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Free Preview: Cinematic Drone Video Post-Production

Introduction

01:28
  • Overview
  • Transcript

In this course you will learn post-production practices that will greatly increase the impact and cinematic value of your aerial footage. Topics covered include lens distortion removal, how to avoid 'jello' effects on footage, color grading, 3D camera tracking, and more. This course also includes example clips in the Source Files that can be used to follow along with each lesson.

Learn about the innovative world of drones and get started in our course: Cinematic Drone Video Production.

1.Introduction
1 lesson, 01:28

Free Lesson
1.1
Introduction
01:28

2.Preparation
2 lessons, 10:13

Free Lesson
2.1
Camera Settings
05:49

2.2
UAV Preparations
04:24

3.Optical Fixes
2 lessons, 13:45

3.1
Reducing 'Jello' Effects in Post
08:28

3.2
Lens Distortion Removal
05:17

4.Color Correcting Aerial Footage
1 lesson, 07:04

4.1
Basic Color Correction
07:04

5.Footage Speed
4 lessons, 18:19

5.1
Slow Motion
02:23

5.2
Speed Ramping
08:32

5.3
Faux Slow Motion
03:48

5.4
Adding Motion Blur
03:36

6.Stabilization
1 lesson, 10:41

6.1
Stabilizing a Shot
10:41

7.Zooming in Post
1 lesson, 04:45

7.1
How to add a Faux Zoom to a Shot
04:45

8.Color Grading Aerial Footage
1 lesson, 11:26

8.1
Color Grading
11:26

9.3D Camera Tracking Aerial Footage
1 lesson, 07:43

9.1
3D Camera Tracking
07:43

10.Conclusion
1 lesson, 00:59

10.1
Conclusion
00:59


1. Introduction

1.1 Introduction

[MUSIC] Aerial footage is quickly becoming more and more accessible with the cost of new drones dropping almost daily. This results in a lot of aerial footage being posted online. [MUSIC] However, there's still an aspect of aerial footage that's often ignored, and that is post-production. With the right post-production techniques applied to your aerial footage, you can take your shots from good to great. Hi, my name's Charles Agard for TutsPlus. And throughout this course, you're gonna learn key post-production techniques that you can apply your aerial footage. These techniques will not only help give your footage a more cinematic appearance, but they'll help your footage stand out from the surplus of aerial footage that's posted online. In this course, you're gonna learn a wide range of topics. Everything from proper camera settings and how to reduce jello effects on your aerial footage, to slow motion effects and color grading, and even how to do some basic 3D tracking on your footage. Throughout this course, I'm gonna be doing my post-production work in After Effects. However, if you only have Premier Pro or another editing program, you'll still see benefits from the insights covered throughout this course. Also, anyone who takes this course is going to have access to some great project files that are going to help you follow along. The project files include aerial clips, PDF guide sheets, custom color gradient lots, and more. Make sure you check out the next lesson where you're going to learn the best settings for your aerial camera and how to avoid common problems with aerial footage.

