Stunning Aerial Videography and Photography Using Drones

Create aerial video & photos that DELIGHT your audience: Learn from basic drone handling up to advanced flying & editing
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  • Lectures 77
  • Length 6 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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About This Course

Published 12/2014 English

Course Description

The leading drone / aerial videography course on Udemy. Check it out to see why.....

WHAT? - This course's focus is on how to make stunning aerial productions both from filming with a drone initially and then from impactful editing afterwards.

WHO IS IT FOR? - For videographers, photographers, hobbyists and professionals alike that want to learn how to make amazing aerial videos and photos.

"Packed with Detailed Instruction

Bruce is an exceptional aerial filmmaker and an exceptional teacher. The level of detail in this course is outstanding. If you are serious about using drones to tell better stories in your productions, this course is for you! Bruce will teach about how to use the tool of a multirotor to move the camera in ways that may not be obvious but can have a big impact on your productions. This is a premium quality filmmaking course for the age aerial photography and videography." ★★★★★ Mark Richardson

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Have you seen stunning aerial videos and photos and wondered how is that done? Perhaps you have a drone already and want to take your aerial productions to the next level for your hobby or business? This extensive course will take you on a journey all the way through from discussing; the merits of different drone types for aerial production; some basic flying skills for aerial imagery, to THE MAIN FOCUS OF THE CONTENT; a unique, structured way of thinking about, planning for, filming and then editing your standout aerial production. It will become a resource for you as well as a course.

Stunning Aerial Productions Using Both a Drone and Editing Techniques

  • Basics - Legal, Safety, Planning & Some Core Flying Skills For Producing Aerial Imagery
  • A Unique, Structured Method To Guide Your Filming and Flying For Getting Impactful Footage
  • 25 Design Principles For Creating Captivating Productions
  • 8 Step Editing Workflow for Developing Your Final Product

The Time To Make Stunning Aerial Imagery Is Now

The ability to video and photograph the world from a unique, breathtaking, aerial perspective, using a drone is now available to all. The opportunities this presents for videographers, photographers, hobbyists and professionals alike is extraordinary.

There is a need to learn how to make standout aerial productions, to make imagery that will go beyond what will become the ordinary. Mastering these new tools now, to produce highly impactful results, will get you ahead of the game professionally and give you endless hours of enjoyment personally.

Content and Overview

This course covers basics from selecting your drone, editing software and aerial camera. It has some guidance on initial flying skills and exercises for producing good aerial productions.

The course then goes beyond the basics and introduces, with extensive aerial footage to illustrate the points, a unique framework to guide all your flying and filming missions. This focusses on the extraordinary outcomes you should be aiming for in your aerial imagery and the flying you should be doing to get those outcomes.

You are then taught how to plan your flying and filming missions using this framework. You are taken through a range of unique in-course and online tools & resources to aid you in this planning. You will learn through a real example to show you how to apply the framework and tools to plan a successful flight.

You will then learn how to take the aerial footage and turn it into a stunning video production. You will be introduced to 25 design principles to follow and a software-generic 8 step editing workflow. This will be demonstrated by using Final Cut Pro X, but much of the demonstration will concentrate on how to apply the design principles and framework to guide the creation of the aerial video.

What is this course NOT for? Though the course touches on some things to look into from a legal and safety perspective the course is not designed to be a guide on your local drone laws or how to fly & film safely. These are areas that you must know already or that you must go and master before considering implementing any of the techniques in the course. Also - the course is not hardware specific and is not designed to teach you about how to set up any of your own drone hardware or specific handling skills for that hardware.

Music Credit: to Promo Video - Peace by Redman, licensed under the CC BY licence - see tinyurl.c om/RedmanPeace

What are the requirements?

  • If you would like to try the editing techniques that are demonstrated using the provided raw footage then get access to some video editing software such as FCPX or Adobe Premiere
  • The course highlights some typical areas of legal regulation for flying and filming with a drone though it is not the primary focus of the course. It is expected that the students will, through their own research, become thoroughly familiar with the regulations in their own country - they will need to do this anyway in an ongoing basis as the laws are changing regularly.
  • Though safety points are discussed throughout the course it is also not the primary focus. It is expected that students will do additional research (or come already with the knowledge) in order to fly and film safely.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Over 41 of those lectures have breathtaking flight footage to illustrate the points
  • 6 tools for you to take away to help you with your planning, flying, filming and editing
  • Raw footage for you to practice the edit techniques with yourself
  • Understand some of the typical legal and safety considerations when planning your production
  • Choose the right aerial hardware and editing software for successful videos and photos
  • Identify the key flying skills, shot options, flight patterns and gimbal skills needed to produce amazing aerial productions
  • Successfully plan your flying trips to maximise your chance of getting beautiful shots
  • Set up your GoPro with its optimum settings for successful editing across a range of circumstances
  • Make creative ground based footage to enrich your aerial productions
  • Complete pre-flight checks before you start flying and filming both at the flying site and before
  • Learn 25 design principles to follow when creating your production
  • Complete the 8 editing steps, common to most editing software, in order to make stunning aerial productions

What is the target audience?

  • You are considering using a drone to make fantastic videos and photos and want to know what you need to do both in the air and on the computer to make standout productions
  • You may already have a quadcopter or other multirotor and want to take your video and photo production to the next level
  • You need an extensive resource of aerial video and photo production techniques (in the air and on the ground) to access as you grow your skills

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Introduction
02:25

This course is going to be fun! There is a lot for people to practice and learn for all skill levels.

This lecture is a repeat of the promotional video. I have included it here again to give you a quick reminder of the kind of end result that can be possible.

Music Credit: Peace by Redman licensed under the CC BY licence

13:06

Summary Points

This course is split into 4 main sections:

  • Legal and Safety - about 7% of the course is dedicated to these topics. It is a requirement that everyone goes through this area. Key points are that Legal & Safety are not the primary focus of this course. There is an expectation that you will find out the rules you need to follow in your own country and that you either know how to fly safely already or will learn before deciding to execute any of the activities discussed here. That said, both of these topics will be referenced through the course and there are some important points covered in this area of the course
  • The Basics - about 14% of the course is given to this topic. Areas covered include production tools (drone and software), and drone handling skills. This is the one area where some people will not want to drain every point as they may already have their kit and know their skills.
  • The Flying Framework and implementing it through planning for a successful flight. About 43% of the course is given over to this. Topics include the typical type of footage we are aiming to generate (video dramatic rich), the flight patterns to master to generate the footage, how to plan for a flight with these points in mind. This framework is unique. It gives us a whole new set of terms and guidelines to talk about, think about, fly to and then edit to that focus on generating outstanding aerial imagery.
  • Production - Editing the footage into something stunning. About 36% of the time is dedicated to this. A set of design principles and editing work flow are discussed and illustrated. Again there is a lot of concepts here that should be gone through in detail even if it is just to validate your own thinking in this area. The software used to demonstrate it is Final Cut Pro X, though only a small portion of the demonstration is really on the how to's with the software. The rest is thinking out loud demonstrating how the guiding principals and flying framework concepts are applied during the editing technique.
  • The flying footage presented throughout the course is often edited together into a polished product. Often however raw footage is used from a variety of sources. This demonstrates a) what footage can look like before making its way into a complete polished production and b) the impact that flight erratics can have on footage in terms of weakening the video dramatics in the footage.
  • Photography is referenced throughout the course, however limited dedicated time is given over to it. This is for efficiency reasons for your learning time. The skills that Aerial Videography will give you will more than equip you in order to be able to take aerial photographs. The principals around getting good aerial photographs are the same as those for land based photographs - good lighting, lining up the shot, focus on negative space and the background. Think of your drone as an aerial tripod which mainly automatically takes photos. Follow the principles to generate dramatic rich video content (find lighting, patterns, colour, in their variations in terms of extremes, rarity and variety), and you will end up with good photos as well - just from a more interesting elevated perspective than on the ground.
04:05

