As of today, GoPro is excited to announce that the duo behind ReelSteady is joining the GoPro Fam. For the FPV drone community, this is a huge win in incorporating cinematic effects into post-production workflow. But for those unfamiliar with ReelSteady, we wanted to breakdown some of the finer points of the tool.

What is ReelSteady?

ReelSteady is available in two ways: as an After Effects plugin available via Adobe or through the recently launched desktop app, ReelSteady GO. The technology is used primarily for stabilizing FPV racing drone footage and hyperlapses.

Why ReelSteady and GoPro?

ReelSteady taps into the advanced metadata available on GoPro cameras dating back to HERO5 Black to achieve cinematic effects in post-production.

What is the difference between the GoPro HyperSmooth stabilization and ReelSteady?

HyperSmooth is achieved within the camera, resulting in smooth, shareable footage on the spot. Alternatively, ReelSteady is applied after the fact using gyroscope metadata to stabilize in post-production.

What are the use cases for each stabilization technology?

If time is on your side after filming in extreme conditions (i.e. with an FPV drone), ReelSteady is a good option for stabilizing in post-production. HyperSmooth remains the best option for guaranteeing a series of clips or a top-to-bottom shot, for example, is stabilized instantaneously and shareable straight from the camera. HyperSmooth also works in tandem with the GP1 Chip, which allows for variances in environmental factors to be adjusted to more effectively.

What about cropping?

HyperSmooth maintains the industry-leading, minimal 10% crop margin. Alternatively, ReelSteady dynamically crops the image in post to save as much resolution and field of view possible throughout the shot. Think of it like a virtual camera assistant that subtly zooms in and out as you're shooting based on how much shake at any given time.

What about horizon leveling?

Both features provide Horizon Leveling as well as work in all frame rates and resolutions (in the case of HyperSmooth 2.0).*

*With one exception, 24fps is not supported in ReelSteady GO, yet.

What about fields of view?

HyperSmooth is integrated with GoPro’s digital lenses, so you can choose which field of view you shoot in (i.e. do you want SuperView with fisheye distortion or Linear with 0 distortion). ReelSteady, on the other hand, always results in footage that has no fisheye distortion, regardless of the field of view captured in.

What is an example of a cinematic effect ReelSteady offers?

On the After Effects ReelSteady plugin, you can use a keyframe-based workflow to apply different levels of stabilization to different moments. Alternatively, Reelsteady GO dynamically adjust the smoothness on its own; the user can set how aggressive this function is in the app's settings.

What can we expect from ReelSteady going forward?

Most importantly, quicker integration with GoPro products, updates and features. ReelSteady products will continue to be sold on the ReelSteady website and supported by GoPro customer support.

Learn more about the team behind ReelSteady here.