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Wind_of_Change's blog
Posted by Wind_of_Change | Jan 21, 2014 @ 01:21 AM | 2,182 Views
Words can't describe the bizarre and shocking landscapes I discovered while searching Utahs eastern deserts. This hauntingly beautiful place is like something from an alien world, and one of the most memorable trips I've done.

When I returned and reviewed the aerial footage, I realized this film needed an original soundtrack that fit the mood of this spooky place. It took weeks to produce, but its one of my favorite films to date.

Gardens of Bone - Utah's Fantasy Canyon (3 min 36 sec)

Posted by Wind_of_Change | Jan 01, 2014 @ 07:26 PM | 1,853 Views
Three Days with Three Bikers - TJ Sheridan takes to the skies to film three talented bikers doing what they love, at great risk to themselves, but with results that are undeniably cool!

FreeRide Mountain Biking Aerials - 2013 Reel - Flown with DragonLink (4 min 55 sec)


Those overseas for whom YouTube has blocked the video, you can view a 720p version on Vimeo here:

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Posted by Wind_of_Change | Sep 05, 2013 @ 11:06 PM | 3,110 Views
Got the domain and put up a basic web site! Woot!

www.birdseyevideos.com
Posted by Wind_of_Change | Mar 20, 2012 @ 08:13 PM | 4,432 Views
I've had a few people ask what my editing techniques are for building FPV videos and composing music. So here is a break-down of what I use and my work-flow.

TODD'S EDITING TECHNIQUES 101:

Each shot is isolated from whatever video it came from. I load my videos up in QuickTime Pro, use the selection bar to select the shots I want, then I copy and paste individual shots out into a new file and save it to disk with an easy to recognize name.

Then I decide which technique I'm gonna use to stabilize the shot. It's usually windy up in the mountains & cliffs where I fly, so every single shot gets stabilized (except on gimbal stabilized multirotor shots). Shots that are more distant (far away from terrain) can be done quickly in Adobe After Effects Stabilizer. It's fast, but pretty dumb. It gets confused if you fly by something close, unable to distinguish between foreground and background elements. So sometimes it just randomly zooms things in and out. You can't isolate rotation & scale from each other for some ridiculously STUPID reason. Hello, Adobe!? Are you guys awake over there? C'mon! Nobody links rotation & scale... and for good reason!

So for the shots where I'm close to stuff, I load the shot back in QT Pro and export it as an AVI and load it into VirtualDub, which is a standalone video processing tool. DeShaker is a stabilizer that plugs into VirtualDub. It's complicated, but does a good job.

So, of the 80 or so shots, each one...Continue Reading
Posted by Wind_of_Change | Mar 20, 2012 @ 11:20 AM | 4,237 Views
I went down to St. George for an AMA fly-in event, and spent a good amount of time out in the desert filming the beautiful cliffs there with a friend. I got some spectacular shots of dozens of ponds, hidden in the cliff-tops.

I'm always amazed and surprised by scenery that's out of sight from the ground, stuff you can't imagine even EXISTING. There are so many beautiful places to see that you could see NO OTHER WAY than with an FPV RC plane, not on foot, not from a full scale aircraft, not paragliding or skydiving... scenery wholly unique to this technique.

It's wonderful!

This one has another original soundtrack. Only my 2nd song, but I'm feeling more confident with composing.

EPIC FPV! Snow Canyon & Kayenta Cliffs (9 min 36 sec)

Posted by Wind_of_Change | Feb 06, 2012 @ 03:24 PM | 4,372 Views
Well I finally managed to finish my biggest FPV project thus far.

Shots taken from a dozen flights during January in my local mountains provide some spectacularly colorful views of sunset-lit peaks covered in fresh snow, a few bald eagles, and some of my usual crazy cliff surfing.

I decided to do an original music score for this one. I've never done this before and it was quite an adventure learning the process, but given my lack of experience I am fairly happy with the results. I always get at least a few comments on people not liking my music choices, and I'm sure I'll get more than usual on this one. But a lot of creative effort and time went into it, so I hope most people enjoy it.

