Professional drone Video Editing in the Comfort of Your Own Home

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It doesn’t matter whether you’re a newbie or an experienced drone racer, everyone wants to take their video editing skills to the next level. You feel overwhelmed when you fly a drone – you try to figure out how to capture your shot with limited flight time, there is wind blowing, the battery light is blinking, and it looks like every angle you try is a cinematic masterpiece. However, in this article, I will demonstrate top drone video editing tips to make your drone footage look cinematic and simplify your flights.

Avoid jerky movements

I’ve seen people jerk the camera left and right, time and time again while trying to get another shot. This is very useless when you go to edit your shots because you will need smooth movements. Your drone shots should be natural and organic, they shouldn’t make you feel like you’re looking through the eyes of a robot.
When you find your angle, you can do a nice and slow casting move with delicate panning motions. Make your camera movements with the drone’s flight path rather than its camera, it works.

Let it go

When you roll on screen for a longer period of time, your drone shots will look especially nice. You can gather so much information in the frame and quick movement can be disorienting. Try to play it safe and get long, coasting shots which are longer than 3 minutes. Fly through a frame which seems beautiful to you until it no longer holds its charm.

Don’t overuse it

Drone shots are beautiful and useful. But the fact is drone shots are totally overused. The tools that are used in moderation are the best cinematic tools in a filmmaker’s toolkit. You should only capture drone footage when it’s really necessary.

Go backward

When you fly backward, it changes your shot from an establishing shot to a reveal. When the drone flies in reverse, it reveals details like people, buildings, hills, trees, etc. It doesn’t focus on one specific detail at that time. If you think going backward is very tough for you, then you can also reverse your footage by using the speed duration tool.

Widescreen ratio (cinematic effect)

We are used to watching high-quality cinematography with the “black bars” on the top and the bottom of the screen. Videos start looking cinematic when letterboxed with those black bars.  If you want to get this effect, you won’t have to go to the ratio settings and calculate the right proportions to resize the footage. You just have to create a rectangle object, fill it with black, duplicate and place at the top of your video. That’s it.

Motion blur

Motion blur is one of the most recommended tips for drone video shooters. It makes your video more natural and filmic. Its absence might create a “strobing effect” to your video. The footage may lack the natural blur and look distracting when you fly at high speed close to water, trees, or other uneven surfaces. So, you can add a fake motion blur and it’s good to practice that.

Dolly zoom

Dolly zoom might look complicated when you see it in a video but it only takes just a few seconds to imitate and also it doesn’t need any special skills. It has been used in many movies such as Lord of the rings or Scarface. Nowadays it’s one of the favorite options of professional drone videographers out there.  All you have to do is to shoot a video with your drone flying backward and then apply the zoom in transformational effect. You have to shoot in 4K in order to avoid quality loss. And then for exporting purpose, you have to use H.265/HEVC codec because it keeps the highest video quality at the minimum file size.

Color gradient

The most time-consuming trick on the list is color grading. But it’s also the most impactful one. It does not enhance the footage only but also makes the movie look outstanding. It gives you the power to change the mood of the video. It helps you to create a completely different picture. It takes some patience and effort but it’s really worth trying as the results are always impressive.

Add sound design

Sound designs work like the wings of a viewer’s mind. They draw the mind into the story of the video. Next time you edit your drone footage, you should apply some sound effects to what you see on the screen. It helps you to enhance your footage and occupy your viewers more fully in the experience.

It’s very important to be safe while operating these flying lawnmowers. One thing you should keep in kind that, drones are tools, they aren’t like toys. You have to learn the laws before launching your drone into the sky in your area. If you want to be the cool operator, then you have to retrieve your drone at the end of the day. You shouldn’t be the one who’s on a ladder trying to get it out of a tree. I hope these tips will help you while drone video editing in the comfort of your own home.

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