3.1 Shooting Techniques
In this lesson you’ll learn about aerial shot techniques and how multiple axes of movement can lead to better-looking footage.
1.Introduction2 lessons, 06:29
2.Equipment and Setup2 lessons, 09:33
3.Cinematography1 lesson, 04:46
4.Outdoor Factors2 lessons, 07:29
5.Camera Setup2 lessons, 12:46
6.Maintenance and Preparation2 lessons, 11:23
7.Legalities2 lessons, 07:30
8.Drone Services1 lesson, 02:36
9.Conclusion1 lesson, 02:05
3.1 Shooting Techniques
In this lesson we're gonna be learning about aerial shot techniques and how multiple axis of movement can lead to more cinematic and better looking footage. We'll start by examining a few basic shooting rules that should be applied to all of these shooting techniques. The first shooting rule I'll recommend is just to go slow. Slow is gonna be more cinematic. It gives a viewer the impression you're shooting from larger platforms such as a helicopter, which is subconsciously gonna increase the production value. And it's gonna make the shot appear more controlled and crafted. It's easy to get the need for speed when you're first starting out flying, and that can work in some cases. But a lot of times it's just gonna result in really turbulent and shaky footage, especially when there's a lot of wind. You're not flying in a drone race so don't rush your shots. And always remember to fly through your shot giving you a couple of extra seconds afterward just in case you need that when you're editing. Also, go easy on the sticks with gradual movements. And remember to accelerate and decelerate slowly, otherwise you're gonna jar the camera around with the quicker movements, increasing the odds of having the jiggle effects on your footage. Pre-planning and visualizing your shots is gonna help a lot. It's also gonna help you optimize your battery life when you're trying to get those shots. So you don't run into a situation where you miss a shot you truly need, because your batteries are out of power. It's a common practice for a drone pilot just to sit for a few minutes and close their eyes, and visualize the exact flight maneuver they're wanting to accomplish. Even thinking how they're gonna move the controls during the shot. This can help make the maneuver move second nature when the shot's actually taking place. [MUSIC] Finally, before we get into specifics, don't be afraid to imitate big-budget shots you see in movies, which are typically gonna have two axis of movement at the same time, such as flying backwards and upwards at the same time at a smooth, steady rate. We'll explore this more later on in this lesson. The first shot technique we're gonna explore are called strafe movements. Strafe movements work quite well for showing landscapes from a different perspective. Since most landscapes are shown on aerial videos with the drone only moving forwards or backwards, a straightened shot can stand out. It can also act as an effective way to reveal cool features in the terrain. Orbits are another way to give a good cinematic look to a shot. This can be achieved by having your drone stray to the right or the left. And also pulling on the off stick in the opposite direction. It's crucial to really go easy on the yaw, however. You'll end up spinning your drone too quickly and spoiling the effect. DJI has vastly made this technique easier by integrating an intelligent flight mode on their DJI Pilot app. This will make the drone fly orbits automatically. We're gonna explore the DJI Pilot app later on in this course. [MUSIC] A fly through shot can also be quite effective. However, they're gonna be the most risky since you're gonna be relying only on your FPV in order to navigate your drone. [MUSIC] I wouldn't attempt this unless you're 100% confident in your piloting skills. Personally, I'm not the biggest fan of these shots. Mainly because when I see them it's a telltale sign that the shot was filmed with a drone. And this may distract your audience cuz they might be thinking more about the risk of the shot and not admiring the cinematography. You can also add gimbal movements in your shots combined with dual-axis movement, so this will effectively give you three different axis of movement. One of my favorites is flying forwards and tilting the gimbal upwards to reveal the landscape, this reminds me of the opening helicopter scene in Jurassic Park. Another gimbal shot I like is moving the drone up vertically while tilting the gimbal down, this gives a shot a nice vertigo effect, giving a viewer an idea of how high up the shot actually is. You can also add depth to your scene by using extreme parallax effects. Often with trees or shrubs who are close to the drone. Which helps provide a visual aide for the viewer on how large the surrounding landscape actually is. [MUSIC] One camera move I really don't recommend that much, is just rotating the drone on the yaw axis. Effectively the same as a 360 panning shot. This is because typically a drone will have a hard time being precise to this movement and it can give the footage kind of a whipped pan effect if you're not careful. Not to mention you're gonna get the least amount of parallax and will almost seen as if you're just panning the camera on a hilltop as opposed to getting a nice aerial shot. That's not to say you shouldn't ever do a 360 panning shot but if you do you may wanna use a drone such as the DJI inspired one that can rotate it's gimble independently of the drone. That way it's just rotating the gimble, and not having to rotate the entire drone which could shake the footage around. Get creative with your own shooting techniques. Don't be afraid to combine two different kinds of shots together. An example would be using an orbit shot and then switching it into a strafe shot. There's lots of possibilities to explore and create your own unique shooting style. Just remember to study your location before you take flight, and fly safely. In the next lesson, we're gonna examine the different kinds of weather you may encounter, and how they can affect your shots. We're also gonna look at some suggested flying conditions.