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Aerial morphing. Did I invent this???

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Hey doods;

I'm not so full of myself that I think I invented ANYTHING drone related. But I have to say that I can't find any aerial morphing on YouTube. Google search results come up with typical Construction Progress fodder - still shots...unorganized video, etc. I have found nothing like the video I have produced here. So...

The reason for this post is NOT to BRAG that I invented something, but instead to invoke the powers of the forum to FIND or POINT ME in the direction to other videos with this style of aerial morphing.

NOTE: I realize that some of the transitions are not as good as others. All the raw footage was shot with an Inspire 1, which is NOT the most GPS-precise bird on the planet. The purpose of these shots is forensics. So "precise flight duplication" was not a top priority. In the interest of keeping my Inspire 1 relevant (and making money), I use it for these shoots. Ultimately, something like this would greatly benefit from RTK, which is a direction I MAY go in someday. But for now I'm employing a LOT of digital manipulation to "ball park" the transitions. As you can see, some transitions are better than others.

I would like to head off at the pass any "suggestions" on how to "improve" these videos. I already know where the shortcomings are and how to circumvent them. For now, all I'm looking for is someone who either does this style of cinematography or KNOWS of somebody doing it.

Thanx!


D
 
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Not me personally, but someone I know was doing some similar flights on construction projects. I have not seen them, but I know he was using the Litchi app for its ability to duplicate the flights. It was the consistency that was key for him.
 

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Hey doods;

I'm not so full of myself that I think I invented ANYTHING drone related. But I have to say that I can't find any aerial morphing on YouTube. Google search results come up with typical Construction Progress fodder - still shots...unorganized video, etc. I have found nothing like the video I have produced here. So...

The reason for this post is NOT to BRAG that I invented something, but instead to invoke the powers of the forum to FIND or POINT ME in the direction to other videos with this style of aerial morphing.

NOTE: I realize that some of the transitions are not as good as others. All the raw footage was shot with an Inspire 1, which is NOT the most GPS-precise bird on the planet. The purpose of these shots is forensics. So "precise flight duplication" was not a top priority. In the interest of keeping my Inspire 1 relevant (and making money), I use it for these shoots. Ultimately, something like this would greatly benefit from RTK, which is a direction I MAY go in someday. But for now I'm employing a LOT of digital manipulation to "ball park" the transitions. As you can see, some transitions are better than others.

I would like to head off at the pass any "suggestions" on how to "improve" these videos. I already know where the shortcomings are and how to circumvent them. For now, all I'm looking for is someone who either does this style of cinematography or KNOWS of somebody doing it.

Thanx!


D
Try searching for 'Drone construction hyperlapse' or similar...
 
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Not me personally, but someone I know was doing some similar flights on construction projects. I have not seen them, but I know he was using the Litchi app for its ability to duplicate the flights. It was the consistency that was key for him.
Can you give me some key words so I can find his aerial morphing videos?

Thanx!

D
 
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Try searching for 'Drone construction hyperlapse' or similar...
Good find! I knew that there had to be someone else doing something similar to my video. I'll point out that in my video the footage is sped up to create a "hyperlapse" feel. I'll also point out that technically, neither video is a "hyperlapse." I see they call their video a hyperlapse, but it's actually not. But that point is moot. Thanx for the find!

D
 
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Hey doods;

I'm not so full of myself that I think I invented ANYTHING drone related. But I have to say that I can't find any aerial morphing on YouTube. Google search results come up with typical Construction Progress fodder - still shots...unorganized video, etc. I have found nothing like the video I have produced here. So...

The reason for this post is NOT to BRAG that I invented something, but instead to invoke the powers of the forum to FIND or POINT ME in the direction to other videos with this style of aerial morphing.

NOTE: I realize that some of the transitions are not as good as others. All the raw footage was shot with an Inspire 1, which is NOT the most GPS-precise bird on the planet. The purpose of these shots is forensics. So "precise flight duplication" was not a top priority. In the interest of keeping my Inspire 1 relevant (and making money), I use it for these shoots. Ultimately, something like this would greatly benefit from RTK, which is a direction I MAY go in someday. But for now I'm employing a LOT of digital manipulation to "ball park" the transitions. As you can see, some transitions are better than others.

I would like to head off at the pass any "suggestions" on how to "improve" these videos. I already know where the shortcomings are and how to circumvent them. For now, all I'm looking for is someone who either does this style of cinematography or KNOWS of somebody doing it.

