Please select Into the mobile phone version | Continue to access the computer ver.
DJI Drone Cinematic Shooting Tips
12948 23 2016-5-26 02:14:12
DJI-Ranen
DJI team
Hong Kong
Offline

DJI drones enable casual users to take beautiful shots in their everyday life or on vacation. However, skilled professionals who use drones to film movies and TV shows can capture footage that’s often distinctly more beautiful and powerful. How do they do this? Well, take a closer look at some of the special skills and techniques that set the pros apart from the Joes.

Finding Foreground
Landscapes often make for awe-inspiringly beautiful photos, but filming a landscape high in the air isn’t always so exciting. As such, there are significant benefits to finding a nice foreground when shooting aerial video. One of my personal favorites is using what some call a “reveal shot." This is when you start with a closed framing and move to an open framing. Start a shot with only an object in the foreground visible, then do a gimbal tilt or control the aircraft to reveal the whole landscape or something cool that the audience couldn’t see at the start of the shot. Including a reveal shot in your videos may give them that "wow factor" you're looking for.

1.gif

As a matter of fact, drone users film their own type of reveal shots all time: Dronies. Dronies start with just the pilot (and maybe their friends and some spectators) in the frame, then the drone flies backwards to reveal their environment. Feel free to share your favorite dronies in the comments/thread.
            
Even if you don’t do a complete closed framing and just frame your shot with an object in foreground, it will give your shot nice depth, which is an element of composition that often gets overlooked by the casual videographer.

2.gif

You have to make sure your focus is set correctly, and then plan out your shot. You can control the aircraft manually, or use Waypoints or TapFly to help you out.

Relative Motion

Shots that capture relative motion express speed and intensity. One way to capture relative motion is to have the aircraft and filmed object move towards each other. The hardest thing about executing these shots is that the pilot has to accurately estimate the distance between the aircraft and the object they’re filming while their drone and the object are speeding towards each other. Airflow also needs to be taken into account, especially if you’re moving towards a car or truck.

3.gif

Capturing Speed

DJI drones are fast, but it can be hard to film cars travelling quickly. As such, cars often need to slow down so the drone can keep up. So how do you make a car look like it's speeding by? There are two general solutions to this problem:
1.  Fly Close to the Ground
This will enhance the sense of speed because the foreground will be rushing by.
2. Use Medium and Long Lenses
The Zenmuse X5 and X5S support long Micro 4/3 lenses. Compression of space from such lenses will make the foreground appear to be moving even faster than it is.

4.gif

Shot Scale

Fly fast when filming buildings or mountains that are far away. In these shots, there is no conspicuous foreground, and it is hard to give the shot energy is it's flying slowly.

5.gif

Fly slowly when filming shots framed like the one above. You won’t need to move to quickly here, because the camera’s angled straight downwards and it's at a relatively low altitude.

Also, if you’ve got a prominent object in the foreground, like in the GIF below, keep in mind that it may be difficult to keep the object in the center of the shot if the aircraft’s flying too quickly. Though with the Inspire’s dual operator control, it’s easier to do so.



Normally, a skilled pilot will approach an object then slow down as the aircraft approaches the object so they don’t lose track of it. The audience will hardly sense the slowdown. When the aircraft is close to the object and there’s lots of space behind the object, relative movement between the object and the aircraft is significant.

Backlight
Backlight can really make a shot powerful.

7.gif

At sunset, tuck the aircraft behind the objects or scenery you want to shoot, and you can get a nice silhouetted shot like the one above. Obviously, you can also get the same effect at dawn. The best time to shoot is about 30 minutes before sunrise or sunset.

Think About Your Editor!

Whether you’re filming for a big production or just for fun, you’ll almost certainly be doing some editing. To make sure you can get the most use out of your footage, make sure each shot has a beginning and end by hovering for a few seconds at the beginning and end of each shot. Start recording, chill for a few seconds, then start flying. Make sure your movements are as smooth as possible, and the end of the shot, stop and hover again before you stop recording. Your editor will thank you (or you can thank yourself)!
  
Thanks for reading everyone!

Follow DJI Support on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for more tricks, tips and advice.

2016-5-26 02:14:12
Use props
malvern
Intern Pilot
United Kingdom
Offline

I'm interested in long shots, drones were made for them....

2016-5-26 03:06:31
Use props
microcyb
Second Officer
United States
Offline

malvern Posted at 2016-5-26 06:06
I'm interested in long shots, drones were made for them....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yg8Mqjo ...

Nice! added to the collection at http://microcyb.com/
2016-5-26 06:31:37
Use props
Bartone
Student Pilot
Offline

malvern Posted at 2016-5-26 19:06
I'm interested in long shots, drones were made for them....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yg8Mqjo ...

That's amazing choreography.
2016-5-26 10:05:38
Use props
malvern
Intern Pilot
United Kingdom
Offline

Bartone Posted at 2016-5-26 19:05
That's amazing choreography.

