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Taking Flight: Drone Photography & Video

Lesson 8 of 23

Basics of Flight with Colin Guinn Part 2


Taking Flight: Drone Photography & Video

Lesson 8 of 23

Basics of Flight with Colin Guinn Part 2


Lesson Info

Basics of Flight with Colin Guinn Part 2

We can look at the fixed wing here in a little bit but let's let's try another flight with this I'm ready for their rights would be really exciting so we'll see it's a thirty five know we've turned on and off the gopro okay tell me another better was for the better just are shouting for never hurts turn on and off the gopro way start the gopro yep awesome thanks chat rooms that's right we're live on thin this pre recorded stuff man we're just we're live all bear but thanks guys wait actually record this one this will be great to see you tomorrow there will be bringing rolling on the gopro bring in the tablet back into right yep follow cam going up it's going to get mark and run me out of the way he's setting up the plan just like he did on the last time you had a plan for this uh just get through it a little quicker we get this thing in the air all right now it's all it's all good to go so it's already been sent to the drone with sticks to the ground and it's gonna go wait just back up...

a little here again it's a reflection out let our camera get behind it first there we go okay, we get a little less reflection right here I think tell me if I need a hippity anyway you're good. So where are twenty five meter altitude? Yep, that altitude it's heading out and it's high enough. I believe that uh, our, um camera on the ground will still be able to see it above the statue as wells are follow camp. Great. So this mission we just turned it on armed the seas with the arm button? Sure. And then, uh once I once I held it down for the right to get props spinning, I had to do a switch in the auto auto and off on and off it goes it's exciting. So okay, so now it's taking the proper radius again so we're looking at we're looking at beta features here things will be these should be done in public pretty soon. Here. I've used quite a bit, so we'll see how it works. Yeah, because this is dr planner too, isn't it? This is joy planner too. Yeah, this one is in beta. So it's it's, right? I have seen that, but that's what this workshops all about is just to get us to look at what's coming up what's new what's, innovative what we can look forward to. I I think that's why this is a exciting opportunity that's, right? So it looks like it's uh, in good position over there why you set up the shots that you did and and the different maneuvers that there are so you talked a little bit about the circling and um as you were setting this up well, what are some of the typical shots that you're going for? Well, so so like this one here that you're saying which is which is kind of ah circling shot where you're looking in toward your subject what's nice about that is anytime you get that parallax in your shots where you have, you know, foreground and background elements moving like this you know, within each other um that's I think what leads to really compelling fight so right now it's coming back to it's coming back to home and then it's gonna land itself can we just went dead one loop out there we just did a loop around and and um and it's gonna come home and let myself should land right down here take a quick peek at your file so I set the land to be kind of right out there so it comes to it is hovering position then it lands street now it's it's not trying to come in an angle that's right? And you have to worry about other obstructions there hovers and then it comes down safely and of course, you know, winds like this they're always going toe test on autopilot ability so that's good seems to be coming down right where you wanted teo from tim ese what this be considered a vertical takeoff and landing aircraft t o be a gto well okay so then it land itself um and that's estimations you know what's nice about that autonomy is that you can set up a lot of a lot of the shots it would be really difficult to get you know, learning how to fly manually and just do it with your tablet. Oh, great. Thank you, mac cool. So there you go that's a uh that's a fully autonomous mission uh we'll go ahead and unplug the battery here. Are we still rolling? Yep alright, we're no longer rolling we're unplug turn off my transmitter. We're good to go good to go. Excellent. So, uh with this same see if wei you're looking to see if we could do a survey um mode yeah, I was just kind of kind of give you unexamined well of um what that looks like, you know, when I was showing what we can come right here our point before we came out I showed one that I set up but I hadn't sent it to any any mission yet so say say we wanted to get a three d map made sure I was a little bit not to get the reflection so say we want to get a three d map made of you know these structures here um I can actually go into polygon mode and draw a square around it and then here on my survey I can change my hatch angle and set it so it is flying in and out of the window all right? You know this can be done with a fixed wing or a multi writer form with v tol or or a sex swing so that's an example of built in survey mode another cool thing about the survey mode is that um let's take a look at the settings in here you can see the camera we've got a lot of different cameras already pre program so if you're using a cannon s one ten thank you get set your horizontal overlap side overlap in your vertical overlap the flight altitude your hatch angle and then it shows you all of your settings for your camera right there that's it so that's good makes makes mapping really easy we have a question from our students right here right now so I have a question let's say aye putting autonomous program and and something changes in my landscape like it's a truck at a construction site or there's some rock formation I didn't know about and now I have it autonomously program to run straight into something what's gonna happen in a case like that it is goingto autonomously runs wait exactly what you tell todo eso sense and avoid or object avoidance is something that is has been under research for years by, you know, lots of institutions and companies including d j I threw the robotics