Have worked a drone shot into my next film called 'Retirement' which involves a wide reveal type shot of my mother's house. It is just a simple flyover the top of her house to reveal the front.
However, never used the cable cam mode before which would allow me to control the camera while it flies automatically between two points. Set up the two points okay. But found I couldn't control the camera. Points I've subsequently learnt:
1. Position the camera before you set the waypoint
2. Put the Gimble into Gimble mode (right camera switch to the down position) - this allows the right controller to move camera if needs be.
3. Once the H is at waypoint 1 after swiping start, push the left controller up slowly to get a slow fly between points - watch the points go from point 1 to point 2
4. Control camera
Overall, give yourself a bit a a run up and set the end waypoint a little further than you need.
If the camera doesn't connect straight away - tap into settings then camera and select the pro camera again.
Check the camera settings before take off - size, manual WB and manual ISO - low as possible then adjust shutter speed - give it time to adjust. Then check exposure again at way points.
Should be fine!
After much head scratching I managed to solve a long standing issue I was experiencing with C4D and it's displacement channel.
Basically if you use a displacement channel and alpha channel in one texture; in order to stop the alpha conflicting or stopping the displacement you must not use black - 50% grey is king. I basically used the same displacement map for the alpha (.psd) which had 50% grey as its background and white for positive displacement; the alpha channel then uses no sampling or any invert/soft etc functions selected.
Posted a gallery image of two Ulster Bank contactless cards which use a displacement map for the 'embossed' card details and an alpha channel allowing the chrome texture underneath to be 'mapped' onto the displacement - effectively giving it that punched through look - it's very subtle but works.
Lighting is key and I'm sure this could have been done better but used an HDRI plus a couple of soft boxes from GSG with Physical render settings from the HDRI kit plus AO on.
Copied the .mp4 files from the SD card to my RAID drive and firstly tried to open in Resolve 12. It didn't recognise the footage so it would appear it needs transcoding before bringing it into Resolve which is a shame. Not a problem though.
So tried Premiere. No problems editing native files. Full 4K on the timeline. Tiny bit glitchy when I added a time reverse effect but nothing a render wouldn't sort out. Footage looked okay with no colour correction at all. Pleased! Exported full 4K at ProRes HQ. Converted to iPhone friendly version using Soreson Squeeze. Uploaded file to DropBox. Then saved to iPhone from DropBox and shared on WhatsApp and Instagram. Seems easy enough.
With the next test I will convert the native footage using Squeeze to ProRes and see if Resolve can handle it. I would like to learn Resolve after all.
After a few flights now, got a bit too cocky with a landing. Tried to land on theYuneec backpack instead of the rocky ground from where I was flying. Just as I put it down on the case the wind pushed it off and into the rocks. Luckily only lost one blade. Took it back to the cottage and flew it a couple of more times from the garden and all seems to be working fine. Phew. Will buy some more blades next month!
Apart from that I was sensible - flight checks done; kept an eye out for people - there were a few watching but they got bored waiting for the initiation process! Made sure nothing like telephone lines etc were around; checked blades, arms etc. Took off well; nice and easy and it was only when I was in the air did I realise landing was going to be tricky! Won't do that again. Will purchase a landing pad from Amazon - silly but will make sure I land on a flat surface.
Have to admit to being extremely nervous flying above the sea! Shaking like a leaf. I need to calm down - it was great conditions, low wind and sunshine. This is the furthest and highest I sent it out - still not very far yet though!
Coverack beach is just outside a military no fly zone - according to noflyzone.com ...only just! So was careful which direction I flew i.e. out to sea rather than in land.
Looking forward to practicing more in our local park.
After two little 'up and down flights', today I flew my drone a bit further and for longer. Still very nervous about going any distance but the GPS is holding it very steady so I shouldn't really be worried. Gingerly flew it out over the hedge from then park over the rocky coast line, turned it around and flew back - not very far at all but certainly got my heart rate up!
