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Everything posted by Av8Chuck

  1. Av8Chuck

    Drone Interactive Panoramas: Where's the interest?

    Remove the word "drone" from your question: "Interactive Panoramas: Where's the interest?" Is there a market for these types of panoramas? Unfortunately not. Realtors seem to put these panoramas in the same category as "virtual tours" which have a very negative connotation with realtors. Now if you add the word "Drone" to your question does it overcome the negative response? Generally no. Also keep in mind that if your question is about adding this functionality to generate revenue, no one cares! As a technique panoramas are cool but people don't buy cool, they buy why your selling it? @Greg posted a great link to "WHY" people will care about "drone" panoramas. There is a huge amount of value for those effected by this fire to help determine if their house is still there. This is a brilliant use of this technology that enabled first responders to better manage the publics expectations and develop a plan for those that needed to return to protect their property. If your house burned down you didn't need to rush back and first responders could offer introduction to other agencies that could provide immediate short term housing, coordinate with insurance, etc. I ask this all the time, "what problem are you off to solve?" A critical part of that question is "Why are you off to solve it?" To be successful in business you have to have a higher purpose, it can't be just because you want to make money.
  2. Av8Chuck

    Getting better or at least I think I am

    Let me start by apologizing ahead of time for anything I say that you might find offensive.. you have a lot there to work with. Your aerial is very good, you have some great shots but remember the goal of these videos should be to sell the property. In context of that, there are areas that you could improve on that would make a significant difference. Editing - there’s no right answer here but generally for these video to be effective they need to move along, many of your shots are too long and really slow down the pace of the video. It takes too long to show enough variety of what buyers might be interested in. Architectural Photography - get a good camera. Your exposures are all over the place. In high contrast, the windows are blown out and the interior is dark. These are very challenging situations to shoot in which is why the time of day you shoot and the techniques you use are important. Rember your not producing a motion picture, it’s more about communicating the essence of a home, it’s perfectly acceptable to mix stills with video to get better shots in the high contrast areas. Color grading - it’s very distracting to see mixed lighting, indoor, outdoor and tungsten that cause the colors to be so far off. Your videos will be much more appealing if the colors were consistant. Sharpness - for the ground shots get a real camera with good quality lenses. It’s easy to look at others work and pick it apart on the technical merits and I’m aware that’s what I’m doing. However, the hardest part is building a profitable business. It would be comparatively easy to improve on the things I’ve pointed out that will help differentiate your work from others and lead to a more profitable outcome. So you’ve done the hard part. I’d recommend studying the many examples of property videos in this thread and see if you can take the things from the videos you like and figure out a way to incorporate them into your own videos. keep up the good work and let us know how it goes. If you have specific questions on any particular technique there are plenty of people on this forum I’m sure would be happy to help.
  3. There have been several questions in other parts of the forum about property videos so I’m bumping this up so that hopefully people interested in this sort of production will find this thread.
  4. The vertical axis is the least accurate axis, but 3” should be achievable depending on which analytical software your using. We us ContextCapture, overpriced but works well for the type of work we do. Pix4D or Correlator3D should work well for NADER, if accuracy over a large area is important I wouldn’t trust the likes of DroneDeploy. How much settlement do you anticipate over what period of time? 3” sounds like a lot of settlement. If it’s less you may have to incorporate more than just photogrammetry. We usually blend both aerial and terrestrial photogrammetry with terrestrial LiDAR and ground control points (GIS) data over six to ten acre scans. The key is in aligning all of this in the same coordinate system. As a rule of thumb we use four GCP per acre depending on the structure we’re scanning. We generally survey the LiDAR drops and simply use the GCP as tie points. If we don’t use LiDAR then we survey the GCP’s on the boundary and use the rest as tie points. Regarding RTK, we use our own INS system, the only RTK we thought worked for a reasonable price was LOKI but they are now almost exclusively DJI and we’re prohibited from using DJI (or any Chinese manufactured UAV). But depending on the accuracy and certification or level of trust necessary your probably going to need an additional method of aligning and confirming the accuracy of the scan. When I started this reply I thought this should be pretty straight forward, but the more I thought about it the more complicated it became, it really depends on how accurate, over what area that will help determine how many variables you have to account for to get an accurate scan. Also, because of the clearances we have to maintain from equipment we usually fly 140-200’ so we use a 43MP camera. Good luck. Let us know what you decide and how it goes.
  5. Av8Chuck