Thanx!


D
Morphing is defined as the special-effects process in which someone or something change shape or form, for example a square gradualy change it's shape/silhouette to circle or triangle. In your case it's called blending or disolving, both are video editing terms.
 
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Here is a nice example of blending different hyperlapses, one can still see there are some imperfections, this mainly is a result of the post process as it can be made perfect but this is very expensive process and is related to various deep cgi techniques.

 
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Morphing is defined as the special-effects process in which someone or something change shape or form, for example a square gradualy change it's shape/silhouette to circle or triangle. In your case it's called blending or disolving, both are video editing terms.
The reason I use the word "morph" is because my shots were not just straight dissolves. Because of flight imperfections, some digital manipulation is a necessary part of the process, including some stretching in some cases. So, while I'm not morphing a square into a triangle, the digital process feels more like a morph than a straight on dissolve. But technically, you are correct.

D
 
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The reason I use the word "morph" is because my shots were not just straight dissolves. Because of flight imperfections, some digital manipulation is a necessary part of the process, including some stretching in some cases. So, while I'm not morphing a square into a triangle, the digital process feels more like a morph than a straight on dissolve. But technically, you are correct.

D
The technique you describe is called wrap, while you squash and stretch the original images it's still far from what the morph is :) There is no morph when the input A and the output B have the same shape. In you'r case A is image with no building and B is image with building but there is no animation in between showing the transformaton from A to B so it's simply a blend between pictures that are transformed by sqush, stretch or wrap grid. My point is just to clarify the different terms used in video post production.

Here's one of the first morphs used in commercial video production, I guess most of you have seen it long ago, it was mind blowing at the time :)


In the mid of 90's the first commercial software for making morphs was Elastic Reality, after that many more came out as plugins for the popular editing softwares at that time.
 
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The technique you describe is called wrap, while you squash and stretch the original images it's still far from what the morph is :) There is no morph when the input A and the output B have the same shape. In you'r case A is image with no building and B is image with building but there is no animation in between showing the transformaton from A to B so it's simply a blend between pictures that are transformed by sqush, stretch or wrap grid. My point is just to clarify the different terms used in video post production.
Copy that. I appreciate the education. Who are you, sir, to be so wise in the ways of editing? Is that your job?



Here's one of the first morphs used in commercial video production, I guess most of you have seen it long ago, it was mind blowing at the time :)

I remember this well.




In the mid of 90's the first commercial software for making morphs was Elastic Reality, after that many more came out as plugins for the popular editing softwares at that time.
For grins I tried the Adobe Premier Pro morphing plugin. Useless. It's pretty much designed for faces and nothing more. Not only did all 32 of my threads grind away @ warp 10 for 20 minutes, but the results were horrid. So...back to warping, stretching and squashing....<:^) I can do it, but man is it time consuming. And Adobe doesn't make it easy, because unlike Sony Vegas, both clips disappear when you move one or the other on the Timeline. Maddening. In Vegas I could sort of ball park it by setting the top clip opacity to 50% and then moving one or the other along the Timeline. In Premiere Pro, the GD clip turns black. ARGH! So I can't adjust in real time. I have to adjust, look, adjust, look, adjust, look, etc. Horrid work flow. But I digress...

Thanx for the edumacation!

D
 

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Hey doods;

I'm not so full of myself that I think I invented ANYTHING drone related. But I have to say that I can't find any aerial morphing on YouTube. Google search results come up with typical Construction Progress fodder - still shots...unorganized video, etc. I have found nothing like the video I have produced here. So...

The reason for this post is NOT to BRAG that I invented something, but instead to invoke the powers of the forum to FIND or POINT ME in the direction to other videos with this style of aerial morphing.

NOTE: I realize that some of the transitions are not as good as others. All the raw footage was shot with an Inspire 1, which is NOT the most GPS-precise bird on the planet. The purpose of these shots is forensics. So "precise flight duplication" was not a top priority. In the interest of keeping my Inspire 1 relevant (and making money), I use it for these shoots. Ultimately, something like this would greatly benefit from RTK, which is a direction I MAY go in someday. But for now I'm employing a LOT of digital manipulation to "ball park" the transitions. As you can see, some transitions are better than others.

