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Taking Flight: Drone Photography & Video

Lesson 22 of 23

Aerial Video in After Effects


Taking Flight: Drone Photography & Video

Lesson 22 of 23

Aerial Video in After Effects


Lesson Info

Aerial Video in After Effects

All right, so we just upgraded our after effects here on this particular machine. So there's a couple things that I like to do before, a soon as I either get on a strange machine uh oh are installed after effects for the first time. I'm going to show you how teo do some fun things with your, uh, with your video footage, aerial footage in after effects, and that may have some overlap with what you can do in premiere, but there's there's a few other tricks we can do in after effects as well. So again, we just installed after effects here, and I need to do a couple things to set it up. Typically eso I'll go to my preferences on I'll look at my media and disc cash because this is again this session, too goes under the assumption that you've watched my other after effects for beginners, classes here on creative live, so you already kind of know some of the basics of after effect, so I take that into theus sumption that that is, if you haven't just sit back and enjoy, you can always watch it...

later and then go back and take one of my after effects for beginner's courses here on creative life so that the thing that makes after effects do what it does, it requires a lot of, uh dis cashing and ram and memory and everything so that it can render it doesn't work quite is quite the same way as premier, so what I like to do is make it by default it has our cash is and that's the, uh the, uh, ram preview cash in the media cash and all of that it tends to cash everything on the drive that the application is installed and to speed things up, I will select another drive uh that's on the machine let's just grab this drive it's not the drives that this is is on, so I'm just going to hit choose right now and what won't take it there, all right? So we didn't get a chance to do this. They just got it installed right before our segment. I didn't have a chance to set this up, so I do go through this process in the other after effects courses, so unfortunately I didn't get a chance to set up a segment for that, but the concept there is too take your cash and put it somewhere else so it speeds things up if the hard drive is that your project is on, the application is on if everything's all on that hard drive is trying to read and write to the the same hard drive way too much if it's also trying to cash everything in the background so usually for both premier and after effects I'll try to put the cashing off onto another internal drive or what I do a lot is all have an external ssd drive with thunderbolt which almost acts like an extension of ram so if you've got on di mac or ah mac book or something that's got a thunderbolt drive on it are a thunderbolt port I get it a little a pocket ss deed you know, two hundred and fifty six gigs ssd drive and plug that in use that for cashing boom it's almost like he added two hundred fifty gig of ram to your computer really? Speed up your your ram preview so okay, so that's ah that's a housekeeping tip there for you so let me hide this because I need to go look at we don't need to look at our updates uh see what we've got in here uh and I'm going to go ahead and open up this file here. Come on. Here we go. Uh andi it doesn't like that we moved something, so I just need to go find it because it lost it because we moved to something. So I come down here to replace footage with the file and this is pretty easy cause I just go in here and start typing in the name of the file and see if it finds it and ha ha so I know it's there so we're going toe interesting well let's go back out here then see what happens this is fun all this funds that's live do you need this live that's right I know I've got it here so we're just going to drag it in here we don't need it in there anymore so just got dragged in here maybe it'll find it then so and force it to look for it now so okay and I am assuming that's there come down here for that point to it okay we found it that way there it is yea okay so I've got this this video we kind of looked at this morning it's got some of colin's clips in it and I don't have a whole lot of distortion on this one I'm going to take a quick look and see if I have already applied the effect to it um it looks like it's already been applied to it so I'm gonna delete that okay, so um here we are in aftereffects I've got a clip in here I've got a composition which is similar to what you would call a sequence in premiere and in after effects this is a composition and inside the composition is our media which is the video uh layer video file is brought in here and this composition is the same same frame rate and same uh dimensions of the video file originally so I've just got this this movie in here and say I want to correct some of this uh uh lens boeing that's going on and I want to correct that lens in there well I don't have quite the presets that we have you can build some but we don't have them for the same lens correction but what we do have something that's called optics correction and so I'm going to come over here to the effects and presets panel I'm going to start typing in optical optic optics it helps does not have dyslexia okay o p t and there we go optics compensation is what it's actually called and we're going toe just drag that on here and this works fairly similarly as lens distortion in premiere where we can play with our distortion but in this case this is made to actually take something and distort it more what we want to do is d distorted undistorted so what we want to do is reverse the lens distortion if I stretch it out just a little bit you'll see can almost read what it says there it's a very long very long label there so I'm gonna click this says reverse lens distortion and then I khun slowly just grab this field of view and start dragging it to the right and see what happens oh stretching it out okay and just keep going a bit till we start seeing our horizon is straightening out and again it's that that whole robbery