Tried the the return to home function which worked but scared the living daylights out of me as it climbed to its default height before turning to come back - the default height was a lot higher than I was flying!!! Switched it back into angle mode pretty sharpish and then landed manually as the battery alarm sounded. Took some 4K video of me, the view and the rocks below. Nothing dramatic - want to learn to fly first before mastering the video aspect. Will post some footage when I get back home.
Not to be put off by my last green screen effort; yesterday saw me do a traditional corporate talking head green screen shoot with the boss of the Balanced Lifestyle Group.
Tried two set ups the day before; one with my reflector green cover and the one I settled on was my green cloth and frame. Bit of a tight squeeze but using my 1000w tungsten light to light the green; the living room light and my small camera LED light to light the subject.
Using my learnings from last time; used my camera's waveform to get the green as bright as possible and the subject well lit but below the greens luminance by at least one stop. I probably went too over board with the greens brightness but I wanted to be sure.
After black balancing the camera; it needed a white balance to get back some normal colours due to the mix of light in the room. Didn't quite get that right as the green was more in the yellow than I would have liked but it was evenly lit.
The small camera light did a great job in lighting the subject - quite surprising from such a small light. No apparent grainy/mushyness footage that I have experienced before. Made sure the subject was as far out of the black zone on the waveform as I could go without effecting the balance between her and the green.
Final footage was clean and using Keylight in After Effects it pulled a key almost with just one click. No chattering edges. Followed a tutorial as not used After Effects before. Masked out as much green as possible before duplicating the layer. Pre-composed the top layer and turned off the bottom layer. Added Keylight to the pre-comp. Fine tuned the key. Switched off pre-comp and then added a Hue Saturation effect on the layer below. Using the green channel; desaturated the greens - moving the range to get all of it - in my case more yellow!
Then used the pre-comp as a track matte for the bottom layer and hey presto done. Colour corrected the bottom layer more to match the mainly white background she was going to be comp'd against. Then applied light wrap to this layer using the background layer.
After a recent shoot for RBS' Burns night BDD I have learnt another hard lesson with my camera. It takes no prisoners in low light. I forgot to black balance, and I under exposed resulting in a muddy looking picture after colour correction. So written a list of steps I need to follow in order to not fall into that trap again:
1. Choose lens
2. Choose composition
3. Black balance
4. White balance
5. Check exposure; screen, waveform - minimal blacks, mid tones halfway, whites topping out - increase light not gain
6. Check focus; use focus card
7. Film grey card
Simple steps that will make for much better footage - going to type this up and stick to camera.
I have decided to make the opening titles be a camera pan inside the radio, across the frequency 'dial' showing not only the FM numbers but also Borderline Shorts Presents, Retirement, passing the indicator and out to reveal the radio being switched on. Going to use Cinema 4D for this and build a complete radio which will replace the prop used on the day.
I've recorded a rough version of the radio presenter's narrative to get an idea of timings. The first part was around 75 seconds long. With 10 scenes to cover that's around 7.5 seconds a scene which is more than plenty. Scenes being:
1. Radio being switched on
2. Leaving house
3. On train
4. Walking up to office
5. At desk
6. Looking at, signing retirement card
7. Leaving office
8. On train
9. Arriving house
10. Switching off radio and lights
Will record the second half tomorrow and work out timings
Script sent to Patrick Mounteney our Radio Presenter.
Keeping with the same script I have decided to rename it 'Retirement'. This will be the last story/script I will film before I embark on better writing!
Cast sorted - Brian Eastty has again agreed to play the main title role and my brother-in-law, Patrick Mounteney, will provide the radio presenter narration (he is a radio presenter on Radio Caroline).
Been in contact with LB Bromley film department and they have suggested a location - Elmfield Road for the actor to walk up to as his place of work.
With a small crew I can get a permit from them to film outside the building for £40.
That leaves my Mum's kitchen (again) to be used for the opening scene with the radio being switched on. The interior office will be filmed against a black screen initially at the Petts Wood halls and again against a green screen for the reveal shot. Need to source some props for that. Going to have to film the getting on/off and travelling on a train 'gorilla' style without permission so that should be fun.
Will be doing some test shots soon.