Shooting with multiple GoPro cameras is a headache at best – a nightmare at worst – so keeping filenames in sync across all SD cards makes total sense.
What doesn’t make sense is GoPro’s lack of a ‘filename reset’ option. As of firmware v5 at least. But there is a way to trick the camera into re-zeroing the file numbers during ingest:
- Back-up footage from all your cameras first. Duh.
- Format an SD card in any of the GoPros, shoot a short piece of footage 1~2 seconds long.
- Connect the aforementioned SD card to your computer, navigate to the ‘DCIM’ folder and copy over the entire folder named ‘100GOPRO’ to your desktop. The ‘100GOPRO’ folder will contain three files with the extension *.LRV, *.THM and *.MP4, all sharing the same name.
- Rename the three files ‘GOPR9999.LRV’, ‘GOPR9999.THM’ and ‘GOPR9999.MP4’ respectively.
- From the desktop, copy the ‘100GOPRO’ folder back to the SD card’s ‘DCIM’ folder. Overwrite the existing ‘100GOPRO’ folder (if applicable). Eject the SD card from the computer and insert into it’s GoPro. That’s it.
- For all your other GoPros, format the SD card in camera first, connect the SD card to the computer, and repeat step #5.
When you next press record on the GoPro(s), a new folder called ‘101GOPRO’ is automatically created and the first filename will be 0001. As long as you don’t misfire any of the cameras in your array then all takes will have the same filename.
In future, when ingesting camera footage to your computer only copy the ‘101GOPRO’ folder from the SD card, delete the ‘101GOPRO’ folder from the SD card once transfer is complete and ‘Empty Trash’ (if you use OSX) before ejecting. Leave the ‘100GOPRO’ folder intact and you’re ready to roll again.
Pop the SD card back into the GoPro and a new ‘101GOPRO’ folder is created when you next press record.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if any issues arise, but having used this workflow myself for quite a while I consider it very safe.
*Note regarding the above photo: That’s my custom made 360 video rig with three Entapano 250 degree FOV lenses mounted on modified ‘Ribcage Air’ GoPro Hero 4 Black cameras.
Each GoPro records 30FPS 3840 x 2160 (vertically, obviously) and the final stitch, after overlap, is approximately 5.5K with three vertical seam lines. I find it easier to hide vertical seams as opposed to the oblique seams created by 6-cameras rigs. Having said that there is an issue with rolling shutter that becomes more prominent with vertical CMOS orientation which I can’t quite overcome. Anyway, will write about all that in a future blog post.