I love playing around with new technology and my I have a strong background in 3D modeling since I was a young kid and got a job in the video game industry. I’m also always looking for new ways to use my skills test out new ideas.
I have been playing around with the idea of using my drones to build 3d landscapes and over the time tested various software to help convert 3d aerial photos into 3d objects. Granted some of my first tests didn’t turn out as well as I thought so I kept playing around to see what I could come up with.
I’m using Pix4d to convert the Nadar type of photos (basically the camera on the drone looks directly down at the ground). I use my iPad Ground Station from DJI to fly a grid style pattern making sure I have enough overlap of images taking fro the GoPro.
I have been watching and taking photos of the part of Lake Tahoe that mostly feeds the Truckee River. I took a photo back in Jan and it went a bit viral on Facebook with over 250k views and tons of comments.
Here is a before and after photo of about 2 weeks since we had a few inches of rain and not how much snow fall last weekend.
You can clearly see on the left that its starting to fill in a bit, I tried my best to take the photo at the exact location but this still gives you an idea.
I will try to do a pic once a week or every other week to keep this updated, the interesting time will be when the snow is really starting to melt off, granted today as I write this in Tahoe City its almost 60F so I’m imagining we are getting a bit of snow melt off now as well.
March 28th, 2015
Feel free to share this photo and if you want to use these in your posts I have the originals that can be used just hit me up via the contact page.
April 14th Update.
Here is a 3d landscape recreated by taking over 300 photos of the area and processing it with various tools to generate a 3d landscape.
2016 Photo Update, Lake Tahoe is now at its natural rim (article).
Here is an updated photo, note while its at the natural rim there isnt a lot of water to push into the Tahoe Dam thus not feeing the Truckee River, and unfortunately it looks like yet another year without the lazy river rafting companies.
So, I finally had a chance to edit my hike up to Eagle Lake in Tahoe. Granted It wasn’t a planed shoot for me, I usually have one of my drones in my car and have a backpack with my equipment in it. If I find a good location I try to get a few shots done before other people are coming by, and some times its just a random shot. I cut this video down from 2 minutes and added one of my buddies music track Bring it on Back from Momu . This was edited in final cut pro with some color correction and trimmed down shots since my camera gimbal was a bit shaky at times due to the wind and just various issues.
If you live in the Lake Tahoe area you know that something is changing and thats out water levels.
USA Today wrote an article last year already stating the obvious to some of us who live here and said.
“We haven’t seen this for 20 years. We’re extremely dry,” said Chad Blanchard, federal water master. “The river will basically dry up below Lake Tahoe about the end of this month.” – USA Today
I thought I would share some aerial photos I took the other day of what is happening on the Lake Tahoe side and show just how bad it is right now. Granted we haven’t received much snow and anyone living here is hoping we see a lot of it in February but will the next few months help out? What will the rafting companies that supply summer jobs do if we don’t get a great melt off of snow?
Today I wanted to do some aerial photos and videos of this great little hike at Eagle Lake.
Eagle Lake Trail is a moderate 2 mile out and back trail located near South Lake Tahoe, California offering forest, lake and High Sierra views. – All Trails
During the winter this is also a great hike provided lots of snow hasn’t fallen yet. I do recommend if you go during the winter to bundle up and wear some good hiking shoes because at various places on the way up their are lots of places to slip and break something. Don’t let that stop you just be safe and slow, the end result is amazing. First you get to see a great view towards Emerald Bay, then cross a small bridge. This time the bridge had a great frozen water fall. At the top Eagle Lake is a great small Lake at was frozen when I went.
Below are some still taking from my Phantom 2 and GoPro 4. Over the next few days Ill work on the video and post that as well. Cheers and I hope you enjoy these photos!
I recently moved to Tahoe City from the SF Bay area and have been making my way around the lake doing various aerial videos and photos. Here is a small combination of stills taken from my Phantoms recently. I hope you like them and I will continue to post them here and at a new site dedicated to this type of content. So after you view these please head on over to SkyPixel and view my videos and images.
Commons Beach Frozen
Single still from flight
I hope to go though the next few days of all the recent footage, its one thing to fly these things its another to take the time to look though all your photos, videos and edit them!
This is a great little easy hike that gives you great views of Lake Tahoe once at the top. If your ever in near Tahoe City, CA make sure to take out about an hour to check out this little hike a couple miles down on Hwy 89.
I took up one of my DJI Phantom 2’s with a buddy and we did some aerial video and photos. Here are some of the snots snapped from the Phantom 2. It was from a GoPro 4 and it was set on 5 second timelapse for photos. I’m working on putting together a video as well but takes more time than photos! 🙂
II you have a DJI Phantom 1 or 2 and a Gopro you know it can be a pain to deal with having to take off the Zenmuse bracket all the time especially if you want to use your GoPro for other sorts of filming. I was constantly fiddling with the this and taking it on and off and over the course of a year even lost a few screws while doing this.
I recently stumbled across someone who made a snap on bracket for both the Zenmuse H3-2D and H3-3D which I received in the mail today from Shapeways. Shapeways is a 3d printing service and market place and I have found a few cool things on here not Phantom related but this was a savior for me.
You can see below that this bracket snaps onto the GoPro 4 and 3 w/o any issues. I also turned on both Phantoms to make sure the gimbal was stable and wasn’t doing any sort of weird dance due to the weight difference or anything else it might of not liked.
Below is a gallery of images with this new snap on bracket.
ITook one of my drones out today above the house and once I cleared the tree line here is what I saw. Now granted it was a bit of a cloudy day but after looking at the footage and photos I thought I would share this simple but tranquil photo I took. What your looking at is a view of Lake Tahoe close to Tahoe City and about 90 feet above where I was located looking towards the lake.
Early this year, around October I decided to head up to Lake Tahoe and do some serial footage of the world famous Emerald Bay. This is a great location and the water is so clear, most of Lake Tahoe is a nice blue shade, but when you head to Emerald Bay and hike down you will see why they call it Emerald Bay the water has a nice emerald color to it.
I finally had a chance to go visit Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe, CA. I took both of my DJI Phanton 2’s out for a spin and around the famous Fannette Island, the only island in Lake Tahoe btw.
I did both manual flying and the ground station system that works on my iPad allowing me to plot a course. Note what I dont show in this video is loosing the connection for the ground station a few times. Thankfully I have experienced this a few times and knew it would come back, but I’m not sure what the issue is.
If you like this please share it and give me a thumbs up!