Summary Points

  • When video lectures are playing make sure you select HD (so it is white looking) at the bottom right of the screen so that you get to view the courses in their highest quality setting - key for this flight footage rich content! Also select the full screen icon so you can see them at their very best
  • On the right top of the screen there are 4 icons.
  • The first and default icon is where you get to see all the sections and lectures of the course. It opens on this automatically. Use this to see what is coming next and to skip around the course as you need to. Also it shows you with green full dots or half dots or no dots what you have completed, started, not started respectively.
  • The second icon (a download image) is REALLY IMPORTANT as it contains summaries and often extra learning points that I have written about the lecture and also access to any downloadable tools or other items I have provided. You can use the summaries to get the key learning points without needing to sit through the videos (though I don't recommend this as you may lose some of the illustration commentary I will be providing). Good for a recap though or a quick overview to see if you want to dive in deeper to the content
  • The third icon (two chat bubbles) is where you can post any questions or discussion items about the lecture and give me feedback on things in the course
  • The fourth icon is where you can record your personal notes.
  • Also be aware that the Udemy interface may ask you for feedback quite regularly. They are adjusting the algorithm as to how soon and how persistently they ask for this. The feedback is very useful for me, try not to let the asking annoy you!
  • If you are enjoying the course please remember to leave a review.
Section 2: Legal and safety
08:29

Summary points

  • The main focus of this course is on how to plan, fly, film and photograph then edit into outstanding aerial productions
  • This course DOES NOT teach you about your local drone operating, flying and filming regulations
  • YOU MUST investigate these yourself for the countries you are flying in so you can adhere to them
  • The laws themselves are changing so you need to be used to regularly finding out the latest
  • SOME of the areas to investigate local regulations include:
    • Privacy laws around photographing and filming people and property
    • Laws relating to the frequencies (e.g. 433Mhz, 2.4Ghz, 5.8Ghz and the laws will say whether you are allowed to use these frequencies for remote control aircraft operation or transmitting a video signal) and strength of signal you can use for controlling your drone or sending a video link from it. Sometimes you may need a HAM licence to operate on some of these frequencies. You may have the equivalent of a Communications Commission responsible for these regulations.
    • Laws from your equivalent of a Civil Aviation Authority (or Federal Aviation Authority) on how you are allowed to fly. Some areas that may have rules in place include
      • The height you can fly (stay away from full size planes!)
      • Whether you need a spotter to accompany you as you fly - often a requirement if you are flying FPV (First Person View)
      • Restrictions on whether you can fly over people or property and minimum distances from them both
      • Airspace restriction such as minimum distances you must be from airports (where planes fly lower and there is an increased chance of a collision). These can be 10 km or higher and the laws vary considerably from country to country.
      • Maximum distances allowed between your drone and yourself - often this will be that the drone needs to remain in unaided (no binoculars) visual line of sight
      • Whether or not you are allowed to fly using a first person view setup (with an onboard camera delivering a video signal back to a screen or goggles so you are effectively seeing out of the front of the drone)

A good place to start to investigate all of these further would be your local flying association such as the AMA in the US

KEY POINT HERE: It is critical that you investigate and continue to investigate local regulations in your location for flying and filming with a drone. The areas mentioned above are just some of the ones to look into.

Some sources for further investigation - check with your local authority that these links contain current information

EXTRA: For US drone flyers (a link to the FAA site about registering your drone)
Article
12:45

Summary Points

  • Safety must be your number 1 consideration at all times. Combined with legal considerations they should be at the fore of your mind for every flying and filming decision you make
  • This course's main focus is NOT on safety. It is a large topic and needs extensive learning and practice by yourself to ensure you can fly safely and make safe decisions. You are expected to be able to be safe before you can consider executing any of the content discussed in this course
  • Consider your own ability, your local environment, regulations and the capabilities of your own drone in order to determine whether you can execute the suggestions in this course safely.
  • Some points to think around regarding safety (a non exhaustive list!)
    • Focus on your own safety as well as others
    • Fly with a spotter to act as some extra eyes to the sky to help with early identification of other air traffic, weather or light issues and also dealing with people on the ground whilst you are flying
    • Constantly maintain and check your equipment including 4 test flights when any changes are made to it
    • Launching and landing are particular areas of concern - heighten safety considerations for these
    • Get a good GPS lock before flying if you expect to fly in GPS mode
    • Maintaining a good radio link is key for safety. If you are flying with a video link as well then ensure that your control link is stronger than your video link
    • Plan for and maintain a clear line of sight between you and the drone
    • Learn the signs that your link might be weakening and also learn how to address the situation effectively
    • Consider using an RF explorer to test for noise on the channels you are using to forewarn you of potential issues
    • Fly in good light
    • Monitor weather carefully, avoid rain and moisture and high wind and fly into the wind initially to make an easier return journey
    • Don't fly over or near people
    • Don't fly anywhere near airports, air traffic, flight paths - make sure there is going to be nothing else in the sky when you are flying. Take immediate emergency evasive action if for some reason aircraft do enter your airspace to ensure there is no collision risk - this can include getting down low and you should look to land safely and immediately and then stop flying in that location.

Research this topic thoroughly. Other sources include your local radio control flying club where you can learn off experts. Also look for other online resources and read your manual that came with your drone. For instance check out: http://knowbeforeyoufly.org/

5 questions

5 questions on safety and legal considerations - considerations you should factor into every flying and filming decision

Section 3: Choosing the right tools for successful aerial productions
07:47

Summary Points

  • Most standard photography and video editing software will be capable of editing your aerial photos and videos
  • For photography Lightroom and Aperture are excellent options. For more advanced editing Photoshop and the Google Nik Collection are superb choices
  • For videography there are a specific set of relatively standard features that are used quite heavily
    • Conforming the videos (changing the resolution and framerate to that used in the end production). This needs to happen behind the scenes as much as possible with the computer optimising the quality of the end production using all of the data from the input clips whenever possible. Final Cut Pro X does an excellent behind the scenes job of this. This feature should be where you spend your least time and ideally should be a simple setup activity when you start your production.
    • Manipulating the clips - slicing them, skimming over them, repositioning them - this is the feature used the most and has a 50% time requirement from your overall efforts
    • Manipulating the audio - marking it up to sequence clips to and adding basic fade in / fade out effects. This has about a 25% time requirement from your overall editing efforts
    • Applying effects - key ones include sharpening, stabilising, re-timing, transitions, colour grading and adding annotations - this is going to take about 25% of your in app effort
  • Leading video editing applications are recommended (Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere)
  • If you have a Mac then Final Cut Pro X is recommended as its strength aside from ease of use is in clip manipulation
  • If you have a PC then Premiere is an excellent choice. It is arguably the most powerful and has the leading stabilisation feature
  • Another piece of software worth a strong look is Davinci Resolve. The Lite version is currently free and will cover all the key features discussed above. What's more it is arguably the best colour grading software on the market.
11:08

Summary Points:

  • Wings - typically fast, longer range and longer time in the sky. Also they produce great Flight Dramatics in your footage, but aside from that kind of shot Wings are not really a viable general aerial camera platform as they don't allow you to hover and line up your shot
  • Multirotors are well suited as a camera platform
  • They range from 3 to 8 propellors, with more propellers the greater increase in lift, stability and redundancy. On the down side you get greater cost and size
  • The sweet spot in multirotor configuration is with quads with 4 propellors. They give a good balance between capability, price and portability. These are available across the consumer, prosumer and even professional end of the market
  • A camera gimbal is highly recommended as stabilised footage is appreciated by a wide audience
  • A First Person View (FPV) capability (a video feed from a camera on the drone to goggles or a screen on the ground) allows for easier control and more chance of lining up and then getting the shot. A spotter is needed to help with safety and also local regulations need to be checked to make sure that FPV flying is allowed
  • Ready to fly (RTF) is one way to start the hobby. It allows you to get going quickly with little to no knowledge. That also is it's risk - Safety considerations and an understanding of how the machine works to allow checks and maintenance is still needed.
  • Build your own is another route. It will require you to put the machine together using a screwdriver and likely a soldering iron. A typical build will take about 4-5 hours for an inexperienced person. It has the advantages that you know the craft intimately to allow effective checking and maintenance. Also upgrades become easier