    Intro from UK Drones

    Welcome to the forum. How are you making money with drones? Most of the time it seems like the whole commercial drone industry is a little backwards. There's a large segment of this industry afflicted with "millennial-itis"
  6. Av8Chuck

    Camera settings

    A lot of people believe digital is better than analog, it’s different and the best it can be is how closely you can make it like analog. So just like analog good digital is a two step process. Step 1: capture the image to either a negative (analog) or with a sensor to a file (digital). When you capture to a negative it is always RAW, the sensitivity to light is determined by the emulsion of the film. When you shoot digital your also always shooting RAW, the sensitivity to light is determined by how much power is applied to the sensor. The higher the ISO the more power is applied the noisier the image, however when you choose jpeg the camera roles off the whites and linearly clips the blacks based on neutral grey. This is baked into the image and you cannot change any exposure parameters. Step 2: With film light would pass through the negative exposing the photographic paper; how long it was exposed would determine the luminance and the type of paper would determine the chrominance. In digital the density is determined by the pitch of the pixel and when people refer to capturing RAW it simply means your capturing all the data the sensor can provide. This enables you to control every aspect of your exposure, whereas jpeg processes the closure in camera and you have no creative control. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get good pictures using JPEG, but when you look at images that are tack sharp with great exposure they aren’t JPEGs. Lightroom is one of the most used editors, there are several open source editors. If you have photoshop you don’t need LR. Just like when people used film there were artisans who made an art out of printing you can do the same with post processing digital but just like analog you need to develop the skill. Far too many people who edit digital photos just ouch buttons, squint and think they’ve created a masterpiece. It’s a piece alright...
  7. Av8Chuck

    National Parks

    What @SEAKdrones said. They enforce policies as if they’re regulations and no one holds them accountable. Unfortunately there are a ton of drone operators who defend the park service apparently thinking if they do they will eventually be more reasonable.
  8. Av8Chuck

    $6M luxury beachfront penthouse

    I have a Canon 5D3 and 5DS and I didn't know you could change image size... You can never have enough resolution... I never use the crop sensor feature for the reason you mention. I wasn't sure about the A7 when I first got one but now I purchased another to replace the GH4 on the drone. Once you go 43MP+ you can never go back. I don't really have to think about using the 5D's and I'm pretty handy with the GH4 but there's still a bit of a learning curve with the A7RIII. I was thinking about getting a GH5, now I'm not so sure. I have a Metabones adapter for my Canon lenses but I'm having a weird problem with auto focus, sometimes it won't focus quickly enough and won't fire when the flight controller triggers it.
  9. Av8Chuck

    $6M luxury beachfront penthouse

    That’s not correct. If you use an APS-C lens it shoots a ~24MP image. There’s also a setting for cropping the sensor. I don’t have the camera in front of me so I don’t know which menu.
  10. Not sure what this discussion is morphing into but the FAA has not changed any related to part 61 in context of part 107. Why would recurrence be any different. It’s an endorsement in your logbook. I guess we can debate whether that should change but I’m not sure why there’s any misunderstanding about this. I have not watched the video that Dave posted, I like ending up with egg on my face! I’m a thrill seeker that way.
  11. Av8Chuck

    The Calm (Iceland)

    Very well done. are you interested in some feedback? I’m always curious why people make some of the creative decisions they make but in forums those discussions often sound like criticism.
  12. Av8Chuck

