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News & Notes

Artist Uses Drones to Create 3D Land Art

Now this is a unique use of drone tech

April 24, 2017

There are drones that brush, spray, and drop paint onto canvas ― but art exists on more than just canvas. Jürgen Scheible, a professor at Stuttgart Media University in Germany and artist, uses drones to add a 3D twist and create what he calls “dronelandart.”

Elevated art

After Scheible got his first drone in 2014, he experienced what many people love about aerial drones: a new perspective.

“I discovered so many visual patterns on the ground that made me wanna ‘draw’ on them to change them into something new and unexpected. So I had the idea of using a lawnmower to do the ‘drawing’ on the ground,” he wrote in an email.

When creating his dronelandart with his DJI Phantom 4, Scheible lets nature take the lead. He’ll search outside for interesting objects and then begin planning his 3D piece around what he finds.

But Scheible goes a step further than just drawing on the ground with lawnmowers or brush cutters — he also performs in his videos, which his son describes as “Laurel and Hardy acting.” Laurel and Hardy were comedians famous for their highly visual slapstick comedy in the earlier part of the 20th century.

In this video, eco-friendly spray paint was used to help create the illusion of hills for some skiing and snowboarding fun.



Here's another one made with leaves.

That looks … awkward

There’s no question that these videos are cool, but they look like they’re pretty awkward to make. Scheible confirms that “yes, indeed it is awkward to crawl on your belly” when filming.

“The other day, some people walked by the meadow where I recorded some acting. They looked strangely at me, wondering if everything [was] OK with me,” Scheible wrote in an email. “I felt weird, but then I thought, ‘Hey, I am so excited about doing this piece, so I don't care what others may think.’” A true artist‘s spirit.

Sure, he could take the time to explain his artistic process to passers-by, but he’d probably just receive more weird looks. Think about it: people see a guy crawling on the ground around messy grass trails, then look up and see a drone. It probably just brings up too many questions.

Scheible plans to create more dronelandart using hay, straw, and wood shavings — and we can’t wait to see these future pieces. But since we have to wait, learn how a group of high school students used drones to create a message that drones can be used for more than war.
Featured image: Jürgen Scheible