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How to Add a Zoom to Your Drone Video in Adobe After Effects

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Adding a zoom to your drone footage in post-production is an easy way to make your shots look more dynamic and cinematic. It is ideal to use this technique with 4K footage that is output at 1080p for the final video (make sure to download the 4K example clip included in the project file for this tutorial!)

1. Setting Up

First you will need to make a composition that is smaller than your original shot. In our case we will create a 1080p composition size because our drone footage is 4K. Next, add your 4K footage to the 1080p composition. With the layer selected go to Layer>Transform>Fit to Comp Height. This will resize your shot to fit the composition.

2. Keyframe the Scale

Click on your clip and his "s" on the keyboard to see the scale for your footage. It should be at 50% now. At the beginning of your clip, create a keyframe for scale at 50%. Then move to the end of your shot and increase the scale setting to 100%. An end keyframe should be created automatically. You can preview your shot by pressing 0 on the numeric keypad.

3. Motion Blur

You can also turn on Motion Blur for your clip to add realistic motion blur onto your footage when the scaling occurs. This provides a more natural zoom look on the final shot.

Bonus Tip

Getting natural looking transitions with drone footage can sometimes be tricky when you are creating a montage. One method that makes the transitions a lot easier is using transition effects like these Vintage Light Leaks available on VideoHive. Light leaks look great on drone footage because they look like a natural lens flare, which helps hide cuts in the footage and makes them flow together nicely. Obviously you can add emphasis on transitions too by using something like these Glitch Transitions, which would be well suited for an action style drone video.

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