    $6M luxury beachfront penthouse

    Never mind. I’m really starting to like the A7RIII. Glad to see it being put to the test.
  13. Av8Chuck

    $6M luxury beachfront penthouse

    Very nice, one of your best! What camera did you use?
  14. Av8Chuck


    I had a recent business trip to Singapore. I took a MAVIC and was hoping to fly there but I didn't have the time and when I did, it was raining. Singapore is kind of an adult Disneyland. Its a beautiful place, everywhere you look its a Kodak moment. Unfortunately I didn't have a lot of time to film but I did the best with the time I had.
  15. Av8Chuck

    LAANC - is it working for you?

    We’ve been approved for KSMO, but still nothing for KLAX.
  16. Av8Chuck

    National Parks

    I can’t imagine anyone at the FAA will actually read it, but having said that it’s worth a try. The best way to change laws is to understand how they’re created and get involve in their creation. It literally takes an act of Congress to change existing laws.
  17. If your a pilot, did you receive a separate license for your 107? Its my understanding that its just another endorsement.
  18. Av8Chuck

    Pilots needed

    I was just curious if he had bailed, it he’s been responding here on the thread.
  19. Do you have a part 107 license? I’m a pilot, you get a pilots license for life unless it’s taken away. Just because you have the license doesn’t mean your current to fly. I’d imagine 107 is the same way. i have no idea how you prove your currency? Pilots get a stamp in their logbook.
  20. Av8Chuck

    18 Reasons to Attend InterDrone Next Month

    I'm not sure if any of us are going. We'll make the decision to go so late we'll have to drive..
  21. Av8Chuck

    18 Reasons to Attend InterDrone Next Month

    Its Vegas baby. Just depends on how lucky you are... This isn't a very big show and if there aren't any other big shows going on at the convention center then rooms should be reasonable priced. I can usually go there for three nights, food and a little entertainment for $500. But in Vegas it just kind of depends on what your into.
  22. Av8Chuck

    Inspire 2 package for sale

  23. Av8Chuck

    What are you doing re: illegal drone flights?

    This is always a sticky topic and like it or not this is a symptom of a bigger issue. If your losing business to this sort of thing you should be questioning your business model and the companies your trying to do business with. There will always be idiots who ignore or are ignorant of the law, you cant regulate stupid. But the movie industry and the evolution of the application of drones in that industry might provide some insight to how things are changing. Most studios require a ton of insurance, they would like a 333 exemption, and you have to submit a PSSP (Project Specific Safety Plan) before you can even step onto their location. Does that mean that every production company in the entertainment industry require this? Not hardly. But, the guy that shows up to work for a production company without at least a Part107 isn't really the idiot that should concern legal operators, its the idiot that hires them. The only reason a company would hire someone who doesn't have a certificate of insurance or a 107 is because they don't want to pay. Do you really want to work for that company? Most companies know the value of solving real problems, its up to you to be able to demonstrate your ability to accomplish the required task and charge accordingly. Solve problems that people care about and you should be able to charge $2K plus per mission. Don't and you'll get $200.
  24. Av8Chuck

