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Finally managed a decent ski film of ski touring with the drone!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Learning curve of filming with the drone is very high but slowly getting there and understanding better and helped by now using Ipad Mini.

Filming in powder in the back country requires various techniques and getting to grips with what is the best process, like skis upside down and using those with a tupperware lid on top for take off and landing and setting it up.

Today was excellent all round stunning scenery and just me and KenX and no one had been down the route we did. Though climb back out of the valley was tough at times breaking track in crust.


http://youtube.com/v/P8ELOnnGVx0
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Very nice indeed.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Weathercam, Excellent stuff, thanks for posting Madeye-Smiley
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Pretty good, although it reminds me why helicopters are actually really good value wink

The rotates are looking a bit jerky for me, which isn't the drone as that seems rock solid. I'm assuming that may be a bit rate or frame rate thing? When you spin it on the horizontal axis it's not looking as smooth as I'd expect. No big deal, but maybe that is a frame rate or bit rate issue?
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Oh, take off and landing... probably you need the automatic functions for that. The Mavic Pro has a thing on the controller app where you hold it in your hand and press "take off" (with the other hand...) and it takes off. Then to land, you hover, and then press the "auto land" thing. It senses your hand below it, and you slide to confirm that you want it to land there..... that's how I avoid having to put something on the powder to stop it doing all that...
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Brilliant! Drones really do bring something else to "home" video.

Which drone is it? I have a Mavic Pro and I'd love to take it to the mountains but a) I'm a piste skier so obviously, well, not a good or even legal idea and b) that thing you mention about the learning curve! It is harder than it looks even with all the features.

I also get the stutter on rotates, I never looked into why but also assumed it was a framerate thing maybe.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Nice!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Bloody drones.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
It’s a bitrate thing. There’s simply not enough bandwidth to encode the large change in the picture when the image pans.

Increasing the frame-rate will only make matters worse as there is more information to encode.

Youtube is famous for re-encoding videos to limit the bitrate - try Vimeo instead.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
HammondR wrote:
Bloody drones.


Worth seeing what Intel has done with 250 drones performing with the Bellagio fountains for the CES in Las Vegas:


http://youtube.com/v/ceQ8edKuzQ4

Shocked Shocked Shocked
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Alastair, I am a skier not a fat gambler. Bloody drones.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Nicely done!
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Really enjoyed that.

Snow looks magic.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Like it !
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Original movie clip is super smooth - as is final compiled movie - it is then the upload to YouTube.

Drone is DJI Spark - if considering buying one, only buy with remote control and at least two batteries, and it will not work at all well with 80% of Android devices, I had to buy an Ipad Mini and have not had one disconnect since.

@HammondR, and you might have noticed that there are NO other people in the shot, that's because we are far far away from pistes and trust me no other people around to disturb unlike Chamonix and the Peak district Toofy Grin

@Mike Pow, snow was a tad sketchy if I were to be critical and you could not really rip it a la FreeRide but we were low down (2,300m) on three day old snow that is nigh on S facing, but no complaints Cool
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Nice!
If you haven't come across them already suggest checking out 'les Vieux Garçons'´ channel on you tube.
Some lovely films only downside, don't want the touring 'round here to get any more popular.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Sun 14-01-18 9:35; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@gvj, my OH sometimes refers to her self and another female friend when they decide to snow board as the "les vieux oiseaux" Toofy Grin
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Thinking some of my more senior touring friends and I should be called " les vieux pétards " Madeye-Smiley
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How much extra faff does it add to a day?
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
That's awesome!
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I imagine one day the drones will automatically fly around keeping a preset distance from the skier(s).
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@DB, there is a setting where it will fly round you in a circle as you move along, last time I tried to use it, the drone flew into a tree as the obstacle avoidance is on the front and not the side rolling eyes

However even if "active track" is set up well it will stay at the same altitude so if the skier is descending the drone will stay at the same height, if that makes sense.

@adithorp, I'm cutting the "faff factor" down and yesterday we were in no hurry and there was no chance of anyone else skiing where we were so it was all rather relaxed, and then skinning up I tend to get ahead of others so I can film them and then people like a rest as I pack up.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
interesting stuff, roughly how long does it take from deciding you are going to shot some film, to actually getting it in the air and filming?
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@kitenski, take skis off, scrape a platform out in the snow, place skis upside down. Secure poles and take back pack off.

Take Ipadmini out of back pack and small pack containing drone and remote controller.

Take drone out of pack, turn on and place on tupperware lid atop skis, whist that is doing its checks insert Ipad into RC and turn on, in about 30 secs drone and RC are connected. Connect USB go to cable from RC to Ipad and open wifi setting to select RC.

Once all are connected open software and hopefully you're ready to go. I confirm my home point again just in case it still had the previous one in, and click take off.

All in all 5 - 10 mins think I'll be getting closer to 5mins with more practice. It's just another variation on a ski touring transition!

When filming on the up did have all my clothing in the pack as well that I had taken off so again just think about using your poles and placing them well away from the take off / landing zone and hang clothes on poles. You can see this at 1.51 into the film, and in the top image.

Flying in bright sunlight, it's difficult to read the text on the software and not helped by wearing my dark sunglasses even though they are bifocals, next time I'll take my ordinary glasses as well.

Packing down is slightly faster.

I'm not too sure if I was just on one week holiday it would be worth it though and again you are limited to the weather conditions and also where you can fly it. Wouldn't of thought flying on above pistes would be allowed plus you also have cables around!


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Sun 14-01-18 15:09; edited 2 times in total
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I guessed it was either a Spark or a Mavic simply because when you mentioned the iPad mini! Pretty much everyone has that experience with finding Android crashing constantly and the iPad mini being far more stable (plus the nice big screen size!)

It was really tough to decide between the Spark or the Mavic, I partly went with the Mavic because of the extra sensors and flight time, but I can see how for your use case the Spark could be the better choice. I loved that the Spark is more discreet as well.

Agree with you about the "follow me" being useless for actual skiing due to the altitude, oh well. Maybe one day they'll find a way, it can't be that hard, right? As you say though, and I thought this through as well, it's not going to be possible on piste unless resorts bring in a "drone piste" that people can take turns in using for precisely that. This wouldn't surprise me actually, people could rent drones etc.

DJI are just bringing out a new $99 drone that can't take any wind, but you can program it with Scratch, and use "Cardboard" style VR with your phone with it. It also dodges stuff really well and flips and things. Useless for skiing, but a fun toy!
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Nice work @Weathercam, some good footage in there:)
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I've had no Android issues with the Mavic Pro, but there you go. Perhaps the spark is a little more complicated somehow.

Display brightness is an ongoing challenge. The most useful function to me is "return to home" as it's easy to lose orientation and visual contact with the machine in bright light especially.

Good point on obstacle avoidance whilst circling. It's an option you can select, but as you say there are no sensors on the side so it's not going to help.

I've heard of people talking about starting the drone low, in order to get around that active track limitation, but I think it's all impractical in the field anyway. It's fairly easy to track someone manually, you just need a camera person. Or if you're on your own you could possibly do it another way.... record a set of waypoints down your route including camera angles... rehearse it a couple of times.. capture video on it as you ride down. Those things will take more time though.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@Weathercam, Quite like your film. Impressive for an early attempt. Is the drone heavy or difficult to carry about between use?
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