Master Your Drone in 15 Minutes | Tomorrow's Filmmakers
com, the largest online film academy in the world and today were going to show you in one single video. What takes some people weeks and even months to master – and that is your drone as a filmmaker – were passionate about capturing the best content we can in the most creative way. We know how handheld cameras and gimbals are amazing, but drones take it to a whole nother level, literally and theyre. A lot of fun to use utilizing drones in your films and projects is a great way to further enhance your story and capture shots that you wouldnt. Normally be able to achieve in this, video were going to walk you through how to master the basics of your drone. From start to finish were going to talk to you about what drone to buy accessories you will need and what settings to use, even what movements we would recommend all the way to editing if youre unsure how to use your drone. This is the video for you. Now this is just the basics of how to master your drone, but if you want to learn everything there is to know about drones inside our full course at tomorrowsfilmmakers.com we have a 70 episode, drone cinema course that takes you through absolutely everything you need to know To fully master your drone and even how to make a living with it, with over a thousand training videos and over a hundred hours of content on every single aspect of filmmaking taught by leading professionals in the film industry, tomorrows filmmakers is your one stop to learn All the skills you need to succeed learn the best from the best, with over 15 000 students in over 50 countries.
A lifetime membership to our award winning 800 film course is only 97 bucks. If you want to take advantage of this crazy deal, you can check out our website in the link below and head over to tomorrowsfilmmakers.com, to learn more to some drones may be intimidating to others, though its an amazing piece of equipment that provides so much to their Careers and projects i first purchased and started using a drone for my filmmaking back when i actually got started, even though i was intimidated a bit to try to learn how to use it, i knew right off the bat that it was something i wanted to begin. Learning because i was determined to create the best possible video that i could theres so many pieces of equipment out there that are designed to enhance your films. But, in my opinion, i think drones are one of the best drones. Allow you to get shots that really! No other piece of camera gear can it allows you to capture landscapes and scenes from angles that are so unique and cant be captured any other way, and the best part is. This is a piece of equipment that anyone can use and its not really that hard to master use. This information were about to share with you and put the time into mastering your drone skills and capturing content that you didnt even know was possible. The very first step that you need to take to master your drone is to master the courage to buy one theyre, definitely an investment, especially if you want to get a high quality one, but its one of the best purchases ive ever made for my filmmaking career.
If youre on the fence consider this once you own and start using a drone, youll have so much more variety and what kinds of shots you can get and even more importantly, on what stories you can tell theyre, not cheap, but theyre, not a mistake either. First, the main question our students are always asking us is, which drone do i buy well theres a few brands out there that make good ones but theres, none quite as good as dji. Dji is definitely the leader in filmmaking drones and for a reason they have so many good options and the video quality that they produce is crazy, good. So from here on out a lot of the things ill be talking about and referencing will be relating to dji drones, because i wouldnt really recommend any other brand. It, of course all depends on your budget, but you cant really go wrong with any of their drones. If i had a suggestion, though, i would suggest purchasing one of their newer models, so you have the latest technology in dji software. You can always buy an older model like this dji phantom, 4 and itll do the job just fine, but with each drone they come out with the new features that they include are a necessity. Unlike a new camera that comes out that might have a better build quality. The difference in drones from three to four years ago to now is astounding. I personally own a dji mavic 2 pro, which is the perfect balance of portability and quality for what i need in my projects.
So once youve decided on and purchased a drone now its time to learn how to set up use and master everything about your new piece of filmmaking equipment drones by themselves are amazing. However, there are a few key accessories that i would recommend you look into purchasing that can enhance your drone even more and make life easier while using it the first one being probably the most crucial and those are nd filters, just like with your handheld camera nd Filters provide the sunglasses effect for your lens and allow you to drop that aperture, while keeping everything properly exposed. Drones are no exception to this rule if its a sunny day and you try to drop that aperture everything will be blown out sometimes on bright sunny days. You will start to get this weird jitter effect in your images and thats, because the camera has cranked up the shutter speed to get the correct exposure so make sure to grab some indies for your drone and allow your camera to be as cinematic as it possibly Can i personally own the polarpro variable, nds and ive been happy with those for all of my shoots. Another essential extra is extra batteries. Drone batteries only last about 25 to 30 minutes for most so its important to make sure that you have enough batteries for the shoots that youre doing. I do a lot of travel projects, so i dont always have a wall charger on standby that i can use to recharge a dead battery.
