How To Use Reelsteady GO?

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.

See comparison between GoPro Hypersmooth and Reelsteady.

You can get Reelsteady GO at https://www.reelsteady.com/

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.

GoPro Settings

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 menu.

You import the video by clicking the “Load Video” button, and when you finish, just click “Save Video” to render/export it.

Here I will explain all the settings.

Advance Settings

Click the gear icon at the bottom right will bring you to the advanced settings menu.

Smoothness

I normally just leave it at Normal (default), works most of the times. 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.

Lock Horizon

By enabling Lock Horizon will keep everything level, and your video will always appeared horizontal to the horizon.

I usually 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 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

If you take apart your GoPro and mount the logic board flat (for example on the Umma85), you should “patch” your footage first if you were to use the “Lock Horizon” feature.

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:
https://jaromeyer.github.io/rsgopatcher/

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.

Cropping Speed

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 to stabilize the footage. To set this faster, stabilization will work better, but the zooming effect might become more noticeable.

Again I normally just leave it at default. And usually this should match the smoothness setting (same level).

Flip Gyro Data

Turn this on if you had your GoPro filming upside down.

Replacing Sync Points (Key Frames)

When you import video, the program will automatically insert key frames (those green arrow in the timeline), these are sync points between the video and gyro data. They are sometimes okay, but not always in the right places for FPV footage. The system tends to put them where you make a sharp turn or crash, which are not ideal.

You can delete these (right click on the green arrow and click delete) and insert your own (click on the green arrow next to the play button). Usually you only need two sync points, somewhere at the beginning and somewhere before the end. Put these down where the drone is flying straight forward, smooth and level, and doesn’t do anything else.

Cropping Footage

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, this will make rendering faster.

5 thoughts on “How To Use Reelsteady GO?

  1. Manuel Helbling

    How many gyro sync points would I need for best results, I heard depending on which go pro model it can change is it true?

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      I usually only use 2, one somewhere near the beginning, the other somewhere near the end. Works fine so far!

      Reply
  2. Mika

    I am a longtime Hero 6 and ReelsteadyGo user. So I know what to expect from this combination. Used Hero 6 cams are hard to get these days, so I wonder if a Hero 5 would do, if soft mounted like in the Umma85 kit? Would it be soft mounted enough to get good results with RSG?

    Reply
  3. Bill

    I have a GoPro 5 Black (not a Session), and with soft mounting, which is easy, it works fine with Reelsteady Go. But yes, the recommendation to get a 6 of possible, is spot on.

    Reply

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