Litchi Way Point Flight

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#1
I got the nerve up to try a Litchi mission flight several weeks ago in anticipation of a trip to the Texas Hill Country. It was a short flight but still unnerving to see that white bird go out of sight.
I created several missions using VLM and Google Earth in anticipation of this trip. Yesterday I flew a 15 minute, two mile mission at Enchanted Rock State Park. It made a complete circle around and I launched on the roadside outside of the park. Something is unnatural to send that Phantom where you loose contact with it for about 10 minutes total. It was nice to hear that buzz getting louder as it came closer. I had 43% battery left. I got some what I think to be some fine video but have to wait till I get back home to start editing. I'll post a link in a couple of days. ...
 
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#2
I got the nerve up to try a Litchi mission flight several weeks ago in anticipation of a trip to the Texas Hill Country. It was a short flight but still unnerving to see that white bird go out of sight.
I created several missions using VLM and Google Earth in anticipation of this trip. Yesterday I flew a 15 minute, two mile mission at Enchanted Rock State Park. It made a complete circle around and I launched on the roadside outside of the park. Something is unnatural to send that Phantom where you loose contact with it for about 10 minutes total. It was nice to hear that buzz getting louder as it came closer. I had 43% battery left. I got some what I think to be some fine video but have to wait till I get back home to start editing. I'll post a link in a couple of days. ...
Yes indeed. In fact, I'm going to post something similar in a few minutes.
I live in Austin - you? (Hotter'n Hades here this week)
 
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#6
I recently had a viewer compliment a video I put up "especially if you flew the mission manually". That was the responding poster's quote. Umm, hello ... digital autonomy, autopilots, mission planners, digital plotters (all the creations of humans btw) will always fly/perform rings around human control in 95% of flight ops. That's why they were created. I plan waypoint missions, etc. exactly because there is no way I (or most anyone else) could ever fly same with more precision, smoothness, dependability. A computer will calculate (AND EXECUTE) the necessary control inputs (for let's say a circular orbit around an object) with a level of precision not likely to be achieved with most manual "stick and rudder" attempts. If I wanted to be come the best flyer of unmanned vehicles, I certainly would not have invested in flying cameras.

My video endeavors are almost always a combination of footage from 2 different drones flying both waypoint missions, pre-supplied flight ops (say, orbit or course lock, etc.) and manual VLOS flight, and only very occasionally some stills or stock footage. My style is to always emphasize AERIAL footage as we see many very accomplished video editors/content creators often use quite sparse aerial footage as they marvel us with their mastery of the editing tools and their creative process.
 
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#7
I recently had a viewer compliment a video I put up "especially if you flew the mission manually". That was the responding poster's quote. Umm, hello ... digital autonomy, autopilots, mission planners, digital plotters (all the creations of humans btw) will always fly/perform rings around human control in 95% of flight ops. That's why they were created. I plan waypoint missions, etc. exactly because there is no way I (or most anyone else) could ever fly same with more precision, smoothness, dependability. A computer will calculate (AND EXECUTE) the necessary control inputs (for let's say a circular orbit around an object) with a level of precision not likely to be achieved with most manual "stick and rudder" attempts. If I wanted to be come the best flyer of unmanned vehicles, I certainly would not have invested in flying cameras.

My video endeavors are almost always a combination of footage from 2 different drones flying both waypoint missions, pre-supplied flight ops (say, orbit or course lock, etc.) and manual VLOS flight, and only very occasionally some stills or stock footage. My style is to always emphasize AERIAL footage as we see many very accomplished video editors/content creators often use quite sparse aerial footage as they marvel us with their mastery of the editing tools and their creative process.
I suspect you may have been over sensitive in your take on feedback. Have you considered it was simply the responders observation might have been it would have required a significant level of pilot skill to accomplish on the sticks?

I use litchi and autopilot. I still fly manually most of the time. Orbits are probably the simplest move to pull off on the sticks, esp with the quality of the video downlink to assist framing. Also, for me anyway, I find changes in altitude through the take and moving the main POI within the frame adds significantly to the result. While you can pre-plan missions that doesn’t help you with moving subjects or in circumstances where your creative intent changes at the location and you don’t have time to plan a new mission with fading light etc. Mission planning is a skill and art as much as good piloting skills. You might have a firm preference for autonomous flight- you can have that and respect the skill required to fly manually also.

Was the subject video cape Elizabeth lighthouse? If so it is beautifully done and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s not important to me how it was flown, it’s the final product that is matters and that includes the editing and sound as much as anything. I will say there is no component that could not have been flown manually as well.
 
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#8
I suspect you may have been over sensitive in your take on feedback. Have you considered it was simply the responders observation might have been it would have required a significant level of pilot skill to accomplish on the sticks?

I use litchi and autopilot. I still fly manually most of the time. Orbits are probably the simplest move to pull off on the sticks, esp with the quality of the video downlink to assist framing. Also, for me anyway, I find changes in altitude through the take and moving the main POI within the frame adds significantly to the result. While you can pre-plan missions that doesn’t help you with moving subjects or in circumstances where your creative intent changes at the location and you don’t have time to plan a new mission with fading light etc. Mission planning is a skill and art as much as good piloting skills. You might have a firm preference for autonomous flight- you can have that and respect the skill required to fly manually also.

Was the subject video cape Elizabeth lighthouse? If so it is beautifully done and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s not important to me how it was flown, it’s the final product that is matters and that includes the editing and sound as much as anything. I will say there is no component that could not have been flown manually as well.
Thank you for your thoughtful response. Not really oversensitive put did not have the eloquence to express as you did. To reiterate, for me, it's about the aerial aesthetic.

As we have both outlined, there are a multiple means to that end and I will continue to use them where If they aid in achieving the result I'm pursuing. I'm learning for that every minute or so of usable footage, it has been equating to about 10 or 15 minutes of post processing, sometimes more, sometimes less - many variables. At the end of the day, subjectivity is the rigor of the moment.

BTW, I also take pride in my stick abilities. As I teach UAV flight, safety and application to my middle school students, the cameras they have are mostly left out of the equation. The students, most anyhow, learn what the flying is all about.

Thanks again for your thoughtful reply.
 
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#9
I am the one that made that statement. I did not mean anything by it. It is a great video. You have to admit doing those maneuvers by hand would deserve extra props. Wasn't trying to take anything away.
 
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#10
Thanks NW ... in fact, some of it was flown "by hand". Flying in IMC conditions (say fog for instance) with a UAV is reckless behavior IMO. While we do have telemetry, it's not quite suited for that purpose. Thanks for the props!

P.S. Sure would, one day, like to see that place, Mesa AZ. I know it's exquisite.
 
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