How to use video data analysis to go faster in a go kart.
“What exactly IS the fastest way through the track?”
Back when I was running leagues, I would often wonder what exactly IS the fastest way through the track? If I just knew that, then maybe I could repeat it over and over. And the good news is, I found a really easy way to work that out!
Simple, you just record your best laps with a go pro camera and then pull the session up in a video editing package and study that fast lap, frame by frame and step by step.
You would be amazed at what you can learn.
This beats a data logger like Micron or abstract tools like GPS generated charts. The reason is that you can look at the video itself without having to translate into meaningful information.
So I have created a couple of videos to help you out. In the first video I break down how to set Vegas Pro Editing software up to analyze laps. In my second video I take a look where you can get the software and the go pro camera for the best price.
WHERE do you get kart racing analysis gear without spending a fortune?
Why I use Vegas Studio Pro for Analysis
As you can see in my video, the best thing about Vegas Pro is the ability to set markers to define your laps. Once the markers are set, you can use hotkeys to select and measure sector and lap times.
The hotkeys also allow you to easily jump between laps and to step 1 frame at a time through your video. This is extremely powerful. That’s because it allows you to see in fine detail exactly what transpired when you gained or lost time.
For example, want to know the exact line of the fastest lap? Just step one frame at a time and look carefully at where your tires are on the track relative to cracks and marks. Pay special attention to the exits of turns because exits are the best way to know if you are slightly on or off the racing line. You can also use exit information when you’re actually on the track.
A word of caution here. DONT try to go cheap with “Vegas MOVIE Studio”. In my experiments the hotkeys don’t work properly, but worst of all it lacks the ability to measure sector times and lap times, which makes it kind of useless. You want Vegas PRO, and either Sony Vegas Pro or Magix Vegas Pro will work.
I have linked to the lowest cost version because you don’t actually need to make videos and edit sound here. You only need to see the video and analyze it. But if you want to go on and create videos the latest versions are excellent. (I actually use Vegas Pro 17 for my analysis and video editing.)
Why I use Go Pro Video for Data Capture.
Go Pro was just about the first action camera around and I started using them before the Hero series was invented.
The important thing about a video capture system is that it MUST be able to capture at least 60 frames per second (FPS). Frame Rate is much more important than video resolution. Some cameras can capture at over 100 frames per second. As a rule ‘more is better’ when it comes to frame rate.
The nice thing here is that even the older Go Pro’s in the hero series can capture at 60 fps.
If you are going to go for an alternative capture device then make sure you have at least 60 fps. Also make sure you get some form of image stabilization because action film can be very unstable.
Take a look at my video for more information about exactly how I set up Vegas Studio Pro for race analysis. You’ll see I use a split screen method so you can compare every lap to your fast lap. It’s very powerful. I hope this allows you to make the most of your Go Pro camera so that your off track sessions can be just as meaningful as your on track time.