Drone Video Post-Production Tips (from Mavic Air Giveaway Video Submissions)


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[Scroll down if you’re looking for the video of Alex…]

Thank you to everyone who submitted a video for the Mavic Air we are giving away!

In case you are out of the loop, we are giving away a brand-new DJI Mavic Air with the Mobile Go Bundle. To enter into the giveaway, you had to send in a drone video that you had shot and that you wanted some feedback on.

We will announce the winner of the Mavic Air on Monday, 5/21/2018. And remember, the winner will be selected at random from everyone who entered and is not dependent on how good (or bad) the video was.

So if you don’t think yours was very good, don’t fret! Your change is as good as anyone’s.

Our videography/post-production instructor, Alex Harris, replied to everyone’s submission individually (or is still in the process…we had a lot of submissions!) with tips and advice for what people could do to improve their drone videos from a post-production perspective.

He also recorded a video to show some of the most common improvements people could make (his comments below).

The tips Alex talks you through in the video below are all covered in more detail in our course, Post-Production Pro, which we will be opening for enrollment soon (stay tuned!).

Thanks again to everyone who participated. It was great to see all of your videos!


Alright… Take it away, Alex!


Now for Alex’s feedback…

Thanks everyone for submitting your videos!

There was a wide range in quality, but more interestingly there are some pretty wild drone applications out there that people sent in… infrared, search and rescue, firefighting, and… cat videos(?). We also received submissions from the Czech Republic, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Italy, Wyoming, and a bunch of other place. Very cool.

Even though there were tons of awesome locations and cool shots, I am noticing some very consistent problems across the board.

The most common mistakes I see (and some are painfully simple to fix) are:

1. Dark Footage

As often as possible make the actual shot your priority and use editing as a safety net. Aim to keep the exposure balanced. On DJI Drones, the app will display an exposure number. You should keep this between +0.3 and +0.7. Make sure your phone brightness is up all the way (most of the time) so you can actually see what you’re filming.

Too Late? Well, thank goodness I’m an editor. In Premiere Pro, find an effect called ‘Lumetri Color’ and drop it onto your clip.

Add .5 to the exposure (or more…but not too much).

Add 25 to the shadows.

Rejoice in your new visible splendor.

2. Blue Footage

If there is one thing sneakier than those shadows… its BLUE SHADOWS.

In the very same Lumetri Effect, either choose the eyedropper and click on something white in your video, OR drag the ‘White Balance” number to the right until white looks …like white.

3. Wibble-Wabbles

Older drones have this problem, its barely an issue these days, but if you are ever flying in a tornado, all you have to do is type in “Warp Stabilizer” into the effects search.

When you drop that on your footage, it’ll calculate the frames and find a look that stabilizes all the movement.

And last but not least by a long shot…

4. Jerky. Twitchy. Footage.

Seriously, its an epidemic. It’s soo easy to fly and panic when you think you don’t have the camera right. You try to adjust but it comes off terrible in high def as this robotic, stiff disruption to the shot.

Adjust the gimbal and controller settings. I only know how to do this in DJI drones, and its a lot of typing so just watch what I do in the video. This will let you stop smoother and roll into turns, instead of going 0 to 100 in .0002 seconds.

Otherwise, nice to see the improvement in quality overall in the entire community, and great to see people respecting Post Production much more since its really the final seal on all that work. It doesn’t have to be a bottleneck!

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