How to Create Epic Drone Instagram Videos

I’ve put together a detailed video tutorial on how to achieve great Instagram videos using Adobe Premiere CC.
Downloadable Project Files available here :

28/04/2016 : Good News: Instagram now allows us to create videos of up-to 60 Seconds!

Quality Control


For our videos to be of high professional quality. We should aim to have all of our drone footage as smooth as we can, have a rough idea of exactly where you want to fly beforehand. If your flying from one point to the next, try your best to keep the drone in a straight line with the camera and gimbal in a fixed position. It’s always worth doing a test flight before hand so you can make the necessary adjustments on the camera before recording. Intelligent flight modes can help a-lot here as we are able to programme routes and as the flights are automated our speed should be constant, resulting in smoother video footage.

Know the Limitations


Instagram now allows for up-to 60 seconds worth of video, so we have to keep this in mind. Make sure you record several minutes of footage for editing purposes.

The maximum resolution for video on instagram is currently 1080×1080, we will need to shrink our footage down in order to obtain a 16:9 Widescreen as opposed to square. 4k footage works great here as we have more video to work with and crop as necessary. I’ve included some black and white scopes depending on your preference for your videos. Scopes make it easier for us to achieve a 16:9 look, they can be downloaded here.

Know your Score


Try to keep your music selection professional. Your choice will depend on what style your clip your aiming for.

Popular music is generally not a good idea as technically it is copyright. Have a look at some of the stock music websites below, use keywords to filter your style i.e. “Ambient”, “Cinematic”. Another idea is to checkout many of the unsigned artists on ‘SoundCloud’ and ask them if you can use 15 seconds of their track in return for a link or mention to their page.

Below are some of my favourite stock sound & music websites :

Paid License

Free with Permission

Using our allowed time wisely

Consider some of the following methods for using Instagram video to it’s full potential :

  • Speed Ramps / Time-ReMapping – A perfect way to increase the speed of one clip. In example 2 of the video tutorial I explain how this is achieved.
  • Stabs – A nice way of cutting footage usually to drumbeats.
    See “Example 1” and “Example 2”.
  • TimeLapses – Using another camera, taking 1 photo every 10 seconds, working towards 30 frames a second. 120 photos = 20 minutes.  I stitch all my timelapses within After-Effects. I will cover TimeLapses on a future tutorial.
  • Text – Add a text or a Logo layer for that added touch. It’s a great way to advertise too.
  • Colour Grade – No need to go overboard here as it’s such a short clip, subtle adjustments as required. Look for “ProcAMP” and “RGB Curves” in the effects panel.

Exporting within Adobe Premiere CC


If you want a white Background for your videos, create a blank text layer with just a white background. Drag it to the V1 Layer ( You may have to move all your footage up a layer ). The same principal applies if you want a black background.

Our Export settings will be the same as mentioned in the previous tutorial, again if you wish to send a higher bitrate to instagram as bandwidth isn’t an issue, this is fine.

Video Size : 1080 x 1080 | Aspect : Square pixels (1.0)
29.97fps / 30fps NTSC Progressive
Profile: High, Level 5.1
VBR 2 Pass
Bitrate Target 5 Mbps, Maximum 7 Mbps
Render at Maximum Depth Box Ticked, Use Maximum Render Quality Box Ticked
Audio Format : AAC
Sample Rate : 48,000 Hz
Channels : Mono or Stereo
Bitrate : 128 Kbps

All my Gear :

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