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How to Remove Lens Distortion From Drone Video in Adobe After Effects

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Wide Angle Lens Distortion

It is common to have optical lens distortion in drone footage because, typically, lenses on drone camera systems have a wide field of view. (A GoPro camera is a classic example of this effect.) Having a wide field of view is great for showcasing a landscape; however; if you tilt the camera down or up from the horizon, you will immediately begin to notice the substantial optical distortion that is occurring, which often gives footage a "fisheye" look because of the optical bends. Fortunately, this can easily be fixed in Adobe After Effects.

Optics Compensation

Using the Optics Compensation effect in After Effects will quickly rid your footage of any wide angle distortion issues. First, make sure you select Reverse Lens Distortion to turn it on. Next set the Field of View for the effect to 75.

Optimal Pixels Option

If you would like to take the effect further to achieve an even wider look without distortion, you can enable the Optimal Pixels option. In order to achieve this, however, After Effects will bend the footage in such a way that we get some black areas at the top and bottom. The easiest way to get around this is by adding in some aspect ratio bars (such as a 2.35 aspect ratio). I have included a 2.35 aspect ratio image you can use over your footage in the project file.

Bonus Tip

If you would like your drone footage to stand out even more in your next video montage, make sure to give The Handy Seamless Transitions Pack on Videohive a look. It includes over 490 After Effects transitions and has a user friendly interface to help you navigate through all the options. Transition styles like this have exploded in popularity over the past year and based on the preview video, it is easy to say that they look even better when used on aerial footage!

Mentioned in This Tutorial

Bonus Resource: Free Drone Footage to Download

If you need to download some high-quality drone footage to use in your next project, look no further than Mixkit, which offers a wide selection of beautiful aerial videography that you can use wherever you want.

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