This article will go over how to capture 360-degree video footage using the GoPro Max, taking the footage into an editor such as Premiere, then finalizing and exporting your 360 video project.
You will need:
- USB Type-C to USB Type-A Cable for Charger x1
- Rubber Lens Cap x2
- Dual Battery Charger x1
- 5V AC Adapter for Battery Charger x1
- Tripod Adapter x1
- 256GB Micro SD Card x1
- microSD Adapter x1
- GoPro Max 360 Camera x1
- Rechargeable Battery x1-3
- Protective Lenses x2
- Monopod Body x1
- Monopod Counterweight x1
- Monopod Legs x1
Below is the GoPro Max package you would receive from the EDC:
First you will need to set up your monopod, with the counterweight twisted on the top. Twist then flatten out the monopod legs. Afterwards, attach the monopod body (the extendable pole) onto the counterweight. From there, attach the tripod adapter piece on top. The adapter is a shiny plastic piece that can be screwed in top of your monopod/tripod setup. It has two gaps, with a thumbscrew going through it. This is what will lock your GoPro Max to the weighted monopod.
For now, remove the thumbscrew.
Second, find the small cloth sack and take out the GoPro Max and the two lens protectors. Ensure that your GoPro has a microSD inserted and that it has a charged battery. Included in the GoPro Max pack is a dual battery charger. Ensure the batteries are charged and ready.
Next, take the flat gray lens caps off of both sides of the GoPro Max. Do be careful as they can be difficult to pry off. Once they have been removed, take the two lens protectors, and snap them on over the lenses.
You will need to attach the GoPro Max to your tripod setup. Looking at the bottom of the camera, you will find two flaps with holes in the middle. Pull those out.
Back to the tripod, place the flaps below the GoPro Max into the two gaps of the tripod adapter. Once they're lined up, insert the thumbscrew and tighten until the camera is secured in place.
Turn on the GoPro Max camera by pressing and holding the power button on the side. If you're looking at the screen, it will be on the left side.
Once activated, the screen will light up and you will primarily control, configure, and operate the camera using the touchscreen. If you wish to film a 360 video then tap the bottom left corner icon and switch to 360 Video mode, otherwise you will film a flat 1080p video.
Once done, click the record button (red circle) at the top, and the GoPro Max will begin its recording. You will see blinking red lights on both sides of the camera while recording is in process. After you have captured your desired footage, click the button again and the recording will stop.
Your GoPro Max camera will need to remain on. Take the USB-C to USB-A cable and connect the camera to your computer. The USB-C end will go into the GoPro Max while the USB-A into your computer or device of choice. The screen on the GoPro Max will let you know when a USB connection is detected.
Alternatively, if you have a microSD adapter, you can manually take out the microSD and insert it with the adapter into the computer.
Now, you will transition over to the computer. First find your connected GoPro device, and navigate through its directories until you reach where your footage is stored (GoPro MAX > GoPro MTP Client Disk Volume > DCIM > 100GOPRO).
The footage you're looking for will be in a .360 file. In order to view it, you will need the GoPro Player application. If you are on a Windows machine, you will also need the HEVC plugin installed. Drag it onto your machine, and into an accessible folder.
Open the 360 file using the GoPro Player. Here you will be able to pan around (by clicking and dragging the footage with your mouse), scrub through the timeline, lock the horizon and world orientation of the footage, as well as trim and export your footage.
As an example, if you would like to trim out yourself starting/ending the recording, click on the scissor icon below the timeline. You will see a similar blue icon appear on your timeline. Drag your timeline to align the scissor icon to where your footage should start. Click the blue scissor icon to mark it. From there, drag the timeline and the icon to where you wish your footage to end. Click the scissor icon once more.
Afterwards, click the check-mark button below to confirm your new trim and then select "Export Trim".
From here, you may configure your export settings, selecting your resolution, codec, as well as additional options. It's recommended to export at the highest resolution, 5.6K, using CineForm (on Windows) or Apple ProRes (on Mac). If you wish to lock your camera's orientation to the world and minimize rotation, enable World Lock. To maintain a consistent horizon line, even when the camera itself is rotating, enable 'Horizon Level'. Do note: by enabling either of these, you will be unable to use your GoPro Max's "360 Audio" option.
Once you've confirmed your settings, press "Next" and wait for the trim to export with the desired format and settings.
Next, open Adobe Premiere and create a new project. Then, create a new sequence. When creating the sequence, you will see a collection of different presets. The one you will need is under the VR section. Since we are not using ambisonic audio for this workflow, select a non-Ambisonics preset best fitting your current footage. If you do not see an exact fit, click the "Settings" tab and adjust accordingly.
Once confirmed, press OK. Either drag-and-drop or import your 360 footage into Premiere. From here, add the footage to the timeline. You may immediately notice in the Program Monitor that your 360 footage looks 'unfolded' and flattened, and not how you'd normally view it.
To fix this, click the wrench icon at the bottom of the Program Monitor, hover over VR Video > Enable. Then, go to VR video again > Disable Show Controls. Finally, once more to VR Video then > Settings. There, set Monitor View Horizontal to 180.
With that, you will be able to preview your 360 sequence in the Program Monitor as intended to be viewed as well as in a large preview window. You are now free to add your clips, apply effects/transitions, and edit as you would normally.
Once you are finished editing and are ready to export, select File > Export > Media. Ensure your format and settings are correct. More importantly, check under the Video tab, scroll down to VR Video and make sure that Video is VR is checked. If this video is published to a site or platform that supports 360 video, this option should ensure that it is recognized and displayed correctly.
Once your export settings are confirmed, either press Export or press 'Queue' to use Adobe Media Encoder. Wait for the exporting process to finish, and congratulations! Hopefully, you have successfully recorded, edited, and exported a 360 video project.
This article broadly covered the workflow for recording with a GoPro Max, editing the footage in Premiere, and finally exporting the 360 project. That said, parts of this workflow may vary depending on what model of 360 camera you decide to use as well as the personal needs of your project(s). With this in mind, hopefully this article provided enough of a basis for you to comfortably go capture, edit, and experiment with 360 video and cinema production. From here on, go out and enjoy. Best of luck!