Basics of Flight with Colin Guinn Part 1


Taking Flight: Drone Photography & Video


Lesson Info

Basics of Flight with Colin Guinn Part 1

Okay, so we've done were kind of you can tell by the pace of our workshop so far we have to kind of rifle through this stuff fairly quick so it's a little bit of drinking from the fire hose today, so we're going teo keep that same pace up ah, and we're going to get outside here pretty soon with some of the three d robotics gear and our guest colin quinn um but the next thing we'd kind of like to focus on besides flying techniques and getting those shots is being able to use a tablet device that will allow you to actually set up a mission or plan or ah eh, some way points and there's there's some options out there you can link your device through bluetooth or through I fight to your tablet or, um to your computer, set up a site plan and sent it on a mission and I will take off and fly we're going to see a demo that here pretty soon um and you can adjust some of those way points is how high it's going to fly you can adjust those way points in between each setting on the map, so it's kind...

a like taking google maps and being able to draw ah segment on there too where you want to fly want to fly around something and much more sophisticated um and then of course three d robotics also has a survey feature that allows you to draw that and it will then determine how high you're going to fly and automatically draw out a grid to cover an entire area. I've got a couple examples here of what that type of thing looks like you have a home home point set up some way points and it'll go to those different points um this is following an actual path on the tablet this is the set up here I was going to try to drag that out but we couldn't get the the uh android to talk to our system here so we're gonna let colin show it up um here's what I was referring to on this screen just drew an area around this construction zone and said I want to see what kind of ah survey path you do and it would go along that take pictures or video with my camera aimed straight down and I could do a complete plotting of that whole path um pretty amazing stuff we're going to see some of that here life um and before we go out there just wanted to introduce you guys quick to this particular manufacturers there they did a kickstarter thing that kind of started up with this hybrid craft uh it's a kind of experimental they're starting toe put them together and ship I think they have some, uh comes in stages and different parts but here's the video that they have got up online bird's eye view dot com uh I believe this they are dot yeah I think it's dot com they're the addresses at the end of the video you can see it's it works like a multi roeder um and has wings off these styrofoam wings and so it's kind of a combination but that's with two heroes attached they've got strong magnets that hold the pieces together that's the mechanism that turns the rotates the front uh props the front gearing so it kind of works like a um like not really a y six but it's got six six uh motor configuration so it can hover and then it can also tip those props and fly like a plane right now they're just kind of hovering in close conditions here again this is still there still experimenting with this I believe they start shipping fairly soon. This is just a look at what new technology is there it's in flying mode um and I got some of them here flying with it now I asked them with this I said ok, so what about guys like me you want to shoot video? I've seen the videos you've shone from here and they say, well, this is primarily for shooting photos I said what what if you put a gamble on it and they went in they carved one up carved a hole in the belly and they put a gimbal up in it and they're going to it's coming up here in just a minute which actually shows some of the the gearing mechanism that still is I think it's coming in for landing here so just does a little rougher landing here we go this is these air flights with the gimbal attached now they've got a two man operation here and some of it so you can see the gimbels stabilising the camera and the rock and the craft around on that they've got a two man operation where one guys flying with the goggles the other guy is um looking at the camera maybe it's just the opposite I can't remember now I think the guy flying without goggles it's not flying ftv because the camera's moving around so they're able to fly around one guy's got control of the gimbal um so they can rotate around manually it's not just stabilising but they can actually manually move it around so he doesn't fly bias they can do a nice nice pan and they're able to tilt it up so you can see this working so it goes from fixed wing mode too hovering mode and then back to plane mode and there's a view you can see if them moving moving the gimbal around manually second pan from from left to right her tilt down I think it's a pretty cool innovation. They may have some ways to go as they develop that you're further and further. Um, but here you can see even stabilized. It's still a bit. You know, you're still flying a plane, it's? Not quite a smooth. This is flying a a nice ah, multi roeder. But if you need to cover a lot of a lot of space, it'll do it cuz it needs some stabilization. Ah, it's. Not a replacement, I think. It's just a cool alternative, but that's kind of the direction things are going these days. Everybody's trying to innovate something different, do something a little different. Make something a little, uh, a little more accessible for people. Um, we're going to take a look at this here in a little while. It's the three d robotics arrow it's, their fixed wing craft. We've got one out here that we're gonna see if we can get it in the air a little later. But before we