Improve Aerial Video in Post – Mastering Drone Footage – PART 2

Low cost drones have revolutionized the way we think about aerial video, but often the results are easily distinguishable from professional aerial shots. So how do you improve aerial video coming from a low cost drone camera? This was the question I asked myself when I edited my footage from the DJI Inspire 1

I spent a week filming with an entry level drone and I spent a lot of time figuring out how to make the best out of the footage I had. Here’s the second part of my 3-part video tutorial on mastering drone footage.

Also check out:

Part I – Shoot Aerial Video Like a Pro

Part III – Grade Low-Cost Aerial Video

These are the tips I would have needed when I started shooting. I wanted to get the best out of my drone footage and I didn’t find this knowledge elsewhere. Here’s how to make aerial video look and feel cinematic, how to raise the production value of your project with a few simple steps.

I hope you’ll enjoy these tutorials and they’ll help you get started. All 3 parts of the video series have some essential points I think anyone serious about aerial video can take something away from.

DJI Inspire 1 compared to Sony FS7 high resolution screenshot

DJI Inspire 1 compared to Sony FS7 high resolution screenshot

Working with the Inspire 1 drone

I already explained this in part I of the series, the possibilities of the DJI Inspire 1 were really impressive for me, very easy to use, very affordable and very powerful in terms of its ergonomics and the intelligent flight modes. I highly recommend using this drone if you consider going into aerial videography.

The screenshot above shows you the drawbacks of the DJI Inspire 1 camera in terms of image quality in comparison to a Sony FS7 4K image (click open link in new window to see full resolution) as discussed in the video. Fortunately the Inspire 1 camera is upgradable so you can improve it with proper Micro Four Thirds cameras, the new Zenmuse X5 and X5R cameras produce much better quality.

As you can see though, just using the built-in 4K camera opens up a lot of possibilities for low cost shooters. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to ask.

Fly safely, edit tirelessly and let us know what you learned in the process. Best wishes from Seb at cinema5D.

Helpful Links: on CC Force Motion Blur on Time Remapping
animation in Premiere CC

Music by
Salomon Ligthelm – Bones

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Barry Dworak Reply
Barry Dworak October 14, 2015

And remember that your client or viewer will care 100 tines less about that certain exact “cinematic look” than you do. :-)

 Jan Riedel Reply
Jan Riedel October 14, 2015

^^ means what? just produce crap because no one cares? (!)

 John Hicks Reply
John Hicks October 14, 2015

obviously not, but i doubt any client with little to no knowledge of camera gear gives a damn if you are using the x3 camera to the x5, or that the codec/bitrate of x5 isn’t up to snuff for most ‘pros’ out there.. they just want the shot to look f***in epic.

alex prones October 14, 2015

what camera settings do you use ? log mode ?

Sebastian Wöber Reply
Sebastian Wöber October 14, 2015

Yes, but I describe that in more detail in part III.

 Chad Beaty Reply
Chad Beaty October 14, 2015

I’m really enjoying these posts! We had a shoot where we used the DJI Inspire 1. The operator who is also a DP recommended shooting it in 1080 as opposed to 4K for color grading purposes. I shot each scene both ways as I was curious.

When we got to post the 4K images look good, but not great. I’m not sure the what the bitrate for the 4K is, but it can’t be very high.

Sebastian Wöber Reply
Sebastian Wöber October 14, 2015

Thanks for the Feedback Chad.
Now I’m curious, how did the 1080p footage turn out in comparison? I can’t image it’s very good even though the compression on the 4K is high. But I did notice bitrate seemed closer to 6bit than 8, unusually narrow color space.

 Chad Beaty Reply
Chad Beaty October 14, 2015

Not really any better. I went with the 4K footage since that’s what I was cutting it with. If you want to see both I can send you a couple of clips. I can’t really comment any further since it’s not my area of expertise.

Sebastian Wöber Reply
Sebastian Wöber October 16, 2015

I thought so. Thanks for the info though.

Darren Streibig Reply
Darren Streibig October 14, 2015

Awesome jon Nino! These are definitely good to watch!

Nino Leitner Reply
Nino Leitner October 14, 2015

Not my job, my buddy Sebastian, but I’ll pass it on :) thanks

 Simon Webb Reply
Simon Webb October 15, 2015

Terrific video ..Has helped me a lot.. Congratulations and can’t wait for the 3rd Video.. Cheers Simon

Caleb Rasak Reply
Caleb Rasak October 15, 2015

I would love more tip series like this from you guys. This is the best series I have watched on here. Thanks

Sebastian Wöber Reply
Sebastian Wöber October 15, 2015

Thanks for that comment Caleb :)
Here’s another one:

Ferdinand Wolf Reply
Ferdinand Wolf October 19, 2015

Great tutorial and tips. However I disagree in your statement that there are drones that go much faster than the Inspire. Except of FPV race quads and stuff like this, there are not many filmmaking camera multicopters that go much faster due to physical limits and gimbal stabilisation.

Jeffrey Fields December 3, 2015

I’m new at this and found your site really interesting…… Thank you……..