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Drone Filming Techniques and Tips

Commendium have used the following drone filming techniques for a number of different projects, from archaeological purposes to record the setting of a site, to documentary footage for television. Each of the projects we use the drone for will require different techniques and outputs. One of the best tips for any drone filming is to keep it simple. Don't move the camera too much and if it needs to move, do it slowly. Planning shots or flightpaths in advance will improve efficiency, which for drone filming is essential. Generally, flight times of between 20 and 40 minutes are achievable, so maximising your actual recording time in the air. When planning your flights, Google Earth is your friend, being able to see the sites in rudimentary 3D is very useful to gain an idea of the layout of the land and even to draw paths of where you expect to fly. Other very useful websites to check are in order to see where there are airspace restrictions and for any NOTAMs during your flight period. Different Filming Techniques As Commendium carry out different projects, here are some tips for the type of flights: Archaeological Setting and Recording Try and fly in a straight line, keeping the horizon in the shot in order to get an overview of the surroundings. Orbit shots can be used to focus on particular elements. Height of the flight is important - you need to be able to capture the locality as well as the main elements of the archaeological area. Make sure you fly high or low enough to capture these - may take a couple of runs to get it right. Photogrammetry  This is one of those specialised drone filming techniques that requires you to capture photos with a certain amount of overlap, generally in a defined series, with the right colour balance. There are some apps to help you do this, notably Drone Deploy ( and Pix4d. These types of flights require a certain, consistent altitude in a manner that gets the best overlap between photos. It can be done manually using a 5-second time gap between photos. The difficulty arises when you start having large terrain elevation changes in the area (such as a valley and a fell). Broadcast Film This is probably the most difficult technique to gain - videography skills are needed as well as flight skills. Sometimes you…