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3 5 Deer, 7X Lens and 7 Lessons Learned

MS Coast

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I was out shooting 360 panoramas with the Mavic 3 at dusk two nights ago. A doe and her two spotted fawns came out of the woods and began feeding along the edge of a field. A few minutes later, two six-point bucks with their antlers still in velvet joined them. I gradually moved the drone closer and lower and finally held at 60' up and about 200' away. None of the deer reacted at all to the drone.

I'm a novice with respect to video editing and just learning to use Resolve 18. The Mavic 3 is also new to me and I'm fascinated by the capabilities of the 7X secondary camera.

@edfrombama has suggested that we think about what we learned on a flight. So, here' are a few observations. I'll welcome additional comments.
  • Don't use auto focus. As the scene shifts, it occasionally hunts and creates a blurred glitch. The depth of field is on these lenses is so great that it's better to just set it near infinity in manual focus mode.
  • Manual exposure mode gives better consistency and is simple to use in scenes like this where the lighting doesn't change dramatically.
  • Under expose a stop or two if you want twilight to look like twilight. This video looks more like full daylight than dusk. There were lightning bugs beginning to flash but they're mostly blown out here. (Yes, I could tweak it somewhat in Resolve to compensate.)
  • Panning and zooming in Resolve is very effective for composing scenes. Thank you Ken Burns.
  • Shorter is better. My first cut was nearly three times as long as the finished video.
  • Youtube offers a good selection of royalty-free music. Use the filters to find something appropriate.
  • Fawns are a bit wary of bucks and bucks behave very differently in summer when their testosterone levels are low.
 

Dale D

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I was out shooting 360 panoramas with the Mavic 3 at dusk two nights ago. A doe and her two spotted fawns came out of the woods and began feeding along the edge of a field. A few minutes later, two six-point bucks with their antlers still in velvet joined them. I gradually moved the drone closer and lower and finally held at 60' up and about 200' away. None of the deer reacted at all to the drone.

I'm a novice with respect to video editing and just learning to use Resolve 18. The Mavic 3 is also new to me and I'm fascinated by the capabilities of the 7X secondary camera.

@edfrombama has suggested that we think about what we learned on a flight. So, here' are a few observations. I'll welcome additional comments.
  • Don't use auto focus. As the scene shifts, it occasionally hunts and creates a blurred glitch. The depth of field is on these lenses is so great that it's better to just set it near infinity in manual focus mode.
  • Manual exposure mode gives better consistency and is simple to use in scenes like this where the lighting doesn't change dramatically.
  • Under expose a stop or two if you want twilight to look like twilight. This video looks more like full daylight than dusk. There were lightning bugs beginning to flash but they're mostly blown out here. (Yes, I could tweak it somewhat in Resolve to compensate.)
  • Panning and zooming in Resolve is very effective for composing scenes. Thank you Ken Burns.
  • Shorter is better. My first cut was nearly three times as long as the finished video.
  • Youtube offers a good selection of royalty-free music. Use the filters to find something appropriate.
  • Fawns are a bit wary of bucks and bucks behave very differently in summer when their testosterone levels are low.
Loved your footage. Great job!
Dale
 

Richard R

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Great footage. Nice to see that they were not disturbed at all..
Pretty sharp footage too. Did you sharpen at all?
Thanks
 
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PHZ

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Nice footage and interesting that all the deer seem completely unfazed by a drone with a significant sound footprint.
Thank you for the tutelage. It is very helpful even for us experienced photogs, to remember to turn off auto exposure and focus in the excitement of shooting like this.
Well done.
 
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MS Coast

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Nice footage and interesting that all the deer seem completely unfazed by a drone with a significant sound footprint.
Thank you for the tutelage. It is very helpful even for us experienced photogs, to remember to turn off auto exposure and focus in the excitement of shooting like this.
Well done.
Thank you. I'm having a lot of fun and you're right about it being exciting to see such things.

White-tailed Deer aren't programmed to pay much attention to things above them, at least until they evolve to recognize the threat of hunters in tree stands. I've been surprised that they're so unresponsive to the drone. I'm sure their hearing and vision are acute enough to know it's nearby. But they don't seem to pay any attention to a drone 30 feet above ground and 100+ feet away. They're continuously looking, aiming their ears, and sniffing in response to other things, though. While filming last night, one buck did look at it for several seconds before continuing to browse.

With the drone near the deer, I'm flying in Cine mode with the sensitivity turned down on all controls. Any control action that induces pitch or roll creates a change in the drone's sound. It makes for smoother video, though it's sometimes difficult to pan or pitch fast enough to keep up with them when they move. There's a temptation to try to fill the frame, and I'm trying to remind myself that it's not really necessary since 4k gives me lots of room to crop in with Resolve.

As I said, I'm a novice at this. I'm learning as I go and just sharing a few observations. Id love to have suggestions from more experienced folks.
 

DaveS

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Nice job, great video! I suspect the deer don't care about the drone any more than they care about a bird of prey. They aren't a threat to large deer (a very small fawn maybe), so the deer just don't care. To them your drone probably seems like just another large flying thing that will not harm them. If you really tried to get physically close with the drone, which you wisely did not, then I'm sure they'd run.
 

Dbez1

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Hey MS, thanks for posting the video and for sharing what you learned. Early on in the video I was struck by the sharpness of the lens. Enjoy your new drone.
 
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Lister

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Excellent, MS Coast. All your points are valid, especially the "less is more" part. :)

It's amazing to me that you call yourself a newbie at drones and Resolve. Your work is professional level. I was one for years. Now retired.

You mentioned that there's lots of royalty-free YouTube music. I loved the piece you used. Can you provide us the source?

I like some of the stuff from "Mini Vandals" for free YT music.

 

MS Coast

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Excellent, MS Coast. All your points are valid, especially the "less is more" part. :)

It's amazing to me that you call yourself a newbie at drones and Resolve. Your work is professional level. I was one for years. Now retired.

You mentioned that there's lots of royalty-free YouTube music. I loved the piece you used. Can you provide us the source?

I like some of the stuff from "Mini Vandals" for free YT music.

Thanks very much for the generous comments. The Music is Firefly, from the album by the same name. Chris Haugen. There's a credit at the end of the description on Youtube. I'll check that group you mentioned.

Did you see the short video of the young buck being pestered by a fly?

 

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