In this halting, vertigo-inducing video, you can watch a couple of guys from the creative agency Neoscape toy with their newly built drone, outfitted off the Boston Inner Harbor with a GoPro camera:
That footage captures a test flight for a modest but intriguing advance in architectural rendering and real estate marketing: drone's-eye views of new project sites. In the video, there's a construction site (and temporary car lot) in the foreground of that gray, mid-rise building. Neoscape ultimately used the drone footage it collected here to produce surrounding scenery and accurate aerial views – from a vantage point over the water – for the composite rendering of what will go on that construction site, shown above and here:
Those gleaming blue luxury condos aren't yet complete. But when they are, likely next year, the scene will look an awful lot like what you see in that picture. Studios like Neoscape more often have to rent helicopters or climb cranes – both expensive propositions – to complete architectural renderings or produce the kind of glossy marketing material that could give a prospective tenant a sense of his 20th-story view.
A camera-equipped drone, on the other hand, might gather these images or video more easily, not to mention cheaply.
"Every decade or every year or every day, there’s something new that people want look at, that everyone wants to do," says Carlos Cristerna, an associate principal and the director of visualization at Neoscape. "It seems like these days, drones are the thing."
He adds, though, that they're not exactly a fad. "There are two sides of it," he says. "There's the practical side of it, and there's the eye-candy side of it."