No long winded explanation, the advert is here along with some other videos. A big thanks to KMel for the tip off ;-)

Views: 1610

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on November 4, 2013 at 6:35pm

Pretty cute little quads.  Definitely have a "Batteries Not Included" feel to them.

But it seems to me that much of the footage in the commercial is actually CG.  The movements don't quite seem right.  ie: high bank angles with low accelerations.  It just doesn't look right.

Comment by W. Joe Taylor on November 4, 2013 at 6:39pm
These guys have done incredible work for several years. They do it very differently than what diy drones and other "roving" aerial robot efforts do. No GPS. No barometer. They use infrared beacons to triangulate position. Beautiful in simplicity. Daniel Mellinger's PhD thesis is also a great read: Alex Kushleyev Diy drones Blog has had some great posts. Vijay Kumar and others at the GRASP at Univ of Penn are amazing. This was just another great example of where aerial robots will be heading....

Comment by Pete Hollands on November 4, 2013 at 11:52pm

Although there is some super technology in this video, the use of CGI by the director has completely undermined the Lexus brand for high end engineering. Initially one is gob smacked at the state of the art development that Lexus has aligned with. Only to quickly realise during the advert that the Director has increasingly resorted to CGI because the tech did not do what he wanted, to the point at the end of the clip where cgi is used to put 100s and 100s of quads in the sky.

The "making of the movie" clips are actually better adverts than the final polished advert.

Comment by Jason Wise on November 5, 2013 at 1:44am

We need a Pixar drone movie! has to happen!

Comment by Stefan on November 5, 2013 at 1:54am

I get a warm fuzzy feeling while watching these "making of" video's. Is there something wrong with me? I agree with you Pete, to bad he uses this much CGI, is not needed in my opinion if you look at what they accomplish with these
small quadcopters.

Comment by Ian Lyons on November 5, 2013 at 4:17am

Here's the page that has all the making of movies and photos:

Comment by John Arne Birkeland on November 5, 2013 at 5:41am

The making of movie was great, impressive and real. The finished commercial, not so much...

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on November 5, 2013 at 6:56am

Glad I'm not the only one who felt the commercial was CG.

That is really disappointing if that's what they did.  Another indication that quadcopters are at the Peak of Inflated Expectations.  Some director thought it would be neat to have quads as "characters", there's a lot of buzz around these things now.  But, they didn't move the way he wanted (even using a Vicon!) and so he decided to fake it.

Comment by Martin on November 5, 2013 at 8:47am

It's neat to watch. Now lets see them do it outside without all the IR cameras.

Comment by Cliff-E on November 6, 2013 at 12:53am

@R_Lefebvre: 240fps is a blessing for 'post'

It's optitrack (making of shows their UI)... I was a bit surprised it appears they dropped vicon (thanks to vrpn?). I've worked with both, both have pros/cons, but vicon is just so dead easy to calibrate (i.e. it just 'works'); it's worth the price of admission....

Definitely has CGI written in it. Like the last scene with them outside: the aspect ratio of copter to building... that's thousands if it's the palm size quads to be able to see them at that distance. But a lot of the motions look like standard kmel trajectories of past demos (fig 8, x-cross, spirals), so easy to replica relatively, even 'mocap the mocap' for CGI-ing virtual copters in the other scenes, rather than fully animating, hence a nice application to test the system possibilities. Still kudos to the kmel team!  Would have been cooler if they did that dolly shot using a quadcopter with a camera gimbal :)

@Jason: funny that you ask... ;)


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