I would like to head off at the pass any "suggestions" on how to "improve" these videos. I already know where the shortcomings are and how to circumvent them. For now, all I'm looking for is someone who either does this style of cinematography or KNOWS of somebody doing it.

Thanx!


D
I saw this on your YouTube channel the other day. Very impressive. Would love to know how you put it together. GREAT job
 
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Is that your job?
Yes Donnie, I work this more than 20 years. My side job is flying drones for TV and Film.

For grins I tried the Adobe Premier Pro morphing plugin. Useless. It's pretty much designed for faces and nothing more. Not only did all 32 of my threads grind away @ warp 10 for 20 minutes, but the results were horrid. So...back to warping, stretching and squashing....<:^)
You're absolutelly right, those plugins are designed for morphing from one shape to another and are useless for what you want to do so the warp is the way to go. I guess the RTK you mention will be really in help for better matching and aligment of the source videos resulting in stunning blend but this is kind of expensive.

Another way I was thinking of if I have to do it for some high level production like TV commercial or vfx shot is by doing photogrammetry of the location and then in 3D software to align all resulted 3d objects you've got from the different days of shooting and make a 3d camera inside that software with the motion you want. Then render out every single object from this camera and all rendered layers will have a perfect match because they are from the same camera without any paralax disturbances. This technique will give the freedom of looking at the construction site from any angle you wish as well to blend between layers at any moment you wish. But this is extremelly tedious process as first for the photogrammery session you'll need the construction work place being static, no workers or vehicles should be present or moving or this will result in bugs or holes in the geometry that will open more work to fix that. Second, the whole shooting process will take much more time than just recording a video with a litchi mission. Then the processing and building of the 3D object will also take some days. So this solution is kind of a high level production which should cost much more to the client compared to the simple video recording missions and I guess the price will be no no for the clients if they are not TV or Film producers. So at the end if you don't need the opportunity to be able to see from any angle you wish the RTK solution will be much less expensive.
 
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Great video @Donnie Frank , you have a lot of work & time on that production!
Similar type of videos for construction are normally referred to as accelerated time lapse. Your video is composed of video clips, not still photos correct? If stills, then I'm impressed with the movement on the ground. Nice video, and great use of brand & sync of music to transitions.

You mentioned having to manipulate the transitions due to irregular frames between video date segments. Your manipulations were nice, and I'm sure consumed ample time. Did you compare the visual with various type of transitions? The transitions will often smooth enough as they fade & develop and often conceal a little variance in flight paths between segments.

As you've displayed nicely with your buildings & brand names; these products are often used for a lobby kiosk within new structure or within their corporate advertisement; from ground breaking through completion stringed together for a 4-6 minute visual of the complete build (4 yrs into 4 minutes).

The hyperlapse is more based on multiple shots over an extended duration within same time period (1-48 hrs), focused on the motion of the objects "around" the focal point: sun, sky, people, cars, etc. The focal point transitioning over a construction period is more time lapse, showing the transition of the focal point transitioning... rapid change in construction vs objects around the focal point. If Hyperlapse within a video, it's more for a dolly zoom effect.

@niki is correct on definitions of morph and wrap. Maybe my small phone screen, I'm not seeing wrap in the transitions... but I'm also known to be blind seeing things too; I'm seeing a shifting or cropping of frames pre-staging for a transition. The term wrap to me is distorting one image over another image. One image treated like a decal and conforms over the 2nd image layer. Difference to a Morph; a wrap usually changes 1 image to shape of the 2nd image. A morph is the "visual transition" between 2 Images that don't change... example: Woman to Man, Lion to Woman. In addition to @niki commercial example, there were several Dodge or auto commercials that morphed between 2 images. In a more modern style, the snickers candy bar commercials are a form of morph, more of a video morph, the subject is moving. There were a few years that morphing was the bomb, every one wanted to play with morphing. Not sure if still popular, but there was inexpensive ($50) Morphing software where you loaded 2 Images, indicated the common points between 2 images and processed the morph. Very Cool to play with... I made many of a Person and their Pet, I'd morph from Person to Pet, back to Person, save the file and pass to the person... impressive. Complex software algorithms, but easy for the common End User to create. I forget what movies first made morphing so popular. Jaws made the Hyperlapse Dolly Zoom popular.

