Drone Art | How Drone Technology Is the New Medium for Creating Art in the Night Sky

drone art
Drone technology was originally built for military purposes, but they’ve come a long way since then. Now, many of them are being used for good. From humanitarian aid and disaster relief to automated consumer services, drones have the potential to enhance our quality of life while helping to solve some of the world’s biggest problems. But more than just useful machines, drones are an artistic medium. Celestial is one company at the forefront of converting drone technology into mesmerizing works of aerial art. Using drone technology in connection with music, film and epic storytelling, Celestial creates unique light shows in night skies around the world. Each show has its own theme, but they all share an underlining purpose: to inspire us to look up from our phones and rekindle our primal connection with the stars in the night sky.   

What is drone art?

Art, by definition, is something that provokes an emotional response – and digital art is no different. Recently, drones have become a new innovative medium to create epic artistic displays that evoke a sense of awe and wonder. But how does it work? At Celestial, our flock of 300 drones are programmed to follow a carefully choreographed routine to brings hard-hitting art and storytelling to life. Each drone has its own LED light so that, when combined, they’re able to create epic imagery that’s lit up against the dramatic backdrop of the night sky.  

How is drone art transforming events around the world?

All of Celestial’s work is centred around using drones for good, which is why our light shows are playing their part in transforming events around the world, one display at a time. It goes without saying that humanity needs to adopt greener ways of doing things to tackle the climate crisis head-on – and drone technology offers the opportunity to do just that. Whether it’s New Year or Guy Fawkes Night, fireworks have been a core element of people coming together to celebrate for centuries. But this tradition is becoming fast outdated. We now know that fireworks release CO2 and other toxic chemicals into the air, contributing to greenhouse gasses and potentially damaging people’s respiratory health in the process. Not only that, but they also pose the risk of starting catastrophic wildfires, causing burn injuries as well as scaring our beloved pets and any surrounding wildlife. So drone light shows are not only a new and innovative way to push the boundaries of storytelling, but they are also a natural successor to fireworks. In the future, we expect to see fewer carbon laden firework displays and more spectacular drone light displays illuminating the night sky.  

How is drone art created?

Every Celestial drone display is created with care and attention to detail. The usual process includes scripting, animation and design, and collision testing before the live flight. This ensures everything is spot on and that expensive proprietary hardware isn’t damaged during the flight. If it’s a live show, it’s done and dusted once the drones have touched the ground after their performance. However, if the light show is part of a film project, it requires a little more work. For these projects, after filming a display at our base in Frome (using a separate drone to capture the display), the team will go out on location and shoot beautiful shots of the site before going into post-production to composite the drone shots from the base into the location shots. This will usually take 2-4 weeks before the film is ready. You can find out more about the process behind creating a drone show here.  

What can you expect when attending your first drone show?

If you’ve never seen a drone display in real life, you’re in for a treat when attending your first Celestial drone light show. With a focus on emotive storytelling and pushing the boundaries of technology, our ambitious displays use the night sky as a limitless 3D screen to produce interactive and immersive digital art. By harnessing the stars and bringing them to life, these displays are made to connect with people on the ground and evoke a sense of interconnectivity. Some of our most exciting projects to date include drone displays for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, Greenpeace’s ACT NOW campaign and Amnesty International’s 60th anniversary. You can watch and find out more about these displays here.  

What can audiences expect in the future?

As we emerge from the pandemic, you can expect to see far more live drone displays taking place. At Celestial, our focus is on delivering light shows of exceptional quality, and so you can expect our 300 drones to bring stories to life in awe-inspiring moving animations. Not only that, but as the technology behind our displays, such as motion capture, continues to evolve, we’ll be able to translate the movements from performers into our drone fleet in real-time. This means humans and drones will be able to interact with one another during live performances. These developments are facilitating epic stories to be told on an incredible scale, and they have the potential to completely transform and elevate future live events.  

Conclusion

When it comes to drone art, the sky is truly the limit – and Celestial is front and centre stage of pushing the boundaries with increasingly ambitious drone art displays. Celestial provides drone light shows to an ever-increasing diversity of events, from global brands to charities and festivals. We’re committed to helping build a greener future, and our drone displays are setting the stage for a new era in event creation, where audiences can expect innovative artistry that connects with them on a deeper level. If you’d like to discuss your drone art project with our dedicated team of experts, head over to our contact page here. You’ll find more information on how we can help turn your drone light show dreams into a reality.

In a crowded world, tell your story in the sky.