I’ve been scuba diving since 2002 and taking pictures underwater since about 2003. I’ve been using a dive computer for as long as I’ve been diving. My first dive computer was an Aeris Atmos Ai. The data cable for that computer was expensive and I didn’t see much value in what it provided. I’ve used paper logs since my training dives and been happy with them.
Last year I got a Shearwater Perdix Ai, which I really love. It uses Bluetooth to transfer data. Shearwater provides multi-platform software (iOS, Android, PC, Mac) for syncing your data to their cloud. This makes editing my dive logs electronically pretty convenient (I still keep paper logs).
I got a GoPro this summer and have used it to shoot video the entirety of a few dives. The Shearwater dive-log software can can export a time-series CSV log of a dive (time, depth, tank pressure, etc.). Data can be collected in 2, 5, or 10 second intervals.
I decided I wanted to figure out how to overlay the data from my dive computer’s logs onto the whole-dive videos I’d shot.
I did some searching and the best solution I came up with was DashWare. DashWare looked like it might meet my most basic needs, but it had some serious drawbacks.
- It is no longer under development. The company is now working with GoPro and no longer supporting or developing DashWare. It is now free if you want to try it.
- It’s a Windows-only application. While I do have a Windows box, my primary laptop and desktop are both Mac. I edit while I’m traveling and I don’t really want to produce video in a VM.
- It either bakes the (data + existing video) into a new video or it will produce a green-screen video from your data which you can then combine other video editing software. I believe I need to be able to edit after the overlay is in place (so I can edit the source video and overlay at the same time). If I allow DashWare to bake the overlay into the video, it will incur an addition re-encoding when I edit. If I use the green-screen output, I will incur reduced quality as that video will undergo an additional encoding and will likely have green-screen-related artifacts.
Since the drawbacks seem to be pretty big, I kept looking.
I already own Final Cut Pro X and would likely want to do any editing in that tool, so I started to look at how it would be with FCPX.
As best as I can tell, “Plugins” for Final Cut Pro are generally made with Apple’s Motion application. I bit the bullet and bought Motion.
Will it Final Cut Pro X along with Motion allow me to overlay data from my dive computer’s logs onto my GoPro video?
Tune in next time to find out more!