How to keep GoPro footage quality for Youtube?

sasqwatch Posts: 4 Just Starting Out*
Hi all,

I'm sure this has been asked before but I didn't manage to find what I was looking for, apologies if I'm repeating questions.

In terms of codecs, bit rates etc.. etc.. I'm very new and to be honest useless. I have a GoPro 9 Black and I like to film in high quality resolutions where I can, mainly settling for 2K with as many fps as I can.

The main intention for these videos is to go on YouTube but when I try to export it in the YouTube 2K preset, I run into errors.

What's the process for this sort of thing, when the footage is high quality? AM I right in thinking I should convert all my footage into CineForm so it's easy to edit, but once I'm done, what do I do next?

Appreciate all the help, and I've downloaded Handbrake as well, even though I really have no idea what I'm doing on it.


Best Answer

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,412 Power User
    edited September 2021 Answer ✓

    I would say, yes, unless you are filming something you intend to show in slo-mo, stick to 60fps. Which should even let you go from 2.7k to 4k (since my Hero 6 shoots 4k/60p).

    Two other aspects of Hitfilm behavior. When first running Hitfilm, when dropping the first media clip on the Timeline, if the video doesn't match the project settings a pop up box will say something like "Video doesn't match Project Settings, do you want to change the Project to match the Video?" This box has a "Do Not Show Again" checkbox. If you checked the "Do Not Show," you've set a default behavior for Hitfilm.

    If you have selected "Yes" for this option it means if you set up a 60p Project, but drag in 100fps footage the Project automatically becomes 100fps. If you've selected no, the Timeline always stays with the original Project settings.

    Fortunately this warning can be re-enabled. Go to the File Menu (Top left), select Options then Prompts and Warnings. Look for Prompt me when the media doesn’t match editor timeline and check that box.

    Personally I'd rather have this box always show up and decide per-project, or you can set a default and re-check do not show again.

    Another thing to note is the default export presets take resolution and frame rate from the Timeline. So, if you had a 100fps Project, even if you've selected a 60fps project it's exporting at 100. Because of the way Hitfilm parses frames this is desired behavior, however, you can edit an export preset to force a specific frame rate. DO NOT DO THIS.

    When creating a Timeline you create a range of frames. Lets say you have a 10 second shot at 100fps. That's 1000 frames. If you force Hitfilm to export at 60 fps Hitfilm still exports 1000 frames. This means you'll get a 16 second, 40 frame (1000 frames/60fps or 1000/60=16.6666667 sec) video in slo-mo with 10 seconds of normal speed audio. Not what you want.

    In short always create and edit in Hitfilm at the desired output frame rate. 👍


  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,255 Expert

    @sasqwatch I have not watched this video but it looks like it might just the ticket for understanding Handbrake settings...especially since it mentions "no quality loss," but take that with a grain of salt since it is Youtube 😁

    But, yes, Cineform is a better editing format for Hitfilm and can be made to be lossless (or very nearly so.) As far as presets go I never change the settings myself so I can't give you any clues there, but I will note I do believe that Hitfilm has a 100 fps cap on output. Hope some of this helps until the tech gurus can weigh in on your questions.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,412 Power User

    What kinds of errors are you having?

    Also, what are your system specs? CPU, GPU, OS, RAM and Storage?

  • sasqwatch
    sasqwatch Posts: 4 Just Starting Out*
    @Triem23 I'm running an Nvidia 1080ti, Windows 10, i7-8700, 16GB of RAM.

    I imported my GoPro footage which was shot in 2.7K at 120fps. It only needed a small edit so I didn't change it to Cineform. Once I was done I went to Export it using the Hitfilm Preset "YouTube 2160p UHD" and when I start to export an error comes up saying "the width (3840), height (2160) and/or framerate (100) are invalid for this level.

    @tddavis Thanks for the video I'll check it out. So am I correct in thinking I should change my footage to Cineform before editing?

    Thanks all
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,412 Power User


    Long story short, the h.264/AVC/MP4 codec has different "Profiles" and "Levels." These were added into the codec over time as tech advanced. AVC dates back to 2003, and 4k video didn't exist then, much less 4k video @100fps.

    Please note in general, AVC is a patented and paid codec. Hitfilm EXPRESS uses the encoder built into your OS while Pro, as commerical software, uses a licensed encoder.

    Here's the bad news. Hitfilm Pro and Express are going to max out at 60fps for Mp4 export at resolutions higher that 1920x1080. Hitfilm has a max AVC LEVEL of 5.2, and you need 6.0 or higher for 2.7k 100fps exports.

    Question: Why are you exporting at 100fps? If your final step is upload to Youtube, Vimeo or other streaming site, they are going to max out at 60fps, anyways. In general you should never need to output at higher than 60fps. Higher framerates are NOT intended for final viewing, but are intended to have extra frames available to make slow motion footage.

    Options: You could export at 100fps at 1920x1080. Not optimal for you as you probably want the extra pixels. You could edit at 2.7k/60fps. This is what I ultimately recommend. As stated above, streaming sites are going to clamp your footage down to 60fps anyways, and working at 100fps is just adding 2/3 "extra" frames no one will ever see. You'll have a faster edit/render experience as well. Finally, you SHOULD be able to output Cineform from Hitfilm at 2.7K/100fps, but you'll have very large files. You could use Handbrake to convert these to smaller 100fps AVC files, but, again, if you upload to Youtube, etc it's gonna get clamped down to 60fps.

  • sasqwatch
    sasqwatch Posts: 4 Just Starting Out*

    @Triem23 Brilliant, what a great answer. So what you're saying is, if I'm going to be putting my videos on YouTube anyway, which is only compatible with 60fps footage, film at 60fps on the GoPro?

    I was under the impression that if I put video with a high framerate onto Hitfilm, then selected the YouTube preset it would clamp it down to 60fos automatically, but that's all good, I'll stick to 60FPS.

    Thanks a lot! Appreciate it.

  • alexanderbirman
    alexanderbirman Posts: 17 Just Starting Out*

    I've had a discussion about the same issue in this thread:

    A lot can be learnt from it, since the answers I got there were very detailed and explanatory. I recommend to read the thread.