Hyperlapse Series - How do we take them on Drones?

One of the features that first came through with the Mavic 2 was the Hyperlapse Intelligent Flight Mode. This has subsequently been included in other Mavic series drones as well including the Mavic air and Mavic air 2.

But what exactly is a Hyperlapse?

The difference between a conventional Timelapse and a Hyperlapse is that Hyperlapses involves camera movement. Timelapses are generally shot as stills and sometimes post-processed with certain degrees of movement in them.

With the DJI drones, there are four modes of hyperlapses pre-programmed with their Intelligent Flight modes.  We will go through each of them below.

1. Course Lock

As the name suggests, in this mode, we lock the flight path of the drone along a certain path for it to follow.  You will have to define the following things:

- Course (or flight path)

- Direction which your drone is pointing to (yes it can be different to the path!)

- Interval

- Length of video

For the flight path and the direction of which your drone is pointing to - this means you can easily create "panning" shots. All you have to do is set your drone camera to be perpendicular to your path of flight. And this is probably the easiest mode to use, other than "free".

2. Circle

In circle mode, it is very similar to the "Point of Interest" intelligent flight mode where the drone circles a target subject.  You can select the subject by highlighting it on your screen and lock it, but... in reality, it rarely works.  So I'd generally advice against using Circle for your hyperlapses.

3. Waypoints

This is where things get really interesting. With waypoints, you are free to define up to 5 waypoints that the drone will follow on its course to record the hyperlapse.  At each waypoint, it will not only record the position and elevation of the drone, but also the orientation of which it is pointing to, and the angle of the gimbal

What this means is, you can create hyperlapse videos like the below:

The results are dynamic, they are not your average b-roll stuff for passing scenes.  They are meant for bangers and if you wish to up your game, this is where you should be practicing in to!

Oh, and you can save these waypoints so you can come back another day to shoot (almost) the same flight path again.

4. Free

Being free is a double edged sword.  If you have loads of freedom, you might not know what you want to do with the time you are given, and this is generally how I feel with the "Free" mode.  In the "free mode", you are given full control of the drone like you were flying normally, except the shutter goes off every 2s or 4s depending on the interval setting. 

Despite being free - I find this mode especially useful for hyperlapses like this:


So with this mode, I prefer not moving at all, and the results can be really interesting if you have a lot of micro-movements from vehicles or people within the frame.  

Final Word

Hope this pep talk above will help you get your Hyperlapse journey started!  You can check out the next blog post of this series on How to Edit and Post Process your hyperlapses.

Until then, practice your hyperlapses and leave us a comment below if you have any questions! You may tag us on Instagram or by hashtagging #BVhyperlapses so we can see your hyperlapses too!

 The Beyond Visuals Team 

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