However, though, i do carry around a big portable charger that i can use to recharge them on the go if needed, i would recommend buying one of these as well, but its always good to just own some extra batteries, one last small accessory that you can add To your collection is a landing pad now. This is something that you dont absolutely need, but it has come in handy a few times for me when im trying to take off in an area that doesnt have the best terrain for a takeoff and landing. You can buy these for 15 to 20 on amazon. This is something you never really think about until you get to the top of a mountain with nowhere to take off from so definitely buy some nd filters, extra batteries, a charging, brick and a landing pad. These accessories will save your life. The next thing we need to understand is the settings now its enticing, especially when youve just purchased your drone to just get out there and start flying immediately. But a crucial step you need to take just like with any camera is to familiarize yourself with the drone and all its settings. If you just take off immediately youre going to be pretty disappointed with the image, because you dont have your drone set up to capture the most cinematic images and like we just discussed drone batteries, dont last that long. So if youre not familiar with your drone settings and how to quickly switch them, if needed in the air, youre wasting precious shooting time, because you only have a limited amount of minutes before you have to land it.
So just like, with your dslr theres, a ton of settings that you can adjust and change to your liking and going through all of them could be a whole other video. So, to keep this simple ill, just go over the main ones and ones that i use on a regular basis. The layout might look confusing at first and you might be overwhelmed, but lets just focus on what you absolutely need to know. So. Drones have basic camera settings like iso aperture frame rate resolution and so on. The resolutions and frame rates will vary between drones, so use what your drone has and what works best for your project. I usually like to shoot in either 4k 24 fps for things like wide landscape shots that i want the most resolution out of or ill also, utilize, high frame rates for slow motion like 60 120 or even 240 fps adjust your shutter speed accordingly and then its Best to keep your iso as low as possible, so you minimize any noise in your video. If you have to make your image brighter either remove an nd, filter or bump up your aperture a bit. But let iso be your last resort. Try to keep that as low as possible at all times. You dont always need a super low aperture for drones, because youre mostly looking at wide landscapes. Another big setting for color grading specifically is log footage. Dji has its own log profile called d log and it can be used with any resolution or frame rate, so switch that on and maximize your dynamic range.
Those are my settings that i typically use when shooting now dji has a few really cool special shooting modes that aid with different shots. You might want to capture some of these being hyper lapses, active track, waypoint etc. Like we said, we could spend a whole video going in depth about each of these, but just know that your drone has them and each can be used for a different purpose to be honest other than an occasional hyperlapse. I dont really find myself using the others. A ton so dont be too worried about them. I prefer flying manually by myself anyway, and these are all just shooting modes that can help you with things that you can do manually. If you like to customize what each button does when youre flying dji also gives you the option to adjust those, you can go into the settings and select what buttons you like to adjust and assign different settings to those buttons. I would suggest assigning things that youll need to change on the fly like shutter, speed and aperture, one more setting that i like to turn on and off pretty frequently is obstacle avoidance. This is a feature that will alert you when youre near an object and even move your drone out of the way. It is very helpful to not crash your drone, but it can also hinder you if youre going for a specific shot that might have an obstacle near. It now use this at your own risk, but ive been flying for quite a while now and trust myself in trying to get shots with obstacle.
Avoidance off ill, usually only turn it off if im trying to fly close to something for a shot and otherwise not able to get that shot with obstacle. Avoidance turned on customize and familiarize yourself with all your settings, so once you get up in the air, everything is ready to go and you dont have to waste any time while flying another big thing to consider and think about before you take off. Is your flight plan again the batteries dont last very long, so youll want to plan out what shots youre going to capture before youre in the air and prevent wasting time trying to figure out what to capture. While your drone is just sitting up there and the battery is draining, you need to get all the buttery golden hour shots that you can and plan out everything that you want to do during that short time. It might sound dumb but consider the question: why are you flying? I mean obviously to capture footage, but what kind of footage? What is your video about, and how are these shots going to fit into your story? If your film is more slow and cinematic, maybe capture slower shots that have more of a focus on subtle movement and high quality landscapes. If youre making a travel, vlog, maybe plan out some fast paced shots and quick movements, look at your surroundings and think about what you want to capture and maximize as much actual recording time as you can, while in the air dont wait till you get your drone Up in the air before you determine what you want to capture, the worst thing you can do is just take off and fly around searching for something to film plan.