thing that that happens with it so you don't want to go too far or it's just going to go ah so we want to just kind of get it out here to where our horizons a little straighter and it creates a little bit more distortion than me we might want so you can always back it off but things like trees and telephone poles and light poles and and what not will straighten out a little better they may be leaning out a little bit but they won't be bowing they won't be bending like they're made of rubber so I'm just scrubbing through this a little bit um and you can see that because of the distortion it is flaring a bit on the outsides and that's typical of distorting or un distorting something a zits been uh shot originally again this was shot with the gopro there's the group a cz this was flying toward us there's the group getting quite a show from colin's wild move there so that's that so to do ah quick quick distortion or lens correction in after effects it's just a simple is using optics compensation if you forget the name of it just think optics optical start typing it in down here in the search panel and it'll pop right up there and I'll show you exactly where it is so that's a quick uh quick view it that now I've got a couple other things here that I'd like to show its let's hide this for a second because I have to kind of go look at my folder here again and see what we've got in here. Um I've got this whole project here that I would like to show you is this where we can have a little bit more fun than just doing the same things that we did in premier weaken kind of duplicate some of saying the same thing with timing and what not, but this time we're going to create a tilt shift scene uh using s'more aerial footage of me jason course is what people must think I'm like a sadistic kid or something out there chasing horses with my with my phantom, but they're really interesting horses really find it intriguing anytime we've flown around them unless you're flying really close to him only flight close to like our own horse because she gets it she runs around it and plays with it, but most of them are just sit there and they'll just look up at like whoa aliens or something so they're very intrigued by I haven't tried cows yet cows they're usually really interested in things right? I got to find some cows to buzz sometimes and see what they see what they think about it so here's our original footage shot directly now this was shot with the vision I believe the phantom vision so it's not stabilized and it is a vision and not a gopro so you can see it's a bit shakier eso this footage obviously needs to be stabilized ah and then we also need the lens correction because you can see the building's air boeing the let me turn off this real quick says well see the little spotlight going yeah you see as we get down there a little farther the uh fences start bowing and uh tweaking a little bit and because of the stabilization that needs to be done here we do need to do lends correction because when you stabilize you still see the boeing happening so typically I'll do my lens correction before I'll do um the stabilizing and something like this sometimes have to play back and forth if there's a lot of horizontal or vertical lines a lot of straight lines in your video I I like to do that because it does kind of help that a bit before you stabilize you know see quite as much wobbling and warping so that's the original raw footage and that's her boyfriend hank out there he's actually a thirty year old gilding and she's a tte this point she was only five so she was the young blonde and he is the the old grain guy out there um but that's that's misty that's misty the wonder horse so ah let me go back out of there now I did ah optical correction let me see I think this one I may have just done uh yes in this case I did go ahead and stabilize before we did the optical correction so that smooths it out quite a bit. It doesn't look nearly is jittery or jumpy on there. No, but you see there's a little bit of warping I think I may have done my edit points on that to cut out the working a little more may have edited this down a little bit but you could see how great the warp stabilizer works. That's the same warp stabilizer that's in premiere that showed you earlier this morning that's the same technology, the same work flow the same process eyes doing that and, uh, I can show you this whole workflow here just on a little bit in chunks so we can follow that process so that's with it stabilized and then adding the optical correction that I just showed you on the clips from colin's yesterday using the same, uh, distortion correction there, uh, play this full screen so we've been able to straighten out and correct your fences and buildings. Look at the nice straight roof on that barn. The fences look better um stuff's not warping and wobbling nearly as much and even though it's cropped in it a little bit because I'm flying an aerial I kind of want to see more detail of what it is I'm flying over some kind of following following her around she's coming over to check it out now and run away so it gives you usable footage you saw the original footage was pretty shaky and pretty pretty wobbly but this gave us actually that's that's usable footage I put that in something so um let me show you another ah let's see let's don't say that ha ha given it away and given it away all right so what I've done is I've stabilized uh that footage is well um let me let me do this real quick let me go ahead and import that original uh okay we go the original file that's this one here it's right out of the camera I'm just gonna pull one little piece out of it let's do this make a comp all right? So just like making ah a um a sequence in premiere clicking on the media file itself going down here to make a new comp dragon it over there makes a new cop based on the information of the video so if it's ten a teepee uh which is this is's ten eighty twenty nine nine seven you can see right up here the information's right there it's going to make an exact uh comp based on that information but unlike er premier I can't set in and out points ahead of time so I just need to go find a chunk that I want to