I'll be doing original compositions from now on, partly because it's fun to do, and partly because it allows for ads on my videos that help drum up a few extra dollars for props and shafts, which I break on a regular basis.

EPIC FPV ! Majestic Rocky Mountains from Birds Eye View (6 min 3 sec)

Posted by Wind_of_Change | Dec 23, 2011 @ 03:13 AM | 5,492 Views
This was without a doubt the most enjoyable flying trip I've taken. The scenery was so amazing, and the journey with a couple flying buddies was a total blast.

It wasn't without it's down-sides, some of the crashes were Epic as well, but the resulting video was worth the risk & loss of equipment.

I can't wait to do it again!

EPIC FPV ! Most Beautiful Aerial Desert Flying EVER! - Moab, Utah (7 min 47 sec)

Posted by Wind_of_Change | Dec 13, 2011 @ 11:34 PM | 4,624 Views
Evening winter flights along the rugged ledges of Mount Mahogany and pristine cliffs of Mount Timpanogos reveal that I was not the only one there to get a Birds Eye View of the sunset. As I flew along a sheer cliff, I discovered two sizable mountain goats with their winter fur standing on a ledge enjoying the stunning scene as ice crystals fell from the clouds above. The goats blended in with the snowy landscape so well that I would not have noticed them if one had not bounded to another spot on the ledge as I soared past.

EPIC FPV ! Mountain Goats in Winter Wonderland - GoPro Hero2 and DragonLink FPV (3 min 40 sec)

Posted by Wind_of_Change | Nov 28, 2011 @ 12:08 PM | 5,424 Views
People sometimes ask me why I am so interested in aviation. This video provides some clues. This was filmed this Thanksgiving at my Grandparent's Ranch just outside of the small town I grew up in. My dad built a shop just a mile or so from this Ranch, right next to the municipal airport where I liked to go watch planes take off and land. The ranch is located on the edge of the water boundaries of a bird refuge, where millions of waterfowl migrate each year. Geese, ducks, swan, heron, and owls were common sightings for me as a child, as were hundreds of other bird species. My dad's brother was a jet pilot in the air force, and I admired him greatly. My dad built and flew scale model planes when I was young, and I'd go out and watch him fly control line planes and powered gliders. So aviation is in my blood.

We had our annual Thanksgiving Day feast and shotgun shooting at the Ranch, and this year I thought it might be fun to capture some aerial footage of the ranch and surrounding waterfowl landscape. The migratory birds were mostly gone, but the terrain is still interesting.

Filmed with GoPro HD Hero2 on a Grim Reaper RC plane and flown with DragonLink UHF control system. This was a chance to test my new GoPro Hero2 camera in low-light, overcast conditions. My original Hero camera couldn't do this without the scene becoming blurry and mushy. The Hero2 handles it great!

GoPro Hero2 Lowlight, Overcast, Sunset test over Utah's bird refuge wetlands. (4 min 43 sec)

Posted by Wind_of_Change | Nov 21, 2011 @ 11:26 AM | 5,084 Views
I recently started flying FPV (First Person View) RC using DragonLink gear with GoPro cameras on one of my combat wings. I was shocked how much fun it is to do, especially if you're willing to risk everything by flying really close to the earth.

REALLY REALLY CLOSE!

Here are my first few videos flying FPV here in Utah.

EPIC FPV ! Red Rock Cliff Surfing in Southern Utah - GoPro Hero2 & DragonLink UHF (6 min 16 sec)


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Posted by Wind_of_Change | Mar 15, 2011 @ 09:30 PM | 9,932 Views
Here's my newest project, a real beauty!

The ESM Pilatus PC-21. It's 73" of gorgeous in the width, and over 80" long.

The build went smoothly, and the first three flights were nearly perfect. It didn't need a single click of trim in any axis, it just flew perfectly straight!

