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Hovering Time Magazine cover made from 958 Intel drones

Intel's Shooting Star drones form up to make a big Time in the sky.

Most Time Magazine covers start with a photograph or an illustration. This week's started with a whole bunch of rotors. 

Time teamed up with Intel and its Shooting Star drones to light up the night sky in California with a re-creation of the magazine's red logo and border. It then ventured into drone-ception territory by filming the hovering cover with yet another drone.

The cover spanned a height of about 330 feet (100 meters) and required 958 drones flying in close formation. 

"The major challenge of this particular animation is the height at which we have to fly and getting the resolution we want in the Time logo," said Intel animation lead Tim Heath in a behind-the-scenes video.

Intel famously used its synchronized drone light show during the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea and for a pretaped sequence that aired during the 2017 Super Bowl

This is the first Time cover to be shot by a drone. It's a smart publicity move to advertise the magazine's special report on "The Drone Age," which covers how drones are monitoring the US-Mexico border, helping scientists study whales and advancing aerial photography.