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Sep 26, 2013, 06:27 PM
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Shooting aerial video indoors


Myself and my friend Kenji had a great pleasure of being able to do a indoor aerial video shoot of the Oregon State capitol building with permission from the Legislature.

This event got its start with pending UAV/UAS laws that were being debated by the state senate. While we were at the hearing (which both of us testified) we also presented them with sample videos that we shot. Soon after, Kenji did a nice outside video of the capitol building, which we presented to the legislatures and they gave us permission to also do an indoor shoot. This following is the product of that shoot. Kenji did a great job of editing the footage.
This was shot mostly in 1080p60 medium mode. We ended up with about 30min of footage in about 2 hour shoot. distilled down to what is in this video.

(2 min 57 sec)



We managed to make arrangement with the facilities to be able to shoot on saturday when building was closed to public. Initially, the facilities managers were bit concerned but after nice discussion about the capabilities of the gear and a walk through, we allayed any fear that was present. Being professional, knowlegeable and experienced really is important in managing with people. Due to nature of this being indoor, we limited ourselves to smallest rig we had available. I was the indoor pilot as I had much higher experience in flying.

On the day of the flight, I brought my phantom with 3 axis stablized gopro and smaller Y6 with sony nex5 with 16mm lens. Y6 proved to be bit too big for most of the shoot, so we ended up doing most of the shoot with the phantom. Kenji had the video monitor and while I had the pirate eye, I decided that it was bit too tough to do both, so I flew LOS only except for few positional critical shot. In hindsight, I should have used the pirate eye more, but it would have added extra level of concentration on my part and it was already exhausting work to fly.

I had 5 packs charged and ready to go. We flew about 6min per pack, which gave me bit of room (I tested to 7min flight each)

Due to less than ideal lighting, we really needed an ND filter on the gopro, but we did not have that option. ND filter adapters are just too big for phantom with 3 axis stabilization. This has led me to build a smaller quad with RX100 with 3 axis stabilization. while bigger than phantom, it is small enough to be usable in most places.

The other challenge was that we really needed better communication protocol. Even phantom indoor makes quite a bit of wind noise and it was tough at times to talk over that noise. still, we managed to shout over the noise.

Being able to tilt up the gimbal a bit really was helpful for shooting close to the ceiling. Originally, we figure we can fly from the upper gallery for some of the shoot of the chambers, but we managed to do it all from the ground lvl. Having pan axis stablization really made panning smooth, which is critical for indoor shoot.


1) 3 axis stablization with tilt control
2) video downlink with voltage and time (simple osd worked great)
3) absolute confidence in flying ability and the craft you are flying.
4) preplanning with walkthrough.
5) be aware of the limitation of the camera. sometimes, we have to deal with the card we were dealt. make the best of what you have
6) have a back up unit and plans. While it did go unused. having a backup gave me a peace of mind.



Overall, I was quite happy with how everything worked out. it was great experience and we've learned a lot. experience is the best teacher and I am looking forward to next time I get to do another indoor shoot.
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Sep 26, 2013, 08:08 PM
I think I'm inverted. Maybe.
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WOW. That's a great video. I'm not familiar with the laws going on in Oregon, but it's great that people like you are representing our hobby, and not the RTF-hugging idiots that will attempt something like that with much lower levels of precaution... or even worse, no permission.

Keep up the good work. The last shot was downright epic, and the end frame should've lasted a bit longer imho.


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