The Drone Pilot How-To

Thanks for helping out our customers (and us) with your pro drone filming expertise! Here’s a bit about what we need.

We will be using this footage to create a 3D scan of the building; we need 4K (or as high as you can make it) video taken of the complete exterior of the house – in one continuous take of the building, going around the building 4 times (twice clockwise and twice counter-clockwise) varying the altitude with every pass at low, medium, and high heights, getting full coverage, especially of the sides. Remember, we cover our roofs with snow, so the roof is much less important to us than the sides. Get the sides, and get them good.

Now, let me make something clear, since it’s important and is often overlooked by our drone pilots: ONE CONTINUOUS TAKE. It’s important for our photogrammetry software that the camera moves along one continuous path. Taking footage of the front, followed by footage of the sides, without the movement in between is bad for us. If you do need to stop the recording, try to return the drone to the same area before starting again.

Also, since the photogrammetry algorithm works from motion, remember to keep moving. Strafing along the sides is best, but up-and-down can work when trees block your path.

We need about 15 minutes of footage, but no editing or conversion, just the raw footage. 

Now, sometimes there are issues.

  1. Trees in the way (so annoying.) Please just do what you can. If you can’t get good ground-level footage with the drone, then walk the camera around the house. We know that walking isn’t fun for pilots – but sometimes there’s just no choice.
  2. Sometimes there’s not enough room between houses to get good coverage. In that case, please try to go above and film downwards.
  3. It’s sunny and there are shadows and lens flares. Avoid mornings and afternoons when the sun is low and shadows are long. Gray days are actually best for getting even lighting. Noon is your friend.

Here’s an example of perfect droning (in our eyes.)

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