The Wing flight footage is from Team-Black Sheep

Recommended Camera Choices
Article
Section 4: Key drone handling skills and their impact on your productions
07:26

Summary Points

  • First activity after launching is to do a hover check and look for any issues. The things you can look for
    • Do the motors sound as you would expect them to?
    • Is the machine staying nice and stable (if in GPS mode)
    • Have you accidentally left any trims on your controller that might be causing drift - or not put them on if you meant them to be there
    • Are the information lights flashing in the way you would expect? - e.g. do they say you have good satellite lock if in GPS mode
    • Are you getting a good signal back to your goggles or screen if in FPV mode?
    • If you have an on screen display is the voltage reading reading what you would expect for a full battery?
  • Launching & Landing are some of the key basic flying skills to master and your ability to be able to do them well will impact your footage directly through your ability to be able to add launch or landing footage to your production
  • Also see the section in this course for Pre-Flight and Flight Day planning for many other suggested activities you can do prior to your flight
  • Safety concerns should be at some of their highest during these times as it is the time when your machine is likely to be at its closest to you, your spotter or anyone else near to the launch/landing site.
  • Do your initial hover check first and if you are planning on trying to collect video footage from the moment of launching onwards then land and relaunch. Otherwise the footage will contain your pause in the air and this spoils the flow
  • Your main way (and the way to try and launch and land all the time) is off the ground. This is the safest as you can be far away from the machine. It requires a flat location that should be clear of obstructions from the blades.
  • A second way to do this is a version of off the ground, but this time with your flight goggles on. The flow that you can get from launching and then flying straight off can enhance your footage and provides strong flight dramatics. It is more dangerous to others as you can't see around your quad once your goggles are on. Get your spotter to continue to check carefully once your goggles are on.
  • You may hear recommendations to launch and land by hand. I would avoid this as it is extremely dangerous. The very fast spinning props will be near yourself, even worse, your neck, face eyes or those of your spotters. Find an alternative flat spot to launch or land from instead and do it from off the ground.
04:50

Summary Points:

The Naza Flight Controller has three flight modes, GPS, Attitude / Altitude and Manual. Other flight controllers typically have their equivalents of these modes

  • GPS is where the computer has the most control over the quad and keeps it stable using satellite lock information, compass information and barometer information to lock the quad in the sky in a specific location - their manual will tell you how precise it aims to be. It will then fight things like wind to keep it on a perceived track. It is a great mode for starting out and for a lot of your video and photographic production. However the computer can introduce flight erratics into your footage, little twitches that you see in your recordings. Often these are yaw twitches where the back of the quad swings from left to right and gimbals typically don't correct for. It is also thought to be a less efficient flight mode due to the many corrections it makes.
  • Attitude mode is where the computer keeps the machine at a certain height but it is free to move around without control laterally and forward and back. It is like it has momentum or is something on a piece of ice. It tends to remove much of the flight erratics that you get in GPS mode but is a little less easy to control.
  • Manual mode is where you have full control and it will allow you to tilt the quad over at all angles. It can give very smooth footage but takes a lot of practice. Practice by going up high over an area where there will be no issues if things go wrong. Then you can switch into manual mode and start controlling. If things become out of control then you can switch back into GPS mode and it will quickly regain control for you. Normally!
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05:17

Summary Points:

  • Gimbal skills, combined with mastering flight patterns give you the key skills to generate first rate footage
  • Most gimbals are operated with a slider that point to the direction you want the gimbal to go to. It is best to slide the slider to the desired orientation for the gimbal and let the gimbal follow (it moves slower than the slider in most cases). Do not try to move the slider at the same speed as the gimbal. You will get a smoother shot letting the gimbal catchup
  1. The first skill to master is simply hovering and tilting the gimbal straight down, 45 degrees down and then back up to the horizontal
  2. The second skill is where you move the gimbal as per step 1, but this time you are flying forward at the same time
  3. The third skill is where you are flying straight up or down and tilting the gimbal to all angles. This can allow you to get some spectacular shots though you need to concentrate on not drifting forward or backwards
  4. The final skill is where you fly up and over a ridge, tree etc. As you do this you need to tilt the gimbal so that the object you are flying over remains in the centre of the frame.
Section 5: What makes great footage? - Giving it feeling with Video Dramatics
08:10

Two Introductions (1) The Flying Framework for outstanding productions and (2) Video Dramatics - Summary Points

  • The flying framework consists of 4 parts - (1) learn basic skills and knowledge, (2) select flight patterns for each flight, (3) by following these patterns increase the video dramatics you get in your clips, (4) edit the footage into outstanding videos
  • The best clips deliver a strong emotional reaction to the viewer
  • These emotional reactions come from Geographical Dramatics that are seen in the scene and Flight Dramatics where they get a sense of flying, together called Video Dramatics
  • There are 4 Geographical Dramatics, The Beauty Shot, The Cover Reveal, The Discovery Reveal and The Movement Shot
  • There are 7 Flight Dramatics, Speed, Height, Distance, Spy-High, The Squeeze and The Crash
  • Learn them so you know what the ideal outcome is of each flight pattern you follow
  • You will be taught about each, illustrative footage to support, how and gotchas + an exercise for each set of dramatics

EXERCISE BEFORE YOU START THE DETAILED LECTURES OF THE SECTION

04:51

Summary points:

  • What?: Instill a sense of stunning awe from your general free flying
  • How?: Think of it like a photo - beauty is generated from, patterns, colours, lighting, complex landscape features, sunsets
  • Strengthen the dramatic: Golden hour, good visibility, wide angled, higher flying
  • Flight Patterns: The line and the 360 are key generators of this
  • Gotchas: No flight erratics, unwanted items in the shot
  • Editing: Short duration clips good for the intro

Flight footage credits: A small amount of flight footage in this lecture comes from Team-Black-Sheep.

06:17

Summary points:

  • What?: Instil a sense of surprise by revealing beauty and or details from behind something that is close to the camera
  • How?: Fly up to and above a ridge (e.g. The Elevator flight pattern), fly straight forward but move the gimbal down as you fly (e.g. The Line flight pattern), fly towards an object panning around it (The Arc Flight Pattern)
  • Strengthen the dramatic: Extremes - real close to real far, boring to interesting, suspense - give them a hint then show the reveal, surprise - no hint at all, then the reveal.
  • Gotchas: Not too fast, beware of lighting changes, fly straight - do not turn during the reveal
  • Editing: show the reveal prior to a related beauty shot, chop up the reveal to show the full thing later with a teaser up front, use slow mode at reveal point

Flight footage credits: Some of flight footage comes from Team-Black-Sheep

05:01

Summary points:

  • What?: Reveal unexpected details in the landscape - even simply details that become apparent as you get closer to something. This dramatic is not generated by the quick surprise of the cover reveal, but comes from the more slowly emerging details being shown.
  • How?: Multiple passes to first find the details yourself then to get the shot right, use the gimbal to pick out the details, slow works as well as fast often better
  • Strengthen the dramatic: Gimbal down / birds-eye view is good, more interesting details the better, normal features from a birds-eye's perspective, combine with Line Flight Pattern to tell a story
  • Gotchas: Maintain good flight control - no flight erratics, careful of reception challenges as you explore details
  • Editing: Place later on in production, make great thumbnails for your video, edit out boring approach shots

Flight footage credits: Some flight footage comes from Team-Black-Sheep

04:56

Summary points:

  • What?: Emotional response from seeing interesting movement in the landscape
  • How?: Surprise encounters (e.g. crocodiles), Track objects (e.g. boats)
  • Strengthen the dramatic: Surprise encounters work well, well tracked moving objects, objects moving into and then out of the frame, being closer to the moving object (CAUTION!)
  • Gotchas: See lecture on the movement and tracking flight pattern. BE VERY CAREFUL GOING FOR THIS DRAMATIC - THERE ARE OTHER MOVING THINGS INVOLVED
  • Editing: Longer less chopped up chips appearing all over your production. Slow mode works well.

