Think Google Maps meets Drone Fly Over and that is Horus, a software simulation program that you load into your drone to get the perfect shot every time from Stanford University.

Horus is a work in progress, but shows promise for safely pre-planning drone flight right up to programming drones to execute perfect filming flight paths.

More from Stanford University…

Cameras attached to small quadrotor aircraft are rapidly becoming a ubiquitous tool for cinematographers, enabling dynamic camera movements through 3D environments. Currently, professionals use these cameras by flying quadrotors manually, a process which requires much skill and dexterity. In this paper, we investigate the needs of quadrotor cinematographers, and build a tool to support video capture using quadrotor-based camera systems. We begin by conducting semi-structured interviews with professional photographers and videographers, from which we extract a set of design principles. We present a tool based on these principles for designing and autonomously executing quadrotor-based camera shots.

Our tool enables users to:
(1) specify shots visually using keyframes
(2) preview the resulting shots in a virtual environment
(3) precisely control the timing of shots using easing curves
(4) capture the resulting shots in the real world with a single button click using commercially available quadrotors

We evaluate our tool in a user study with novice and expert cinematographers. We show that our tool makes it possible for novices and experts to design compelling and challenging shots, and capture them fully autonomously.

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