The View Up Here

Random scribblings about kites, photography, machining, and anything else

Flying Videos are a Pain

Posted by Tom Benedict on 24/06/2014

A couple of weeks ago I took my helmet cam, my Zagi, a tripod, and a beach chair, and climbed the cindercone south of Kua Bay. The footage I got from the last time I flew there convinced me that the Gopro does better on a tripod than on my head, so that’s where I put it. I used a Nokia N8 and my Canon A2200 on the helmet to do the tracking footage. The A2200 never really focused all that well, so I was left with the static Gopro footage and the tracking N8 footage.

It worked ok, but the more I try to make flying videos the less I find I enjoy the process. Trying to keep my head level (which I couldn’t) and tracking the plane (which I’m getting better at) took away a lot of the joy of flying the plane in the first place. At one point I took the helmet off so I could just have fun flying it instead of filming it. As it turns out that was a good thing since I wound up using that footage in the video.

After going through all the raw footage I started the long nit-picky process of choosing just the bits I wanted to show. I found a piano piece by The Fat Rat, edited the snippets to fit the music, and made a first cut. jimbo320 on RCGroups gave me some much-needed feedback that I used to further refine it. It’s not stellar, but it’s a beginning. The question is whether I want to pursue this any further, or simply have fun flying the plane.

Unfortunately toward the end my poor Zagi had one too many collisions with the rocks and the trees, and the covering on one wingtip ripped loose. I took it home, pulled all the covering off, and found I had cracked its main spar as well. I built a new spar with a thickened center section, filled the tear in the wing tip with Gorilla Glue, and replaced all of the torn biax reinforcement. I’m re-covering it with the same laminate I used the first time, but the artwork on the plane will be different. The old scheme was far too symmetric top to bottom, which made it difficult to tell orientation from a distance.

So this video is the last time you’ll see this color scheme on my plane. It’s probably also the last slope video I’m going to make for a while. Too much focus on cameras and too little focus on flying makes my poor plane feel like an abused chunk of styrofoam.

– Tom

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