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How to: Produce an interesting video

sfs-archery

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In this post i will show you some information how to get your video interesting for other people. Maybe you have remarks then please post it. Maybe we can get together a small "how to"-Post to make better videos with the tello. ;)

I know that there are better drones than the tello to take videos and photos. But this small little thing is an amazing drone and the photo and video quality is not so bad. And if you have an interesting video the people do not remark the "technical problems" of the video.
make the most of it.

General
Like I said, tello is not the best tool for video recording. For example, a gimbal is missing to stabilize the video. But there are some small things you can do to improve the technical quality or the look and feel of the video.

Using a flight controller
If you are using a flight controller like the T1d it is much more easy to control the tello. In the resualt you will have better better video camera shots because they look more smooth/stable

Using a wifi range extender
using a wifi extender like the "Meross N300 Wi-Fi Range Extender" you can improve the signal between the tell oand your smartphone. In the resualt you wil lget less frame dropping and you can choose a higher bitrate. Both improves the quality of your video.

Extra batteries
It is good too have some more extra batteries in the bag. It is annoying if you will miss some planned shots because you run out of energie.

Watch the wind and use the VPS (Visual Positioning System)
The tello is small and lightweight. if there is wind the video will not look so stable because the drone is drifting. Whenever it is possible use the advantages of the VPS (Visual Positioning System). It will hold the drone and the video stable. The VPS is working works best when flying at an altitude between 1 foot and 19.7 feet. ( 0.3 meters and 6 meters)


But now we talking about video ;)
First of all i would like to say that this is just a toolbox. it is not necessary to consider all the points for a great video. But it will help if you use theo one or other :)

Tell a story
The most important point first: Tell a story. A story makes the video interesting for the viewers. Without a stroy your video will get boring.
The exception are explanation videos. If you would liek to make a video to show me how to connect a wifi repeater to the tello you do not need a story. It is enough if you show exactly what should be done.

Plan your video / Write a script
If you have a story, write it down. Then extract the key scenes of the story. For each key scene think about how it should look like in the later video. Write that down. =>You'll have your script. You can later use this script as a checklist while shooting.

Lighting is very important
When you have a key scene in your script, allways remember the light. Light can be very different. Hard, soft, direct or indirect ,...
Not every light fits to your idea. E.g. when you plan a romantic scene it would be not so good to use hard direct light with hard contrasts. You will need a soft light in the morning or late evening.

Catch attention quickly and keep the video short
The world is getting faster and faster. People decide in the first 30 seconds if they want to watch the complete video or not.
If your do not get there attention within the first 30 seconds they may break of the viewing. Remember this point when you create your story.

POV (Point of view) / Try unusual camera angle
Drone cameras like the tello have normally (very) wide angle lenses to pack in as much activity and scenery as possible. This is good for overviews, but bad for details.
Use different POVs and unusual camera angels. It is very boring if you have a video with 3 minutes length and only one or two POVs.
E.g. yo uare following a person with the drone. If your video shows the person 3 minutes from this same position it would be fast get boring.
But how many different scenes / POV do you need? More than you expect :(

Lets talk about the shot frequency at this point. A shot is the continuous footage or sequence between two edits or cuts. The shot frequency / average shot length (ASL) is the average duration of one shot.
This duration depends on the kind of video you would like to show. If the average duration is short then you have a fast cut. This is used e.g. in action films to show action/dramatic things. If you have alove film or nature documantation the average shot duration will be longer.
Small information:
"Standard" films have a average shot length (ASL) of 6 to 9 seconds. And it is getting Shorter o_O
Action films are much faster. e.G. Armageddon =>2,2sec ; The Rock =>2,7sec ; Twister => 3,6sec

What does this mean for my Video project?
You would like to shot sport action video with your drone. Expected duration of the complete film: 3 Minutes. (based on the script)
You would like to have a fast cut. This means a average shot length (ASL) of approx 3 seconds
==>3 minutes (180 seconds) / ASL 3 second ==> 60 shots
You will need approx. 60 different shots for your film. Each shot with its own POV, camera angle,.... ==>This is a lot of work !!

Keep the camera steady
OK, this will be a bigger iseu when you are only using the tello for your video. But if you are using videos from different cameras consider this point. :)
Shaky videos are not so good. Use e.g. a tripod to get good videos.

Moving the camera
Tracking shots are great ! If your video shows only shots from a stable position this could be OK. But tracking shots are much more interesting. A good mix between tracking shots and still shots is necessary for a good film.
With the tello it is very easy to shoot tracking shots. Just start video and fly and avoid fast turns and/or high speed and/or shaky flights :)

If audio is important then use an external microphone
If audio/Sound is important then use an external microphone. The tello does not record audio :) And additional external mic have a much higher audio-quality.

Using subtitles or on-screen text
Please take into account that some viewers have not turned on sound. Therefore on-texts are important for understanding if the scenes in the movie are not clear enough. Additional on-screen text is easy to understand and give you a short break in the video.

Edit your video
It is very bad if you upload the video without video editing. There are many scenes inside that should not belong to the film. e.g. Tests or when you move in Position. So video editing is very important to reduce the film to the key elements.
If you are interested I can write an own contribution to the topic video editing. The topic is quite complex.

Sound/Music
If you are using music to make your video more attractive you have to think about some points.
e.g. does the music match the film? You can not use a fast and loud heavy metal musik for a romantic documentation of nature :)
in addition, the music must match the video cuts. For example, if the music changes then something in the video should also change.


Summary
There are many things you can do to make a video more interesting. The most important thing is the preparation and planning (storytelling,..)
There are a lot of different things available and you have to choose the right tools for your movie.
This article only gives a small, incomplete overview. Each of the individual points can be deepened or some points could certainly be called additive.

If there is interest I can go there with some things still more into the detail. Especially for the video editing I would plan my own article.

Regards
sfs-archery
 

sfs-archery

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 5, 2018
Messages
116
Reaction score
52
Location
Germany
Website
sfs-archery.de
In the first post i showed same basic informations. Now i will go more in detail when you are using the tello drone.

POV (Point of view) / Try unusual camera angle
The tello has a fixed camera. This makes it difficult to realize different POVs. But there are a few possibilities.
The most important one is the changeable altitude. You can record a scene from a low or a high altitude.
Additionally you have the possibility to realize camera positions which are not so easy to get by foot.

When you are mod your tello and place a mirror in front of the camera, you can get a new camera orientation.

Moving the camera
Here it gets interesting. Camera movements are possible in different ways.
Flight directly in the direction of the Motiv. Or away from the subject in one direction.

Or you can fly sideways without changing the direction of the camera.

Another good possibility is to use the EZ mode.
360°
Start a video and let the drone rotate 360°. Then use a part of the video to give the viewer an overview of the location.

Circle
With this you can achieve a nice effect to avoid the motive in the scene. However, it takes a little practice to find the right distance. Here it is also good to use only a part of the recorded video and not to show the whole circumambulation.

Up and away
The mode up and away can be used very well to get back from a detailed view to a somewhat wider overview. Dasa can be used very well to finish a scene.

Bounce
Bounce looks like a useless mode in the beginning. But it can be used for vertical camera movements. The same is true for automatic landing and take-off.

Regards
sfs-archery
 

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