Editing Fly footage

I recently bought both of Cycliq‘s Fly cameras: the ‘I have your back’ 6 and the ‘Your eyes up front’ 12. You can read Ray’s review on them, but this post is about editing Fly footage to compile awesome (looking) clips to share.

The Fly6 doesn’t offer any connectivity other than attaching the unit to your computer, or take out the micro SD card and stick that into an adapter.

The Fly12, which has Bluetooth and WiFi, has an accompanying app, which – imho – needs improvement for it to become (more) useful. Besides, at the time of writing, the app is Apple only…

So far, the only reason I have found to use the app, is to be able to add the tram line overlay. Perhaps the Strava & map overlay may prove to be more useful than the overlays I have been able to put on my footage with the help of other software, but it will still be a pain to trim your clips using the phone app.

Ride data

For extended editing, Cycliq recommends several third party editor/converters – while they no doubt will do the editing and converting job, I’m not sure they will give you the opportunity to add metrics from your GPX or FIT file to your clip.

If you want the full range of overlays, you will need an export of your ride that includes the data. I know that a GPX export from Strava strips (vital) data like speed, power and probably some more. You should export your ride in TCX format instead, but – to my knowledge – this can only be done from Chrome, with the StravistiX extension*.

However, Garmin does offer the TCX and FIT file (labeled ‘Original’ * Edit * which obviously only is FIT if that’s what it was, like from a Wahoo ELEMNT) export option, from both IE and Chrome, and I’m certain there are other platforms doing that. If you happen to have the option to export your data as a FIT file, that would be your best choice, as it saves you from converting TCX to FIT with yet another tool.

* Note * See comment below: if your (recording) device is non-Garmin and/or non-FIT compatible, you may/will need to convert the data first.

Software

I’ve been searching through heaps of software and tools that are available, either free or paid. If you’re aiming to make a professional HD movie with lots of additional features, you may need other / higher end (i.e. paid) software.

On the other hand, I doubt that will be your goal, given that the footage is from either a Fly6 or Fly12, so the software I’ve found to be most useful, is probably going to give you just about everything you’ll need and for free 🙂

You should grab a copy of the following software:

For conversion, I (also) use Freemake Video Converter (Windows only) – I know it may trigger an alarm for being ‘invested’ with unwanted add-ons and such, but it’s really a good tool, that offers you to skip installing additional software by choosing the ‘Custom install’ option, rather than blindly clicking the ‘I agree/Standard’ install button.

The advantage of it, is that it offers the ability to trim the rather lengthy (10 minutes each) recordings of the Fly6 to just the part you need, before converting it to MP4. It’ll save you time, but if you don’t care, use Shedworx instead – or any other freely available tool.

Creating your clip

I’m skipping the (AVI to MP4) conversion part – it’s simple and straightforward. Actually, so is using VIRB Edit, but I’ll take you through it…

VIRB Edit Screen 1First, you’ll need to import your MP4 into VIRB edit:

From the home screen, select ‘Import Clips & Photos’ and then ‘Import Other’ – look for the directory on your computer where you have put your file(s). You will be offered to copy the selected clip(s) to the clip library of the program, but I suggest you just click ‘Import Only’ to avoid cluttering disk space with duplicates.

Note: while your Fly is connected to your desktop, the software may actually offer to import directly from it, even if it’s not a VIRB. I haven’t tried that yet but if it does, you may actually do want to import it into your clip library 🙂

Next, click ‘Create Video’, name it and from the next screen drag your clip(s) to the timeline in the bottom. If you need to trim the footage, you can do so in the ‘Editing’ menu.

You can move your mouse (pointer) through the thumbnail – if the thumbnail is a bit too small, use the ‘Zoom’ bar next to it. Once you’re close to the point where you would like to start editing, click on the thumbnail – a white line will mark that point – and you’ll see the options to ‘Trim Left’, ‘Trim Right’ et cetera left of the still.

Adding data (for overlays)

Now, to add your data, select ‘G-Metrix’ from the menu on the left and chose ‘Import G-Metrix’, ‘On My Computer’, browse to the directory where you’ve saved your GPX/FIT file and click ‘Use this Log’. Note that VIRB Edit only accepts GPX and FIT.

VIRB Edit Screen 3If your footage is from the Fly12, the software will automatically find and show the correct segment. For the Fly6, you will need to manually find the start and end points of your clip.

To do this, click ‘G-Metrix Sync’ – you’ll need to locate (any) point in the left frame and match it to the location on the map in the right frame.

You should use the ‘drag button’ on the bottom of the map frame to get close(r) to the point you need, then zoom in and drag the red dot on the map to the more exact location.

If you have selected more than one clip, you will need to do this for every one of them, whether they’re in sequence or not. Once again, only for video shot with the Fly6, not for the Fly12…

VIRB Edit Screen 4Now that you’ve matched your data with your clip, you can add the overlays. From the ‘Overlays’ menu, you can chose a predefined template, or add ‘Gauges’ and ‘Graphs’ as you please. You can also drag them around in the still, to put them anywhere in the frame.

I’m not going into the details of all the possibilities there, as it is besides the scope of this post. Also, I’ll skip the other options available, like adding transitions – nice if you have more than one clip – adding a soundtrack, or inserting titles. Just play with that as you wish – it’s fun 🙂

Exporting your clip

Once you’re done, click on ‘Export’ in the upper right corner and pick your desired quality – bear in mind, that it’s pointless to chose any setting that is actually higher than the input. The Fly6 records 1280 by 720 (720p), at 30 FPS – don’t expect that to be magically transformed into anything ‘better’.

You’re also offered to ‘Share’ your clip right from the program to YouTube or Facebook.

And that’s it (I guess) – you now know most of how to edit Fly footage. If you want more fancy stuff, look for something else, but I think that VIRB Edit offers enough functionality to cover most of your needs and it’s free.

One thing that actually is even more cool, is the creation of a PiP clip. If you have both a front and rear camera, this may be on your list.

With Sony’s also free Action Cam software, you’ll be able to do that. However, that has no way of importing GPS data – if you have a Sony cam, you’re good, as that will record the data – so if you want to show overlays with stuff like power and heart rate, you will still need to make at least one of the clips with VIRB Edit.

For now, I’m not going into the details of doing that; let me know in the comments if I should write an additional paragraph. Or, just go ahead and try it yourself – it’s really not that complicated 🙂

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* If you do not mind using Chrome, you should install this extension anyway, seriously. It adds a ton of additional information to your ride, that – despite the fact that many users are asking for it – Strava is just too lazy to provide for themselves.

1 thought on “Editing Fly footage”

  1. If you have a non GARMIN device and a power meter, Virb Edit software won’t see power meter data in the TCX file, GPX file doesn’t hold that data.

    Easiest solution: install Golden Cheetah (free), import TCX or sync with Strava and export the session to FIT and import the FIT to Virb Edit.
    FIT file holds the power meter data and you can use it on your overlays.

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