If you load the same footage again, the previous sync points will be retained as long as you don’t delete the “_offsetNodes” file in the same directory.