Post Production

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2 hours ago, FlyWithMeNH said:


Wow, what an experience.  When I bought my drone, I knew I would be making videos so I purchased Final Cut Pro X.  At the time, I had no idea what I was doing and while this course was a great help I now realize how far I must go to consider myself proficient…. this is almost as much fun as flying my drone. My final (semi-final) presentation is located at this link I think I covered all the requirements for the video except the final credits which I chose to put over a still of the graffiti are vs over a black background. 


The answers to the questions are as follows:


1.      As mentioned above I used Final Cut Pro X.  I also have Premiere Pro CC which has a lot of related apps that I may try out as I become more proficient and creative with my editing ability.

2.     I edited in 4K 29.97p stereo.

3.     I was trying to focus on fun, action activities in this video which may eventually be used on the Skate Park website to show others how the park is being used.  It was also tight to get some of the shots so I was trying to versatile with my flying while being respectful of my subjects.

4.     I think choosing the music was one of the toughest parts of the finished product.  The first step was finding music that I could legally use.  I went to the forum and found Eric Matyas website  ( which offered so much music. Links to other such websites would be very helpful.   I wanted something that would be upbeat and maybe even appeal to the potential viewers.  More on this question later.

5.     I wanted the piece to reflect the feel of the park…young, upbeat, talented, creative kids.  The graffiti is amazing and if you have ever tried to ride a skateboard or bike in the bowl you will understand their talents.  I also wanted a finished product that the volunteer committee could use to show potential donors what their contributions helped create for our young people.

6.     I think I answered this question in my response to 4 above.  The story, there are indeed places where our youth can have good clean fun in a safe environment thanks to your donations and the hard work of your committee.

7.     Lesson 1…. have an image of the final product before you start filming, it will make the editing go a lot smoother.  I think more shorter clips makes it easier to put together the final product.

Lesson 2…. music, music, music.  Both selecting the appropriate piece and then trying to match it to the piece.  I had no idea how critical that was nor how difficult to achieve.  Since I became aware of that aspect of editing I have been watching video clips from a different perspective.

Lesson 3…. patience.   It took me a while to put this together and I found that I had to occasionally get away from the screen and think.  I can’t tell you how many times I would come back to the computer with ideas that I thought of while I was away.  I bet I uploaded 6-8 versions before I got to this one.  I kept finding little things I wanted to fix.


Thank you for a great class.  I learned so much and am excited to learn more of this fun activity.  I look forward to all your comments which will help me get better at this complex art. 


“Flying your drone is fun, exciting presentation of your filming is an art.”


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I love your goal of telling a story with the skate park. Job well done there. You do it in a fun way, and the music fits the piece well. Most importantly, you learned some valuable lessons it seems. I am glad you realized patience and having a plan ahead of shooting is important. I often find that selecting the music is the hardest part of a project as well :)

One major thing to watch out for, is the little bits of footage that have awkward movements in them, such as at about 00:00:17:00. Try to use shots or ranges of shots that are smooth flowing and not jerky in even a slight way. If you go throughout the video you will notice other instances of this too. I think the titles actually look fine. No worries if they are not on a black background.

And lastly, I love the shot at 00:00:21:00! Glad you are enjoying the class. What kind of drone did you shoot this with?


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Thank you Christian, I appreciate your feedback.  I did notice that when I was putting it together and should have corrected it asap.  It is amazing to me that the little things we see in our "normal view" become so exaggerated in our "video view".  The thing that brought that our for me was the new sign for the skate park....when I look at it in normal view it looks great, when I look at it in video view all I can see is the garbage at the base.  I almost took that out but wanted to do the reveal of the sign in the intro.  

I shot the video with the Autel X-Star which is rapidly becoming outdated with all of the new units appearing in the market.

Thank you for a great class and I look forward to any more advanced options you may offer,


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Its fun when you start doing this isn't it?

A couple of thoughts and suggestions.  Obviously there are different things to focus on as you produce your video, as Christian touched on there's the actual shoot and selecting the best takes.  Keep in mind that what defines the best footage isn't always the most stable shot, it depends on the context in which your using it.  Sometimes a jerky shot can be used to good effect in a transition or to communicate a sense of urgency etc. Key here is consistency and what you want a shot to communicate.

As an editor, one thing you should always me mindful of is bad edits.  You have a couple where there are left over "flash" frames from a previous edit.  In the old days where we had to pre-role VTR's and take an edit through a switcher it wasn't uncommon to see "bad" fields or frames.  There's no excuse for it when editing from a disk.  Not everyone will agree with this but there really isn't much need to edit in 4K.  You have more options when you shoot in 4K but master in 1080P.  You can "pan & scan" to reframe your composition.  Also, you used to have to edit in 29.97 because that was the NTCS VTR standard for interlaced video, now your better off editing in 23.976 or 24P, uses less data, the bandwidth of each video channel is divided between fewer frames so there's less compression, plus for aerial  if you shoot in 29.97 and convert it to 23.976 it slows the frame rate by 8% which helps take the edge off the footage and smooths it out.  Can't do this if you need sync though.

In contrasty situations try to shoot a 1/2 stop under exposed.  There were several shots that were overexposed where you could see the sky or direct sunlight.  Overall your exposure was pretty good, it just depends if you want to get into learning about color grading.  

Finally, you don't need to be in a hurry to upgrade your X-Star, it might not have all the bells and whistles of some of the newer DJI's but the camera is better than the Phantom P3Pro and the X3, its comparable to the P4 but you don't have to worry about whether it will arm and if the latest firmware update changes something you didn't want changed...

Here's a video I did of guys who volunteered to polish a retired Air Force One.  Its too long but I wanted to capture their entire experience, not just polishing the plane but it needed to be as inclusive as possible so they could show what they did to their friends.  

And here's a video where I intentionally left in the "bad" camera work to move it a long a bit.

Keep in mind that once you learn how to do this sort of stuff you'll be the guy that everyone asks to do it... 

Edited by Av8Chuck
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