Aerial Post-Production 101: Selfridge Final Project


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Hi community, 

I've had a great time with this course, and highly recommend it to others who are looking to learn about or fine tune their video editing.

My aunt is in the process of putting her house on the market, so it was a perfect opportunity to test the waters compiling a real estate demo video.  I'm using this experience as a dry run, to get a feel for how I would go about a project for a paying customer.  I'm still tackling a few different learning curves (flying a new drone, testing camera settings, working in post for the first time), but I think they are each progressing nicely in turn.  Drone work will improve with practice... I know there are a few yaw maneuvers and camera pans that could go a little more slowly and smoothly.  I think I'm getting a knack for editing, which again will continue to improve with practice.  Really what I'm looking for from the community, would be suggestions on camera setting and post processing (color correction) tips.  These two topics still seem like "black magic", and are my biggest area of opportunity for improvement.  

Below is the link to the video on Google Drive, followed by the questions posed within the tutorial.



What NLE did you use to edit your piece?  Final Cut Pro 10.3.

What resolution did you edit in? 4K for edits and then 1080p for final video. 

Did you decide to showcase all of your capabilities with UAS or just a specific area? If a specific area, which one? (i.e. Motion Picture Filming)  I'm not really sure what this is asking.  "All areas" I guess, since I'm not sure what constitutes "specific areas". 

How did you decide on which music track to use for your piece?  It's a real estate demo reel, so I didn't want the music to be overwhelming, but I also didn't want some generic looping background.  Most real estate videos have a "corporate" sound which can resemble elevator music, so I was looking for something more cinematic and orchestral.  I wanted a smooth flowing background, with an occasional distinctive beat to mark transitions.  

How did you decide on the feel you would want your piece to take on?  I was looking for a balance between warm and inviting to showcase the home, but building to something more grand to showcase the waterfront.

What is the story you are telling through your footage?  In the beginning I wanted to introduce the house, and drop some teasers that an epic backyard would be unveiled.  I really wanted to capture different parts of the waterfront view as seen from the house, which is the perspective that a potential buyer would see everyday.  Finally, most of the later footage showcases the backyard, and the amenities that could be used for outdoor recreation.  I wanted an emphasis on the deck, so potential buyers could envision themselves utilizing that outdoor space.

What are 3 important lessons you learned from editing this video that you know will help you in future videos?  

-  I should have used a storyboard.  Onsite I was just walking around trying to collect cool looking shots.  But that made editing much more difficult to find clips that transitioned nicely from one feature to the next (water to backyard, backyard to pool, pool to deck, deck to etc).  Five minutes of storyboarding probably would have saved me an hour or so in editing while attempting to layout a logical flow.  Plus, because I was jumping around, the lighting changed on the front of the house between batteries.  Near the end, I transition between two shots of the front of the house, which is probably not noticeable to most people, but a discerning audience will see the difference in lighting. 

-  Just keep rolling.  A few times I noticed a jerky input, or a shadow of the drone, or some other undesirable feature.  Since most of the clips are relatively short, I learned I can cut out the feature, and use a cross dissolve to blend the two shots together.  The backyard is an example, where the duration was too long and I didn't want to speed up the film, so I just took one second clips and blended them all together.  The pan up of the deck stairs was another example.  The yaw turn was very aggressive, so I just cut it out, blended the two halves together, and ended up with a really nice reveal shot of the upper deck. 

-  Get your camera settings right.  Color correction is not a magic bullet, in fact I have a much deeper appreciation for how much is involved getting a vibrant video after this project.  That being said, garbage in equals garbage out.  There were several great shots with smooth drone work, which were ultimately unusable because the video was too dark or light.  Maybe a more experienced video editor could have salvaged them, but I couldn't get them to resemble the tone of the rest of the footage, so they ended up in the circular file.  


Thanks everyone!  

- Justin -

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Get I get some love from the community?

I've been messing around with color correction, and have a revised video.  I'm sure the original link is now broken, so access the footage with this revised link:

I tried my hand with LUTs, but the effect was a little too overbearing in most cases.  For the revised video, I just bumped up the saturation, and adjusted the exposure settings to increase the dynamic range (I think I'm using that term correctly).  I occasionally tried some white corrections where needed.

Let me know what you guys think. 

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Yes I apologize as well. For some reason I haven't been getting notifications for these posts so I have been going through manually and trying to find all the videos students post.

First of all, this is a nicely edited video, well done! And, I am impressed with your flying skills as well. You seem to be flying pretty close to some of the objects in the shots and I know that takes precision. What drone did you fly for this piece?

I am also very glad you like the course and looking forward to seeing how you improve even more with it.

General Notes

  • I feel the video may be a little bit longer than it needs to be, especially since there are quite a few redundant shots. i.e. shots of the front steps and shots overhead the house to name two. But, you seem to have a pretty good handle on editing and using Final Cut and what you could be doing to improve, so I want to challenge you a little bit... Rather than comment exactly where there are redundant shots and which shot should stay and which should go, I want you to make another cut of the video and see if you can make the critical decisions on which stay and which go with two goals. One, to shorten the video, but two, to only have the best of the best in there! There are cinematic shots in there that I couldn't have done better myself! Those are the shots you want to showcase. So, focus on the cinematography, for example, does a shot have even one tiny move in the camera or drone that shouldn't be there? If two shots are perfect cinematography wise, base your decision off of which is better for color correction or other post processing related purposes. Does this make sense?
  • Nice choice of music!
  • It is a beautiful piece of property... I love lake houses.
  • And, I know it is just a rough cut, so I won't be too critical on color correction, but for the next round, see if you can get all of the shots to at least match exposure wise. There are definitely a few shots that show up much darker than others and there are a few shots where the highlights are too much and it is overexposed (like near the pool since there are a lot of highlights in the pool shots).

Clip Specific Notes

00:00:03:00 - Awesome opening shot, I would maybe start this clip a little later so when it ends on the cut you are closer to the house and more over it. Doesn't need a huge adjustment, maybe 1-3 seconds. Use the trim tool and a slip edit to do this.

00:00:32:00 - Awesome shot!!! Love it!!

00:00:47:00 - Great reveal of the lake!

00:01:03:00 - I don't think I like the sequence of shots here. It feels awkward and I think it can be completely taken out. It isn't showing much other than the grass and then it shows the lake but then the shot moves awkwardly backwards at 00:01:07:00.

00:01:10:00 - I think this shot can be taken out as well. It looks strange to me with the drone flying kind of sideways from the camera view. Plus, the drone seems to dip down slightly in the beginning of this clip. The smallest of details like that make all the difference.

00:01:14:00 - Nice camera move here and in the next shot showing off the dock area.

00:01:24:00 - This is one of the overexposed shots I was talking about.

00:01:59:00 - I like this shot but there seems to be a dip in the camera or drone and a brief movement so maybe take it out.

Again, overall very nicely done. Very much looking forward to seeing the next cut of this. More specifics about color correction I can provide when you get the actual edit locked down. No point in wasting time color correcting shots fully if they will end up being taken out or replaced.



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