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Painting the Sky with Camera Drones and Smoke Grenades

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For his new short film “Chromaticity,” director Paul Trillo turned the sky into his giant canvas by strapping smoke grenades to DJI camera drones.

“Using 3 DJI Phantoms, a DJI Inspire and hundreds of smoke grenades, we painted the sky in technicolor,” Trillo says. The film is an “ethereal flight over the ocean as mysterious colored smoke leaves its mark across the sky. A beautiful choreography between four drones simultaneously in flight and hundreds of smoke grenades.”

The illusion you see in the resulting video and photos is a combination of practical effects (i.e. flying around the drone for smoke trails) and digital effects (the drones themselves were erased from the frame in post, leaving just the colorful smoke zooming around).

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Here’s a behind-the-scenes video that offers a look at how the project was done:

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