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Video: This ‘seasonlapse’ captures the beauty of Boston from a drone's perspective -
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Video: This ‘seasonlapse’ captures the beauty of Boston from a drone’s perspective

Boston, Massachusetts-based media company Above Summit created a ‘Seasonlapse’ video using drones and ground equipment to showcase year-round transitions from some of the most scenic locations in their hometown. Several years in the making, viewers are treated to a variety of views around one of the world’s most renowned cities.

The clip opens with an aerial perspective of Bunker Hill Monument and continues over and around rivers, historic statues, universities and through parks. While we’ve seen a changing of seasons from an aerial perspective, before, with ‘Landscapes of Change‘ by Arvids Baranovs, the amount of time and effort that went into creating ‘Boston Seasonlapse’ is as impressive as the resulting video.

The Above Summit team started researching how to create this video when it was in its conception phase back in 2014. The Phantom 3 was the first drone used for test flights followed by the original Phantom 4 and Mavic Pro. The footage seen above was captured on DJI’s Mavic 2 Pro drone.

Because Boston is blanketed in controlled Class B airspace, the team periodically applied for and received either the proper waivers from the Federal Aviation Administration or Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capabilities (LAANC). LAANC first became available in late 2018 and can be accessed by hobbyists and certified remote pilots for most airports, in near-real-time, free of charge on an app such as B4UFly.

‘The post production process was a challenge for this project. Even with the waypoint missions, most of the clips required manual alignment due to slight changes in altitude, heading, or gimbal pitch between the clips,’ says Above Summit’s Senior Editor Jacob Ballin.

DJI absolutely needs to get it together and allow us to save multi-waypoint missions for video once and for all.

‘I started by aligning the clips from each season by reducing the opacity of one of the clips and manually aligning them, season by season. Then, I added various transitions between the seasons. Some transitions worked better for certain shots, so I tested various different types of transitions before settling on a few select types,’ Ballin continues about his process, which was executed using Adobe’s Premiere Pro software.

While DJI products are heavily used by creatives, Above Summit’s co-founder Jovan Tanasijevic had some strong words to share. ‘DJI absolutely needs to get it together and allow us to save multi-waypoint missions for video once and for all. Full feature set. It’s a decade since the Flamewheel frame and Naza changed the game.’

Speaking to third-party app Litchi, which is used by creatives to solve waypoint and mission shortcomings from DJI’s products, ‘accuracy can be iffy. You can see this when landing at the same spot and you land -3 to 4 ft. This can impact lower plus foreground heavy shots.’ Canon 5D Mark IV, C200, and C70 cameras were used to capture ground shots.

‘We have filmed Boston from head to toe, drone, helicopters, ground, cars – and so we wanted to show its transformative nature in a way like never before,’ Tanasijevic continues about what inspired this project. ‘It’s been an exciting decade in cinema – drones, gimbals, stabilization of all kind – internal, external, multi-axis glory and miniaturization of extremely precise tools.’

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