I've rigged up the pilots heads to rotate with a slider switch on my radio, and that's also tied to the rudder, so they look around when I'm steering on the ground.

I also designed a custom sound module to simulate the turbine sound of the turboprop engine, which turned out really cool.

Here's a video of the first three flights shot at the cancelled President's Day Fly-In in St. George, Utah. Perfect weather on Friday with only a few die-hard friends to enjoy it with.

ESM Pilatus PC-21, AWESOME 73" Electric RC Plane - First 3 flights (9 min 55 sec)

Posted by Wind_of_Change | Nov 09, 2010 @ 01:01 AM | 12,041 Views
THERE ARE FEW THINGS IN THIS WORLD AS SATISFYING AS RC COMBAT!!!

The Utah Flyers Organization (U.F.O.) is hands down one of the coolest groups of guys on this, or any other, planet. And to prove it, we have a bi-annual fly-in event called the unCIVIL War where we all get together at our sod farm location in Orem, Utah and kick the living crap out of each other's planes in full-contact aerial derby to the death.

This Fall's grand event was one of the best yet, with about 40 pilots, music, prizes galore, and some of the craziest limbo flying you've ever seen (like 20 guys going opposite directions through the limbo pole trying to fly inverted under a limbo line that's only 2' off the ground). Yep, yours truly won that contest and got a free Grim Reaper 48" combat wing for it!

I'm already looking forward to April 23rd, the next full-on WAR.
Posted by Wind_of_Change | Oct 27, 2010 @ 07:12 PM | 6,496 Views
So, one of the best videos I've ever shot at an RC event was the time a guy down in St. George crashed his turbine jet soon after take-off and created the most beautiful fireball, worth about $7,000.

I posted it on YouTube for kicks, and here we are a couple years later with half a MILLION views. I mean, I'll bet that pilot never thought that his crash would become world famous!

Bwahahha!

Jet Crashes in violent FIREBALL!!! - RC Crash at Dixie Jet Rally (1 min 35 sec)


It's also a great example of "eating your words". While recording I spat out a number of what I thought the jet may be worth, which was $20,000.... don't know what I was thinking. I've gotten so much flack from viewers about that, even though I knew it wasn't gonna be that much. Anyway, those words are immortalized.

Moral of the story... if you're gonna put yourself on You-Tube, be careful what you say and do!
Posted by Wind_of_Change | May 10, 2010 @ 08:33 PM | 6,863 Views
Just a few pics for the fun of it. My next build is this beautiful CMPro Me109 warbird. I just got my aluminum spinner from Ty's models, which was the last part on my list of things to get. It's gonna be sweet!
Posted by Wind_of_Change | Mar 01, 2008 @ 11:41 PM | 8,198 Views
So, I like RC, as you can guess. It's a great hobby enjoyed by thousands of great people. I like to build, I like to fly, but really, I mostly like the people. It's fun to go to a field for a few hours, hang out with completely relaxed people who are just there to enjoy time with people who have a common interest.... and to catch some sun.

So "here's to all you great people" out there! (holding up my beverage).

I'm one of the "founding members" of a combat club up in Utah County called Utah Flyers Organization (U.F.O.) and our club site is www.utahflyers.org. There's a lot of good info on there about RC, and some fun videos of our nuttiness, including a series of "what lipos do when you treat them badly" videos.

Here's our RCGroups Club Forum.
http://www.rcgroups.com/utah-flyers-organization-241/

If anybody from anywhere in the world wants to come fly with us, please just follow the "Utah County Flying Schedule" thread, and we usually post when and where we'll be flying throughout the week. We've had people from Idaho, Arizona, and even Israel pop in for some air time.

On the topic of videos... I got a new Canon HV20 HD camera and have been hauling it around to various flying events, and will be posting video links to them here in my blog.

I'll start things off with some videos from this winter, mostly just guys at the club flying, but I got some nice video coming of the St. George February Fly-In, so stay...Continue Reading