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KeyFrame: What's the big deal?

Airwolf

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I have played around with this a bit and frankly I just don't understand all the praise and hype. I mean maybe if the points/track could be saved then we could have a discussion.

Since the KeyFrame is based on visual cues rather than GPS coordinates I have noticed changes on flight path while on the same flight in the KeyFrame multiple times! It kind of defeats the purpose. This is also why I don't believe the KeyFrame will ever be able to be saved.

I don't know. I feel like I could fly any route manually on demand anyway, since that's pretty much how I'd have to do it anyway.

Also, if the points were able to be edited in post, like conventional waypoints that would be good.

I don't know. Maybe I'm missing something. It's an interesting feature, I just don't see the utility for me.
 
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Sky Cyclist

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I have played around with this a bit and frankly I just don't understand all the praise and hype. I mean maybe if the points/track could be saved then we could have a discussion.

Since the KeyFrame is based on visual cues rather than GPS coordinates I have noticed changes on flight path while on the same flight in the KeyFrame multiple times! It kind of defeats the purpose. This is also why I don't believe the KeyFrame will ever be able to be saved.

I don't know. I feel like I could fly any route manually on demand anyway, since that's pretty much how I'd have to do it anyway.

Also, if the points were able to be edited in post, like conventional waypoints that would be good.

I don't know. Maybe I'm missing something. It's an interesting feature, I just don't see the utility for me.

I feel 39% praise is hype, 10%, they don't know Waypoints, Litchi, Dronelink... and something like this, and the rest 51% they need to do the planned/repeating flights in the locations without GPS.

All of my flights are with strong GPS. So, the current version of KeyFrame is not a functional practice for me, too.

KeyFrame is based on its powerful Cable skill pretty much.

So, KeyFrames could still have its potential, and let's just wait for the next versions. LoL
 
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RiverEagle

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I'm not sure I'll use Keyframes yet, but I like the creative possibilities with it. However the first iteration of it needs more tweaking in a few areas like firming up the accuracy of the path followed (less drifting), saving multiple sets of Keyframes, etc. etc.

Like @Sky Cyclist, I'm hoping we'll see improved iterations of Keyframes over time.
 
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Airwolf

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Agreed. Both you and @Sky Cyclist hit it on the head. It just doesn't seem to be very useful in its current iteration. Yeah, I think KeyFrame is a really cool feature but only in how it works, not whether or not it does work.

It seems Skydio is trying to be so different with their technology that they lose the point. I'd love to use the Skydio 2 for more professional videos, and I do, but only manually. Hell, the fact that I can't do a simple point of interest on a subject of my choice is beyond me.

I really want Skydio to succeed here but I think Skydio 2 is what it is as is. We'll have to wait for Skydio 3 for any hope in what we really want.
 
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LivinLarge

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I am a bit disappointed in the Keyframes feature in Skydio 2. It lacks repeatability and option to save multiple missions. Also, we cannot plan missions by selecting points on a map. I have older and less expensive drones which had these capabilities and functioned quite well. They lacked the great obstacle avoidance of the Skydio which was one reason I purchased it. I was aware that Skydio had only single point waypoint feature and 2 point cable cam, but I had hoped they would add real waypoint missions later. So I am happy that they have added this keyframe skill but it seems half baked.
What I don't understand, is that they already had the skill to choose a waypoint on the map and fly to it (without having to manually fly there first) and this works well. It would seem trivial to expand this feature to add additional waypoints.
My Parrot Anafi also allows adjusting speeds between each point, choosing a "Point of interest" to look at during different parts of the mission, dragging points around on the map, changing camera angle and altitude, all from the map. It was possible to completely plan missions without ever starting up the drone. This was especially helpful on very cold days where you could plan or tweak missions indoors.
I wonder if Skydio has dumbed down this skill to keep from competing with their higher end products.
 

