Tag Archives: drones

Aerial Imagery Presentation at Dorkbot

I was invited to give a presentation on advanced aerial imagery techniques using drones at dorkbotSF on September 20, 2017. Here’s the recored presentation, thanks to dorkbot videographer James Young.

Eddie Codel, Advanced Aerial Imagery Techniques with Drones, Dorkbot-SF, 2017-09-20.

3D Modeling and Photogrammetry with DroneDeploy

I’m enjoying capturing images of iconic architecture and creating 3D models using photogrammetry.  This is a screencast video of a model I created of an old abandoned grain silo in San Francisco using a DJI Mavic Pro and DroneDeploy. DroneDeploy makes it easy to create missions to capture images, created 2D maps and 3D models using drones.

Drone Innovation Trends in 2017

I wrote a piece for iQ by Intel, Intel’s tech culture magazine: Drone Innovation Trends to Watch in 2017. I run down some predictions of what you’re likely to see in the world of flying robots this year.

iQ_by_Intel

 

Introducing FRiFF 2016

FRiFF 2016

Flying Robot international Film Festival 2016

I am excited to announce that the second annual Flying Robot international Film Festival is now accepting submissions for the 2016 festival. Drone filmmakers, builders and racers of every stripe are encouraged to submit their short films in the world’s premiere international drone film festival. There are 8 categories this year: Epic Landscape, Cinematic Narrative, Drones For Good, I Made That!, Promotional, FPV Racing/Aerial Sports, WTF LOL and Student Film. Something for everyone.

Our 2015 inaugural festival attracted 153 submissions across 7 categories representing 35 countries. We awarded over $10,000 in cash and prizes to winning films in all categories. We are doing the same this year.

Submissions deadline is September 15th, so there’s plenty of time to get your drone masterpiece in! Check the FRiFF site for all the details.

Introducing the Flying Robot International Film Festival

I recently opened the doors on a new project I’ve been working on. FRiFF or the Flying Robot international Film Festival is a film festival focused on short form cinema created from the perspective of flying cameras. You know, drones.

FRiFF Logo

The Flying Robot International Film Festival takes off.

I had the idea for a drone film festival after witnessing the rise of so much epic aerial filmmaking over the past few years. Now that consumer camera drones are readily available and fairly inexpensive, we’re seeing a huge uptick in aerial cinema on YouTube and Vimeo. I want to highlight the best stuff out there and really encourage filmmakers to take it to the next level.

There are six categories of films that we are accepting submissions for. Breathtaking aerial cinematography of exotic landscapes and sunsets will always be mesmerizing. Combine that with a decent story and you’re a good candidate for the Cinematic category.

In the Drones for Good category, we will highlight projects that use drones for the betterment of humanity. There are a growing number of examples of drones being used for good, such as the Syrian Airlift Project, which sends drones over the border to war-torn Syria to drop off medical supplies. Conservation Drones use fixed-wing drones to protect forests and monitor endangered wildlife.

FRiFFest

A flying camera drone at an abandoned NSA listening post in Berlin.

Aerial sports is an area that’s really taken the world by storm. FPV racing and aerial head-to-head drone dogfighting films will do well in the Aerial Sports category. The Aerial Sports League and the US Drone National Championships are two organizations that have brought in large numbers of participants and spectators. Just watching an FPV race from the perspective of a racer quad is mind blowing.

I Made That! is a natural category as there are many maker dads and hacker pilots building their own flying robotic contraptions. Films that depict these creative works are very welcome.

WTF LOL is meant to highlight the hilarious and the ridiculous. It’s one of those things that you know when you see it.

Student Films, because our kids are our future. This category is free to enter until the regular deadline (the other categories are $5-10 per entry).

Winners in all six categories as well as a “best in show” winner, as determined by our panel of esteemed judges, will receive valuable prizes in the form of flying robots, cameras and accessories. The festival will culminate in screenings and an awards ceremony in early November in San Francisco.

If you’ve been making drone videos or just starting out, I highly encourage you to submit your best work and maybe you’ll fly away with a new robotic friend.

Top 10 Favorite Drone Videos of 2013

2013 has been quite the year for the proliferation of flying robots with high definition cameras. For less than $1000, it’s now possible to put together your own stabilized flying camera rig. This has resulted in many early adopters going down the rabbit hole, like I have, in building or acquiring their own rigs. Here are ten of my favorite videos shot from the drone’s perspective in 2013.

I’ll start off with the OGs of the FPV (first person view) UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) scene, Team BlackSheep’s own 2013 retrospective video of their work. Team BlackSheep is a European based collective of “R/C daredevil” hackers and pilots. These guys specialize in building and flying multirotor and fixed-wing RC aircraft.  TBS has been very active this past year, capturing epic footage all over the world as is obvious in their retrospective. One of my  favorites in this montage, is the renegade Costa Concordia wrecked cruise ship flyover.

Over the summer, police tried to supress a demonstration at Taksim Gezi Park in Istanbul, Turkey. This is the first aerial riot footage I can remember seeing from a drone and it’s an amazing point of view. Riot police with water canons and tear gas take on the demonstrators. Also notable is that the Phantom used to capture this footage, was eventually shot down by police. You can see that perspective as well.

Here’s one vision of a dystopian drone future.

Pal and fellow Phantom owner Nate Bolt, got permission to fly his rig inside the historic New York Public Library in NYC. Such classic. So spacious. Wow.

A top 10 list isn’t complete without a Burning Man video. This one by Ziv captures the morning light nicely as Truth in Beauty awakens.

You’ve likely seen this one already. This is an example of what happens when bad piloting and weddings mix. Don’t be this guy.

This Niagara Falls video is pretty epic. It got me super interested in the possibilities.

Eric Cheng’s aerial footage of surfers at Steamer’s Lane in Santa Cruz really illustrates the beauty of the Northern California coast.

Morning at the Santa Monica pier. I love the precision of this pilot’s chosen flight path. He has balls.

This video by my pal Nate is what finally got me to pull the trigger and invest in my first flying robot. It’s short, simple and poetic. Also, slo-mo. Who doesn’t love good slo-mo?

If you like these, I’ve got a YouTube playlist going of aerial favorites as I discover them. Feel free to subscribe and follow along. Happy New Year and may your 2014 be filled with peaceful, unarmed, non-surveillance drones!

NAB 2013 is the Year of Drones

I’m a sucker for remote controlled autonomous vehicles (non-weaponized ones, of course). Lucky for me, there are plenty of them this year at the NAB Show. This is only a smattering of the ones which I came across today. They range from small quadcopters that can carry a GoPro to heavyweight beasts that can carry 17lb RED cameras.

DJI Phantom drone

DJI Phantom drone

This little guy was a big hit. The DJI Phantom can carry a GoPro for 10-15 minutes of flight time. Retails for $679. GoPro not included.

DJI drone with 360 Heroes

DJI drone with 360 Heroes

DJI also makes a heavier duty hexacopter called the Spreading Wings S800 that can handle a camera load up to 5 pounds. This version has a unique rig by 360 Heroes that uses 6 GoPros to create a 360 degree panoramic experience.

Flying-Cam 3.0 SARAH

Flying-Cam 3.0 SARAH

If you like traditional helicopters, you know just two rotors, then you’ll dig this heavy duty workhorse, the SARAH 3.0 from Flying-Cam. This guy can take a payload of up to 17 pounds, which is perfect if you’re shooting a scene from Skyfall with a RED Epic camera.

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