do that, uh, I'm gonna be going out and meeting with colin and, um, have you tell me you need to have you join me? Let's, go talk to call in and have him show us some really cool stuff with some of their other copters and so jeff as we as we head out, let me know what is it that colin is first of all why are you so excited to have colin here he's an innovator he's a why? He's a visionary he's is an innovator he's he's well known as in him is an amazing flyer on uh what's he gonna do he's going to he's going to show us the three d robotics iris and hate colin how you doing? Thanks for coming out for us. I'd really appreciate it. I'm really glad that you're here. I'm really excited about all the new technologies you guys have. Um and you know, being able to do these flight plans like this I mean it's so sophisticated it's just amazing. And this is such a nimble little craft that this is what we're given given away and they give away that's this week so to take something that's, a simple craft like this and be able to do some sophisticated things is pretty amazing. But before we even get into the site planning um you're gonna show us just a manual flying techniques, right? You want to jump into this first? Yeah, give me a good idea to talk a little bit about best practices when you're trying to get I think that's a great idea compelling radio aerials so um I guess the goal for this section would be for us to talk about some good best practices for uh you know it's just some tips and tricks that you can use a cz you're learning more and more about getting aerial cinematography and aerial video um things that can help you get some compelling shots sure and then um you know, it's uh out here but get the with the iris up in the air and do a little flight kind of a manual flight showing some of your tips and tricks that we talk about now and then we could talk about some more men advanced maneuvers that they're really helps to bring in some automation that's going a little more advanced software and then we'll talk a little about that we'll plan a mission and then we'll have the iris run that mission that's awesome and uh oh yeah that's great so good yeah let's let's do it okay, good deal. So the first thing that we'll talk about it it's just basic tips and tricks when you're learning about ariel cinematography and aerial video, you know, a lot of times you know people can fly through the little holes that just seems really difficult teo be able to fly through it um you know, there's some there's some little tricks that you can use actually make it pretty easy to do and so something I like to call sightlines and so you know where you position yourself as a pilot is important for every shot so you know for instance there's uh you know, a little hole between you know, to treaties or two branches or there's a little hole in the tree or you know if you're trying to go over something but under something else if you position your own eyes in line with flight path that you're trying to fly on then all you have to do is get your craft into the air and set it on a trajectory that keeps that craft between visually between your high point your low point and then you can all you're now doing is as it's climbing and going farther away from you you're just adjusting the altitude ever so slightly it's climb rate basically to and you're all you're doing is looking at that hole that you're trying to go through and you're just keeping your target lined up now if I were to try to light me some little tiny hole like that standing over there and flying you know perpendicular to myself that would be almost impossible um you know you have to go at tv and a lot of times you don't want to be a tv because sometimes you're you want to be turned sideways sure and doing a sideways move you know, between two ofthe schools in which case you stand here and you're flying sideways, but you're still looking at the sidelines, which is just like a really big dolly shot it's like a chip shot so that and that that can really help um, in terms of just, you know, not hitting your target and, you know, anytime you come close toe items, so say you want to do a vertical reveal over a palm tree or or, you know, over a a roof of a house or something like that, anytime you come close to another subject you that really nice parallax when you're right, you're right, that makes your shot a lot more compelling, really interested. So, you know, one one way to do that is to say you're doing, say, you want to do a vertical reveal oven area, you know, you want to finish up here, and what I want to do is try to find something with some nice low foreground elements like a lower to the ground tree or something like that, and then start over here down low of it, and as you're climbing, you just kind of get close to that tree as you go by and having that having that foreground elements wipe through frame while you're doing your climb just leads to a much more compelling aerial revealed, so, you know, getting close to subjects you know, backing down away from something, you know, you have a big aerial, you're showing and you're backing down and then you have something big coming to frame like a tree or something like that could be really nice um and then the other thing you want to practice is kind of your wraparound shots that's a hard one to do manual and I practice at all the time and especially if you've got wind, you try to do it manually, it's kind like you're fighting the wind and you're still trying to keep it smooth and write that's something that I think everybody really needs to practice a lot of that's, right? Really, yeah, tough shot it's a little bit more advancing your right, you're fighting the wind and trying to time your your right to be just right, and so we're actually going to do a shot like that later using