Thursday, August 28, 2008

hi res!

Update: I added Sergey's hi res tips at the end of this post.


Now, check this out!

Blog reader and video editing/compressing expert (at least compared to me!!!) Sergey wanted to show me how much better the resolution of the videos posted on the blog can be... and he bloddy well did!

I'm shocked. That is pretty much just as good as the original!
How did he do it? A few steps requiring a few different software... I'm not sure I really want to get into that.
Also because I like the fact that posting the videos on youtube, they get to be seen also by the many "independent" youtube users. My most viewed video, in fact, has been seen almost 9,000 times now...
Quite a shame that the quality gets so shitty though...

Anyway, just wanted to finally show the kind of quality that the gopro camera can offer. And the original (un-edited) clips are clearly even better than that.

On a different note, here is the South Pacific weather map of today. I won't make any comment on it, 'cause if by now you haven't learned how to read a weather map... well, too bad for you!


And here are Sergey's tricks.

I FTPed him a DV-AVI (best quality you can save a movie file with Windows Movie Maker: 720x480 at 30Mbps) version of Jeff's video.
He did a bunch of processing and uploaded the outcome on his amazon S3 account. Then he sent me a script to embed it in my blog. The result is the amazingly good quality video you see above.
Here's what he told me he did:

"I ran auto levels in Adobe Premiere Elements (kicks WMM's ass while costs about $70 street), and then several filters in VirtualDub (free). (deinterlace, resize, unsharpmask, levels).
Then compressed using automen (free) with different bitrates.

Two other things:
- there was also hostpot filter to brighten the edges.
- try to put a lot of rain-x on lens - basically pour on the lens, let it dry, then smear very thin, but still visible layer with a tissue.

For general reading, I would recommend to start here: - VirtualDub is an essential tool (you don't care about deinterlacing, unless it is introduced by your video editing program, for example when rendering slo-mo)."

He also pointed out that Youtube offers now the possibility of watching videos in high quality (as long as the original file is good enough).
If you just want to link the high quality version of a video, then you have to add &fmt=6 at the end of the address.
Example, Jeff's high quality video link would be: >
By the way, I finally invested 2 minutes in a google search and figured out how to have the link opened in a new window... it was about time!

If, instead, you want to embed the high quality version of your youtube video on your blog, the magic string to add to the address (which appear twice in the code you copy from youtube) is: &ap=%2526fmt%3D18

I just added it to the original Jeff's video post, the one below this.
I also left the old low quality one. Please, check both out and let me know via comments:
1) did the high quality version loaded ok for you internet connection speed or did you have to wait long time before you could see it?
2) would you rather have high or low quality in the future?
My plan for the future is to embed the high quality version and provide a link for the low quality one...

No doubt Sergey's version is still way better than the youtube high quality one. But, as I said, I really dig youtube and I don't feel like getting into all those processing steps he did to achieve that mesmerizing quality.
Plus, winter is around the corner (today it's September 1st... yeah!!) and there's a big south swell coming this weekend... I'd rather go surf!

Also: the video uploaded on youtube is NOT the DV-AVI version (which is 790MB), but a way smaller WMM video file (640x480, 2Mbps, 54MB).
I just tried to upload the DV-AVI one (youtube has a 1GB limit) to see how much better it looks. It took more than 1 hour and it didn't look any better.
Actually, even Sergey's magic version doesn't look any better when uploaded to youtube.
In other words, youtube does reduce the quality a lot, which is understandable considering that they host billions of videos...
But now at least they have a high(er) quality option and I'm pretty happy with it.

Huge thanks to Sergey for all these useful information.


Bob said... you have the helmet hero mount on your Go Pro for attaching to your boards?

I'm ordering one but was wondering what the latest and greatest mounting wisdom is.

Catapulting Aaron said...

wow -- great stuff!

Anonymous said...

Hey Giampaolo,

Very nice! Can I get the technical details about the compression codec he's using? Or you can introduce me to him via email. Either would be greatly appreciated!

All the best,


jeff E of the Great White North said...

squashed isobars a windboys best friend!!

cammar said...

check this
It works great on surfboards...

good job at keeping up with your nickname... ;)
And good luch with the recovery.

I've been asked the same thing via email by other readers. I just updated the post with all the info.
Happy birthday!

yes they are, but in this case that may eventually apply to the New Zealand windboys.
If the squashed isobars are far away, yet oriented towards them, then they make the surfboys happy...
A really big south swell is on its way. They're calling for triple overhead+ in Tahiti on Tuesday...
Probably shoulder high in Lahaina...

Anonymous said...

Hey GP,

Thanks for the birthday wishes, and thanks for the video details!

Until next time!


wally said...


That hi res video is so sweet you have to do it at least once in a while, maybe for the "special" days or when you have some really good video. I felt like I was back in Maui when I was watching it. It was really hard to go back and watch the youtube versions.

Just think how easy it will be once you do it a few times!


cammar said...

I like the exposure the videos get on youtube and I feel like making the videos better by filming/editing better not by making their quality better.
I'm working on padding the inside of my helmet so that it doesn't move as much on my head.
Maybe I should hire a video quality engineer to do that for me... Sergey has good chances for that position!
Hey Sergey, everytime you think a video is worth it and want to do it again, feel free to email me...

Sara (who left a comment on the now delete hi res update post),
my email is on the right of blog, where it says:"email me to advertise on this blog".
Thanks for you comment, I emailed you with some accomodations options.