and many others it's not necessarily that it's difficult to do object avoidance it's the weight that's necessary to carry the equipment to do object avoidance and the companion computers and things like that so that's something that that I think we're probably two years away from really good sense and avoid on small unmanned systems you know, some of the larger systems obviously have it you can use light are for that, um you can use stereos, stereoscopic vision with cameras um another thing that we're actually working on that may beat using something like that is called slammer, simultaneous location and mapping um and that's where you can actually send a send a copter into a place like this and use, you know, visual on ly information from a camera sensor and actually simultaneously simultaneously locate, locate and map its surroundings. So go through hallways and things like that and they know how to back out of those hallways so that's also that's being worked on, but for right now it's going to run right into that pile of rocks, so you've got to make sure that when you plan a mission you realize that you're in a safe altitude to cover you know, to get around any objects that might be between you and your mission plan and that's just like if you're flying manual that's what I talked about this morning it's like know where you're going to be flying you go and do survey if I was to fly around that building I'd probably go walk around the building and see what I have to because I can't trust the pv goggles for that tv screen and I'd like to have line of sight so if I'm gonna fly manually I'm going to see where it is I'm going to be flying before I get there if we're gonna be doing a mission you got to know that okay, I know I'm high enough I'm not gonna hit anything in my mission I know I'm going behind him on dh that's another reason that you always want to maintain visual line of sight right of your craft so even if it's flying out on this mission I'm sitting here watching it so if I have a parameter set way off and it's flying over alcatraz I can just take over and flight home no big deal but if you're not watching that and you're not paying attention to your flight and next thing you know we're feeding the fish a new iris yeah you don't set it and forget it it's not ron pope feel so do you ever do partially autonomous? Absolutely yeah, you could definitely have a mission built in like just a circle mode so you can fly around manually for awhile and then you can flip it into auto it'll go it'll do its mission then you can flip it right back in a stabiliser loiter and fly around some or you can actually does there's a guided mode here where you could be flying around you can flip into guided mode and then wherever you touch and hold on the map it just sends the drone to that location and then tapping hold sends a drone to that location so it's kind of like a um you know a hybrid between manually flying and thomas they fly because you're kind of sending it one place at a time. So yeah it's awesome thank you, thank you would you always use um would you do manually a circular pattern or would you always try toe automate that? Well, not knowing from the cap the shot rooms can you ask, how how would you fly a circular tracking shot manually without using a flight plan? So me personally, you know, I would just fly it manually uprising using yaw and failure on control and like I said, you know, if you're trying tio, if you're trying teo spin around on objects, say clockwise then you need to do you know you're gonna be going to the right on your caustic and you're going to going to the left on your alia on sticks so you're basically pinching your two sticks together will cause you to do a circle um and then what you do is your have you just kind of have to learn, you know, maur a lier on arm or y'all because which what'll happen sometimes if you're a little too fast, then you kind of spin out of it, but that's something that just takes a little bit of practice? Um using f p v is a way that is, you know, that's that's one time when I really like to utilize ftv, I generally don't fly from my monitor usually always fly sight lines because I like to flight really close to things or through really small holes, and I'm not always pointed straight forward or sometimes I'm climbing up through a hole, so I'm almost always looking at the at the copter, but the one time where I really like ftv is doing those wraparound shots because it's really easy to control your y'all because you you know you're going left and right, you keep your your subject right in the center of the frame and basically what you're doing is you're just giving it right or left a lier on on that on that right stick going writer left and as you're moving writer left as long as you just y'all to keep your subject and frame, you will just be doing a circle around it. So using ftv for that can be really helpful. Say, that brings up something calling you hold the, uh, the controller different than a lot of people do I'm a pincher? Yeah, well, but you do that instead of thumb control. Is there a reason why you do that? Do you feel there's? More control or that's? What? I used to thumb when I first learned how to fly helicopters, but when I started getting more into aerial photography and aerial cinematographer, right eye, um, I switched to pinch grip because I feel like I could be a little bit more precise when you're doing those kinds of moves where you're trying to hold the sticks in the exact same position for a long time. Like if you're just trying to have the copter yacht this rate right for fifteen seconds t I find words vibrate yet to me, I find it easier to re arresting my hands on the transmitter we're holding on the sides of the transmitter. So that all the way to the transmitter and everything is here and then all I'm doing is just barely moving that stick over by holding with two fingers it allows me to toe hold like it really slow you off for a long time and have be very consistent make sense that's great so are we at a point where you think we can get this uh so I don't know if this arrow is actually flying because one of our engineers had a problem with it okay last night I I've crashed in myself can we usually writes my name let's bring in the side of my his name about it at least they absolutely get outside you have