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More droning on about filming with a Drone :)

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Finally I succumbed to agreeing to run up to the Galibier with the OH and of course Les Chiens.

Usually when OH runs up the old Galibier road I go with her on my MTB, but I've started running again and going up is no where near as bad as running on the flat it seems!

I've been playing around with the drone and with new software and firmware updates some of the functionality seemed better so opted to take it with me.

I'm a wee bit stronger than my OH, who having just passed 65 is feckin amazing that she still does stuff like this, so I was able to get ahead and set the drone up and film her, and I even caught a couple of guys on MTB's.

Only issue, and the air was blue, was that all the automated filming functionality (active track following and smooth pan shots) were missing so I had to film manually, as I later found out the reason why was that the remote controller Sports Mode switch had moved.

This was the first time that I climbed up above the actual Col itself about another 30m and there is a really good tableau d'orientation up there.


http://youtube.com/v/UVsxFk1ndqU


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Mon 12-11-18 15:13; edited 4 times in total
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Looking much better. The missus thought you were having a crafty one by the side of the road till I pointed out it was a drone RC controller in your hands Happy. I think she misheard me when I said something about dogs and heard "dogging" instead.


I think for skiing the max speed of the drone is still going to be an issue. Did you try the Litchi (spelling?) software which tracks the phone handset rather than trying to track an object. It seems to be able to track people on motorbikes.

Good stuff, physically, given the altitude. They could film the new Lance Armstrong Moon Landing movie up there.

Keep it up! (the droning that is, not anything else)
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@davidof, thing is I use an Ipad Mini which does not have an inbuilt GPS (didn't know that when I bought it), so tracking relies on image / shape recognition.

Today was much better with the various automatic film modes, such as "dronie" that's when it films away from you.

And it is all about location, location helped by having stunning autumn colours in shot, that is when I had eventually enough courage to film close to trees Toofy Grin


http://youtube.com/v/4kJprZDCZ0Y
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Maybe get a cheap Android phone?

For what they charge for the controller you'd think they could put a screen in it?

This filmed by hand on Thursday


http://youtube.com/v/RLCDJmfdzq4

and last weekend from The Lake


http://youtube.com/v/_07D1TYJIMM
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DJI Go 4 & Android really bad hence I bought an IPad!!

Might buy a tablet holder and try my Samsung Tablet which has GPS but I think I'm slowly getting there with the Ipad.

Time will tell though, tablet holder and secure lanyard might work for skiing, though I think I'll just be the guy on the other side of the lens.

And yes I have an Ipad and Samsung Tab for web dev work even though I also use a Chrome mobile render App, sad git I am rolling eyes
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@Weathercam, I've cycled up the Galibier road bit several times, none as quick as that - hat!
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Today cycled up there armed with the drone.

Tried to be a bit too clever, and not easy on your own, but did get some alright footage, as well as nearly crashing it, all captured on film Toofy Grin


http://youtube.com/v/KLexBfWvRuM
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@Weathercam, Footage looks pretty good. I was surprised by how much courage was needed to actually fly the drone in the way you need to. It's very unnerving to start with when you lose sight of it or it gets quite high (200ft plus). I've been playing with my drone quite a lot this summer/autumn - much of it filming the harvest. Combines and tractors dashing about are quite photogenic. Can I be impertinent enough to make some suggestions/comments? I'm still a complete numpty with my drone but here are some lessons I've learned that may be relevant:
1. Tune your controls right down to avoid some of the jerky movements. These guys have some great tutorials.
http://youtube.com/v/bwwahrbdDrM
2. Beware of panning. I almost never pan when filming. It often becomes a very uncomfortable movement to view.
3. Edit like crazy. Try not to spend more than 5-10 seconds on a single clip.
4. A bit of accompanying music makes everything better.

I've never been able to film and do anything else at the same time. You did a great job of it!

Just to prove that I'm rubbish at following my own advice here is a video I did earlier in the year. A nice bit of tractor porn!
http://youtube.com/v/7jEQx6uOZuk

the things I struggle with is getting the exposure right and colour grading. The latter would be a lot easier if my PC was up to the task.
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Weathercam wrote:
as well as nearly crashing it, all captured on film Toofy Grin



That was actually crashing it.
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@davidof, I think you'd agree that these are drone crashes Toofy Grin


http://youtube.com/v/P9rnTk6FBzs

I got off very lightly, though I lost one of my new leg extensions that I'd only just bought, though without the extensions but have been worse.

Yesterday was weird filming in that it was really hard to get a solid GPS signal, just hope I have not fecked the drone somehow.

And was also quite windy.

With this practice hopefully be more successful with ski footage - I think the active track in profiles mode will be the best, that's when it follows you from the side as at 2:10 just before hitting the deck which was achieved by me coming round the corner and the drone keeping at the same distance flying backwards.

