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Creating compelling narratives with the Inspire 1 (and color grading Inspire footage in Resolve)

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A number of people have asked me about how I graded the Inspire footage for the “Mountains Made of Chalk, Fall into the Sea, Eventually” video. Instead of trying to describe it in a written post, here’s a little video I made to illustrate the process.


In short, the Inspire footage grades well as long as it's exposed correctly, particularly using ETTR methods. This is greatly enhanced by the 1.0 Pilot app's histogram feature, allowing the camera operator to keep the histogram to the right as far as possible without blowing out highlight detail. (Thanks to the DJI engineers for getting this critical feature in the app for 1.0!)

One thing that would be great is to allow the SDK to access the bottom TX buttons. If we could do that, I could write code that would do this

One press: Set the camera gimbal controls to respond with a 5 second delay.

Two presses: Set the camera gimbal controls to respond with a 10 second delay.

So, when you turn the camera pitch knob all the way down, the radio transmits the signal over a period of 5 or 10 seconds depending on the switch position, so the camera movement is extremely smooth. It would solve a myriad of sins. The full video is here:


I have a background in software development, and if DJI releases an SDK that has a robust API, there are a lot of things I can think of that would make pro-level AC control possible. Keyframing both the camera and craft position in 3D space, along with different methods of keyframe interpolation, are the first things that come to mind.
 
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The Editor

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Yes please!!!!!.... Ease in and ease out (Bezier like) on gimbal movement start and stop would be fantastic...... Come on DJI !!

BTW - Love the storytelling - great film. I was trying to figure out where you were on that reverse shot from far away starting at 2:43 and I just spotted you hiding on the right behind the trees ;) - Lovely shot.
 
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Joined
Feb 13, 2015
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60
Yes please!!!!!.... Ease in and ease out (Bezier like) on gimbal movement start and stop would be fantastic...... Come on DJI !!

BTW - Love the storytelling - great film. I was trying to figure out where you were on that reverse shot from far away starting at 2:43 and I just spotted you hiding on the right behind the trees ;) - Lovely shot.
Hey thanks! Yes, eases are so important for the camera moves... I'm sure we'll get there. (I'm hoping to get the SDK soon so my team can write cinematography plug-ins for the Inspire, but I'm not sure of what the Pilot App api's are yet. Fingers crossed.)

Nice catch on us hiding behind the trees on the big reverse shot. On that shot we took the bird out as far as it would go until it completely lost signal and initiated an automatic RTH. In this case it was a little over half a mile. Lots of interference up there from the FAA radome, and we were amazed that the Tx and Lightbridge performance we were getting was as good as it was.
 

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