Recap: Russell Brown’s Top Gun Flight Training at Photoshop World

Last week I had the opportunity to feed my obsession with aerial photography and participate in Russell Brown’s Top Gun Flight Training workshop at Photoshop World, and it was an awesome experience! Many thanks to Russell for putting together this incredible workshop. There’s nothing like a giant room full of RC photography enthusiasts, with multiple copters flying around all over the place, coupled with a wealth of Photoshop and video processing knowledge (links below for all of this content)!

There are few places that have as dramatic architecture and landscape as Vegas, and this also made for some great photos.

Aerial shot over the Luxor and Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas
Aerial shot over the Luxor and Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas

The day started with an intro from DJI, who sponsored the event and donated copters for workshop participants to use.  If you haven’t seen their copters/footage yet, you should check out the short video below to see what’s possible with today’s radio controlled aircraft.

Next, we broke off into teams to cover basic flight training principles… everything from safety (the most important thing of all), basic takeoff and landing procedures, flight modes and capabilities, to techniques for panoramas and dramatic shots.

Once everyone had a chance to fly the copters and get acclimated, we regrouped to learn how to work with your aerial footage. Do not miss the videos from Russell Brown and Colin Smith in the links below. These are must-watch content for any aerial photographer, cinematographer, or GoPro enthusiast and contain a wealth of information!

Videos from Russell Brown:

Videos from Colin Smith:

Finally, the day ended with a flying competition… The person who could fly through 4 hula hoops without knocking anything over, without crashing, and land in a controlled fashion walked home with a brand new DJI Phantom, and the winner did it in 26 seconds! … This was not an easy task.

Some additional photos from the event…

Barry Blanchard shows us a DJI S800 Octo-rotor setup
Barry Blanchard shows us a DJI S800 Octo-rotor copter
DJI Phantoms awaiting flight
DJI Phantoms awaiting flight
Russell Brown kicks things off
Russell Brown kicks things off
Flight training underway
Flight training underway
Flight trainers getting ready (photo credit Sean Teegarden and Randy Jay Braun)
Flight trainers getting briefed (photo credit Sean Teegarden and Randy Jay Braun).  In this photo: Aaron Grimes, Ben Grimes, me, Russell Brown, Barry Blanchard, Jesse Zibble, Randy Jay Braun, Paul Pan, Steve Snell

To finish things off, an amazing video from the Grimes brothers, filmed entirely with a DJI Phantom and GoPro:

All of this made possible with Adobe Creative Cloud. Want to get the most out of your aerial footage?  Then become a member today!

More Adobe Creative Cloud Updates Today!

It’s an exciting day for Creative Cloud members! Two significant updates have just been released!


The first major update is for Adobe Photoshop CC. This release introduces Adobe Generator for Photoshop CC. Generator enables real-time generation of image assets, and also enables new workflows based upon its JavaScript-based architecture. Changes include:

  • Real-time image asset generation gives Photoshop CC users the power to eliminate time-consuming production steps while ensuring their designs are properly implemented both on the desktop and mobile screens
  • Tagged layers and groups in Photoshop CC are automatically saved and updated in real-time as individual files, in the format selected
  • Layers can now be exported as JPEG, GIF, or PNG with a variety of options, including scaling for Retina displays and varying levels of compression
  • In one click, Edge Reflow CC can import Photoshop CC assets, including images and text directly into Edge Reflow, allowing designers to immediately begin their responsive design process and reduce manual production steps

You can learn more about this version of Adobe Photoshop CC in the video below:

Generator enables new workflows by simplifying the process of exporting content from Photoshop. This could just be for image extraction, could be used to simplify design processes, or even integrate with a larger workflow. Some example uses are these iOS icon and PhoneGap Build icon generators for mobile applications, by Paul Burnett. You can see these in action in this video from Raymond Camden.

What’s even more cool? The Generator platform is open source, and is JavaScript based (leveraging node.js). You can check out the full source of the Generator extensibility layer at

How else might this affect your workflow? Well, check out the new Photoshop to Adobe Edge Reflow workflow powered by Generator in the video below. With Generator, Edge Reflow can now seamlessly connect to Photoshop and extract assets for inclusion in Edge Reflow designs.

Read more more about the Edge Reflow and Photoshop CC live integration on

Seriously, though… this is just the proverbial “tip of the iceberg.” Check out the next video to see how the Loom game engine can leverage Adobe Photoshop CC and Generator for live authoring of content inside of a game running on separate mobile devices in real time.

Ready for more? Read the blog post/announcement on, and check out the Adobe documentation on Generator to get started today!


New updates were also released for Adobe’s video editing tools, including Adobe After Effects CC, Adobe Premiere Pro CC, and Adobe SpeedGrade CC, including:

  • A new Direct Link Color Pipeline between Adobe Premiere Pro CC and SpeedGrade CC provides an integrated workflow that allows users to move multi-track timelines seamlessly back and forth; open Adobe Premiere Pro CC sequences in SpeedGrade quickly; and see the results as effects in Adobe Premiere Pro CC that are managed by the Lumetri Deep Color Engine.
  • Expanded native support for UltraHD, 4K and higher resolutionshigh frame rates and RAW formats, enables editors to work with footage from the hottest new high-res cameras natively – without having to wait to transcode and re-wrap files.
  • The Mask Tracker in After Effects enables video professionals to create masks and apply effects that track automatically frame-by-frame throughout a composition to save countless hours of tedious work.
  • Editing is streamlined in Premiere Pro CC, with improved multicam, enhanced closed captioning capabilities, new monitor overlays and audio monitoring features, enabling editors to work faster.
  • Performance enhancements punctuate this release with support in Premiere Pro CC for OpenCL, providing editors with the speed and power they need for the most demanding projects; and new GPU debayering of the Cinema DNG file format for real time playback.
  • A preview of the upcoming Prelude CC Live Logger iPad app, which enables users to log notes, events, and other data on their iPad while shooting, including the ability to sync with timecode on set via supported wireless timecode generators, and then sync metadata to footage via Creative Cloud for faster editing.
  • Advanced color grading with the new SpeedLooks in SpeedGrade CC offers dedicated camera patches. This allows users to match the color spaces even across different camera formats. New multiple masks and linked mask layers capabilities also enable SpeedGrade users more control over complex looks.
  • New Sync Settings in Adobe Media Encoder CC let users now sync application preferences between multiple computers via Creative Cloud.
  • New production planning features in Adobe Story Plus provide powerful scheduling and reporting tools for managing productions efficiently, making it easy to modify and share lists between productions and users.

Read more about the new updates for video editing tools in the release notes below:

If you’re wondering how to get these new features and get started, just go to, become a Creative Cloud member, and download Photoshop CC today!

Upcoming Create Now World Tour

Want to get inspired, learn the latest and greatest about Adobe and Creative Cloud, or get tips on all of Adobe’s creative tools?  If you answered yes to any of those, then be sure to check out the Create Now World Tour coming to a city near you.  It is a free event, so you have no excuse to miss it!

CREATE NOW WORLD TOUR brings Adobe experts and evangelists to your city, so you can learn new ways to create right from the pros. Join these free events to discover new tips and tricks that will help you work more efficiently and give you more control over all your projects.

It’s an opportunity to learn the latest about Adobe® Photoshop® CC, Illustrator® CC, InDesign® CC, Dreamweaver® CC, After Effects® CC, Premiere® Pro CC, and much more.

PS: I hope you enjoyed the video, I helped to edit/produce it!