Flight footage credits: Some flight footage comes from Team-Black-Sheep

5 questions

This quiz will test your understanding on key concepts discussed during this section of the course

05:57

Summary points for Geographical Dramatics

  • The flying framework consists of 4 parts - (1) learn basic skills and knowledge, (2) select flight patterns for each flight, (3) by following these patterns increase the video dramatics you get in your clips, (4) edit the footage into outstanding videos
  • The best clips deliver a strong emotional reaction to the viewer
  • These emotional reactions come from Geographical Dramatics that are seen in the scene and Flight Dramatics where they get a sense of flying
  • There are 4 Geographical Dramatics: The Beauty Shot, The Cover Reveal, The Discovery Reveal and The Movement Shot
  • Flight dramatics come from the viewer getting a sense of flying as if in the drone
  • Learn the dramatics so you know what the ideal outcome is of each flight pattern you follow and also how to select impactful footage from your flight for later editing

Geographical Dramatics Exercise (from 3.40): Review the video and answer the following questions:

  • (1) For each clip which of the 4 Geographical Dramatics is causing the emotional response of the viewer
  • (2) What editing techniques are being used to strengthen the dramatic?

Music Credit: Peace (original max) by Redman, through Toucan Music under a CC: BY licence.

03:41

Summary points:

  • What?: A sense of moving fast
  • Flight Patterns: The Elevator and The Close Call are the best followed by the line
  • How?: Careful practice first, GPS mode is easiest if you have a good GPS link, Att is a little faster though you have more momentum and don't stop quickly like in GPS, Manual you can fly the quickest, though is tricky. You can fly with the wind (though be careful on battery when you fly back).
  • Gotchas: Be careful on battery particularly if flown with the wind - fly into the wind first for an easier return. Watch for reception issues as you are moving fast and obstructions can appear quick as well as range issues
  • Strengthen the dramatic: Closer to the surface the less speed needed to appear to be going fast. Tracking a line or another moving object as a good reference point to illustrate the speed (with care!).
  • Editing: Mid to long clip, not so effective up front, don't overuse. Tricky to fake speed in post production - up to 150% can be ok, beyond that and it fails.

Flight footage credits: Some flight footage comes from Team-Black-Sheep

03:50

Summary points:

  • What?: Share the appearance of flying far
  • Flight Patterns: The Line is your primary option, the 360 and the moving object also help
  • How?: Can also fake it with multiple clips taken from different launch spots. Fly down a line for navigation ease
  • Gotchas: Know your local regulations / restrictions on how far you are allowed to send your drone away from you. Ensure clear line of site for reception, your machine is designed for the planned range. Make sure your spotter can still be effective for the flight. Pay attention to battery and fly into the wind initially so you can use it to save battery on the way home.
  • Strengthen the dramatic: Clear landmarks along route to signpost progress. Edit out boring parts of the flight. Steady flight control - yaw can ruin the shot. Alternative flight modes should be explored for easier steadier flying.
  • Editing: Speed up and clip out boring bits. Stabilisation can also help for the speeded up bits.
03:04

Summary points:

  • What?: Share the ability to go up high
  • Flight Patterns: The Elevator is best followed by the 360 and camera down gimbal movements
  • How?: Gimbal down, fly straight up. Or Gimbal out, fly straight up whilst looking at a surface (e.g. cliff)
  • Gotchas: Know your local regulations / restrictions on height you can fly at. Make sure there is no other air traffic. Stay below cloud base to remain visible and avoid boring footage. Careful on descents, they use a surprising amount of battery in GPS and Att flight mode on a Naza controller. You can get a null point directly above your antenna where you can lose reception so avoid flying directly overhead.
  • Strengthen the dramatic: Starting close to the surface then going up. Don't bother going too high as it loses its impact quick.
  • Editing: Good for opening footage. Keep this a low % of footage as good for a quick sharp impact, but viewers quickly lose interest.

Flight footage credits: Some of the flight footage comes from Team-Black-Sheep

03:23

Summary points:

  • What?: Share the thrill of being able to travel to out of the way spots and see what is there. This is about the thrill of the passage as opposed to the details themselves (that invoke the dramatics relating to the Geographic Discovery Reveal)
  • Flight Patterns: Elevator and Arc, Line, Crab and Close Call all can end up with Spy-High Dramatic footage
  • How?: Pick out details close up when you have traveled to a hard to reach place. Gimbal works in all directions effectively for this
  • Gotchas: Watch for signal obstruction as you get close in to the details. Stay too high and its not clear what you have found
  • Strengthen the dramatic: Need a clear sense of the path you took (can edit in from multiple flights). Showing flight manoeuvrings is allowed and a strength to generate this dramatic.
  • Editing: Edit in a story with your clips.

Flight footage credits: Dome flight footage comes from Team-Black-Sheep.

03:35

Summary points:

  • What?: The feeling of being penned in, yet still able to successfully fly through narrow gaps - ultimately it is about the freedom to fly freely with the ability to conquer even small difficult places to get around
  • Flight Patterns: Close Call and the line, occasionally the elevator if you are ascending in narrow circumstances
  • How?: Fly through tight spots - e.g. river gorge, between trees, multirotor assault course
  • Gotchas: Watch for signal obstruction as you fly around things - doing this line of sight can help here
  • Strengthen the dramatic: Proximity and speed. Flight erratics and obvious manoeuvring are fine and add to the dramatic. A sweep in from wide open space to the narrow space works well
  • Editing: Longer clips, good for preview footage at the front of a production. Slow mode works great for close action.

Flight footage credits: Some flight footage comes from Team-Black-Sheep

4 questions

This tests that you have understood key concepts concerning Flight Dramatics

06:50

Summary points for the section on Dramatics

  • The flying framework consists of 4 parts - (1) learn basic skills and knowledge, (2) select flight patterns for each flight, (3) by following these patterns increase the video dramatics you get in your clips, (4) edit the footage into outstanding videos
  • The best clips deliver a strong emotional reaction to the viewer
  • These emotional reactions come from Geographical Dramatics that are seen in the scene and Flight Dramatics where they get a sense of flying
  • There are 4 Geographical Dramatics, The Beauty Shot, The Cover Reveal, The Discovery Reveal and The Movement Shot
  • There are 7 Flight Dramatics, Speed, Height, Distance, Spy-High, The Squeeze and The Crash
  • Learn them so you know what the ideal outcome is of each flight pattern you follow and also how to select impactful footage from your flight

Flight Dramatics Exercise (from 3.30): Review the video and answer the following questions:

  • (1) Which clips give you flight dramatics - i.e. a sense of flying?
  • (2) For those clips that do, which of the 7 flight dramatics are being invoked
  • (3) What editing techniques are being used to strengthen the flight dramatic?