Sky Cyclist

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I am a bit disappointed in the Keyframes feature in Skydio 2. It lacks repeatability and option to save multiple missions. Also, we cannot plan missions by selecting points on a map. I have older and less expensive drones which had these capabilities and functioned quite well. They lacked the great obstacle avoidance of the Skydio which was one reason I purchased it. I was aware that Skydio had only single point waypoint feature and 2 point cable cam, but I had hoped they would add real waypoint missions later. So I am happy that they have added this keyframe skill but it seems half baked.
What I don't understand, is that they already had the skill to choose a waypoint on the map and fly to it (without having to manually fly there first) and this works well. It would seem trivial to expand this feature to add additional waypoints.
My Parrot Anafi also allows adjusting speeds between each point, choosing a "Point of interest" to look at during different parts of the mission, dragging points around on the map, changing camera angle and altitude, all from the map. It was possible to completely plan missions without ever starting up the drone. This was especially helpful on very cold days where you could plan or tweak missions indoors.
I wonder if Skydio has dumbed down this skill to keep from competing with their higher end products.

I don't know what's going on in the drone industry, I just find some of the happening developments trends are strange.

Part of the observation, just like what @LivinLarge said., the pre-planned flight is not a new technology but it has just been disappeared.

Skydio 2 (KeyFrame) is not the only particular case, some other drone companies even just waive off the waypoint feature from their whole consumer product line.

Parrot Anafi is also the same case.

Most of 2017-2019 drones have more rich waypoint features than current products.

This makes me feel that time is moving forward, but after 2020 to 2021, consumer drone development is moving backward.

Agreed. Both you and @Sky Cyclist hit it on the head. It just doesn't seem to be very useful in its current iteration. Yeah, I think KeyFrame is a really cool feature but only in how it works, not whether or not it does work.

It seems Skydio is trying to be so different with their technology that they lose the point. I'd love to use the Skydio 2 for more professional videos, and I do, but only manually. Hell, the fact that I can't do a simple point of interest on a subject of my choice is beyond me.

I really want Skydio to succeed here but I think Skydio 2 is what it is as is. We'll have to wait for Skydio 3 for any hope in what we really want.

If the above is the picture of the drone industry's future, will Skydio 3 be able to be different?

I wouldn't bet too much hope on Skydio 3 myself.

Reply here to just listen to more.
 
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Airwolf

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I am a bit disappointed in the Keyframes feature in Skydio 2. It lacks repeatability and option to save multiple missions. Also, we cannot plan missions by selecting points on a map. I have older and less expensive drones which had these capabilities and functioned quite well. They lacked the great obstacle avoidance of the Skydio which was one reason I purchased it. I was aware that Skydio had only single point waypoint feature and 2 point cable cam, but I had hoped they would add real waypoint missions later. So I am happy that they have added this keyframe skill but it seems half baked.
What I don't understand, is that they already had the skill to choose a waypoint on the map and fly to it (without having to manually fly there first) and this works well. It would seem trivial to expand this feature to add additional waypoints.
My Parrot Anafi also allows adjusting speeds between each point, choosing a "Point of interest" to look at during different parts of the mission, dragging points around on the map, changing camera angle and altitude, all from the map. It was possible to completely plan missions without ever starting up the drone. This was especially helpful on very cold days where you could plan or tweak missions indoors.
I wonder if Skydio has dumbed down this skill to keep from competing with their higher end products.
Haha! I often believe that it behooves a company to add dumbed down features so their older, but higher end models can remain relevant. But I'm not sure their X2 series even has waypoints. Maybe.

Speaking of waypoints, you nailed it. I too have the Anafi and it has a very descent waypoint feature. Heck, Parrot even implemented this feature in their Bebop line. I also have a bunch of other drones and like you mentioned, even the lesser models have a basic map based waypoint system. Autel had that feature. I have the Yuneec Typhoon H and H Plus and both have waypoints. Granted, they are more of a fly to create system like a cable cam but you can place multiple points and manipulate everything. And, if you have third party software you can manipulate the waypoints in a map on a rainy day to perfect your mission for when it is good to fly!