work on so I'm going to go right about here and one quick way of doing a little slice edit out of there is to do a shift let me turn this back on so you guys can see my keystrokes hopefully do a shift command d and you'll notice that it makes this little split in here it created a second layer in here and if you're new to after effects just think of this like photo shop on steroids because we deal with layers more than we do clips um and I'm just going to do one just till we come around here that's enough for us to work on right now so I'll do another shift coming andy I can now just get rid of these two layers holding down the command key and hit delete now I've just got this one little slice to work on so now if I want to do a warp stabilize on this I can do that I can either probably just type it out here just like in premier it's really easy way to find your effects uh just come over here and type it in work and where is it oh wait wait wait I take that back I have to use that the sea here hang on a second I'm mixing up my, uh mixing up my there this it is warp under distort there we go. Is that the very bottom warp warp there we go yes, I just drag that over and again I want smooth motion because the camera is in motion I'll go ahead and let it do sub swell no let's just do position scale importation because all those bending fences and buildings that contend teo freak it out a little bit so we'll just do it very simple one here just could take a couple minutes to process this so this should be very familiar if you're here for a premier pro segment this will this works you know almost identical is the same kind of effect the same plug in effect. So you set us up back again for some folks who don't work very much in premier po and after effects the combination of working with the two when you use one when you use the other if you could explain that again well, because this first started off in after effects I believe it was c it was six I don't quote me on that because my brain is marshmallows right now after two days of this I believe it was around c s fivefive rcs sick somewhere in there they added this warp stabilising capability to after effects and it was groundbreaking and amazing and changed my life in a in a big way because it allowed me to use allowed me to move my camera around I didn't have to have it glued two sticks on the ground I could use gopro footage and make something out of it if it's strapped on a car you know moving object I could actually use a lot of gopro footage and other camera footage handheld shots gosh uh hanging onto one of these x three is our camera tax know it can you no can kill your back after a while we're just trying to get in position sometimes you have a hand held shot that you want to stabilize this is the way to go if you really want to lock it down or you want to smooth it out handhelds, gopro's aerials whatever this is a great thing it started in here and it was just recently in cc that premiere got this effect is well so um being that you can also do this in premiere you don't have to run everything through after effects first so that's why I should show is premier to show first because a lot of people are still a little afraid of getting into after effects you know it's it's a fairly scary place for some reason for people, but you know if you're used to photo shop and you do some kind of editing in premier or final cut but least final cut seven before finally cut ten it's a totally different workflow now then some of these tools will feel you know feel very familiar to you so this is just about done uh analyzing its okay I guess I don't know did I really answer the question say when do you do one or that this is where do you feel comfortable obviously if you're comfortable in premiere and you can do the stabilizing and the lens correction real easy there do it there it doesn't take any longer the computer has to think justus hard there as it does here esso I think it's ah it's a toy a toy in costs ah the coin cause that's right ok so we've got this this stabilized footage here on it's nice and steady it's just kind of chugging away you can see here it's not playing back in real time I'm not doing a ram preview I'm just doing a a quick preview here so you can see that that would be the process to do that now I've got the warp stabilizer on there now let me go and do my optics uh so let me do my oh petey I see so I spell it right there we go optics compensation and I'm going to drag that down here there we go so now I can reverse the distortion and in this case I want to look at the building here let me go down here and I want to straighten out the roof of that building a bit because right now it's really bode so I'm goingto add this to it and knowing that this camera one thing that helps is a little bit of math if you know the actual ah field of view of the lens that you're shooting with if you divide that by two then you can get really close to the magic number here for this this f o v so if you've got something that say it's ah if it's one hundred forty degrees of view on your lens then you do seventy so if it's a little less if it's a hundred twenty then you do sixty so we'll try sixty in here because I believe it was around one hundred twenty that the original vision camera wass so that really helps that helps you just dial it in quick so you see right there the roof line is nice and straight how's it look here it looks really good it's nice and straight our fences look better they don't look like they're all wobbly and ready to fall down although I have been to places where the fence is really do look like that there's nothing you can do about it um this place is pretty good so there we all in one uh, segment. There. I was able to do my warp stabilization, do my optics, compensation. Both are done. They're, uh, then I could render this out. Do a ramp, review, whatever. Teo, really look at it. But typically, I would probably render it out at this point, depending on the machine. I'm working on how slow it's going to go, because the more things you add in after effects for the computer have to think about, er little longer it's going to take the toke. It took a chunk, a chunk, a chunk.