automation, I'm excited that anybody able to do if you were really cool, but but in the meantime, what you could do is you can actually start learning, you know, basically squeezing your your sticks together we're going apart right or going both to the left or both to the right, just depending on the on the move and then you're just making slight your adjustments, you're slight, you know, aileron adjustments, tio you know even out your circle right but for those more advanced maneuvers will show you look at that hearing a little cool thing using the tablet so first of all let's do a quick flight um let's see we can use we can use this pole here as our foreground l object this light pole so I'll do one flight that that's kind of flying at it and raising up and then just kind of barely clear it sure that'll be a nice looking shot right we'll do the same thing coming back down okay and then we'll do a quick you know vertical reveal we kind of start off to the side right and climb where it passes through frame right so that was kind of kind of three examples that will show that that that close foreground now this craft we don't have f p v on right now right so but we will record it um so we record the flight and I'll be able teo pull some of those out and show them uh in tomorrow's section when we get together and talk in the morning great cam yeah well the follow cam right now we've got uh mark johnson's flying it uh he's got uh the light bridge running on it on a phantom um want to see when he's comfortable to talk wait come back to the light bridge thing at the next segment so we'll go into that more detail but we do have a follow cam will be cut into some to see uh, this in the air. All right, so, let's, go ahead and roll on the gopro here. Gotta set wide. Yeah, that is good. Actually, I like why you wanna y yeah, I'll take it I'll take it however you do it however you want, it may get a little bit of legs in the view. Okay, um all right. So you know what you're doing there on this craft is kind of like a safety button, right? This is a safety button here. You have to push down the arm, but for a couple of seconds, right? Yes, he's that way, you know that no matter what it can't accept really take off on even if you have a, uh, plan or anything it's not going to take off on me until not take off to safety. I love that feature, so let's see, make sure we're rolling. Okay, so we'll do is we'll do a flight where we go kind of first, we'll do one where we go right over this this, uh, this pole. So what? I could do it if I'm standing here with you so you'll be able to see my my sideline, I'm gonna go uh between kind of between the two lights kind of with the yeah, we'll go we'll go with vso what I'm gonna do is I'll start down here by us, okay? And then as I five forward I'm gonna be increasing my altitude kind of just letting the wind take it and then I can see it it's already starting to get in that v right there I see that right? And then all I had to do is keep it in that v and it just makes a nice easy flight yeah, like a nice, interesting shot to just come right up over this that's right? And then what also could be nice is do the same thing in reverse so I'm gonna start getting it descending now I can just adjust its it's reverse speed and or descent keep it inside that be right that's a little tricky because that's not a natural that's russian that's something you really have to practice you'll see on that shot how it'll look like that light pole just comes out of nowhere, which is really fun. Okay, so another one that we could dio is we'll start over here and say we wanted to do a vertical reveal of that park over there as I start climbing, I'll start wiping to the right and they are actually just letting the wind kind of take it and then you'll see the light pole you know come through frame as we climb and that's always also a nice a nice little element tohave have some kind of foreground objects wife frame or even if you're just trying to do reveal like this to be able to you know fly sideways and just wait wait so that's an example of a couple different shots now of course I'm flying and you know, stabilize or an altitude run boat where I'm having to fight the wind myself right if I let go it's gonna be hard yeah now what I can do is I can shift into lawyer mode so that I could just let go of the controller and then it'll get really that position but your your video won't be quite a smooth inmost cave no it's going really slow for me for aerial cinematography I like to fly in altitude hold so you have a little bit more finite control of the craft well the smoother motion to and it's not trying to auto correct every single gus right that's right, so but you know just really well though in this win because we're getting good god coming up this afternoon absolutely it's pretty breezy out here so we'll just do that same flight again and lawyer so I could just started climbing and then I'll just make little adjustments as it's climbing to keep it in that little zone there and you'll see like even even on when I was in an altitude hold mo where I had a little more manual control of right you can get a little bit more finite with your adjustment right another thing you can do is fly that forward so started dropping and then fly down forward kind of similar shot so yeah, you know a good thing to do is to practice that you know, flying in that in that camera for orientation and good and I think you guys talked about this a little bit earlier but good practices is flying figure eights you know doing it sideways where you can fly around with it with faces shy ways to you because we didn't really actually do any figure eights and sure so you know what you what you basically doing is flying straight and then doing a terror is all y'all control as far as your turns you