I never understood the whole cable cam thing as it essentially wastes a battery just in the creation of the cable. Skydio 2's cable cam is actual more of a true cable cam so I'll give them that but yeah, this KeyFrame thing is just not there yet. And what's with not being able to save? Come on!

And you mentioned POI, that's so basic I still scratch my head at the fact that Skydio didn't implement a true POI where we can select any object and have the Skydio fly around that object like with the Cine shots, orbits, tornadoes, etc...

Thanks for the comment.
 
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BlueHeeler

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KeyFrame is just another tool in the Toolbox, I doubt I will be utilizing it until I come across a challenging situation.
 

VEGASROBBI

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Here's a video I did about 5 years ago comparing the 3dr solo multi-point cable cam to the DJI offering. The solo was amazing with smooth transitions and the camera could be switched into a free look mode so it could be controlled with a joystick as it flew the cable. You could speed up or slow down the flight speed, pause fly forward or backward on the cable...

I found it useful to pre-fly a trail and record it; then I would play it back and operate the camera as I concentrated on driving rather than flying.

 

Sky Cyclist

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Here's a video I did about 5 years ago comparing the 3dr solo multi-point cable cam to the DJI offering. The solo was amazing with smooth transitions and the camera could be switched into a free look mode so it could be controlled with a joystick as it flew the cable. You could speed up or slow down the flight speed, pause fly forward or backward on the cable...

I found it useful to pre-fly a trail and record it; then I would play it back and operate the camera as I concentrated on driving rather than flying.


Not to mention the other, only these pictures, the quality is amazing!
 

TonyPHX

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I saw this post a little late, but just want to add my two cents. Keyframes is all about being able to get the exact shot you want in my opinion. Other drones have waypoints, but there is no comparison. Keyframes give you the shot, and sometimes some very unexpected cinematic moments as it chooses it's path between points.

It is like the perfect implementation of waypoints, but designed for the video aspect! The obstacle avoidance adds greatly as I feel like if I took one of my DJI's through a series of waypoints, it would probably be in pieces.
 
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Saladshooter

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It is like the perfect implementation of waypoints, but designed for the video aspect! The obstacle avoidance adds greatly as I feel like if I took one of my DJI's through a series of waypoints, it would probably be in pieces.
Well it would be a perfect implementation of Waypoints if it worked as intended.

My Skydio 2 is still shifting some of my Keyframe points by 20-50ft. This puts the Skydio in the woods where it should be in open space. By overshooting its position, the drone now has to use obstacle avoidance to get back on track and the resulting footage doesn't have the smooth cinematic look that was intended. I clipped a branch yesterday that shouldn't have been anywhere near.

Skydio claims that because Keyframes uses sensors and visual processing instead of GPS they are much more precise than Waypoints which rely on GPS. My own experience does not bear this out.

So the question is..... is it my Skydio 2 that is the problem or does this feature not work correctly?
 
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IMADMAN

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Well it would be a perfect implementation of Waypoints if it worked as intended.

My Skydio 2 is still shifting some of my Keyframe points by 20-50ft. This puts the Skydio in the woods where it should be in open space. By overshooting its position, the drone now has to use obstacle avoidance to get back on track and the resulting footage doesn't have the smooth cinematic look that was intended. I clipped a branch yesterday that shouldn't have been anywhere near.

Skydio claims that because Keyframes uses sensors and visual processing instead of GPS they are much more precise than Waypoints which rely on GPS. My own experience does not bear this out.

So the question is..... is it my Skydio 2 that is the problem or does this feature not work correctly?
Others are experiencing that same thing, with the drone being out of the course set. I think someone mentioned about setting the key frame points closer together helps?
 
