Learn How To Fly A Drone For Aerial Photos And Videos


Lesson Info

Flight Modes

This is my pitch to you guys. Well for one, we're gonna look at the different kind of flight modes just kind of as an overview. This is my pitch to you guys for us to learn this sort of old-school or the standard flight mode first. And that is, when you're flying and you go right, it's copter right. When you go left, it's copter left. When it's nose in at you like this, and you go right, it's gonna go left, right? And I know a lot of my friends that are filmmakers that want to get a drone and start filming, they see that and they're like, oh my gosh, I can't deal with that. And so with these copters they have these Home Lock and Course Lock modes. And they're really handy when, you know, sometimes for safety reasons or maybe you're not as good in a standard mode but they also have some sort of, they open up some cinematic sort of shot possibilities. Some camera move possibilities. But what I would encourage you, is not to head right over for there and start flying in those modes becaus...

e what can happen is you get disoriented, you forget what mode you're in, and then all of a sudden you're going the wrong way. Or you just can't think quick enough to stay out of harms way. I was talking to a friend of mine just recently and he's like, oh I just crashed my drone again and yeah, I was in some mode and I thought I was in this and this, that and the other. And so with great power comes great responsibility, right? And there's an intense amount of power. Not just flight power, but technology power. I mean, there's just so many cool options. We've got Home Lock, Course Lock, ActiveTrack. These are now, these are ever changing, right? Its as drone manufacturers think of them, they're coming out with new modes. In the case of the Phantom Four, this is basically just a screen grab, these icons off that interface, so, ActiveTrack, TapFly, Point of Interest, Waypoints, Follow Me Mode. There's all kinds of different modes that we can use to take off the pilot load on one hand and focus on the shot, but in the beginning we're gonna just be looking at sort of the standard flight mode. So flight modes on the Phantom Four, the Inspire One, a lot of drones, they have lots of different kinds of flight modes. One thing that some of you will be tempted to do in the beginning, is to fly a lot in a couple of these flight modes in particular. There's one called Course Lock and there's one called Home Lock. What that is, is when say for example, it was locked on a home point, if I push out away from me, it's gonna go always away from me. If I pull back to me, it's always gonna come back to me. Come back to home base. Left is gonna go left of home. Right is gonna go right of home. Course Lock's similar. You set a course and then it moves forward, backward, left, right based on whatever course you set. So, those in the beginning can seem like easier modes to fly in, and they are in some way, but what I want us to look at is how to fly in the traditional mode. Which is sort of first-person, seat-of-the-cockpit kind of mode. Where, when you take a left, if the drone's facing away from you, you take a left, it's gonna go left. Take a right, it's gonna go right. But when it's pointed at you, you take a left, it's gonna look like it's going right, right. But it's still actually going aircraft left. So that's what I wanna teach us in the beginning here, is how to master those basic flight skills flying in a standard mode. Not using it in intelligent flight mode, if you will, but to learn sort of the old-fashioned way. The way that I grew up flying remote-controlled aircraft. So we'll look at those. There's also some semi-autonomous modes, which we'll look at in detail in future lessons. But right now we're gonna just, I'm gonna demonstrate Course Lock and Home Lock. (propellers whirring) Okay, so right here, I have it in just our standard flight mode. You know, if I'm facing away from myself, if I go right, it's gonna go right. If I go left, it's gonna go left. It's not intelligent flight mode right now, it's just in standard. So if I turn it around and face us, and if I go right, it's gonna seem like it's going left. But one thing that helps to learn this mode, turn your back on it. And now if you go right, it kinda makes more sense if you're first learning. You know, right's right, left's left. So that's a little trick you can do when you're first learning. So, at any rate, let's try playing around with some intelligent modes, okay? So you've gotta be, you gotta have the dial on the transmitter. There's P, S, and A. P basically is a GPS-enabled mode. If you see the screen right here, if I have it in P mode, it has this little option with the copter right there. You click on that. It opens up all these different modes. So right now, I'm gonna scroll onto the second page. And let's go to Course Lock, well let's actually go to Home Lock first. So Home Lock's there. I'm gonna hit Apply. And now it's enabled. So see how it's facing us? Well, if I push away, it's gonna go away. If I pull back, it's gonna come to us. And then if I go right, it's gonna go right of me. Right of home. And left is gonna go left of home. So that's Home Lock, right. Alright, so now let's put it on a Course Lock. I'm gonna stop Home Lock. Maybe I'll back it up, get it a little bit closer to us. And right now it's fighting a wind so bad, I'm gonna put it into Sport Mode. See that's one of the weird things about going into Home Lock or Course Lock. You kind of have to re-orient yourself once you get out of that mode. Okay, so now it's facing us and it's acting normal, okay. So let's put it on a Course Lock. Let's say that we want the course to be, right now we're seeing the left side of the craft. So in a standard mode, if I go right, it's gonna go away from us, right? If I go left, it's gonna go towards us, right? But if I set it on a course, so actually what we'll do, is our course will be right in front of us, okay. So I want our course to be right. I'll put it into one of the intelligent. I flipped it back on the P switch here. And I'll put it into Course Lock. Alright, so now it's asking me, what do I want my course to be. Okay, well I'll just make this my course. It's gonna be going, forward is gonna be the course. So I will hit apply. Now watch what's cool about this. If I go forward, it's going forward just like in a standard mode, right. But then if I yaw the craft left, watch this. It still goes forward. It has some cool options for getting some cool cinematic moves. It may be a little challenging in this wind, but you can see the advantage. Like if you put it on a course, no matter how you yaw the craft, here, I'll try to bring it back to us. It's fighting a wind, but. So check this out. I'm gonna put it, it's still in Course Lock mode. Watch what I can do. I'm gonna push it away from us. And look, I can yaw the craft around. And it's just going away from us. And if you try to do, that's actually a pretty good skill to master in standard. Like learning how to do, that's called a pirouette. I mean, man, if you can do a moving pirouette without any sort of intelligent flight mode control, you're pretty good on the sticks to do that. I mean, I can do it, but not as precisely as what the craft can do with its software. So if that makes sense, Course Lock, you set it on a course, no matter what you do, you yaw the craft, it's gonna do it's thing. Home Lock, anytime you pull it back towards you, for example, let's toggle back over to Home Lock. It knows where we are. When we took off it noted where we were, okay, where home was. If I click Home Lock here, hit Apply. Now if I go like, back towards me here, it's gonna come back home. And actually I'm gonna go left of here so we can kinda see what happens. It's fighting a wind so bad right now, but what I'm doing is I'm pushing forward stick. Now remember when I push forward stick, before when I was over there, it was going away from us. Now when I push forward stick, it's going away from us there. So it's going away from home. When you push forward like this, it goes away from home. Now if I bring it back, before when it was over there, it would come back here. You know, it'd come this direction. Now if I pull the stick back, I mean, I could not know where the craft was. So for example, if I'm not looking at it and I just pull the stick back. I'm looking away, I'm not thinking about what I'm doing. And it's right over our heads right now. That can be a really nice safety feature. So if you happen to be super far away and you don't know where it, if you're have a hard time seeing it, you don't know where it is, you can either hit the Return to Home button which is kind of a cool feature, Which takes the home point data. Or you can simply put it into Home Lock, pull the stick back, and it's gonna come back to you.