As mentioned in above post, Litchi is a nice tool for video loops of constriction sites. Provides multiple videos very close to identical frame positioning for multiple transitions through the time lapse of construction. I'm 8 months into a 4 yr construction, video loop every 2 weeks (except poor weather) and a photo grid of 260-360 photos for Ortho & 3D model (GSP2, MapPilot, Pix4D, etc). I provide the 2D ortho to contractors & Owners and slowly building library of the video loops for a lobby kiosk when completed.


Yes Donnie, I work this more than 20 years. My side job is flying drones for TV and Film.


You're absolutelly right, those plugins are designed for morphing from one shape to another and are useless for what you want to do so the warp is the way to go. I guess the RTK you mention will be really in help for better matching and aligment of the source videos resulting in stunning blend but this is kind of expensive.

Another way I was thinking of if I have to do it for some high level production like TV commercial or vfx shot is by doing photogrammetry of the location and then in 3D software to align all resulted 3d objects you've got from the different days of shooting and make a 3d camera inside that software with the motion you want. Then render out every single object from this camera and all rendered layers will have a perfect match because they are from the same camera without any paralax disturbances. This technique will give the freedom of looking at the construction site from any angle you wish as well to blend between layers at any moment you wish. But this is extremelly tedious process as first for the photogrammery session you'll need the construction work place being static, no workers or vehicles should be present or moving or this will result in bugs or holes in the geometry that will open more work to fix that. Second, the whole shooting process will take much more time than just recording a video with a litchi mission. Then the processing and building of the 3D object will also take some days. So this solution is kind of a high level production which should cost much more to the client compared to the simple video recording missions and I guess the price will be no no for the clients if they are not TV or Film producers. So at the end if you don't need the opportunity to be able to see from any angle you wish the RTK solution will be much less expensive.
Wow, that'd be quite the task for the end product. Impressive, but tedious and I doubt a construction company would cover the cost of the hours to create. The I1 might not be ideal for consistent tracking within same loop over time. An I2, P4P or M2P normally track very consistently to provide the video loops within something like Litchi.

The RTK approach would be for stills... orthomosaic photogrammetry... 2D or 3D modeling. RTK and GCP to align photos and improve accuracy of true location. Not sure where you'd be gaining investing in RTK kit for video.

Many construction companies don't want post work on images or videos, they want quality base product that they take and post process.
 
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I certainly know you didn’t invent this...
Call it whatever YOU like but I have 5
Different contractors I currently fly for
and EVERYONE of them uses this same
Progression of construction...
I shoot over the length of time from beginning
To end of project and edit over a length if
Time..
Been doing that for 3-4 years
 
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People have been morphing into werewolves since the 60s.
It’s a very nice shot but time lapse is nothing new.
 
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scroll down to Ford Dealership. a 5-minute clip with sound being used in the dealership showroom. Feel free to speed up the playback:

and a different approach in a current work-in-progress using orthomosaics - Miracle Park. About a 1-minute clip currently. The Miracle Park is boring because it's all underground work up to now, but it's a novel approach that I haven't seen anywhere else. Kinda fun though.

Stay safe............... bob r
 
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Yes Donnie, I work this more than 20 years. My side job is flying drones for TV and Film.


You're absolutelly right, those plugins are designed for morphing from one shape to another and are useless for what you want to do so the warp is the way to go. I guess the RTK you mention will be really in help for better matching and aligment of the source videos resulting in stunning blend but this is kind of expensive.

Another way I was thinking of if I have to do it for some high level production like TV commercial or vfx shot is by doing photogrammetry of the location and then in 3D software to align all resulted 3d objects you've got from the different days of shooting and make a 3d camera inside that software with the motion you want. Then render out every single object from this camera and all rendered layers will have a perfect match because they are from the same camera without any paralax disturbances. This technique will give the freedom of looking at the construction site from any angle you wish as well to blend between layers at any moment you wish. But this is extremelly tedious process as first for the photogrammery session you'll need the construction work place being static, no workers or vehicles should be present or moving or this will result in bugs or holes in the geometry that will open more work to fix that. Second, the whole shooting process will take much more time than just recording a video with a litchi mission. Then the processing and building of the 3D object will also take some days. So this solution is kind of a high level production which should cost much more to the client compared to the simple video recording missions and I guess the price will be no no for the clients if they are not TV or Film producers. So at the end if you don't need the opportunity to be able to see from any angle you wish the RTK solution will be much less expensive.
Good points. But, as you eluded to, I would have to triple or quadruple my invoice for something that involved.

D
 

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