Music Credit: Used with permission of the artist: Someone Else's Memories by Revolution Void

Section 6: How to fly to get great footage - Flight patterns to master
05:55

Introduction to Flight Patterns (summary points)

  • There are 7 to master of differing levels of difficulty and each with its own purpose
  • You need to know them so that, combined with gimbal skills you can use them as your building blocks for planning and executing flights that will increase your % of standout footage
  • You will be taught about each, illustrative footage to support, how, gotchas and why (what video dramatics does each generate)

EXERCISE

  • (1) Select a favourite flight video of your own or from this list
  • Team-Black-Sheep
  • ML ★
  • Other suggested videos - see the discussion for this lecture for suggestions from other students. Post your own links if you have some favourites.
  • (2) Identify which of the 7 flight patterns each clip follows
  • (3) What emotions are being aimed at for the viewer
03:03

The Line Flight Pattern (summary points):

  • What: Your primary flight pattern
  • What: Find a line of geographical interest on a the map prior to arriving or when in the air
  • Why: It meets the viewers expectations - they want to see what might be along lines
  • Why: lines contain points of interest
  • Why: they invoke The Reveal Discovery geographical dramatic type shot
  • Why: they help emphasise Speed and a Sense of Distance flight dramatic type shots
  • Why: they are useful to navigate
  • How: fly smoothly along the line mapping its shape as closely as possible - be wary of man made lines such as fields as there are often wires above them.
01:53

The Elevator Flight Pattern (exercise):

  • Review the illustrative video (exemplar of both editing and flying the flight pattern)
  • Answer the exercise points whilst reviewing the video

Music Credit: World of Fantasy, by Psychadelik Pedestrian through Toucan Music under a CC: BY licence.

02:53

The Crab Flight Pattern (summary points):

  • What?: Film straight ahead whilst flying sideways. Useful for ridges, cliff faces, tracking moving objects
  • How?: Fly normally along route first to check for obstructions and reception issues
  • How?: If flying FPV then be very careful, as you are not looking where you are going - rely on your spotter to warn against issues or use line of sight flying
  • How?: Be careful to not drift forwards or backwards (easy to do as it's the same stick that controls those movements as the sideways movement. If you do drift it can be dangerous and spoil the shot
  • Why?: This flight pattern is not often used so it produces fairly unique shots. Also great source of the Discovery and Cover Reveal geographical dramatics which tend to occur at the same time for this flight pattern.
01:42

The Crab Flight Pattern (exercise)

  • Review the illustrative video (exemplar of both editing and flying the flight pattern)
  • Answer the exercise points whilst reviewing the video

Music Credit: Used with permission of the artists: One Nice Thing Once a Day - composed and performed by UltraCat

02:59

The Elevator Flight Pattern (summary points):

  • What?: Fly straight out, gimbal either straight down, up or horizontal
  • How?: Fly fast if gimbal straight down for best footage, if gimbal horizontal or straight up, fly slow as increased crash risk
  • How?: GPS mode and wind can increase chance of Yaw
  • Why?: Key for the Cover Reveal and Discovery Reveal Geographic Dramatics, and Height and Speed Flight Dramatics
01:07

The Elevator Flight Pattern (exercise)

  • Review the illustrative video (exemplar of both editing and flying the flight pattern)
  • Answer the exercise points whilst reviewing the video

Music Credit: Used with permission of the artists: Unexpected Little Happenings - composed and performed by UltraCat

02:27

The 360 Flight Pattern (summary points):

  • What?: Fixed height and yaw round in a circle for panoramic footage
  • How?: Gain height to say a hill top using GPS to fix position and yaw around SLOWLY
  • How?: Gimbal at or just below horizon, fly with a low sun
  • Why?: Key for the Beauty Geographic Dramatic, and Height and Distance Flight Dramatics
01:18

The 360 Flight Pattern (exercise)

  • Review the illustrative video (exemplar of both editing and flying the flight pattern)
  • Answer the exercise points whilst reviewing the video

Music Credit: Used with permission of the artist: Going Higher - Composed and performed by Bensound

03:12

The Arc Flight Pattern (summary points):

  • What?: Keep your target in the frame as you arc around it in an arc
  • How?: Its complex, requires practice, be extra safety conscious, be ready to address signal loss
  • Why?: One of the most effective flight patterns to return emotive "wow" footage
02:10

The Arc Flight Pattern (exercise)

  • Review the illustrative video (exemplar of both editing and flying the flight pattern)
  • Answer the exercise points whilst reviewing the video

Music Credit: Used with permission of the artist: PopDance - Composed and performed by Bensound

05:09

The Moving & Tracking Flight Pattern (summary points):

  • What?: Get any object moving in your video
  • How?: (1) Hover & Panning, (2) Tracking with Gimbal still, (3) Tracking and moving gimbal
  • How?: If following someone get them to call out their manouvers for smooth flying, good shooting and safety
  • GOTCHAs?: Keep primary focus on environment, not the target. Be aware of unexpected reception issues due to obstruction and or range issues
  • GOTCHAs?: If chasing other Radio Controlled vehicles then make sure your control and video frequency is on a separate channel.
  • Why?: One of the most effective flight patterns to return emotive "wow" footage
02:22

Movement and Tracking Flight Pattern (exercise)

  • Review the illustrative video (exemplar of both editing and flying the flight pattern)
  • Answer the exercise points whilst reviewing the video

Music Credit: Used with permission of the artist: PopDance - Composed and performed by Bensound

03:22

The Close Call Flight Pattern (summary points):

  • What?: Close to the surface flying with both long runs and flybys
  • What?: Impactful footage from slow as well as fast Close Calls, take care not to generate crash footage
  • How?: Practice, slow and flat at first, significant increased crash risk, have spare parts on hand
  • How?: Spotter and planning very important - increased safety considerations!
  • GOTCHAs - reduced field of view, additional reception challenges
  • Why?: Provides you the Speed flight dramatic and an overwhelming sense of movement
03:00

The Close Call Flight Pattern (exercise)

  • Review the illustrative video (exemplar of both editing and flying the flight pattern)
  • Answer the exercise points whilst reviewing the video

Music Credit: Used with permission of the artist: FunnySong - Composed and performed by Bensound

Section 7: Pre-Flight Planning & Flight Day Management
01:37

Summary Points - this section will cover the following questions:

  • How do I find out where i can fly and perform some initial analysis on the viability of the site?
  • What tools can support me in this analysis?
  • How do I make plans to fly the site?
  • What footage could i take to support my aerial filming and photographs?
  • What are the optimum GoPro settings and why have they been recommended?
  • What are the things I should check in preparation for flying and filming?
06:03

Summary points:

  • Create and maintain your own target list of potential flying sites from your general travels and conversations. Include GPS locations of where it is, potential hazards that you can see for further investigation and likely launch/land spots
  • Look at community forums for ideas including
  • Google maps and Earth are potential sources and certainly a great tool for further exploring how likely you will be able to get a successful flight
  • Perform careful due diligence on the site to avoid a wasted trip
  • Distance planning (Google Earth is excellent for this) is important
    • How far is your likely furthest spot from your launch site. Can your drone fly that distance safely. Do local regulations allow you to fly that distance?
    • How far away are the local landing strips, airports or heli-pads? Make sure you are far far away from there and certainly beyond any local regulations around how close you can be to an airfield.
    • Are there any likely sources of radio interference that may cause problems for your flight. These include radio masts, satellite ground stations, weather stations that you might be able to see on the map. Also look for where the nearest urban areas are, factories, schools, hospitals. As well as staying well away from those they can still have strong radio signals travelling far from them that can cause you issues.
  • Make sure the potential site is not in a no fly zone
08:59

Summary Points

  • Identify potential flying targets, flight paths to get to them and flight patterns to follow whilst getting there
  • In order to work out how good a potential flying location might be for collecting good footage consider the following
    • the number of battery packs (and hence flights you can make) - therefore how many times can you fly around a location,
    • the need for making multiple passes of a target or flight pattern - which will determine how much of a location you can cover in one flight
    • factor in-air travel time to get to the target and line yourself up for flying over it - potentially at least 50% of your flight time to also help determine how much of an area you can cover in a flight
    • Consider carefully the time of day you are flying and therefore where the light will be. You can use the Photographers Ephemeris application to help with this
    • From a safety perspective consider whether you can fly from a relatively uninterrupted spot in terms of your launch and landing site.
    • Make sure your launch spot is easily accessable and also there will be clear lines of sight to your flying targets, flight paths and patterns
    • Consider the time of day you will be flying both from a light point of view and also to minimise the chances of people being about.
06:52