know and some alia on and then you come back around this way and doing nicely all here again I'm gonna switch out of uh switch back in the stable eyes which makes figure it's a little easier well the craft is really much more responsive in this mode it's that's right scarily so for a beginner sure um it's tough or even actually going from a phantom to one of these uh I shocked myself the first time I flew one because I was in lawyer mode I was like, okay, this is nice and steady and it's stable and I kicked it in tow stabilized whoa it's like just like props twice as big and twice took its pretty high fits really nimble, really nimble. Well, let's sew that some sesame those fights let's do, um, or difficult flight where way actually utilize the autonomous mission control definitely do that. Yeah, let's do that. So here I can disarm my serious and I know that no matter what, it is starting to take off it's not going to do anything that's great. So we're going to stop that recording. Thank you, my man. You always bring somebody with fresh batteries with you that's. Why? I had him teo free andy so just put in a fresh pack for this one. So, um, I'm gonna try to stand somewhere a little bit outside of the sun lights that you guys can get a shot of what we're doing on the this's enough shade here for you are well shouldn't be. Maybe right inside you can do it right here. Wayne get talked about here to look at the tablet because the reflection is is just a bad is the light try to look at the tablet here, can you get a good shot of that right there? You want to take the transmitter from him okay okay so what we're gonna do now is uh is talk a little bit about um or um advanced type of flying which is to use uh you know that they're shot that we talked about earlier where you're wrapping around the subject but facing in on it the whole time and we're gonna do is we're actually up that ante a little bit and say your subject is farther away so like that statue of the female out there in the in the in the arts so say you know I want to go over there and fly around that subject but for whatever reason I can't get really close to her then I can do that right here by just planning a simple mission so tilt it up okay great that we're trying to get it on the camp. Sure sure sure so he was here the droid planner's his joy planner software this is our software to control the autopilot and what's greatest all of our vehicles come with this capability right out of the box even the iris on dh so what I'm gonna do is I can see that statue here's here's that statue so we're going to set up a really, really simple route now with this software you can actually you can plan three d modeling missions mapping missions create surveying missions which we can talk about it a little bit but for now, let's, just give you a quick look att the autonomy features here by sending the craft out to that statue, flying around the statue while looking in on her the whole time, and then have it come home and land itself. So we're going to edit mode and then I'll drop a way point right here, and we're gonna change that for away point to a takeoff. So we've got our take off there. Um, I'm going to set the altitude for this flight at, say, twenty five meters, nice high, high enough altitude to keep us over any of these objects. Um, and then we will go out to our subject, drop away point directly on top of the subject here, and then this one let's, turn that one into a circle mode, okay? And we're gonna have that be the altitude again. We'll keep it at that twenty five meters, and we'll go and do to orbits around her. And then now, if you're doing a model, which we can do later, we could actually start low and do one or two orbits at at different stepped altitude so I could say a number of steps you know one through however many steps you want and then altitude step range so I can have it go everyone meter or every two meters or every five meters and so if you're doing like a three d model of a building this is this is what gets you there right there just one little setting that's amazing pretty cool and then we will come back tio r takeoff point right out here in the parking lot I'll drop another waypoint which will be uh well set up number three as instead of away point we'll just say land okay and there you will come to that point and then land straight down right that's right through training that point and then come straight down and land a question for you when it's circling the statue can you determine how wide of the circle is going to be sure can absolutely yeah you can set your radius that'd be great yeah well see I thought you had to set up a whole bunch of way points around it and then make it aim it something this is so simple yet so this is this is a new software that allows us really cool yeah really cool um what a great feature so let's see here so now I just said send mission so I get that you know that voice program has already sent here that's right that's great. So now what we can do is we'll we'll go ahead autonomously takeoff okay, let it run its mission and let it come home and later now again for safety we're going to go ahead and push the button right toe actually started now what I'll do is once once we get the mission start I'll come back here and you'll be able to see on here when I'm doing this for you if you want to go tio no problem I just want to jump in and remind everybody that we don't have the follow cam at the moment we're getting the neck getting the next one set up um so everybody will be seeing a lot of this footage will tomorrow okay during our next session cool. Thanks gone so I went ahead and armed mihir c so I guess now I can go ahead and, uh get my motor spooled up here by holding for three seconds and then I'm just going to switch into auto mode no that's cool and