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Using the Inspire 1 to tell a compelling story.
1579 12 2015-2-15
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gary.yostopia
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A number of people have asked me about how I graded the Inspire footage for the “Mountains Made of Chalk, Fall into the Sea, Eventually” video.  Instead of trying to describe it in a written post, here’s a little video I made to illustrate the process.


In short, the Inspire footage grades well as long as it's exposed correctly, particularly using ETTR methods.  This is greatly enhanced by the 1.0 Pilot app's histogram feature, allowing the camera operator to keep the histogram to the right as far as possible without blowing out highlight detail.  (Thanks to the DJI engineers for getting this critical feature in the app for 1.0!)

One thing that would be great is to allow the SDK to access the bottom TX buttons. If we could do that, I could write code that would do this

One press:  Set the camera gimbal controls to respond with a 5 second delay.

Two presses:  Set the camera gimbal controls to respond with a 10 second delay.

So, when you turn the camera pitch knob all the way down, the radio transmits the signal over a period of 5 or 10 seconds depending on the switch position, so the camera movement is extremely smooth.  It would solve a myriad of sins.

I have a background in software development, and if DJI releases an SDK that has a robust API, there are a lot of things I can think of that would make pro-level AC control possible. Keyframing both the camera and craft position in 3D space, along with different methods of keyframe interpolation, are the first things that come to mind.

Here's the full video:


It's time for a new wave of storytellers to start using this tool to enhance the context of their narratives.  Up up and away!

2015-2-15
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rmaxwell.dccnet
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BRAVO!  BRAVO! Gary,

This is a wonderful example of making new technology serve the story line and the characters.  I truly cared for the mountain and the artist.    You used the aerial cinematography to serve the story rather than dominate or distract from the story line.  Today we see so many productions where the special effects dominate the movie rather than serve the plot, the characters, or the story.

Thank you for sharing,

Ray
2015-2-15
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Abe
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Wow. Beautiful job and excellent film, Gary. I lived in Mill Valley for many years next to Mt. Tam. Your film and story captured its magic. It really is a special place.
2015-2-15
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svencool
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Just another GREAT example of the positive and great things that can be done with multirotor aircraft WELL done GARY!!!!!

Mike
2015-2-15
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gary.yostopia
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rmaxwell.dccnet Posted at 2015-2-16 03:12
BRAVO!  BRAVO! Gary,

This is a wonderful example of making new technology serve the story line and  ...

Thanks Ray!  As a documentary filmmaker who has absolutely no experience in multirotors, I was looking for a way to add aerials to my work with the Inspire because of the huge cost of renting heli time.  We've been planning this film for three months, since before the Inspire launch.  Originally I was going to purchase a Phantom for this but on November 12th when DJI announced the Inspire I held off and boy, am I glad I did.  There's no way we could've accomplished those shots with a Phantom... winds that day were gusting to 35mph and the Inspire held its own like a champ.  You should've seen it dancing in the wind up there with the fog streaming around it, and the camera stayed nice and buttery smooth (most of the time .  

Yes, AC ought to serve the story and I think we're on the verge of a lot of storytellers using these tools in amazing ways!
2015-2-16
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gary.yostopia
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Abe Posted at 2015-2-16 03:27
Wow. Beautiful job and excellent film, Gary. I lived in Mill Valley for many years next to Mt. Tam.  ...

Very glad that you enjoyed it, Abe.
2015-2-16
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gary.yostopia
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svencool Posted at 2015-2-16 03:40
Just another GREAT example of the positive and great things that can be done with multirotor aircraf ...

Thanks Mike!
2015-2-16
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rodger
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Nice job Gary.
2015-2-16
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Koavog
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Stunning! Very well done Gary!

I agree, and I hope you get access to the SDK to affect changes. In the short time I've been working with the Inspire I'm troubled by the relative (un) smooth tilt and pan, even though Setting are as low as they can go. I hope you get to write the code. This is an example of my feeble attempt...
http://youtu.be/RPrp5k0Q8ao
Thank you for sharing!
Peter
2015-2-16
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gary.yostopia
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Koavog Posted at 2015-2-17 00:16
Stunning! Very well done Gary!

I agree, and I hope you get access to the SDK to affect changes. In  ...

Thank you Peter, and yes... if we can get access to the SDK and if it has the application programming interfaces that we need, we can make some incredibly useful software tools to enable the Inspire to be a truly magnificent AC platform.  Only time will tell on that.

And hey, that Napa Valley ballooning video you put together is really lovely.  It shows off the Inspire's camera in a beautiful way, and  your handling of the footage is impeccable.  Are you working single or dual operator?  I'm finding that dual-op is the only way to go if you want to achieve anything like a reasonable pan or tilt because it requires such a delicate hand on the sticks (and the wheel or iPad touchscreen doesn't allow for this). And of course even with dual-op it's still so limiting.  

But this is just a release 1 of the Inspire and its software and I'm confident that we can either get or make what we'll need in the future.  Onward!
2015-2-16
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Koavog
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Thank you Gary, It was single pilot. I much prefer two operators, but sometimes on short notice, single operator is all you get....I like your optimism on the future of the Inspire genesis. I'm hoping Apple gurus will step up and start doing their magic soon.
I look forward to seeing more of your (inspire) videos soon.
Cheers, Peter
2015-2-16
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Blu Sky Films
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Hello Gary,
Great doc, thanks for sharing it. I live in Mill Valley and fly an Inspire as well. I also work in design/film etc.
Let me know if you want to go flying/filming sometime.

Best,

Justin

BluSkyFilms.com
@BluSkyFilms
2015-2-16
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gary
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Blu Sky Films Posted at 2015-2-17 09:18
Hello Gary,
Great doc, thanks for sharing it. I live in Mill Valley and fly an Inspire as well. I al ...

Justin, I'm going to be testing some new batteries at Hauke Park on Friday morning at 10am.  Wanna drop by and say hi?
2015-6-3
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