@foxtrotzulu, most of the jerky panninng stuff was with my phone on the cycling film.
And yes it's really scary at times - just need to have faith in Return to Home mode, but like yesterday with a bad GPS signal could not use it - so when I can't see it I use the compass to turn it around 180 and fly back etc
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Don't you (and anyone with you) find it all a faff? Doesn't it interfere with just enjoying the ride or ski? Doesn't the buzz interupting the peace wee wee you off?

As an aside and with my coaches hat on... Your saddle looks very low.
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adithorp wrote:
Don't you (and anyone with you) find it all a faff.


I guess that's why we didn't see too many ski movies in the end last season?

All I can say is that if I even reach for my phone to take a photo the people I ski with start moaning that it is wasting ski time, or they are getting cold so if I broke out a drone there would probably be revolution... and no-one likes the noise.
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davidof wrote:
... All I can say is that if I even reach for my phone to take a photo the people I ski with start moaning that it is wasting ski time, or they are getting cold so if I broke out a drone there would probably be revolution... and no-one likes the noise.

The trick is to be quick - same with other action sports photography.

None-POV Video is in a different class and I'm not sure that's ever going to be quick.
Looking at those bike shots, I kept thinking "at this point the camera needs to zoom out so we can see what he's actually riding up".

That's going to take some significantly smarter software, or you're going to need to program the sequence ahead of time, or you're going to have to eyeball it as you shoot....
Which is one reason I haven't really used my drone for snowboard stuff - you just need to take a day and a cameraman and get it done, it's not something you're going to get solo for a while at least.

With cycling, way high/out/behind coming down/in/forward and zooming into the rider may work.
I think that with video you need to plan what you're going to shoot in advance.
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[quote="philwig"]
davidof wrote:

Looking at those bike shots, I kept thinking "at this point the camera needs to zoom out so we can see what he's actually riding up".


the drone Gav has will do that with a spiral shot but I suspect that is how he crashed it last time.
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Good vid.

Get a DJI Mavic Pro.

Will track and trace up to 40mph.
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Weathercam wrote:
nearly crashing it, all captured on film Toofy Grin


http://youtube.com/v/KLexBfWvRuM


Was the drone flying backwards (looks like it), the collision avoidance is only forward-looking I believe.......
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KenX wrote:
Weathercam wrote:
nearly crashing it, all captured on film Toofy Grin


http://youtube.com/v/KLexBfWvRuM


Was the drone flying backwards (looks like it), the collision avoidance is only forward-looking I believe.......


If it was active tracking you can turn backwards flying off in this mode, might help in the future.
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@philwig, good comments

But as I posted above..........

There are two modes to Active Track, Trace and Profile - profile is when you can fly it at an angle to you - so it will keep a constant distance from you, hence coming round the bend I traveled forward and hence the drone then moved back to keep that constant distance.

I think that could work well for skiing - and if trying to be too clever then maybe mishaps occur Toofy Grin

Last season skiing I only used the classic active track trace, hence practicing with profile mode.

As for faff factor, as I said above, I get ahead of people and get it all together before they arrive, and when ski touring most are more than happy to have a break, and people do like to be filmed don't they @KenX, Toofy Grin

I also only film with good friends and in areas where where no one else is around, hence ski touring is ideal and just us.

Getting it setup and or packing away I do wirhin a couple of mins.

I doubt I'd ever bother taking a drone up for lift accessed powder riding, as agreed adrenaline is pumping and in that instance a camera phone does the job, or even get the GoPro out!


http://youtube.com/v/3HcKFwGAESM

I think a far better shot for cycling will be in Profile mode with the drone in front of me at a distance with the gimbal set so you can see the background and me on straight then as I cycle up it flys backwards filming at a constant distance, without subject having to worry where it is etc hence swerving all over the road.

Spiral shot is another version of Active Track and has to be used very carefully.

And finally, (phew)@adithorp, totally agree about saddle height, and after a recent bike fit and a change I made, maybe seat post slipped and I raised it a fair bit after seeing that yesterday, but heyho still managed to be six seconds off my PB which has me at 148th out of 11410 from Galibier to Monetier, so maybe lower saddle aids descent?
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So getting better, this time as you can see have the drone / ipad stashed in a bag in front and seemed to work well.

This is following in Profile mode.

Light was very flat and cloud rolled in which was a shame as I was hoping to do some nice shots at the summit.

