Wanted critical comments - a few of my recent flight clips

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I've had my P3S for about five or six weeks; I've passed the 107 and am waiting for my hard card; in the interim, I've been practicing my flight control and videography with the aircraft. Below are a few clips I've created for which I'm looking for critical comments on flight control, video technique and whatever thoughts you have. Thanks in advance!

Jeff





 
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I've had my P3S for about five or six weeks; I've passed the 107 and am waiting for my hard card; in the interim, I've been practicing my flight control and videography with the aircraft. Below are a few clips I've created for which I'm looking for critical comments on flight control, video technique and whatever thoughts you have......

I'll just provide a quick rundown of suggestions based on the videos you have posted so far:

1) Create your videos by using separate clips showing seperate scenes, and keep each clip to no more than 8s per clip. The Marshfield Marshes video was all the same footage. You could have used tilt up, crane up, dolly in, truck left, orbit, etc. clips to make the same footage much more interesting. I typically do not let any single clip last longer than 5s without some kind of viewpoint, perspective, or other change and neither does Hollywood.

2) Use the audio to change clips. You had a good audio track in the Marshfield video but you did not use the audio cue points to change clips. This makes everything look much more professional.

3) Never show drone flight corrections; this looks very amateurish. If you are trying to film a straight line or follow a set path, if the drone drifts off course throw the clip away and start over. The worst thing to do in a professional video is to try to correct mid clip; it is very distracting and looks terrible. Many times I have needed multiple takes to get a shot perfect; drones drift off course due to wind, control delay etc all the time; this should never show in your finished footage.

4) Personal preference but I almost never show the drone turning. This is just not an eye pleasing maneuver unless you are slowly following something that curves on the ground. Even then, I try to make turns as imperceptible as possible.

5) Use standard Hollywood camera movements; they have decades of experience and know what works and what doesn't no need to reinvent the wheel. Get good at truck left/rights, orbits, pan left/right, tilt up/down, dolly in/out, etc.

6) Fix the horizon. All drones especially in wind tend to tilt slightly left or right, and this shows when the horizon is crooked. Nothing looks less professional than a leaning horizon unless it is a racing video. Fix the horizon in post by straightening it using whatever editing software you use.

7) For professional aerial video work you will need a P4 no two ways about it. The huge difference between the P4 and P3 is that the P4 uses a mechanical shutter; this means no more video jello. I was having to reshoot video footage on average of 40% due to jello with the P3; now that the P4 is available I would never film a professional aerial video job with anything less.

Also, I would never fly through an object like you did in one of your videos. Sure it looks cool, and if its your own backyard may be acceptable, but when I am on a job site I make it clear to my customers that drones are for the big picture, I don't fly below 100' unless I am taking off or landing and I am not going to do anything even remotely risky to the drone, objects on the ground, or people. If the customer wants ground footage or detail clips, I'll be happy to pull out my DSLRs and ground equipment; but not the drone.
 
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Excellent feedback, Herein2014. I echo everything you've said.

If you want to be professional, study what professionals do. It works and it's what clients expect.
 
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I'd like to add: Watch the two Los Angeles videos shot by Ian Wood on his "Meet the mods" post. This is how to do it (with the tiny exception of a couple of drone shadows that crept into frame!).
 
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I would slow down your turns and some shots demand a closer view. If I recall you are flying a 3 Standard. Your film is very good particularly considering your equipment. You will only get better my friend.
 
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Herein2014 provided some excellent tips. The most difficult thing to manage are the turns (yaw). A very light touch is required, with long, slow yaw control. Keeping a uniform pressure on the left joystick, together with changes in elevation and speed requires a deft touch. Those turns are amplified with the horizon in the distance. Using an app like Autopilot in waypoint mode would provide the smooth bezier flight path you’re trying to achieve.
 
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Wow!! Great critical feedback. Please review mine please.

Nice scene. The opening shot low over the pond is a bit weak cause it’s hard to tell you’re moving without something else in the foreground. Try it either with the shoreline or trees in the shot or flying faster and rising up to reveal the greater landscape. Make sure any yaw, turns, gimbal moves are slow, smooth, unified. Don’t reverse course in the middle of a shot or anything that’s not smooth. Just cut around the awkward moves.

I also think you’re flying pretty high in most of these shots. It’s a beautiful scene, but you need to bring other elements into the footage. Closer to the camera. That’s where the drama is, that parallax effect of elements in the fore, mid and background. The trees, road, shoreline. Try some more different moves and see how it all cuts together in post. Flying sideways works sometimes, but in moderation. Reveal by flying backwards. Fly over a prominent feature while gently tilting the gimbal down. Rise up from the water level with a large tree as the subject. Use some sweeping turns. There are so many moves you can think up and a great place to practice them.
 
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That's what I want Macfawlty! Thanks for the feedback. Your dead on about the opening shot. The seagulls flew away on the first Litchi run . To add to your criticism, I also learned about the need for extra footage. Two mission runs and I was afraid of another on each (2) battery. That's what you mean by planning your shoot huh? Should have taken that juice and did 'fill in shots' as you describe above. I'll have to add those to my next mission 'over the fence'. This lake is a full 8th mile away.

More coming.
 
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I’m learning along with you and everyone else. Photos are easy. Video is exponentially more complicated. Grab another battery or two. Plan the moves you want to perfect. Use a printout of a wide angle photo of your landscape and draw out your moves. Here’s an instructive series of video camera moves
Working your joysticks and gimbal takes a lot of practice. Yaw is the most challenging as it creates the most radical motion. The gimbal is similar in that respect.

I also use the Autopilot app. It’s the most fully featured. All the methods and controls you could ever want... which adds to the complexity, obviously.
 
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Some real nice moves in your video. Yaw is such a tricky thing to do smoothly. Good editing.
 
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Color ok with you guys? I just got ripped to shreds on a hometown page a minute ago but understand this stuff is very suggestive. Mmmm
 
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I'm brand new to video editing - but have been doing still photography work for a very long time. It seems the term 'color grading' is what I would refer to as 'HSL (Hue Saturation, and Luminace) adjustment,' or 'tonal adjustment' in still photography.

On my monitor, I do see a magenta hue over most of the tonal range in the video, most notably in the mid-tones and highlights. Also, around the :53 mark, I noticed a bit of a stutter...do you know what caused that?

Can I ask what video editor you used? And, that waterfront looks familiar - is this Washington, NC?
 
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Yep. Washington NC!! Thanks for your input my friend. I am brand new to this coloring thing. How would one correct what you've seen? I'll check the timeline again but I think that shuddering came from the set shutter speed and too fast moving the camera. Shutter speed was 30 fps. That fast of movement there required around 60. Nd32 lens. Could have done it with a 16.
 

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