GoPro Talks Their New OverCapture Feature

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 11.23.03 AMBy James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

When the GoPro Fusion is officially launched later this summer, the 360° camera will have a unique new mode called OverCapture, which will enable shooters to essentially punch out a flat, traditionally framed clip in 1080p from the 4K 360° video. The implications of this are massive, as shooters can use the Fusion to essentially frame their scenes with laser-like precision after the fact, or even shoot a two party conversation with one camera and then switch between each actor. But what is OverCapture and how does it work?

“Our recent sneak preview announcement of Fusion touched on one key feature that we, on the GoPro Studio team, believe changes the game: OverCapture, which unlocks insane potential in our storytelling process. Not only does OverCapture ensure that you always get your shot, it also means you can choose what part of that content is important after you shoot, giving the creator the ultimate freedom in composition.” – Daniel Sherer, Associate Creative Director at GoPro (via press release)

The heart of OverCapture is the GoPro Fusion camera itself, which is capable of recording 360° video at 5.2K resolution. That’s a huge amount of resolution to capture in the round, but it gives users the real estate with which to use the OverCapture feature to create a traditionally framed clip in 1080p by moving to where you want the clip to begin and end, and then “punching it out” in post.

The actual process is referred to as “reframing,” and what it lets the editor do in post is look around the entire spherical file and find the ideal angle to depict.

“Any content creator will tell you that there are many components that contribute to telling a compelling story, but one of the most important is making sure you get the shot. Think of a time that the moment was perfect…but the camera was pointed in the wrong direction. With Fusion’s ability to capture everything around it, shooters can record the moment in all directions from any single location. This is what we refer to as OverCapture.”

We’re not really sure about the mechanics of deploying OverCapture’s punch out capability in post, but GoPro promises we will know when they launch Fusion later this year. I’m guessing that it will be part of the GoPro editing software as part of an update.

But imagine the possibilities… Coverage of a scene can be spherical, and not just what you see in front of the camera. Now, the director can think three dimensionally, even if he’s making a conventional film, then fine tune the scene based on what happens as the scene is filmed. Those accidental brilliant moments off camera can now be brought into the scene by merely moving the frame to where it happened.

Or, by contrast, the mistake that was made on camera, while everything else is fine, can be removed by merely moving the frame to exclude it. No need for an expensive reshoot. But you can also pan around the 360 degree spectrum as smoothly in post as you would have the camera operator do it while filming (while being careful to hide gear and crew members). In short, having to anticipate what happens no longer has to dictate what ends up in the final draft of the film, should inspiration strike.

It also means you don’t have to set up multiple cameras for coverage, at least in theory, though keep in mind with 360-video, the crew and gear will likely show up. We’re talking about GoPro cameras here, not a RED, but OverCapture is only at its infancy, and GoPro is on the bleeding edge with it.  As spherical cameras like Fusion mature, and as the technology makes its way into mainstream cameras, OverCapture will become a common tool in creating the films we love. And not only films, but news coverage, TV shows, educational videos and. Even those ‘Kodak moments’ we all treasure, but missed because we didn’t have the camera pointed in the right direction.

“The cool thing is that not only will Fusion make spherical content capture accessible, it will also make capturing and composing traditional fixed-frame content more flexible,” Sherer concluded. “The possibilities with Fusion are endless…and I’m stoked to be part of it.”

To learn more about Fusion and its OverCapture feature, and maybe even be a part of GoPro’s pilot program, click here.

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Doddlenews is the news division of the Digital Production Buzz, a leading online resource for filmmakers, covering news, reviews and tutorials for the video and film industry, along with movie and TV news, and podcasting.

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