🤯 My first drone video, significant Shotcut edit, and Instagram reel

Aloha everyone!

This is my first drone video (other than the toy Quickshots from the DJI app), and the first time I’m using Shotcut for anything more than cropping. But don’t be gentle, tell me how I can make more punchy, more engaging, and more awesome :sunny: :cool: :boom:

It would also be my first Instagram reel, after I incorporate your feedback. 30 seconds was a good constraint to have, otherwise it would’ve taken me even more time to get it done. (All in all, I’d say it took this whole week, so about 30 hours of work, starting from scratch - evaluating video editors, trying to install DaVinci Resolve on a Linux ThinkPad (good luck with that), a false start with Kdenlive, watching a bunch of tutorials, figuring out music licensing (sorry ccMixter, Audiojungle is worth the money), running into the inevitable bugs, and crashing KDE in the process).

Many thanks to @bentacular for his tutorials, and especially the speed ramp one. You rock! And of course, thanks @shotcut!

I haven’t done any color grading yet, the transitions could be better, and I should actually try to sync the video to the beats. But that’s only what I can tell and I’ve been way too immersed into this little project to be objective, so feedback welcome!


Great job for your first run at Shotcut! Your music and speed ramps are in sync and you chose the perfect cuts! I can’t wait to see what you come up next!

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If you could have the image sharpness in the entire video as sharp as the crystal-clear final closeup, it would be fantastic.

Have you tried using the Sharpen filter?

Moving foliage is very difficult to compress. I think adding sharpness to that will make the problem more difficult. In this case, you need to export using a higher quality level and take the hit on the file size. Of course, YouTube must transcode it, and it will lose more detail. However, you want to give it as much to work with as possible. Overall, I really like it and will add it to our Shotcut channel’s playlist.


Actually, if you run it at the 1440p quality, it looks plenty sharp.

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Thanks everyone for the feedback! Some other feedback I got:

  • the clip/transition at 8s in was janky, so I decreased its speed
  • the horizon line was dead-center in some shots; I moved it down a bit but didn’t want to crop the mural on the pillbox; also made the line horizontal
  • drone orbiting is so 2017 and nobody cares about it any more; well though luck, I like it :stuck_out_tongue:

I took the advice on sharpness and used the H.264 High Profile for export, with the H.264 Interpolation setting to Hyper/Lancosz. I tried the lossless H.264 profile but the output was messed up, looking like a rotoscope/cartoon filter. What else can I tweak?

For those who want to follow the progress, here is v2a of the video:

Some other folks said that,

  • the ending was abrupt; I thought it was the natural ending with the drone landing, but that’s from my perspective as the drone operator, not the viewer’s
  • nobody remarked on the two fun bits at the end, the playful shoving off the pillobx (not even the guy who did it!), and the Asian guy at the very end ducking from the drone, so figuring it’s only me who found them amusing, I replaced them with a “goodbye” shot
  • nobody mentioned there was no motion blur; I haven’t experimented with ND filters yet but I’ve just ordered some

Here’s v2b of the video, with a fadeout ending done reversing a clip, which I’ve learned that conveniently only considers the selected In-Out portion from the Source.

You nailed it! :+1: :grinning:

The edges of the colors on the sail of the sailboat (which is where I had noticed it most) are now sharp, taking that moment of the video from a minus to a big plus.

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