some questions that we could go to after that great. So this is the arrow which is inside here you as you'll see we have our camera built in with the companion computer that runs the csd k as well so it controls that camera. And so this would this would allow us to do a mapping mission of ah of a very, very large area because this thing can fly for depending on your battery set up. You know, even upwards of two hours if you if you specialized batteries so you can really cover a larger we've gotta pito tube here that gives us a really accurate air speed sensor so this is a really, really cool platform and before you addle the mapping stuff for just over a thousand dollars ready to fly you get an arrow that's fully autonomous so, um this this khun really add if you're getting into aerial photography work sooner or later you're gonna be asked to do some mapping or some what's called photo graham a tree right and this is just a great platform for photo gramma tree because it's just made specifically for then you can do really really long flights with right so let's give him a hug and I said but when I think this thing could stay there for at least ten seconds and I just throw it so random may not like that keep it on the ground this's this is the era which need it goes into a nice travel case the wings come off and it all kind of lines up horizontally and go for a nice travel case for going to those remote islands where you have to do mapping missions on the island right that's very cool. Okay, so we won't get that in the air today after all did you want do we have the x eight by chance we had the x yeah, do you wantto um they don't like to fly around the next eight or something and just just let's let's see what you got, what it what do you want to show us this is your right here yes oh we'll give you a quick peek at thea at an ex es here so does this one has a f p v active right now uh this one may have max do we have ah wai six or next day with a baby on it I don't think he's going to your video village right now oh that's why okay. All right, so it wouldn't help anyway yeah I don't know if it's gonna do a whole lot for you okay um oh I don't think any of our f v s they're set up to your video village right like as a video with cameron but yeah yeah so um anyways, this is the exit just similar the y six but you've got four sets of coastal props octa copter gives you a little bit more redundancy um it will actually maintain it to your control if it loses the motor you got seven other props were sometimes on a hex a copter if you lose a motor, it'll be yawning maintains its altitude you know it can't maintain a rhino y'all but least get it down without it being a exactly so so what the exit you khun do longer mapping missions again flying even heavier winds, right? This thing is a really fun machine s oh, so these are kind of you know our part hardware right now um is really hard word that's that's suited teo get in there and learn howto work the autopilot system sure form sure at really, really low cost. So you know freaks I mean, all these systems are under fifteen hundred dollars. Well, ready fly. So you you fly around some little bit heavier payloads do cem mapping missions or things like that for for just an extremely reasonable price. Yeah. It's great. So wait, you guys, I can I can we can fly around. One of these systems is similar to what we have, what we've seen, um let's question. Okay, great. Start with that question. You just talked about safety and losing a motor what's the procedure for bringing the texan after our quad or whatever it is if it loses, the motor is there. I have you come up with a safety procedure how to bring it down? Sure. I usually like to, um scream excellent lives. A cz, loudest possible run in circles just kind of throw things in the air. I mean that's generally what? It works me if, like you take a shoe off and try to hit the copter with your shoe no, um actually, it all depends if you're on a hectic opt er and you lose a roeder like I was telling jeff, if you're on an octo and you lose a runner, you just fly it home and landed justus if it was fine, you just don't want to keep flying around because you're only flying at seven eighths of its power, right? If you're on a hex and you lose a rotor, it can sometimes start to rotate, and the best thing to do at that point is to switch into lawyer mode where it's actually maintaining its gps position, and d j I and thrity robotics and both have this a mode where it actually ignores the yaw of the copter and a basis more off if you're home position. So in d j I it's called uh uh, intelligent orientation control and then in uh, three robotics it's called super simple mode, and both of them extrapolated the compass information from the craft as well as its gps location and your home gps location. So if you have one of your mod set up to go into ioc, like on a fan on the top left switch or, you know, on three robotics, you can have a switch set up to go into super simple mode. If you were to lose a motor and it starts rotating, you could go into that mode and then simply pull back on your right stick. Which means come toward my home position and even while its rotating it'll still work its way back to your home position so if you're out over the water or something like that and you need to bring it back so that's why it's always good to have that mode set up in case of a situation descending it will maintain its altitude so you have to bring it down and then once you get to where you want it you just simply bring down the altitude a little bit and it comes right down so yeah, you say quadcopter won't do that a quadcopter if you lose the roder unless you're flying with the collective pitch quadcopter it's gonna go down so from m c k seven and is wanted on this one what is the largest camera that it can carry? Heaviest camera um well, so this one here it depends on if you're talking stabilized our unstable ized um these air designed for mohr uh mapping type cameras were from which your fixed mounts using like small interchangeable lens cameras, you could fly like a stony any x seven or in the x five you could fly a penance on gh forge a story something like that but not with three access stabilized gimbel so you're looking at about, you know, a little over a pound of usable payload for camera way thank you

