Drone Day Afternoon

We headed out to the park this afternoon to shoot video for a few different projects, so I took the chance to play around with the drone and try some new camera angles.

0:00 - 0:07

The straight-down shot can be pretty cool. In this particular shot, I didn’t actually move the drone vertically, but used the Ken Burns effect to fake the zoom. I think the next time I use this angle, I’ll do it over a subject with more motion.

0:07 - 0:11

I wanted to see if I could get away with using the drone as a way to fake getting a dolly shot. It worked, but it might not be the most practical thing on-set, what with the spinning blades and all.

0:11 - 0:25

Both this shot and the one starting at 0:38 are portions from a long clip. When I started recording, my intent was fly forwards and descend (basically the opposite of the final shot).

Halfway down, Laura and the dogs started playing fetch out in the grass, so I decided to abandon the high-concept shot and just focus on the action.

0:25 - 0:38

I tilted the gimbal down, so the camera is 45-ish degrees off the horizontal. This turned out to be a great angle, and I’ll definitely be using it again. I think it’s more visually interesting than aiming perfectly level at the horizon, but not as disorienting as pointing straight down.

0:38 - 0:43

This is some more great fetch-playing from the same clip as the shot starting at 0:11. I love the orbit-style shot, so I wanted to try flying one. There’s actually a built-in function in the Phantom software to do this sort of effect, but it requires a bunch of setup and by then the opportunity would’ve been gone, so I just piloted it by the seat of my pants.

0:43 - 0:59

I’m not gonna lie, this shot is shamelessly stolen the final shot in this YouTube video, which is so great. In both shots, the speed actually ramps up after a few seconds, once the people are small enough that you won’t really notice the speedup.

Justin Voss

Software Engineer

I spend my days creating software at Apple, and I occassionally write or make videos that I share here.

You can follow me on Twitter, or email me at justin@justinvoss.com.

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