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How to Add Basic 3D Camera Tracking to Drone Footage With Adobe After Effects

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In this tutorial you are going to learn how to do basic camera tracking on drone video footage using Adobe After Effects. This is great for adding titles or location text in a more dynamic and appealing fashion. We can also add in graphics or footage with an alpha channel to make it appear as if it is actually in the scene.

1. Let's Get Tracking

The first thing to do is open up the Tracker panel in After Effects. It is located under Window>Tracker. This will open up the Tracker panel. Now select your clip and place the playhead at the beginning of the clip and select Track Camera.

The camera tracker will analyze the footage. This process make take a little bit of time depending on your computer and how long your shot is. When the analysis finished you will see a variety of track markers on your footage. Now select Create Camera on the 3D Camera Tracker effect.

2. Add Basic Text

From here you can add in some basic 3D text. Select the text tool, type in some text and then set the text layer to 3D. (When the text is made 3D, it may shrink in size because of the camera tracking. You can use the scale option on the text to resize it.) Feel free to reposition your 3D text using the gizmos on the X,Y, Z axis. (You can hold the Shift key to move the 3D around faster.)

Finally, we can turn on Motion Blur for our 3D text layers. This will make them look more natural in the scene.

3. Get Fancy

You can add in any layer and make it 3D using this method, not just text.

Something I really like to do to accent my drone footage is place in footage with an alpha channel, such as the Firework Elements from VideoHive, below. Now they will look as if they are part of our scene because they are realistically tracked into the footage! You can also add in other alpha channel elements like these Circling Eagles.

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