it's automatically taken off way watch here and it shows us here what the mission is doing right? Yep. That's right? So you're watching it in real time fly its mission that is so cool maybe it's like it's taken lighting the wind oh, you know what it's actually going out to its to its radius is because I said I said a wide ranging in thirty five meter radio god but it will clear all the trees and our best because you set it up that's from the thirty five radio stable for you huh I just noticed the feedback it's given us battery feedback I said ninety percent so what your thoughts on that you think it would do you think the radius was set for thirty five hundred meters okay think we manually overrode there can you what manually override the freshmen absolutely yeah so I think what we have going on here so this features a brand new feature right and the the um the parameter that we have set that tells it how wide a radius to choose is supposed to be in centimeters but I think it's actually in majors and so we set it for thirty five hundred centimeters to be thirty five meters so I think it was actually a thirty five, thirty five hundred meter radius so that would have been a mile radius right well let's bring it back and we can bring it back in and change that parameter and do it again that's great so science that's right science and all this like metric stuff right americans in their metric just like with many other drugs you can always just flip a button and say return the land right and it'll come home and land itself again that's getting away from the panic mode that's right? Like when and panic just just slow down and you do return at home what it will let you do it like that so there we go we can we'll make some adjustments here to our parameters and really the same thing you want to throw another battery ends just to make sure you wear another one in just to be safe I love that this tells you audibly uh what's your what's your battery level's are that's right? That's great, yeah, no that's ninety percent that's great. Um battery life on on this one? Well, yeah, well, how long does the battery last in the iris? So in this version of the iris, it depends on how it's kitted out, but, um, you know, anywhere, you know, up to about twelve to fourteen minutes of flight time. Okay? We're actually making some improvements right now. Yeah, and have a slightly updated version coming out in a few weeks. Very excited. Fifteen minutes with simple that's, so yeah, that would be great. Um okay, let's see here and actually what we'll do is maybe while we talk you guys gonna update the file the parameters doesn't want a load from getting cool that's why we bring tech people says right, yeah that's right, I can take care of that while we talk so um in the meantime we can actually talk about using the same software you could look at our y six I'll come right back out here so this is another one of our platform you have one of these yeah, I just I just got one and I've done some flights with it you did hear about my experience and of putting the props on that and that's I mean I still do it kind of pretty crazy doesn't ready while I put the bottom props on upside down I didn't read the instructions I was excited I got it out of the box is the reason gosh yeah and it's like okay, well just seemed like that was logical and then I actually read the instructions like well, jeff, you didn't do that right by that was mark and romi are crash experts today and um I can't I kid I kid but but they were flying great that's why I can't get this thing off the ground it's like it's like lifting a volkswagen yeah, well, I'm surprised it got off the ground I am too actually still stable, you know, it was just fighting itself. So anyway, with the proper proper configuration this thing's screamers yeah really is this is this is so what you have is a basically really compact texas copter yeah, so we have three sets of co axial motors and props and it allows it to have a little bit less so when when you have a multi rotor flying through the air you have to realize that each one of these disks is basically wind resistance right you know pushing against the air so when you stack them like this you can actually reduce your your wind resistance and board flight so you know and hover you lose a little bit of efficiency because this prop is getting wind that's already moving sure pretty quickly so you know there's there's there's definitely some tradeoffs in both directions but I really like the white six a lot it is a like you said way used to now it is a very high performance this thing rips and you can flight and a little scary a little scary how how this thing flies but this one is actually set up with our mount here to control this canon camera here and then we have a version of ch d k which is uh hack the candid camera sure and we have a little companion computer that rides on board and actually monitors the hist a gram of the cannon so the cannon thinks it's in full manual mode are autopilot is actually controlling this shutter speed waken leave the amateur exactly where we want it we can normalize that exposure over a mapping surface sure and we're actually working on some versions now we're pretty soon we will actually be riding, um, your gps position of your camera, as well as the x y z attitude of camera. Through the data on the memory card. In the camera, you really have a one touch modeling a mapping solution when that's that's really for advanced for a modeling mapping, surveying for geological surveys. And the cool thing is, is that, you know, the pixar, which it does all runs. All those smart comes in the in the iris, right? It gives you a chance already learned that that high end audio files. So that's that's an example of one of those.

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!