MIT Geeks Gone Mad with Drone Rim Light

Drone automatic light

Some MTI geeks have come up with something I never expected to see – a drone rim light. This light does not require a light stand; it flies! The light is held by a quadcopter and moves automatically to provide the percentage of edge or rim light the photographer specifies. If the subject moves, so does the light. Likewise if the photographer moves, so does the light. The photographer chooses the width of the light by choosing a percentage. The drone does it all automatically. This could have easily been a fill light, back light or another. In fact the inventors envision a whole fleet of drone lights.

Drone rim light

The airborne demonstration is set to debut next month at the Symposium on Computational Aesthetics in Graphics, Visualization and Imaging. We’ll post a video as soon as possible. But before gaffers and lighting directors start worrying about their jobs, I see a few minor problems.

Danger. Do you really want 4 spinning blades so close to a person’s eyes? Most rim lights I’ve set up are ten or twelve feet from the person’s face. Your video production insurance is bound to rise.

Expense. Would you really rather spend a couple thousand dollars on this as opposed to $50 for a Lowel light stand? I’d rather hire an assistant and say “move the light back a foot.”

Noise. Would you want the noise of 4 spinning fan blades in your studio during a shoot? This would make it harder to communicate, ruin the audio track if you’re recording sound, and spoil the intimacy the photographer tries to establish with an actor, client or model.

Light Control. How do you scrim or flag this light? I guess you’d need another drone with a combination scrim, flag and colored gel arm. That’s gonna add a couple more thousand!

Sorry, but the Jetsons had better ideas.


Keep Reading...

The Future of Smart Drones

The Future of Smart Drones – The 3DRSolo

The 3DR Solo is the future of smart drones.

Read More

Incredible Movi Stabilizer, Game Changer?

The MōVI M10 is produced by Freefly Systems of Seattle WA. The device is a digital, 3-axis, gyro-stabilized camera gimbal.

Read More

Ohio Videographer Faces Felony Charges Over Drone Flight

Hexacopter drone pilot charged with felony.

Read More

Ten Funniest Superbowl Commercials & Other Contests

Based on Nielsen’s metered markets, Super Bowl 50 averaged a 49.0 rating, meaning that 49% of U.S. homes with TV sets had the game turned on. That is a remarkable number and no wonder advertisers are willing to spend big bucks for those eyeballs. These are some of the funniest ads to come out of […]

Read More




Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • Forbes Magazine calls VideoUniversity one of the best business-to-business sites for digital video production.
  • WINNER
    Videography Magazine's
    "Website of the Month" Award
  • WINNER
    PC Magazine Online "Best Desktop Video Site" Award
  • WINNER
    CyberFilm School's "FOUR STAR" Award