Flat light / cold / bad weather not conducive to faffing with drone though, but scored some decent lines Cool


http://youtube.com/v/f369XfWwNYo
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@Weathercam,
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Invested in a drone back in the Spring (Mavic Air) and have been using it for a lot of mountain bike filming this summer. Mostly flying it manually, which really helps to get exactly the shot you want:

https://www.facebook.com/RideTheWhiteRoom/videos/1531017293665791/

https://www.facebook.com/RideTheWhiteRoom/videos/562128774229859/

https://www.facebook.com/RideTheWhiteRoom/videos/282730865787666/

https://www.facebook.com/RideTheWhiteRoom/videos/259177664615896/

Have occasionally used the tracking modes fairly successfully though. e.g.:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BkNiKQBBcAM/

Loads more on our Facebook / Instagram pages - www.facebook.com/ridethewhiteroom or www.instagram.com/whiteroommtb

Slowly putting proper edits up on the website at www.whiteroommtb.com/riding

Already had a couple of days' snowboarding, but haven't tried the drone with the snowboard yet. When following a strong mountain biker, the limiting factor is mostly the drone's rate of descent. You have to have your thumb jammed on the "down" control the whole time, if you get distracted while doing some other manouver you pretty rapidly end up a long way from the rider. I think the same will apply to snowboarding/skiing. A really, really strong rider on a fast trail can "outrun" the drone in normal mode as well, although it's fine for most riders on most trails. You can always flick it in to sport mode to keep up. More exciting that way anyway....
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@stevomcd, some cool footage there, helps when you're filming someone as opposed to trying to film yourself Smile

Also think filming in the summer is better than in a winter environment, I'm slowly getting there, and your filming shows what's possible and more exciting!

Looks like you had the balls to fly a fair distance from where you were positioned, to fly it back did you do that manually or via Return to home?
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@Weathercam, Leave your drone with me while you're away and I'll get up to speed so I can film you this year!
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This drone has the best follow me/avoidance technology out there IMHO, just a shame it's so damn expensive!


http://youtube.com/v/IqUOJqe7vns&t=2s
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@Weathercam, the first time I properly tried to follow some riders, I was feeling very pleased with myself that I'd followed them a long way and managed to keep them in shot. I then started to get signal warnings and decided it was time to bring it home. I had quite a big "oh shit" moment when I realised I could neither see nor hear the drone and had no clue how to get it back. I had dropped quite a bit of height so didn't want to use "return to home" as at the time I wasn't sure how it dealt with altitude changes. In the end, I flew it back up the trail.

Whenever I'm filming mountain bikers, the drone is usually out of sight (and often out of earshot) within the first 10seconds or so, so I do all of my filming using the first person view on my phone screen. These days, I do quite often use "return to home" to bring it back as I'm now very confident in it, but it's a bit slow so I will equally often just turn the drone around and raise the camera so that I can see the feature I'm standing on, then zoom it back up in a straight line.

"Return to home" flies it straight up until it's at least 30m above the start point. It then flies back to the start point in a straight line. This has always kept it well clear of trees, terrain, etc. for me. It's much faster though to fly it manually and do the up/across at the same time.

I've crashed it twice, fortunately with no damage worse than folding the arms up and having to re-calibrate the sensor cameras. Both times were, ironically, caused by safety features! (In combination with me pushing it on battery life). The first one, I tried to land it at the end of the trail and ride down to it, rather than have to fly it back up. I kept losing signal every time it got just a few feet off the ground, so it kept aborting the landing. After a few rounds of this, I was getting very low on battery, so chucked it into sport mode, zoomed it back up and landed it next to me. This was the first time I'd tried to land in sport mode and I hadn't realised it doesn't do the "are you sure?" check just off the ground so I flew it straight into the ground hard enough to bounce! Fortunately it was on soft vegetation. Second time I know I was really pushing it on battery life as we'd been faffing trying to get a shot right. I was bringing it back home when it went into critically-low battery mode (<10%). As I only needed another 10 seconds or so of flying time to get it back, I kept flying it at full speed back to me, but the controller had other ideas and insisted on landing it immediately, so it dropped height and hit the hillside at at least 30kph and I then had to go hunting for it with "find your drone". Fortunately it was an open, grassy hillside so I found it OK and without any damage other than the front arms having folded themselves in and some calibration warnings.
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Enjoyed this thread.
I only just got my Mavic Air last winter, a few poor weather days meant it didn't get as much ski time as I wanted.

My effort:

http://youtube.com/v/Li8MnWokU8k

I did have my own fly away moment, top of Glencoe, thought I'd fly it from the cliff beside the hut. Completely didn't take into account the radio masts interference. Off she went, a few panic filled moments later it returned on its own accord to the take off point. Lesson learned on taking more careful note of your location.

Hopefully some mid week days this year will get me some alone slope time to try again.
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@kitenski, that's great footage, and the avoidance features are superb, but see what you mean about the cost at nigh on $2,000 !

