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Posted by on Jun 24, 2013 in Blog, Video

Skate Park Sunset

The Light fades over Petersfield…

This one’s going to start off a photo-blog, and then get added to when I’ve done the video until it’s a proper one. Which is now – video complete, so lets get today’s flight log logged…

You know it's going to be good when the first shot you get looks like this...

You know it’s going to be good when the first shot you get looks like this…

Urban Flyer

I’m here to test the recent changes I’ve made to my craft, which include some levelling on the front rotors, and to film a nice sunset, this time from the middle of my home town, Petersfield.

It’ll be a nice change from all the countryside stuff I’ve been doing recently, but with lots of Spring greens around to give us an interesting view on the ground beneath us…

The Test Zone

AC1 flies at the sun...

AC1 flies at the sun…

The 5 flights I completed here today proved that I was correct in my most recent assumption that my craft was yawing left without my input because I no longer had a perfectly coplanar rotor alignment, following some of my arm extension plates being mangled, (and then re-straightened) after a recent terrible crash.

The good news is that I have ordered some new plates, and the temporary fix I have put in place (tiny washers under selected arm extension bolts) whilst not curing the problem altogether, has made it around 80% less of a problem than it was. So we have a what I’ll call a normally flyable craft again, with no GPS problems and perhaps one that I am beginning to trust again to fly into danger zones for more exciting filmings !

What is a ‘Pult’, anyway ?

A TX tray, so my FPV screen can go where I do...

A TX tray, so my FPV screen can go where I do…

I think it’s American for ‘Transmitter Tray’. Anyway – I’ve got one, ludicrously cheap from HobbyKing, and today mounted all my FPV gear on it – that is to say the TX itself, my camflyer FPV goggles / receiver / a battery, and an OFM 7″ screen.

The build quality is the wrong side of questionable and didn’t even come with some washers that I consider essential to its longevity, but having bolstered the feeble screws with a bit of trusty gaffa tape, and finished off half the wood myself with some medium grade sandpaper, I think I trust it not to fall apart on me when I’m in-flight… it certainly stayed together today, and fitted very nicely into the car.

The plan here is that I can lose the big, heavy tripod, and have my monitor facing me all the time. This was the first of a few test sessions with it, so not forming too many hard and fast opinions yet, but it seemed to work well, though it did give me neck-ache slightly ! A shoulder harness may prove the way to go.

Common Ground

Met several people at the field today, so shouts-out to the guys who were filming my take-offs and firing the questions at me – they were  the good ones…

Less pleased to see me were the kids over on the Skate Park itself, one of whom actually tried to throw stuff at my machine, but missed twice, each time by the rather pathetic margin of 170 ft.  His plan was doubly flawed in that he chose to throw first a sweatshirt, then a T-shirt, 2 objects which would have no chance of reaching me even if fired from an ion cannon.

Never mind. I was able to quite literally ‘rise above it’, and found I didn’t have to return fire.

Go Go Gadget Video

Today, all flights were recorded at 1080, 60FPS, ProTune Off on the GoPro3 Black Edition, and that was being gently but firmly cradled (and stabilised) by my new favourite thing, my Aeroxcraft brushless Gimbal. I continue to love it.

As usual, it does a majestic job of capturing everything under very difficult contrasty, low-light circumstances, so it really is a challenge to get stuff that looks good…

I’m recording in 60FPS so I have the option of slowing down some shots in case I overfly anything interesting too quickly, and indeed about half of this video is half original speed. Some shots, however, we do want at full tilt, and this raises a frame rate problem. YouTube can’t deal with 60 FPS. So we have to drop frames, or interpolate them to render out a usable file.

However, following a conversation I had with a friend about 60 to 30 frame interpolation, on this occasion, I allowed Sony VMS 12 to interpolate the full speed 60 FPS shots down to the 30 FPS required by YouTube.

In theory this should make things looks smoother, but in practise, doesn’t – we can see the slightly unattractive lining and blurring artefacts that you get if you don’t turn interpolation off for each full speed 60 fps clip, which forces the software to just drop the frames. I have left it in to prove that point to myself in the future  :)

WhoTube ?

Talking of YouTube, now might be the first point to mention that their quality / compression settings are a bit ropey. This is becoming more and more noticeable as the base quality of my footage gets better, and particularly so now I’m using that brushless gimbal and all the footage has gone hyper detailed and very smooth. So I also uploaded this one to Vimeo, and we’ll see which one I like more..

You too can watch the Vimeo version here…

 

The sun, cresting through the clouds...

The sun, cresting through the clouds…

24-06-2013-PFSP-002

It’s quite good when you point the camera down a bit…

24-06-2013-PFSP-001

…but still better when it’s pointing at the sky.

How many guitars ?

3, and I’m playing them all. Not all at once – I have got 3 guitars, but not 6 arms.

Yep, soundtrack today by me, so help yourselves if you like it – there’s no motor noise to ruin it this time round…

I do like to be beside the…

I wonder where I’m going to going flying next ? See you by the rock-pools…

JW