2. Preparation

2.1 Camera Settings

In this lesson we will learn about the best settings for your aerial camera and how you can avoid common problems with aerial footage. The settings in your aerial camera are easy to overlook. However, they play a huge factor in determining how good your aerial footage is gonna look in the end. Think about it this way, no matter how great the flight and the scenery is, if your aerial camera settings aren't set up properly the footage will look sub-par. Think of your camera settings as your foundation. If they are not set up properly for each shoot, the entire aerial production will be affected. I'm recovering a lot of camera settings inside of the DJI Pilot app, however, these camera settings are pretty universal. So even if you're not using the DJI Pilot app or using another camera setup, these setting recommendations are the same regardless of camera or brand. The first setting you're gonna wanna adjust and is probably the most important in my opinion is the picture profile. This may also be listed under color profile, style, etc. For this setting you're gonna wanna select the flattest profile possible, which is likely listed under the name flat. Or you can manually adjust the settings to be flat. Filming in a flat, low contrast picture profile is gonna prevent the highlights from blowing out, and the darks from being too dark. It's also gonna give you the most dynamic range for grading in post production. While you're recording in a flat profile the image will often look washed out, with low saturation and contrast. This is normal. Again, to give you the most leeway in post production. If your camera doesn't have a flat picture profile option, cameras often have a custom option that you can set to be flat. This is what DGI users will have to do. Under the custom style options, set the sharpness to -1, the contrast setting to -2, and the saturation setting to -2. Feel free to play and tweak these settings to best fit your visual style. Some cameras may also offer a color option along with the style option. This is for artistic purposes such as filters, etc. If your camera has this option, it's a good idea to set it to none or to log if your camera has that option. Log color options will pull the most color information from your camera sensor, again giving you more leeway when color grading in post. Your white balance option will depend on when and what you are shooting, particularly if you'll be shooting in the daylight or cloudy white balance modes. A highly recommend never using the auto white balance function because this can change your white balance between shots and this can be a nightmare to try to mash and color correct in post production. Now let's take a look at iso. Iso may also be reffered to as gamma on your camera, and this can help bring out the exposure in your image when you're filming a dark location. However, this introduces more image noise the higher you go. And since most drone cameras are small, this noise can turn your image into a mushy mess, degrading everything about the image. My personal recommendation is set your eyes as low as they would go an leave it there. If you need to brighten up your image, just lower your shutter speed to bring up the exposure. And only increase your iso knowing that the picture quality will suffer. Shutter speed is a very important and powerful aspect of aerial footage. Shutter speed can make your footage look tack sharp, blurry, or even strobe. All these may or may not be desired results. So it's a good idea to understand them. Shutter speed is often confused with frame rate. Whereas frame rate is how frames per second your video captures, shutter speed is how quick each one of those frames is captured. This is important when it comes to drone footage. Just as a reference example, here's a picture I took with a DSLR while it was spinning. This is at one-thirtieth of a second shutter speed. And this is at one one-thousandth of a second shutter speed. Each are just one frame that give quite different results. And now you may be thinking okay, I'll just use a higher shutter speed. This can lead to another side effect called strobing. Because there is less motion blurred on the image frames tend to jump, or strobe, instead of flowing smoothly. This is common when you're flying closer to the ground or the trees, since they're moving past the camera at a faster rate than the tray in the distance. Here's an example of a shot with a lower shutter speed. [MUSIC] And here's one with a higher shutter speed. You can use higher shutter speeds when you're higher up in the air. I try to find a nice medium. Now usually you use a shutter speed 128th of a second. This gives me a good sharpness on my image and it doesn't strove too much. However if when we be flying closer to objects such as treetops I'll lower my shutter speed to prevent strobing. I'll also lower my shutter speed when I'm flying in the evening when it's a little bit darker and I need to brighten up the image. You can also increase your shutter speed to darken an image if you're filming on a really sunny day and the image is getting blown out. However, a better solution for this may be to use an indie filter like this one that comes with the DGI Inspire One. This will cut down the light entering the camera allowing you to use a lower more manageable shutter speed and prevent the image from being overexposed. For video resolution, that was the largest size you can for the frame rate that you want. Even if you're gonna be out putting your video at a smaller resolution, the higher resolution you record in Generally will result in more detail in the image when you downscale the video for your final output. An example of this would be filming in 4k or 2k and then in the editing process, editing at 1080p, which requires you to scale down your footage to fit. Doing this results in a sharper image than if you just filmed in 1080p resolution with your drone. Filming at a high resolution like 4k will also give you the flexibility to crop your image and pose and not lose much resolution. You can also do this with 1080p footage if you are going to be outfitting a 720p resolution. The only times when you should be forced to film at a lower resolution is when you are filming at a higher frame rate, such as 60 frames per second which then can be converted in post to 30 or 24 frames per second, giving you smoother slow motion effects on your footage. Hopefully you found these camera recommendations settings useful. I'm also gonna include a PDF download for this lesson on the project files that shows the exact camera settings that I used in my DGI camera and my GoPro HERO4 camera. So, you can use them or compare them with your own. In the next lesson we're gonna examine a few preparation practices that may need to be done to your drone in order to prevent the rolling shutter effect, also known as the jello effect from occurring on your aerial footage.