"To everyone out there wanting to learn how to fly a Drone and take incredible images and videos; I promise Blayne Chastain is your guy!" -Brooke, CreativeLive Student

Drones can be an expensive purchase, and without the proper knowledge, they can be dangerous and difficult to fly.Capturing the view from above can show perspective, creativity, and just look cool! But getting your camera into the air isn’t as simple as just grabbing a remote control. It takes knowledge, practice and patience to master your camera in the sky. In this class, Blayne Chastain will give you the tools you need to fly any drone and the techniques you’ll need to capture beautiful images and videos every time you go out.  After taking this class, you’ll feel confident in your purchase and in your footage. You’ll learn:

  • The basic components of a drone 
  • The safety tips and regulations everyone must follow when flying 
  • What to consider when flying in different weather conditions 
  • Simple flying techniques and advanced maneuvers to master 
  • How to capture beautiful media that you’re excited to share! 
 Blayne Chastain has over three decades of practice flying RC aircrafts. He is the co-founder of Cloudgate, a film company specializing in cinematic aerials. He's captured aerial footage everywhere, from the seat of a kayak in Iceland to chasing snowboarders down a mountain with his drone. With the teachings in this class, you’ll have the ability to maximize your flight hobby, and turn your images into a part of your business. 

Don’t know which drone to buy? Be sure to download Blayne’s “Drone Buyer’s Guide” to find out which gear is right for you!  



  • First, I wanna start off by saying thank you to Creative Live TEAM for giving me the opportunity to attend this class LIVE in-studio! The experience was everything and MORE I could have hoped for. The TEAM really makes you feel apart of the family and I can't wait to come back! As Far as the class goes: To everyone out there wanting to learn how to fly a Drone and feel confident in flying, take incredible images and videos and everything that comes with it; I promise Blayne Chastain is your guy! He covers all your questions and teaches you how to get started from Learning to actually fly and how to practice, to what would be the best drone for you, FAA regulations and certification, to editing and your finished product. AND MUCH MORE But in order to fully grasp all of this knowledge you must get this class! I promise you won't regret it and will only grow! Thank you Blayne, for opening this door for us and teach us that THE SKIES THE LIMIT!
  • The class was excellent in the information offered. Real info that can help someone starting out to get a feel for what they need to learn and practice. While the info was great, the presenter was not to the level of other professional speakers I've seen on CreativeLive. He didn't seem confident in the information he delivered, stuttered quite a bit and lost his train of thought quite often. The video cuts were poorly produced for the most part. Showing us how to fly a drone that is represented by a tiny speck on the screen was not all that helpful. It kind of felt like there was little planning in the production more of a "seat of the pants" lesson plan. However, with all of these presentation flaws, the content was great info, so I would recommend the class with the warning to be very patient with the presenter and the production quality - not normal for a CreativeLive class.
  • This course was amazing. Made me actually want to go out and buy my first drone. Highly recommend for anyone who wants to learn the ins-and-outs of operating a drone for aerial photos and video.