All of that out before so now comes the best part of owning a drone flying it. This is where creativity is unleashed and your story begins to come to life now i dont know about you, but that initial site of capturing different shots up in the air is one of my favorite things about filmmaking. I mean capturing stuff on the ground with a camera gets me pumped, but when that camera is airborne, its so much better theres, so many different shots and movements. You can do with your drone, so lets go through some of the best ones and my favorites, whatever type of shots. You capture, though, always make sure it has a purpose again know why youre shooting and what youre wanting to capture to elevate your project lets start off by utilizing the different frame rates like we talked about earlier, if youre higher off the ground and are focusing on The landscape, rather than moving objects, definitely shoot in 24 fps at the highest resolution. You can you want those landscapes to look as crisp and epic as possible, so make sure your camera settings are adjusted accordingly. Shooting in a higher frame rate for a wide open landscape is pointless if youre more low to the ground. However, you can keep it at 24 fps and a high cinematic resolution, but also consider the option of using slow motion since youre closer to the ground. Things will move in and out of the frame faster lets say: youre getting a close up shot of a waterfall 4k 24fps would look great, but switching over to something like 120 fps and having the option to slow that waterfall down in post might add a little Something more again, it comes down to what the tone of your story is, but just be sure to utilize all the different frame rates.
If youre able to because theres a lot of different shots, you can get with a drone that looks so cool in slow motion. Theres, a ton of different movements that you can do no matter what frame rate youre in though – and here are some of my favorites, the classic pan up shot to reveal a landscape or subject a parallax that circles around something or someone a pan down shot like. If youre coming over top of a waterfall or mountain cliff a top down spin over something like a forest or city, those are my favorite shots, but you can also do really anything in between be creative, combine these movements and try something new every time. The drone and its camera axis can twist pan and turn many different ways, so the possibilities are endless. Another aspect to make sure to utilize is having a subject or subjects in your frame. Circling around an epic mountaintop is awesome, but having a person on top of that, mountaintop adds a little more to the visual other examples you could do. Is someone running through a field and have the drone fall beside them or maybe someone is running down a road and you do a follow shot behind them using subjects in your drone? Shots is a great way to add to the visuals and even help tell a story: get a plan down, take off and use that 25 to 30 minutes to capture all that you can, because it goes by pretty quickly.
Another trick that will save your life is to push the sides of the joysticks instead of holding it like a controller, if youre trying to get really subtle movements, youll find it almost impossible if youre controlling the joysticks, with the top of your thumbs, its really difficult To get small movements and your drone will start to jump around if you use the side of your thumbs and gently push the joysticks, you can get much smoother and subtle movements go, try it out for yourself and youll be shocked at the difference it makes like With all footage once youve captured it next is to edit it for most of the projects that have drone footage involved ill either. Put that drone footage into a separate folder to separate the drone shots from the camera handheld shots or, if its something like a travel. Vlog that has multiple days of footage ill, just organize it by day, along with the rest of the footage. Now, obviously, you can use your drone shots for whatever part of the edit that you see fit, but a couple scenarios that i definitely like using them are for things like introducing a location or having it as the background for a title sequence. Next, if you utilize the higher frame rates on your drone, youre able to now slow that footage down and even better use, speed, ramping, speed, ramping is a tool that i love to use with drone footage, especially when im making a more upbeat, travel style.
Video drone footage is a lot of fun to speed grant because its a lot easier to cover a larger distance and have more movements to use with that speed, ramping if youre, using a drone rather than a handheld camera. Another aspect of editing with drone footage is using sound effects, just like with handheld footage using sound effects for drone shots really enhances those visuals and can transport your audience to that location. If youre flying over a forest add some wind sounds birds, chirping and maybe leaves wrestling if youre over an ocean. Add the sounds of waves and seagulls any type of audio. That can add to your story. Dont hesitate to add those in the final piece when editing drone footage, like any other footage, is to color grade it. If you shot in a log profile which you should you have plenty of dynamic range to work with color grading, drum footage tends to be a bit more tricky. However, because theres usually a lot more happening in your shot and therefore more colors shadows and highlights to play with, if you do it right, though, a finished color grade on a drone shot can look so good and really stand out in the mix of handheld shots. I hope you guys have enjoyed this video and are now confident in using your drone. Take this information purchase that drone youve had on your wish list for months and start creating drone footage, is so much fun to capture and is truly able to elevate your project to a whole new level.
Literally, if youd like to learn even more about how to master your drone skills, you can check out our full course at tomorrowsfilmmakers.com we have over a thousand training videos and over a hundred hours of content on every single filmmaking subject that you can imagine if youd, Like to join over fifteen thousand other filmmakers, just like you pursue their dreams and learn all about film click, the link below and sign up for our full academy for 90 off a lifetime membership to our award, winning 800 film course for only 97 bucks. So click the link in the description and head on over to tomorrowsfilmmakers.com and learn all the skills that you need to succeed.