Watch when the car pulls away and goes behind the building, the camera and car time it perfectly so they both reach the high street at exactly the same time.  Also considering the whole shot was done from a crane, I think it's brilliant how they got the camera so steady for the close up shots at the beginning and also at the end.
2016-5-26 11:41:26
Use props
CapitAn
Intern Pilot
Canada
Offline

Following, to read later.
2016-5-26 15:36:41
Use props
rodger
First Officer
United States
Offline

Great advice. Thanks for your Post Ranen.
2016-5-27 04:35:08
Use props
PinkBlue
Hobbyist
Thailand
Offline

good advice for newbie filmer like me ^^
2016-5-27 19:44:30
Use props
ric8
Student Pilot
Australia
Offline

Great article, my background is video production weddings and a few Indi projects the shot you describe at the beginning is what I have known as a reveal, I use it a lot when using my camera crane however having had my ph4 for just over 2months now I think my ph4 has put my camera crane out of business, In fact the way I describe my Ph4 to my fellow videographers is a camera crane on steroids I am loving it.
2016-5-28 02:28:54
Use props
ric8
Student Pilot
Australia
Offline

Hey there I just noticed a spec mistake the PH4 can do 72kph it is 45mph sorry can't help myself
2016-5-28 03:51:37
Use props
Oleksiy
Hobbyist
Switzerland
Offline

In my opinion there shoud be a mixture of a ground and an aerial footage even in a short documentary. The DJI Osmo with a bike mount is a good addition to an aerial video. Here is my take on it. It is a video about a Collège de Saussure .
I just started to experiment with the DJI Osmo on bicycle, I think I could ride a bit slower. I also have been training distance and sport flying for several months to make this long even approach with a smooth turn in the end. It is not perfect yet though, still there is a lot of work ahead in improving my piloting skills.


2016-5-29 12:16:22
Use props
DJI-Ranen
DJI team
Hong Kong
Offline

ric8 Posted at 2016-5-28 19:51
Hey there I just noticed a spec mistake the PH4 can do 72kph it is 45mph sorry can't help myself

Fixed, thanks ric!
2016-5-29 20:22:50
Use props
Mauro Pagliai
Intern Pilot
Italy
Offline

Very intresting and useful. Thank you, Ranen!
2016-5-30 00:28:41
Use props
ric8
Student Pilot
Australia
Offline


Pleasure, I have had a top speed with a tail wind of 96.5klph
2016-5-30 08:30:22
Use props
Advocate
Student Pilot
United Kingdom
Offline

My record so far is 59.9mph with a tail wind.  

Thanks for the informative post DJI-Ranen I'm really loving learning about filming and post production and the DJI posts and sponsored videos are very helpful and professional.

I think DJI should start a "Film School" that is only accessible to DJI owners, assuming no prior experience, and with lessons going from "Your first shoot" to filming a 3-5 minute short with different shots/cuts etc.  Each month it could set a task/project with a corresponding thread in the relevant product forums to post results so that we can get feedback from other users and DJI staff e.g. 'This month your project is to shoot a scene no more than 20 seconds long that builds up some suspense" or "This month you project is to shoot a chase no more than 20 seconds long that instills fear"

I think it would be a fantastic value add for DJI customers and could even encourage potential buyers to buy DJI instead of the competition.

What does everyone think? Is it a stupid idea or would you like it?

2016-5-31 03:54:49
Use props
276999689
Beginner
China
Offline

LOOKLIKE DJI STUDIO
2016-6-11 08:18:17
Use props
sergio.go
Hobbyist
United States
Offline

Advocate Posted at 2016-5-31 07:54
My record so far is 59.9mph with a tail wind.  

Thanks for the informative post DJI-Ranen I'm reall ...

I think this is a phenomenal idea! how do we go about making this happen??
2016-6-11 14:11:45
Use props
Advocate
Student Pilot
United Kingdom
Offline

We could all ask DJI nicely?  Do any of the DJI guys want to chime in and give their thoughts?
2016-6-12 15:57:36
Use props
DJI-Ranen
DJI team
Hong Kong
Offline

Advocate Posted at 2016-5-31 19:54
My record so far is 59.9mph with a tail wind.  

Thanks for the informative post DJI-Ranen I'm reall ...

Excellent idea! We'll look into doing something like this.
2016-6-14 00:46:34
Use props
Advocate
Student Pilot
United Kingdom
Offline

Cool, I can't wait!
2016-6-23 01:18:21
Use props
Crazyant
Beginner
Switzerland
Offline

Here's my creation of a few days ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkJCCC0NHFU&sns=em
2017-2-8 06:29:10
Use props
ProShotFL
Beginner
United States
Offline

For the "Reveal Foreground" shot. You state "You have to make sure your focus is set correctly, and then plan out your shot." How do we do this?

I am using a P4P, how do i get both the close object and the background in focus?

Thanks in advance! - j
2017-2-8 09:32:50
Use props
Barefootgeek
Beginner
Australia
Offline

Yea, shame most of those shots would be completely illegal here in Australia. All but the last two examples in fact.
2017-2-8 23:11:39
Use props
Norwegian Airlo
Hobbyist
Norway
Offline

malvern Posted at 2016-5-26 03:06
I'm interested in long shots, drones were made for them....


This is quite nice, made for a norwegian "jackass" show

2017-2-9 03:04:57
Use props
You need to log in before you can reply Login | Register now

Credit Rules

Close

DJI RecommendsPrevious /1 Next