Summary Points

  • Use google maps initially to quickly scout out a potential location and access geo-located photos giving you some ideas as to where you may get good footage
  • Use google earth to investigate the site in more detail using its ruler for distance checks of your planned flight and nearest air traffic and likely sources of radio interference
02:14

Summary Points

  • Add in to your final production to help set the scene and tell the story. Also to change the pace of the production at points and surprise the audience
  • Set someone as their task to collect this as it is easy to forget as not the main mission
  • Don't over do it in production as people have come to watch the main show - the aerial footage
  • Ideas for what can make good ground based footage
  1. The journey there and back
  2. Setup
  3. Launches, Landings and flybuys - extra caution in all these situations
  4. Timelapse (either through manipulating video footage or using the GoPro's functions)
  5. A willing audience
  • Remember you can use the stabilisation facility of the gimbal on the quad to get great ground based footage
  • Note in one of the examples I was doing a catch land. You will notice that the machine was a mini quad. Mini quad's often (but not always!) pose less risk than their bigger brothers and sisters, and in this situation I had evaluated the safety concerns for the catch land and decided it was something I was prepared to risk. On this topic, a further point of caution is when you have drones with carbon propellors (which is becoming increasingly common as they are less prone to knicks and breaking). Carbon propellors are hard to break and hence tend to do much more damage if they hit you. Plastic propellors (which i typically use) tend to break much more easily (and hence you don't always have the whole blade spinning around and around if it is to hit something) - though of course they are still dangerous!
07:30

Summary Points:

  • Choose settings to minimise any quality loss when editing the footage
  • Assume that you will be creating your production in Full HD (1080p) and at 24 to 30fps
  • To reduce or negate any quality loss from zooming (e.g. manually to get closer to the details or to correct for horizon drift on a badly calibrated gimbal, and from stabilisation where the computer uses zooming and rotation to stabilise), shoot at 2.7k or even 4k
  • To minimise chances of jelo (wobbles from vibration and the GoPro's mirror-less image sensor) shoot at high frames per second (fps)
  • To allow for post production slow down (e.g. to better synch the timing of clips with each other and any background music or for slow-mode effect) shoot at 48 to 120fps
  • The latest GoPro - the 4 Black Edition, is the most expensive but is thought that it will give you the best image quality for post production editing. It has the sweet spot of 2.7k@ 48/50fps allowing both about 140% zooming and slow mode at half pace without quality loss
  • Use the attached GoPro settings to configure your camera. The recommended setting for your camera are the starting point and should cover 95% of your production needs. The other settings are recommendations and notes are there to allow you to tweak your setting to any special circumstances.
  • For taking photos one method (NOT RECOMMENDED IF RELYING ON THE GOPRO VIEW AS AN FPV IMAGE SOURCE , see next bullet point) is to set your GoPro up to use time-lapse (the camera with a round arrow and clock face icon) with anything from 0.5 to 60 sec intervals between shots though I would recommend 2 sec or under depending on what you are trying to do. BIG WORDS OF CAUTION HERE: for some drones with an FPV view you can see the image coming from the GoPro camera, not just the flight camera. When on the time-lapse function of the GoPro you may only see an image when the camera is taking the shot and it will be completely black aside from that. This can cause big problems for safety, navigation and lining up the shot. This may also be the case where you only have a GoPro camera as your FPV flight camera and that is even more dangerous as you have no other camera to get a view. Personally I would recommend the next method for photos.
  • Another method for getting photos from your flying is to simply extract stills from your video. This has the advantage of you being able to see the camera feed for your first person view flying all the time. The disadvantage here is that the highest resolution image you can get is that of your video settings. Still though as this is often at 2.7k or even 4k it is a bigger resolution than available on most computer screens.
03:44

Summary Points:

  • Check before you get to the flying site
    • Backup then empty memory cards to avoid recording stopping in flight
    • Calibrate your gimbal, if it has such a facility, before each day of flying - you will likely need a flat area (unlikely to find in the field) to do this
    • Check your batteries are charged and no sign of getting to the end of their life (e.g. no puffing, correctly holding charge, each cell holds about the same charge)
    • Bring spares of components to the flying site - it is often the perishing of the smallest cheapest thing that can ground you
    • Balance your props to avoid vibrations impacting your footage
    • Ensure all firmwares are up to date
    • Seek necessary flying permissions and log necessary flight plans
  • Prepare your launch environment
    • Discuss your plans with any relevant members of the public and warn them what you are doing
    • Perform weather and lighting checks (any rain incoming or bad light)
    • If flying with others then ensure your control signals and video signals are on channels that will not interfere with each other
    • Turn off mobile phones or turn to airplane mode to avoid interference issues
    • If flying in tandem designate a lead pilot and get them to call out their moves before they make them
    • Discuss your flight plan with your spotter
03:21

Summary Points:

  • Select the correct density of neutral density filter - the best defence against jelo.
    • Very bright days in places with lots of glare - high density,
    • Medium density for normal mid-day environment,
    • Low density to no ND filter for darker situations such as sunset and sunrise.
  • Check over kit for signs of problems
    • Wires and plugs
    • Props are tight and not chipped
    • Antenna are screwed in (including on controller and video receiver)
    • GoPro is on and set to record, with Wifi off
  • Complete any compass calibration to increase chance of GPS lock working correctly and other functions that rely on a compass
  • Do an initial hover test to ensure there is no drift and wait for GPS lock if you are flying with it
  • Check your controller to make sure that you haven't accidentally set Trim (a common cause of drift)
  • Check your video link (if present) is working
  • When your first flight is complete carefully move spent batteries. Allow to cool before storing in a lipo pouch. I recommend using electrical tape or some cap on your plugs to indicate they are full
  • Backup your footage between flights if possible to avoid extreme sadness in the case of losing your machine AND your footage
Section 8: Design Principals to follow to edit your footage into something stunning.
03:49

Summary Points

  • Overarching design principle: Entertain your audience every second and aim to ensure ongoing viewing
  • Design principles come from YouTube analytics, observational research, commentary analysis and interaction with others focussing heavily on aerial productions
  • Design principles to be discussed will include guidance on timing, content, what to ensure does not make it in the production, how to deal with annotations to the production (e.g. credits), selection of music, editing dos and don'ts
  • Software How2s will cover a generic workflow from raw footage, selection, sequencing of clips, effects and final touches. It will be demonstrated in software. Look out for raw footage so you can practice the demonstrations
05:21

Summary Points:

  • Target length of each video should be 3 minutes
  • Individual clip length should be a maximum of 20seconds long
  • Put Shorter clips earlier on
  • Clips in the 1st half should be about a third of the length of those in the second half
02:16

Summary Points:

  1. Love the Music you are editing to (otherwise you wont be able to give the editing the attention it needs)
  2. Go for music with low lyrical content
  3. Music needs to be medium to fast paced
  4. It needs to have pace changes within it
04:07

Summary Points:

  1. Remove any content with no dramatics within it (boring content)
  2. Remove footage with content that weakens or breaks the dramatic. This comes from 2 sources
    1. Flight erratics (e.g. )
      1. Yaw
      2. Un smooth control
      3. Missing the target
    2. Visual erratics (e.g. )
      1. Jelo
      2. Blur
      3. Low Light
      4. Propellers
      5. Unstabilised footage
      6. Horizon drift
03:21

Summary Points (repeated across all 3 "Selecting and Positioning Content" lectures):