    Naming your drone services

    What's in a name? What's in a website? There's obviously more to a good website than a name and it takes more than a website to drive business. Also, you can't be everything to everyone. Do you want people to go to your site to learn how to do this for themselves? Do you want your site to drive business for you to do? Your site has an identity problem, much of it relates to cameras, drones, how safe they are etc., in a way that makes me think I should get a drone and do it myself. You talk a lot about your passion for drones, no one cares. What they care about is what problem do you solve for them that they're willing to spend money to solve. When your site is full of great examples of how you helped your customer get rich, then people will care about your passion. A lot of people think a website has to answer the question "WHY should anyone CARE about you?" Get over yourself, they don't. What customers care about is what your going to do to help them and keep in mind that they probably aren't in the drone business which begs the question "why are you?" You have some nice examples of aerial shots, probably not enough to base the value of your company but its a place to start. Now, where do you have the most experience so that you when talking to customers they will recognize the intrinsic value in what your offering? If its real-estate, what do you know about helping a broker market properties? If its aerial landscape photography can you convince a gallery owner to do a show with your photographs? They don't care what kind of drone or camera you used. They will only care about the passion for your craft (that's craft in the artistic sense) if it will help sell your art. All we have at the moment is a landing page: http://aerialalchemy.com/ We'll have that until we have enough experience and samples of our work that when people visit our site they will have a clear understanding of what we do, how we do it and when we're finished doing it how that helps them. Regarding the name, we're Aerial Alchemy: Alchemy -- alchemy |ˈalkəmē|noun --the medieval forerunner of chemistry, based on the supposed transformation of matter. It was concerned particularly with attempts to convert base metals into gold. So the idea is that we take data collected using a UAV and convert it into "gold" or save time and money for our customers. There is no mention of "drones" in our name and we only talk about drones in context of how we use them to accomplish a specific task. A good carpenter rarely talks about his hammer in context of their finished work. So here's a demo video of a recent mission where the objective was to autonomously find swimmers in the water, track them, send the location data back to the ship so it can launch another UAV to deliver an EFD to the swimmers. Sounds easy enough but this level of communication integration between the Navy, Homeland Security, local law enforcement is harder than people think and was the point of the exercise. Another thing to keep in mind is how much do you want to charge for your services? Your messaging is one of the biggest determining factors of how much someone is willing to pay you. If you talk about your $1200 toy drone, how passionate you are about flying it, the fact that you have a $150 certificate, your a hobbyist with a license and will be paid accordingly. I don't mean to be a jerk, its just there are a ton of questions like this on this forum where people just aren't willing to dive into what it really means to be a "successful" commercial UAV company. Its that old adage "if it were easy everyone would do it." Well, everyone is doing it and then coming to forums like this trying to figure out why they aren't making as much as they would like. Success can be measured many ways so this isn't an issue of conformity, I'm not trying to talk you into doing what I'm doing, but I am attempting to demonstrate that with some forethought and a little hard work you can develop a value proposition that others will identify with and want to do business with you regardless of price. Once you get to that point then you get to define your success.
  25. We need to be careful not to conflate the issues between hobbyists and commercial operators, they are very different. Having said that there seems to be a tendency for each to throw the other under the bus in this debate. Although they are different most of the so-called coalitions and the FAA are trying combine the issues into one category. As this video points out, the FAA is using false data to consolidate its authority, what UAV operators need to understand about the political process is that it means they don’t actually have the authority and that the purpose of a trade organization is to be a significant part of the process so it can influence all the aspects of UAS commerce, not just the flight regulations. The FAA is prohibited by law from regulating commerce, so under the “catch all” of safety they try to regulate commerce through flight rules. This is why they need the statistics and also why they have lost most, if not all the court cases regarding commerial operations prior to rule107. Most of the discussions on this forum regarding commercial operators are around missions like real estate, NDVI, cell tower inspections, etc and how can a commercial operator make money when all anyone is willing to pay is $200 for example. Do we need a trade organization to protect operators that have no hope of being profitable? Probably not so there’s not much incentive to form one. However, what if commercial missions paid an order of magnitude higher, say $10,000 to $20,000 per mission? Would more people be interested in it then? Would they be willing to pay to join? Would they get involved then? A trade organization shouldn’t exist to protect things the way they are, it should be there to protect the opportunity for what it could be for its members. There’s a growing list of companies who are making that much on every mission. Not only that but they can’t keep up with demand. So they’re too busy to take on this battle. We’re not entitled to be successful UAV entrepreneurs, we have to earn it. If the people who are serious about making some aspect of commercial UAV a career I’d recommend figuring out a way of becoming influential in the development of the industry. That’s not going to happen one $200 roof inspection at a time.