Class Description

Drone photography and videography captures some of the most stunning images out there, but the tools, techniques, and gadgets used to capture the action are often confusing and difficult to master. Join Jeff Foster and special guests for an exciting and highly informative class and get a running start at unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) photography.

In this course, you'll learn how to capture stunning aerial shots with an impressive range of aerial gear – including; 3D Robotics multicopters, DJI multirotors, GoPros, DSLRs and more. You'll get an introduction to the best tools for beginners and see demonstrations of the sophisticated gear used by the most in-demand professional photographers and filmmakers. You’ll learn essential skills for controlling a UAV flight; basic flight controls, necessary equipment for successful shooting, planning and lining up the perfect shots, flight prep and safety, waypoint navigation and more. You'll gain an understanding of the production and post-production techniques unique and essential to aerial photography – including how to stabilize video, create stunning panoramic photos, and remove lens distortion in your photos and videos.

If you're ready to explore this wonderful world from a new elevated visual perspective, then this is the course for you!

Guests include:
Colin Guinn -
Mark Johnson and Romeo Dursher -
Stephen Wheatcraft -
Peter Sachs -
Russell Brown -

CreativeLive is proud to announce that Jeff Foster was a Bronze winner in the 36th Annual Telly Awards for this class.   With nearly 12,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries, this is truly an honor. Congratulations Jeff!  

What You Will Learn in This Course

1. Gearing Up: Intro to Aerial

    • Jeff will take us through some of the various quadcopters and multirotors that are commonly used in the hobby/commercial photography markets today. Basic concepts of pre-flight prep, safety, equipment, and terminology will be covered for various disciplines.

2. Basics of Flight

    • Colin Guinn from 3D Robotics joins Jeff in demonstrating the basics of good flight, best practices to improve your skills and get those important shots you want!

3. Practical Application – Commercial Flight

    • Jeff leads off with some examples of fixed-wing drones used for various commercial and environmental uses, such as precision agriculture, search and rescue, firefighting and land surveying. Colin Guinn shows us how 3D Robotics is already addressing these important fields with advanced technology.

4. Advanced Flight for Film Production 

    • Romeo Durscher and Mark Johnson of to show us the S1000 octocopter and how to use it to get those high-definition aerial video shots that filmmakers demand. Stephen Wheatcraft then brings his S1000 octocopter in to demonstrate how he gets beautiful landscape panoramas with his setup. 

5. The Future of Drone Flight: Laws 

    • We will be talking in the studio with drone expert and visionary, Colin Guinn from 3D Robotics about his vision of the industry – where it has come; where it is today and where he sees it in the near future. We are then joined via a live video feed from Maine with drone legal expert Peter Sachs, Esq. To discuss the recent mandates and restriction imposed by the FAA in the US and what that means to the industry on a global scale.

6. Processing Aerial Footage in Post w/ Premiere

    • Jeff will show us some footage from the previous day's flights as well as some examples that might need a little “help” with stabilization and color correction, using Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

7. Processing Aerial Photos in Post w/ Photoshop

    • We're honored to have THE Russell “Doc” Brown from Adobe join us for a head-spinning session in Adobe Photoshop CC with tips on working with drone-captured images and what projects he currently has brewing!

8. Processing Aerial Video in After Effects

    • Jeff returns to turn up the heat in Adobe After Effects to share with us some of his techniques for footage stabilization, lens correction, tilt-shift lens effects and much more!


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This is a great course! This workshop was very professionally put together. This was my first experience with CreativeLive and I was impressed at every turn with how well everything turned out. The content was engaging, the guests and instructor gave out many many useful tips on responsible drone operation... I can't say enough great things about this course. I'll be watching many of the segments over and over again to pick up all of the quick golden tips that were shared, as well as picking up the proper industry terms for types of shots, or piloting techniques. Very impressive! Thanks to Jeff Foster, his guests and the entire crew of Creative Live for making this happen. Simply Amazing!

a Creativelive Student

Not for experienced/informed pilots looking for the next level. It was a good intro for those new to the concept of UAV's in photo/video but never got specific enough about maneuvers, equipment, or shooting styles to be useful. The outdoor flying was a complete mess. Demos of what the equipment looked like, not how to best use it creatively. Glad I watched it live. The chat rooms were very informative.