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LivinLarge

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Did some more tests of the keyframe function after updating to the latest firmware/software. As before, the feature works fine and seems to be repeatable within a single flight. Shutting down and restarting the Skydio within a few seconds also worked OK. Tried restarting an hour later. in the exact same location with a new battery and reloading the previous keyframe path and as before, it went so far off course that I had to abort.
This seems like a wonderful feature that is not quite there yet.
 

gsrider

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Did some more tests of the keyframe function after updating to the latest firmware/software. As before, the feature works fine and seems to be repeatable within a single flight. Shutting down and restarting the Skydio within a few seconds also worked OK. Tried restarting an hour later. in the exact same location with a new battery and reloading the previous keyframe path and as before, it went so far off course that I had to abort.
This seems like a wonderful feature that is not quite there yet.
I had the same experience yesterday. Load previous isn't quite ready for prime time.
 

RiverEagle

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Skydio's plugging an "exciting announcement" coming Monday regarding Keyframes. Hmm.

The video is impressive I'll say.

 

Sky Cyclist

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Skydio's plugging an "exciting announcement" coming Monday regarding Keyframes. Hmm.

The video is impressive I'll say.


It looks like KeyFrame with following.

I hope my guess will come true.
 
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gsrider

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My keyframe flights went crazy today., On two separate flights in two locations, the drone deviated so drastically that I had to take control to bring it back. One was a little unnerving when, instead of taking a short, direct and clear (of obstructions) spline from one keyframe to the next out in a field, it went sideways between two trees, out into the road next to the field, couldn't find its way back into the field and then took off down the road looking for a way out. That was weird, making me wonder why it left the field in the first place. Another keyframe flight to document simply going up and around a small stone tower also failed in a similar fashion when instead of flying to the next keyframe, the drone just went to the ground and hovered several feet above a patch of grass. I had to intervene and fly it back. I am thinking either there's something I don't understand about using keyframes or the feature isn't ready for prime time use.
 
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gsrider

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My keyframe flights went crazy today., On two separate flights in two locations, the drone deviated so drastically that I had to take control to bring it back. One was a little unnerving when, instead of taking a short, direct and clear (of obstructions) spline from one keyframe to the next out in a field, it went sideways between two trees, out into the road next to the field, couldn't find its way back into the field and then took off down the road looking for a way out. That was weird, making me wonder why it left the field in the first place. Another keyframe flight to document simply going up and around a small stone tower also failed in a similar fashion when instead of flying to the next keyframe, the drone just went to the ground and hovered several feet above a patch of grass. I had to intervene and fly it back. I am thinking either there's something I don't understand about using keyframes or the feature isn't ready for prime time use.
I went out today to a big, open park area, played with keyframes and think the solution to my problem may be at hand. After a number of trials, I noticed the drone is like a child. You give it signposts in the sky to go to but in between the child may wander off and get confused. The longer the spline, the more chance for the child to get confused and wander. Even in best of spaces (i.e., big open field/sky, no obstacles but plenty of peripheral references (e.g., trees, fences, etc.), the drone won't fly the blue line with any precision and wanders around some in the process. The solution seems to be use plenty of keyframes and keep the splines short to keep the wandering child on the straight and narrow.
 

NEDroner

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I tried a basic few keyframes several weeks ago just to understand better how it works. Seemed ok but as other have reported the pattern was always the same but actual track was off by a good 10 ft or so when repeating back and forth. Still -- it's a pretty cool feature and I hope they will improve it.

BUT today I tried building a new set of keyframes, saved them, and ran them forward/backward a few times, etc. I subsequently landed the Skydio (back on the box), shut-down, swapped a fresh battery, took off again, and used the "experimental feature" to reload my prior keyframe path. As soon as I loaded the keyframe, the skydio flew very fast in the opposite direction (and in no relation to the keypath I had previously saved). It hit a thin tree branch and dropped to the grass. Thankfully with no damage or scrapes/bruises.

I powered it on again, checked everything over, and launched from the same position as where I had created the keyframe (never moved the box). Attempted to reload the prior keyframe and the skydio flew again very fast in the wrong direction. I was ready this time and quickly stopped the keyframe... and then noticed the purple keyframe line on the application screen which bore no resemblance to what I had created previously.

Are there best known methods for attempting to repeat a keyframe after swapping a battery?
 

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