So its been a long time since I posted and I have been quite busy with my new Tech Startup Likemoji (currently in stealth mode) here in the Lake Tahoe area. We also had a great winter so I haven’t had much time to take out my drones. Currently im working on a project where I will be creating 360 panos around Lake Tahoe and displaying them in a virtual tour.
Here is a complete WIP test of Eagle Rock near Tahoe City. This is a great little hike with some amazing views once at the top. This has a few issues since I couldn’t get the proper exposure lock on the camera so when you rotate around towards the mountains you see some sort of grayish fading in. This is all just a work in progress but thought I would share my example and look for more to come.
After spending a bit more time testing various software to generate 3d landscapes I wanted to write up a second post with more detail and showing off another data set I collected the other day while hiking around Donner Lake area near Lake Tahoe.
Here is a shot of both of my birds before doing a shoot at Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe.
Setting up the Phantoms for flight
So as mentioned in my first post I had been trying out Pix4D application which has some nice features but its quite expensive. I also recently ran across recently Agisoft Photoscan which has some similar features to Pix4D and is a little less expensive if you buy the standard edition. I guess it would depend on what you want to do with each software and Ill mention the pro’s and cons later in this article but both give you a trial version which you can test out for yourself.
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.
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!
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! 🙂
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.