@stevomcd, what do you mean / use to attain "first person view on the home screen" ?

@cinglis, and some very nice atmospheric filming.

Today cloud hampered play again and did not make it to the summit, but had the drone following the OH and dog, the other dog stayed with me, and as you can see mixed it up with some phone footage.


http://youtube.com/v/rI28jsVmae8
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@Weathercam, I just mean the live video feed on the phone screen. This is effectively the drone's first person view.
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@stevomcd, feck I googled "First Person View" before I asked the question and I thought you'd gone with some Goggles Shocked

Really I should just note the bearing it travels out at and the little icon on the bottom left then simply turn around looking at the distance also, but as we all know a degree of panic sets in. Think I'm going to have to put some stickers on my remote!


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Thu 8-11-18 17:10; edited 1 time in total
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@Weathercam, a cool tip someone told me was to reverse the drone flying away from you when you do an edit (like from 26 secs into your video), so it then appears to fly to you.
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@kitenski, very clever, almost has me jumping to do a another edit, reversing the dronie.
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Or just fly it towards you in the first place?
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kitenski wrote:
@Weathercam, a cool tip someone told me was to reverse the drone flying away from you when you do an edit (like from 26 secs into your video), so it then appears to fly to you.


Great tip but a little flawed when you have dogs running around as you'll see Laughing


http://youtube.com/v/STcLqzDOEjY

Was also experimenting with it in Sports Mode filming not too far off the ground, pretty scary at times, but great fun!

And I'd decided against taking the drone to Siberia for various reasons I've already alluded to, faffing, not fair on other people I don't know etc etc

So Per the guide comes up to home today as I'm packing as I drive back to UK tomorrow and fly to Russia Friday and he's impressed with how I'm down to one ski bag and one item of hand luggage and we're talking tech, more about the Garmin InReach Mini and then I explain that I won't be bringing the drone and you could see the look of disappointment on his face (where I was expecting relief) so he was really keen for me to bring it, then we both agreed that the faff factor will pale into insignificance compared to our mate who is a Split-boarder Laughing
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@Weathercam, which one have you got? And how bad’s the faff?
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DJI Spark - I'm pretty good at setting it up now and then packing it away quickly, but steep faff learning curve, both hardware and software Toofy Grin

And in snow also adds another dimension.

I use it with an Ipad Mini as I don't have an Iphone and probably best option with my eye sight but then an Ipad Mini does not have a GPS (didn't realise that when I bought it), but does not seem to detract from functionality.

Also a must is the remote controller as well, though people can still fly it just with the Iphone / IPad etc

As with other video cameras be it GoPro or whatever many people cease to use them as they are not that adept at video editing or their hardware is not up to it etc

For a wee bit more the Mavic Air is very sweet

Your boy would love just flying it - Xmas pressie ?
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I have the air which I expect is the mostly same. I haven't timed it, but it's about 2 minutes to get it out and in the air. Shooting good video requires a lot of time however you do it, really.

I note that some people are hanging 360 cameras off drones.
If you selectively crop out of a spherical image, then you can both stabilize and "frame" in post production. That would reduce the challenge considerably, and make "follow me" work well, I think.
The catch is that the quality of lightweight 360 cameras is still pretty poor, for now.
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Yep was thinking boys Xmas gadget. Skied with a guy who had one and je took this on Sunday - pretty impressed with the quality!
https://dev.snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=139675&highlight=
He reckoned you can get it to follow you skiing? Going on a hell trip in April and thinking it could make for some nice footage?
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@Weathercam, how will the batteries cope with Siberian temps' (drone+ iPad)?
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@adithorp, IPad mini not the same as an IPhone battery wise and DJI batteries are pretty feeble if truth be known even in reasonable temps.

Forecast for next week not crazy cold temps of this week which would have meant not wanting to take gloves off anyway.

Like I said I was surprised at the guide wanting me to take it!

Keep me busy in the evening editing
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BobinCH wrote:
... Going on a hell trip in April and thinking it could make for some nice footage?

If you're intending to fly a drone anywhere near a helicopter... in Canada at least the law has changed a fair bit, but you will need to be very, very careful in getting agreement from the operator, the pilot, guides and other guests. The heliski pilots I've talked to, all of whom I know very well, are all hugely drone hostile and I can't say I blame them.

Your best shot would probably be to rent an entire machine and make sure you're not anywhere near other machines or routes.
If you've enough money to do that, then simply paying the pilot and a cameraman to follow you would probably be easier and cheaper and result in better footage.

Cats are a bit more drone proof. Assuming you know the operator and check who may fly in their tenure they may have no objection... but you may find that it's quite hard to do in practice unless you're with a dedicated film-crew and the whole day is dedicated precisely to this. Your liability would be significant.
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