Aerial Photography Tutorial: How to Take 360 Panoramas with Your Drone
If you want to take your 360 photography to the next level, ahem, altitude, try taking panoramas with a drone! If you haven’t purchased one, you can take this quiz published by DJI to find out which product works out best for you. We’ve also interviewed American drone pilor Maurice Sallave, which you can read in detail to get a grasp on all the basics before you start drone-piloting.
1. Capture the Scenery
Once you fly your drone over a desired location, you need to capture 20-26 photos horizontally and vertically, at 45-degree increments. Make sure that you keep your drone at a certain point, and there is at least 30% to 40% overlap from image to image so that it would save more pixel data and make the stitching process much easier.
You may want to take all your photos with the same exposure setting within same windows of time to let similar amount of lights in. And try to shoot when there is little to no wind.
To keep all pictures in a constant frame, try the Grid Function (Rule of Thirds) if your drone has it under the tools camera.
For the best results, you may want to shoot in RAW or RAW&JPEG modes, so that you can make more following adjustment in those darkest and lightest areas.
2. Stitch Your Images
When you have all of your photos and post-edit them using Lightroom and Photoshop, it is time to stitch them together to get a panorama. Some panorama stitching software that might be useful include PTGui, Kolor Autopano, and Demander.
Using PTGui as an example, after loading the photos, the software can align and blend all the photos automatically.
Pay closer attention to the horizon, since the movements of clouds may cause stitching errors.
Use the Preview Tab in PTGui to see a low-res version of what your panorama is going to look and make more adjustments before you export the panorama.
To fix the sky, you can use the Content Aware and/or Clone Stamp tools in Photoshop.
When exporting the panorama, set Optimum Size and quality 95% to get the highest-res image panorama.
3. Share Your 360 Panoramas
Now that you have your panorama ready, it is time to open VeeR and upload your picture with the hashtag #aerial. You can show the world your work via VeeR’s Global VR Content Library or any other social media platforms compatible with 360-degree photos.
What’s more, if you are using DJI Spark, Mavic, or Phantom 4 Pro, then good news for you! It is now much easier for you to shoot panoramas. Open DJI GO 4 and change your drone to the Pano mode, and after you finish your panoramic photo shooting, DJI GO 4 will stitch your photos automatically.