  • Principle 1: Select content that follows some theme. This could be content from a location (e.g. The beach, or Malaysia), or a visual theme such as sunsets, mountains etc. Footage having some linking factor will instil a sense of cohesion with the audience
  • Principle 2: Sometimes select clips that help tell a story within your video. Don't overdo this as it will be unpopular with your viewers. Use of ground footage can help. Story sequences are needed for including Spy-High flight dramatics as that dramatic comes from showing people the path that is used to get there (a mini story).
  • Principle 3: Select content that has the most dramatics. Flying to flight patterns has already increased the chance of this. Use the Dramatics Amplification Grid to aid you in pairing down the material even further to end up with the footage that has the highest dramatical content. This gets you to look at the following elements in your footage
    • Colour & Lighting,
    • Patterns,
    • Content showing different locations,
    • Video dramatics
    • Then look for those items that show variety, rarity and extremes
  • Principle 4: Position your content and cut it to either a short, medium or long duration depending on the primary video dramatic off the clip. Use the Dramatics Help Guide to remind yourself the guidance on these points for each clip
05:29

Summary Points (repeated across all 3 "Selecting and Positioning Content" lectures):

  • Principle 1: Select content that follows some theme. This could be content from a location (e.g. The beach, or Malaysia), or a visual theme such as sunsets, mountains etc. Footage having some linking factor will instil a sense of cohesion with the audience
  • Principle 2: Sometimes select clips that help tell a story within your video. Don't overdo this as it will be unpopular with your viewers. Use of ground footage can help. Story sequences are needed for including Spy-High flight dramatics as that dramatic comes from showing people the path that is used to get there (a mini story).
  • Principle 3: Select content that has the most dramatics. Flying to flight patterns has already increased the chance of this. Use the Dramatics Amplification Grid to aid you in pairing down the material even further to end up with the footage that has the highest dramatical content. This gets you to look at the following elements in your footage
    • Colour & Lighting,
    • Patterns,
    • Content showing different locations,
    • Video dramatics
    • Then look for those items that show variety, rarity and extremes
  • Principle 4: Position your content and cut it to either a short, medium or long duration depending on the primary video dramatic off the clip. Use the Dramatics Help Guide to remind yourself the guidance on these points for each clip
02:22

Summary Points (repeated across all 3 "Selecting and Positioning Content" lectures):

  • Principle 1: Select content that follows some theme. This could be content from a location (e.g. The beach, or Malaysia), or a visual theme such as sunsets, mountains etc. Footage having some linking factor will instil a sense of cohesion with the audience
  • Principle 2: Sometimes select clips that help tell a story within your video. Don't overdo this as it will be unpopular with your viewers. Use of ground footage can help. Story sequences are needed for including Spy-High flight dramatics as that dramatic comes from showing people the path that is used to get there (a mini story).
  • Principle 3: Select content that has the most dramatics. Flying to flight patterns has already increased the chance of this. Use the Dramatics Amplification Grid to aid you in pairing down the material even further to end up with the footage that has the highest dramatical content. This gets you to look at the following elements in your footage
    • Colour & Lighting,
    • Patterns,
    • Content showing different locations,
    • Video dramatics
    • Then look for those items that show variety, rarity and extremes
  • Principle 4: Position your content and cut it to either a short, medium or long duration depending on the primary video dramatic off the clip. Use the Dramatics Help Guide to remind yourself the guidance on these points for each clip
03:51

Summary Points

  • Annotations are anything you add on top of your footage (e.g. info about where you fly)
  • Ask yourself are they adding to the entertainment factor to the viewer?
  • Do not have standalone annotations - if you must put them in then do so at the end so people can still enjoy the show
  • Avoid big distracting watermarks
  • Do not say "Thanks for watching"
  • Place annotations only after first 45seconds of the video
02:40

Summary Points (covering all seven Editing Design Principles (EDPs)) (3 lectures)

  • EDP1 - Group clips by theme (location, flight dramatics, geographical dramatics, pattern - sunsets, fields etc)
  • EDP2 - Sequence clips together from a single group simply by playing them sequentially especially where they come from a single flight path. Cut out sections of the flight to speed it up, remove boring parts and keep the overall presentation of the path below 20s
  • EDP3 - Sequence clips together from multiple groups by alternating a clip from each group. For the highest impact effect "leap frog" the clips so when you return to the clip from a group you don't play the clip from where you left off the last time, but play from further along to meet viewers implicit expectations that the action was continuing whilst they were looking at the other clip.
  • EDP4 - Music Synchronisation - synchronise clip changes to the beats in the music precisely!
  • EDP5 - Music Synchronisation - synchronise changes between groups of clips (themes in your production) at the point where the music has a big change
  • EDP6 - Music Synchronisation - Position clips with very strong dramatical content at the big change points in the music to further amplify the dramatical content
  • EDP7 - Effects - Only use them to enhance the dramatics. To avoid them becoming a distraction and actually weaken the dramatics use them very sparingly, limit the types of effects you use.

Music Credit: Peace (original max) by Redman, through Toucan Music under a CC: BY licence.

Music Credit: Used with permission of the artist: Someone Else's Memories by Revolution Void

03:56

Summary Points (covering all seven Editing Design Principles (EDPs)) (3 lectures)

  • EDP1 - Group clips by theme (location, flight dramatics, geographical dramatics, pattern - sunsets, fields etc)
  • EDP2 - Sequence clips together from a single group simply by playing them sequentially especially where they come from a single flight path. Cut out sections of the flight to speed it up, remove boring parts and keep the overall presentation of the path below 20s
  • EDP3 - Sequence clips together from multiple groups by alternating a clip from each group. For the highest impact effect "leap frog" the clips so when you return to the clip from a group you don't play the clip from where you left off the last time, but play from further along to meet viewers implicit expectations that the action was continuing whilst they were looking at the other clip.
  • EDP4 - Music Synchronisation - synchronise clip changes to the beats in the music precisely!
  • EDP5 - Music Synchronisation - synchronise changes between groups of clips (themes in your production) at the point where the music has a big change
  • EDP6 - Music Synchronisation - Position clips with very strong dramatical content at the big change points in the music to further amplify the dramatical content
  • EDP7 - Effects - Only use them to enhance the dramatics. To avoid them becoming a distraction and actually weaken the dramatics use them very sparingly, limit the types of effects you use.

Music Credit: Peace (original max) by Redman, through Toucan Music under a CC: BY licence.

Music Credit: Used with permission of the artist: Someone Else's Memories by Revolution Void

06:12

Summary Points (covering all seven Editing Design Principles (EDPs)) (3 lectures)

  • EDP1 - Group clips by theme (location, flight dramatics, geographical dramatics, pattern - sunsets, fields etc)
  • EDP2 - Sequence clips together from a single group simply by playing them sequentially especially where they come from a single flight path. Cut out sections of the flight to speed it up, remove boring parts and keep the overall presentation of the path below 20s
  • EDP3 - Sequence clips together from multiple groups by alternating a clip from each group. For the highest impact effect "leap frog" the clips so when you return to the clip from a group you don't play the clip from where you left off the last time, but play from further along to meet viewers implicit expectations that the action was continuing whilst they were looking at the other clip.
  • EDP4 - Music Synchronisation - synchronise clip changes to the beats in the music precisely!
  • EDP5 - Music Synchronisation - synchronise changes between groups of clips (themes in your production) at the point where the music has a big change
  • EDP6 - Music Synchronisation - Position clips with very strong dramatical content at the big change points in the music to further amplify the dramatical content
  • EDP7 - Effects - Only use them to enhance the dramatics. To avoid them becoming a distraction and actually weaken the dramatics use them very sparingly, limit the types of effects you use.

Music Credit: Peace (original max) by Redman, through Toucan Music under a CC: BY licence.

