Quadcopter Flying Around Campus – Video

We had a number of very nice days last week, blue skies and sunshine all day long, hence as part of a module I have with 1st year computing students I took the class outside to experiment with some quadcopter flying. We had two DJI Phantom quadcopters in operation with Go Pro’s attached to capture the scene. One can see some still image captures at the following post.

In the first video above we were all arranged in a circle the radius being calculated by the average width of a student x the number of students / Pi / 2 / 2. This amounted to a radius of a little over 16 feet or roughly 33 feet in diameter. The reason for this was to attempt a “Bullet-time” capture of a quad-copter hovering in the centre of the circle, with the students taking photographs on all their phones. If you look closely at roughly the mid point of the video above you will see the second quadcopter taking off and flying around a little bit.


The flights took place towards the west end of campus next door to the Scott Sutherland Building and the Round Tower, see the map below.

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Awards Dinner at the National Museum of Scotland

Yesterday Thursday 29th August 2013 I attended the Young Software Engineer of the Year Awards held at the National Museum of Scotland. One of my honours project students received an award for the work of his honours project titled “Procedural Shader Driven Rendering on Modern Hardware” (more info). The prize consisted of a certificate, a glass trophy (seen below) and a really generous cash prize.

The days events lasted well over 12 hours with a reception, networking session and a series of talks starting things off at the Sheraton Grand Hotel. The keynote speaker Dr Vint Cerf gave a really entertaining talk covering the birth of the Internet right the way through to present day and into the future with a vision of the net reaching out into the solar system and beyond to our closest neighbouring star 4.3 light years away.

In the evening we moved to the National Museum for the awards dinner (attended by over 600 people). It was a stunning location for the dinner and all those I chatted to who hadn’t seen it before were really amazed. Only a small section of it was open (as seen in the images below) for the dinner, but it certainly gave appetite to visit again and spend a day visiting all the exhibits it has to offer.

YSE 2013

YSE 2013

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Automated Compact Shelving at RGU Library

The following are some videos experimenting with the automated compact shelving that is to be found on levels six to eight at the new Library of Robert Gordon University. One can see a selection of photographs showing the views to be seen from my previous post.

RGU Library 2nd June 2013

RGU Library 2nd June 2013

 

RGU Garthdee New Build – Photo Update 14 May 2013

Its been a while since my last photo update showing the progress of the New Build at the Garthdee campus of Robert Gordon University. As you can see the main entrance and plaza is almost complete, and the final stages of tidying things up are well underway at the south side of the library tower.

Sunrise Timelapse RGU Garthdee Campus

Yesterdays post contained some photographs taken from the roof of the Round Tower at the Garthdee Campus of Robert Gordon University. This post as the title says includes a number of timelapse videos taken around 06:30 in the morning just as the sun was rising.

A few images of the Round Tower may also be seen below, giving some idea of the location from where the videos were recorded & yesterdays photos were taken.

Experimenting with Photography

The following videos demonstrate some interesting setups where as always light plays a hugely important role. The first example below is that of creating the Bokeh Effect. This is achieved using a long lens to set the background out of focus. The background has a dark card / velum lit from behind with a number of holes punched in it to allow light to stream through. Capturing an image of an object good and sharp in the foreground with the Bokeh Effect in the background can create some interesting effects. The addition of gels or coloured acetate sheets can add that extra dimension. Perhaps experimenting with a number of coloured acetates could generate a really nice effect. The addition of a reflective surface adds some really nice reflections into the mix both from the foreground object and the light streaming into the scene from the background.

Another interesting effect can be created with a zoom lens with a slow shutter of a few seconds. Varying the zoom over the time of the exposure to the imaging sensor generates an interesting blurring. You will see that the scene is initially composed with just one side on light, though the resulting exposure is a little dark, hence the addition of some additional lighting to the front of the subject solves this.

A fairly recent previous post looked at light painting, mainly from the perspective of a person creating shapes using a torch or a mobile. The video below is a different view on light painting where objects are illuminated with light. Varying the placement of the light, from back, front or even just from the top down creates quite an array of different shots.

Given that one can use black card in the production of the Bokeh Effect from the first video above another nice composition to try out is to photograph a wine glass making use of a few black cards to control the lighting / reflections of the scene.

If you are perhaps doing a good deal of product photography then you may find something like a Lastolite Cubelite to be of use, so that you can have nicely controlled soft lighting of the product you wish to capture.

Folding up one of these Cubelites can require a bit of practice.