3DR is continuing its effort to establish itself as a leader in drone technology for the photo enthusiast. A pioneer in drone ‘follow me’ functionality (Iris+ is the first consumer drone to be able to follow its user), 3DR has announced Free Look. Free Look allows the drone operator complete freedom to compose and shoot pictures and videos of moving objects without worrying about manually flying the drone.
This capability is a logical outgrowth of standard follow me functionality. That functionality, which is available with a variety of drones, allows you as an individual operator to have a drone follow (and film) you while you are moving. It is popular with outdoor recreational users (skiing, mountain biking, etc). It tethers the drone to the user and keeps the camera focused on that user without the need to control it.
First Look is special, because it enables the drone to follow someone else while you focus on the filming. It shares the hands free notion of ‘follow me’ but in this case it is not so much follow me as follow them. Here is how 3DR explained it via a use case scenario on in a recent blog entry
Use case: Let’s say you want to follow a subject driving an ATV. Have Solo follow your vehicle while your vehicle follows (or is near) the subject on the ATV. Control Solo from inside your vehicle, using the FPV video as guide. Go into Follow, toggle Free Look, and Solo is leashed to the vehicle you’re in. You now have complete control over the composition of your shot as you tail the ATV, putting the camera exactly where you want to put it while Solo flies along. This lets you do what no other Follow can: Actually compose your shots. You don’t always want a centered subject — this makes Follow much more visually interesting, and it turns it from a flat, automatically centered shot into a real filming tool.
First Look allows the camera-equipped drone operator control over the composition of the shot. “You can also now design camera moves that start with one subject in the frame, then pan or travel to another subject or area,” according to 3DR. It has an orbit capability that can circle around a person while that person is in motion.
You can learn more about Free Look from the 3DR web site here.
Frank Schroth is editor in chief of DroneLife, the authoritative source for news and analysis on the drone industry: it’s people, products, trends, and events.