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Solo for Directors — Video & Deep Dive

Technology is simply the making of things and the making of things can’t by its own nature be ugly or there would be no possibility for beauty in the arts, which also include the making of things. Actually a root word of technology, techne originally meant ‘art.’ The ancient Greeks never separated art from manufacture in their minds, and so never developed separate words for them.

  • Robert Pirsig, Zen And The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Directors Need More Than a Drone

It’s more than just cool helicopter shots. Solo mimics any piece of motion control equipment, costs a fraction of the price, and fits in a single backpack.

The concept behind Solo is simple: Make it easy for anyone to get cinematic shots. We’re directors and cinematographers ourselves. Not only do we know what you want, we want what you want.

We made a fully automated camera rig instead. Solo gives directors, photographers and creatives like us a powerful and easy-to-use new storytelling tool.

Aerial Motion Control in A Backpack

Directors can do more with Solo than they can with any other drone. We often forget that flying includes altitudes of four feet as well as four hundred. Only Solo can imitate a dolly, a crane, a Russian arm, a jib, a boom, a tripod, a Steadicam and, of course, a helicopter — the entire Hollywood toolkit in a backpack.

We made this so easy it’s automatic. We turned all the complex piloting and camera skills into software, which not only saves you days, weeks, or months of practice, it frees you up to be even more creative with your shots. You make it, Solo gets it. Every time. No pro needed.

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It’s This Easy

Take your time to set and save as many keyframes as you need. Now Solo is on an automatic, controlled track between frames. Push “play.” Solo doesn’t just hit its mark every time, it smoothly eases the camera in and out of the exact framing you’ve told it to.

Create and capture mind-blowing, five-axis shots. Even improvise and adjust by taking control of the camera at any time.

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Smart Shots

The versatile autonomous cinema feature unique to Solo. Often imitated, never replicated: Solo doesn’t just automate flight paths, but it also has the intelligence to control the camera at the same time.

This means Solo can actually point the camera for you, allowing you to “script” out a frame-to-frame narration. Set and save your keyframes, then push a button and Solo executes the shot perfectly and smoothly.

Solo automatically saves your shots. Repeat a shot as many times as you need until you get the scene you want. Adjust speed. Come back the next day, push a button and do it all again.

Polished And Professional

Any drone can fly itself between points. Only Solo can fly keyframes, remembering and controlling the camera action you want.

What’s more, those shots are smooth and polished. Solo automatically eases into and out of each frame, no jerks or jitters to ruin your shot.

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The Technology

We achieved this ease of use and polish through the integration of two 1 GHz Linux computers with the traditional autopilot system. The Solo gimbal that works intelligently with that system.

This gives you everything you need in one backpack, with absolute minimal assembly needed so you can quickly get in position to get the shot. This allows you to take advantage of moments — it’s as close as possible to having a drone, like a camera, around your neck.

Life After Gravity

Life After Gravity is an intergalactic sci-fi thriller series. Yes, a company made it. But all of it has been ambitiously shot by our in-house video production team in collaboration with producers and Solo users in locations all over the world, under some serious budgetary and time constraints, using only the elements found in a typical 3DR Backpack for Solo.

We also hope the series inspires you to start thinking about using drones in a new way. To help, we included how-to user field guides that accompany each episode. These include behind-the-scenes videos narrated by production team members, as well as blog posts about the overall process and experience of each shoot.

3DR also offers video tutorials, lessons for advanced cinematic video and aerial photography.

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