Below, you’ll find our best practices and most useful tips for editing your drone footage. 

1. Color Grade and Match Your Drone Footage

Color grading and matching is really important in cinematography. If shots don’t match exactly, it looks poorly done and will not have that cinematic appeal that you desire. The biggest tip here is to take full advantage of the scopes in Lumitri, which will allow you to see the exact data of the colors and ensure that they are a match. 

Read more about color correction and grading.

2. Add a Zoom Effect

Zoom effects, when used appropriately, can be a great way to enhance your footage. It can be more visually appealing and adds a cinematic touch. Bear in mind, of course, that you have to make sure that you’re using 4K footage in a 1080 sequence, but there are a few different ways that you can create a zoom effect while doing this:

  • Standard Zoom Effect

This particular effect is rather basic, but it can be a subtle way to add engagement with the audience, such as in a straight line shot that needs a little more movement to get people’s attention. It can enhance drone footage when used sparingly. 

  • Motion and Zoom Effect

Creating movement is how you engage your audience, so using a subtle zoom along with some position changes or motion can definitely get people to focus where you want them to. Remember that you need to keep it subtle, always, when it comes to zoom effects of all kinds. 

  • Dolly Zoom/Vertigo Effect

Taken from standard cinema, this effect typically involves a simultaneous zoom shot while the camera is being moved on a dolly, in the opposite direction of the zoom. Thanks to technology, drones can easily create this same effect with their flying abilities. 

5 Quick Tips to Make Your Drone Footage Look More Cinematic in Post
Cropping in Premiere Pro

3. Cinema Crop

Adding simple features like a cinema crop can make a big impact on your drone footage’s cinematic ability. This is a really simple edit that involves either adding black bars at the top and bottom of the footage for that cinematic look, or editing your sequence settings to create an anamorphic crop. Either way, it adds a simple, but classic touch that makes the right statement every time. 

4. Speed Up Footage

When you speed up your footage, you’re doing more than you realize. Drone footage often appears slow and uninteresting when traversing large distances or covering large objects. By taking the time to speed up the film, you’ll get that epic flying feel that you dreamed of in your shots. Even if you’re shooting at regular speed, you can increase that in post to make the video more captivating. 

5. Use Motion Blur

While adding speed can be helpful to the cinematic feel, it can also make footage feel choppy at times. That’s where using a motion blur can come in handy. When adjusting the speed using the command+r option, you can choose time interpolation, which allows you to adjust from frame sampling to frame blending, which blends multiple frames for a more cinematic look in your motion shots.