GoFlip is a simple flip-book application that connects to your GoPro Hero 5 Black via wifi.

It pulls (a copy of) all the JPG files from the SD card and creates a RAM preview of your time-lapse / hyper-lapse / stop motion without requiring the GoPro to be touched, switched off, interrupted, tethered or otherwise molested.

GoFlip was written to remotely monitor stop motion, but could be useful for anyone wanting to preview image sequences without stopping the camera.

Click to download GoFlip.ZIP

Disclaimer: I am *not* a competent programmer or coder – I am a copy and paste hack at the best of times – but that being said, this quick ‘n’ dirty tool was written to assist on a fairly decent budget client job and I’m proud to report GoFlip stood up for three entire days of filming, for three simultaneous camera crews running two modest 2011 MacMinis and one 2013 retina MacBookPro. This was effectively 90 work hours without any major issue, so as far as I care GoFlip is a reliable production tool.

Use at your own risk, yadda, yadda.

The only thing I would note is that GoFlip can be a RAM hog once you go above >800 frames. The maximum image cache is fixed at 4GB (~1300 images) but you’ll need at least 8GB RAM installed to keep your OS running smoothly. All our location computers had >16GB RAM and therefore no trouble.

If things start getting glitchy, then reduce the ‘Preview Resolution’ down to a value of 0.8~0.5. A resolution value of 1 takes the full res 4000 x 3000 pixel JPG and scales it down to fit the 800 x 600 preview window. A resolution value of 2 reduces the 4000 x 3000 pixel image down to 1600 x 1200 pixels first, then jams that into the 800 x 600 preview window – why – useful for checking the sharpness / focus but complete overkill for preview playback.

Also note that the full res JPG files are transferred wirelessly – there are no on-board camera thumbnails – and at ~3Mb per frame this can take a while. Typically >5 minutes for a 500 frame sequence to fully transfer. One trick to speed up the wifi transfer is to set the ‘Preview FPS’ to around 0.2 FPS until images are fully loaded: GoFlip spends more time on the downloads and less time computing playback.

And for the record, GoFlip contacts the GoPro every 5 seconds to check for new images. No need to do anything manually.

GoFlip was written and runs on OS X Yosemite 10.10.5 – but it should also work on newer versions of OS X.

Caution

And finally – be cautious with the ‘Format SD [Card]’ and ‘Delete Last Shot…’ buttons. If you shoot in Burst Mode, say at 30FPS, the ‘Delete Last Shot…’ button will delete 30 images in one go. If you are in raw single shot mode it’ll delete both the last GPR and JPG files together. Whatever the GoPro last captured during the previous shutter actuation – be it GPR+JPG, MP4+LRV+WAV, or an entire JPG sequence – will be deleted using the ‘Delete Last…’ button. It’s useful but dangerous.

I don’t have to remind you what ‘Format SD’ does. There is no confirmation dialog. Click it once and everything is deleted. I debated removing this button entirely but life would be boring without a tiny bit of risk.

Geek Notes

GoFlip is built partially in Quartz Composer (which I love) and partially in XCode using Objective C (where I struggle). Initially there were major headaches getting XCode to f**king work properly with Quartz Composer however Jay Thrash created this open source XCode project called QCContainer and I built my app on top of his initial hard work. Also thanks to my good friend Rob Hexler for help navigating around an Objective C / XCode hiccup

Quirks

– The app sometime crashes on quit, no ill side effects, it just hates you. Move on.

– If you decide to press the ‘LCD OFF’ button make sure you press ‘LCD ON’ before disconnecting the app. If not, the GoPro LCD will always remain off, even after a reboot / battery pull. I would advise that you write your GoPro wifi network name & password somewhere before pressing ‘LCD OFF’ … speaking from experience.

– GoPros create a new folder on the SD card when file numbers increase beyond 9999+ and in this case you will need to manually change the ‘GoPro URL’ from default http://10.5.5.9:8080/videos/DCIM/100GOPRO/ to ../101GOPRO/ or ../102GOPRO/ etc., depending on your situation.

– ‘Camera Mode’ does not actually change the camera mode, the function is to simply tell GoFlip what file structure to expect on the SD Card. Shooting Timelapse or Burst Mode creates a list of JPGs whereas Single Shot RAW creates both a GPR and JPG file which each shutter release. In the latter case GoFlip only grabs the JPG files and skips the GPR files. If you shoot Single Shot without capturing RAW (JPG only) then switch GoFlip’s ‘Camera Mode’ to ‘Timelapse / Burst (JPG)’ and that’ll work.