Here’s a guest post by Helen Clark. I think you’ll find this information helpful and useful in refining your skills as a drone pilot. Feel free to leave a comment on what you thought and if you found it beneficial!
Honing your drone skills for creative drone videography
Video editors increasingly like to incorporate drone footage into their productions. The footage provided by a skilled drone pilot can add a creative touch to many different video formats. To tap the advantages a drone can provide, it’s important to have solid piloting skills at your disposal. A skilled drone pilot will not only avoid mishaps that can derail a production but will have the skill to properly execute complex movements and shots in a smooth, controlled fashion. This is the kind of footage that video editors love to use – here’s how to hone your skills so you can provide it to them.
Master the basics
It may seem obvious, but before you start getting those great shots, you need to spend some time mastering the basics of drone piloting. Keep it simple to start. Find a large open area and practice the basics of take-off and landing, hovering, moving backward and forwards, and circling. Only then, start adding in flying to and around specific destinations. That can be as simple as setting up a simple course with some cones and navigating around it. And you don’t have to wait for the weekend to get outside and practice. There are numerous drone flight simulators where you can hone your basic skills too.
Many pilots start by piloting by a line of sight, but then move into FPV (first person view) remote piloting as they improve. When you’re transitioning into this, be sure to use a spotter to keep you aware of obstacles you may not be able to see through the drone’s FPV camera.
Understand your drone’s flight modes
Many models of drones have different flight modes within the controls. Be familiar with the performance aspects of each. A “beginner” mode might allow you to fly safely but won’t allow the sort of fine control you’ll need for complicated shots. Likewise, “expert” settings may allow you to execute some very impressive maneuvers, but also let you get in over your head if your skill set isn’t up to snuff.
Whichever settings you use, remember that the objective is to get usable footage to your video editors. So, don’t get caught up in showing off your flying skills when all video editors want is smooth, consistent footage.
Smooth and slow is the ticket
To the point raised above. Video editors want footage they can use. And that usually means slowing down your drone and concentrating on the fluid movement of the drone and camera. As you develop your skills, set up practice situations and simulations that allow you to practice these skills. Video editors aren’t interested in your drone racing skills, but they’ll pay well for a long, steady shot.
Skills to master
Most drone videography consists of variations on panning shots. Here are some basic skills to practice before you start marketing yourself to video editors.
• The Bird’s Eye View: The bird’s eye view is a favorite of video editors. With the camera pointing straight down, the drone rises straight up. To pull off this shot successfully, you’ll need to practice tracking straight up at an even speed. For a variation, rotate the drone on its axis to create a spinning effect.
• The Strafe: To execute the strafe, the drone needs to slide across the “frame” where the action is occurring. The key element of a successful strafe is maintaining a constant speed and altitude.
• The Fly-through: As the name suggests, with a fly-through the object is to move through a gap or series of obstacles. This is where your practice of the fundamentals pays off!
• Orbits: Orbits can require some skill in pacing and control. In an orbit, you slowly circle an object at a constant speed and altitude. Practicing at low altitude around a fixed location is great preparation.
Helen Clark has over 5 years of experience in writing and creating Video films. She has been associated with a host of sites related to Video films and has the expertise to work both on an editorial and advisory level. She intends to educate and keep audience abreast of the latest trends in the world of videography and filmmaking. Presently, she is associated with Video Caddy – a video editing service company that is engaged in video editing and animation. For more: https://www.videocaddy.com/