Class Description

Drone photography and videography captures some of the most stunning images out there, but the tools, techniques, and gadgets used to capture the action are often confusing and difficult to master. Join Jeff Foster and special guests for an exciting and highly informative class and get a running start at unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) photography.

In this course, you'll learn how to capture stunning aerial shots with an impressive range of aerial gear – including; 3D Robotics multicopters, DJI multirotors, GoPros, DSLRs and more. You'll get an introduction to the best tools for beginners and see demonstrations of the sophisticated gear used by the most in-demand professional photographers and filmmakers. You’ll learn essential skills for controlling a UAV flight; basic flight controls, necessary equipment for successful shooting, planning and lining up the perfect shots, flight prep and safety, waypoint navigation and more. You'll gain an understanding of the production and post-production techniques unique and essential to aerial photography – including how to stabilize video, create stunning panoramic photos, and remove lens distortion in your photos and videos.

If you're ready to explore this wonderful world from a new elevated visual perspective, then this is the course for you!

Guests include:
Colin Guinn -
Mark Johnson and Romeo Dursher -
Stephen Wheatcraft -
Peter Sachs -
Russell Brown -

CreativeLive is proud to announce that Jeff Foster was a Bronze winner in the 36th Annual Telly Awards for this class.   With nearly 12,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries, this is truly an honor. Congratulations Jeff!  

What You Will Learn in This Course

1. Gearing Up: Intro to Aerial

    • Jeff will take us through some of the various quadcopters and multirotors that are commonly used in the hobby/commercial photography markets today. Basic concepts of pre-flight prep, safety, equipment, and terminology will be covered for various disciplines.

2. Basics of Flight

    • Colin Guinn from 3D Robotics joins Jeff in demonstrating the basics of good flight, best practices to improve your skills and get those important shots you want!

3. Practical Application – Commercial Flight

    • Jeff leads off with some examples of fixed-wing drones used for various commercial and environmental uses, such as precision agriculture, search and rescue, firefighting and land surveying. Colin Guinn shows us how 3D Robotics is already addressing these important fields with advanced technology.

4. Advanced Flight for Film Production 

    • Romeo Durscher and Mark Johnson of to show us the S1000 octocopter and how to use it to get those high-definition aerial video shots that filmmakers demand. Stephen Wheatcraft then brings his S1000 octocopter in to demonstrate how he gets beautiful landscape panoramas with his setup. 

5. The Future of Drone Flight: Laws 

    • We will be talking in the studio with drone expert and visionary, Colin Guinn from 3D Robotics about his vision of the industry – where it has come; where it is today and where he sees it in the near future. We are then joined via a live video feed from Maine with drone legal expert Peter Sachs, Esq. To discuss the recent mandates and restriction imposed by the FAA in the US and what that means to the industry on a global scale.

6. Processing Aerial Footage in Post w/ Premiere

    • Jeff will show us some footage from the previous day's flights as well as some examples that might need a little “help” with stabilization and color correction, using Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

7. Processing Aerial Photos in Post w/ Photoshop

    • We're honored to have THE Russell “Doc” Brown from Adobe join us for a head-spinning session in Adobe Photoshop CC with tips on working with drone-captured images and what projects he currently has brewing!

8. Processing Aerial Video in After Effects

    • Jeff returns to turn up the heat in Adobe After Effects to share with us some of his techniques for footage stabilization, lens correction, tilt-shift lens effects and much more!


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This is a great course! This workshop was very professionally put together. This was my first experience with CreativeLive and I was impressed at every turn with how well everything turned out. The content was engaging, the guests and instructor gave out many many useful tips on responsible drone operation... I can't say enough great things about this course. I'll be watching many of the segments over and over again to pick up all of the quick golden tips that were shared, as well as picking up the proper industry terms for types of shots, or piloting techniques. Very impressive! Thanks to Jeff Foster, his guests and the entire crew of Creative Live for making this happen. Simply Amazing!

a Creativelive Student

Not for experienced/informed pilots looking for the next level. It was a good intro for those new to the concept of UAV's in photo/video but never got specific enough about maneuvers, equipment, or shooting styles to be useful. The outdoor flying was a complete mess. Demos of what the equipment looked like, not how to best use it creatively. Glad I watched it live. The chat rooms were very informative.