Music Credit: Used with permission of the artist: Someone Else's Memories by Revolution Void

Section 9: How to edit your footage into your final production - An example using FCPX
03:58

Editing Workflow

  1. Select footage
  2. Select music
  3. Markup music
  4. Colour grade selected clips
  5. Rank order the colour graded clips
  6. Sequence and resize the clips to the music (including retiming the clips)
  7. Add effects (e.g. transitions, sharpening, stabilisation, extra retiming)
  8. Add annotations, final review and publish / export etc.
11:05

Summary Points

  1. Set up a new event and project in FCPX
  2. Import your footage directly into the timeline
  3. Skim the footage and look for flight erratics, use the blade tool to cut them out
  4. Repeat until you have a series of mini clips that might make the final production
  5. Using the design principles on "what content to keep in" decide whether to keep all the flight-erratics-free clips or not

Raw Flight Footage - this is available for you to download to practice the editing techniques in this section of the course

14:17

Summary Points

  1. Initially do rough and ready marking
  2. Mark up the pulses you here in the music (pick the most prominent one)
  3. Mark up the regular beats and also mark up the big changes
  4. Zoom into the sound waveform and check to make sure you were fully accurate (the marks typically go on peaks in the waveform

Music Credit: Used with permission of the artist: La Santanera by Jonah Dempcy

12:26

Summary Points

  1. Select a clip and use FCPX's colour grading panel that will get you a good result quickly
  2. Start off adjusting the exposure so you have as much dynamic range as possible to bring out the details. Use the Video Scopes panel to aid in this process pushing up the high tones to 100 and the shadows down to zero then play with the mid tones to make the image look just right. Only refer to the scopes as a starting point otherwise go by eye
  3. Then adjust saturation. Start with the highs, then the shadows then the mid tones then use the global adjustment for final touches
  4. Play around with the colour adjustment if you need to. Be very subtle with this
  5. With your first clip complete copy the clip (Command C) and then paste the colour attributes to similar clips to give you a head start on colour grading them.
  6. Check the remaining clips to see how well the paste attributes worked and adjust till right.
  7. Job Done.
  8. Consider using Davinci Resolve for more refined colour grading. It takes longer as you will need to export from FCPX into Resolve, adjust the clips then bring them back in for completing the production in FCPX. Davinici Resolve has an almost complete in functionality free version so it worth a look at
05:39

Summary Steps

  • Consider the first 3 design principles around content selection
    • Do you have clips that follow a theme? Do they follow a story? Do they have strong dramatical content considering Colour & Light, Patterns, Location and Dramatic Types and are their examples of those in the extreme, with variety or rarity
  • Look at each clip and decide how it best meets these points and position the best to the left the worst to the right
  • Make sure you have your screen set up optimally to do this with as much of the picture on show as possible. Also don't be shy about correcting a bit of colour grading if you see any issues.

17:56

Summary Points

  • Position the music under the flight footage
  • Slice up the clips one at a time so they match to the beat changes in the music
  • For the first 45-60seconds of the tune have quick changes in your footage then lengthen them out
  • Make sure you remember to put in more dramatic rich shots on the big changes with the music
  • Constantly strive to amplify the dramatics and consider the Dramatics Amplification Grid to help you with this
  • Sneak in the odd effect at this stage if it is very obvious that it will be effective
04:00

Summary Points

Two methods you can use

  1. Re-time the whole clip by selecting it and then selecting the new speed from the re-timing menu. Alternatively you can select the clip type control R and then manually retime dragging the handles on the timing bar that appears above the clip.
    1. The issue with this method is that it leads to hard timing changes between clips. This can be appropriate for some speed changes, but often the second method should be used as this gives a more gradual speed ramp
  2. Re-time part of the clip.
    1. Move to the point where you want the re-time to start and press "i" for in
    2. Move to the point where you want the retime to stop and press "o" for out
    3. Press Shift N to get a retiming bar over the new selection and the other bits of the clip
    4. Manually retime as desired (or use the drop down from the arrow on the retime bar
    5. adjust the speed ramps (the grey areas on the re-time bar) to adjust the speed change
    6. This method can be used to fake increased speed
02:33

Summary Points

  • As a rule apply the sharpen effect to all clips and then check and adjust (GoPro Protune is the recommended setting and this has little to no sharpening as standard so it needs to be added)
  • The 2.5 standard sharpening is often spot on
  • Apply sharpen to one clip and then copy the clip and paste its attributes to the other clips to quickly sharpen the whole project
06:14

Summary Points

  • Apply stabilisation with caution as it can easily do more harm than good
  • Set your GoPro to a higher resolution than your productions planned output resolution to aid with stabilisation as it zooms into the image slightly in order to be able to apply the effect
  • If you apply stabilisation across your footage then check each item very carefully. Consider playing with the sliders to improve the effect. The translation smooth slider tends to help with Yaw issues that need stabilisation.
05:13

Summary Points

  • Transition use 1: emphasise or ease switch from one set of footage to another (e.g. beach to jungle). Recommend a soft transition for this
  • Transition use 2: Emphasise the beat of the music. Recommend a hard transition
  • Transition use 3: Disguise flight erratics. Recommend a soft transition
  • When applying transitions make them slightly shorter that the standard FCPX proposes to allow the viewer to return to the main show
  • Hard Transitions include Light Flash, Bloom
  • Soft transitions include, Lens Flare, Blurs & dissolves
04:44

Summary Points:

  • For the final touches consider applying the letterbox effect if there are lots of geographical dramatics. For flight dramatics stick with the standard TV like view
  • Insert a PNG image of a letterbox rather than use the native letterbox effect as that restricts you on how much you can move the footage
  • Apply the letterbox only towards the end as it makes for constant reprocessing
05:13

Summary Points

  • Add in your titles
  • Go for discrete annotations
  • Place them in the letterbox black bands if they are there to keep them out of the way
  • Aim to make your own titles if you have the software to help your productions standout
  • Lower thirds titles work very well
Section 10: Conclusion
00:56

Summary Points

Congratulations - you have reached the end

You have learnt

  • 3 areas of legal focus
  • 10 areas of safety focus
  • Drone Hardware and Editing Software Selection
  • Camera Recommendations
  • 16 Basic Flying Skills and Principles
  • A whole new language and way of thinking about flying (The Flying Framework)
  • 7 Online resources and tools to help you plan
  • 2 Custom checklists
  • 25 Design Principles
  • 2 Tools to support your design
  • 8 Step editing workflow
My Recommended Flight Videos and Photos
Article
Article

This will contain links to any great flight videos that people make or are aware of. This section will have content added to it as the links are left in the discussion areas of the course. They can be even short videos which are great examples of some of the teaching points in this cours

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Instructor Biography

Dr Bruce Geddes, Aerial Videographer, Photographer and Learning Expert

Bruce is an aerial videographer & photographer with worldwide experience making outstanding aerial productions with a drone. He has made over 1000 flights, videoing and photographing with a quadcopter (including extensive build and maintenance experience). This has included being a guest pilot for Team-Black-Sheep, flying internationally over an ever growing list of countries.

Bruce has many popular YouTube videos and channel with 1000's of hits. His videos have been picked up by numerous sites including BuzzFeed. He has extensive editing and video compilation experience using a wide range of tools including FCPX, Adobe Product suites, Davinci Resolve.

His main focus with this creative passion has been to develop an approach to both maximise the chances of him and others getting standout footage from every flight and also in how to turn that footage into stunning videos. This has resulted in development of a unique framework and methodology to guide flying, filming and editing.

Aside from producing aerial imagery Bruce's life long passion has been in educating others. He is a learning and process expert with a PhD in Cognitive Psychology specialising in learning.

He has developed numerous methodologies to guide his teams and students. He was a Director for one of the world's leading management consultancy firms providing learning services, and was responsible for the development of learning solutions globally. He is an expert in design and delivery of both instructor based learning solutions and eLearning solutions.

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