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3-Ality TS-5 lightweight 3D rig


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#1 Nicholas Davidoff

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 11:32 PM

Has anybody flown this rig on steadi yet? 3Ality website says the rig weighs in at 30 pounds. I'm assuming that's without cameras. Anybody have any experience with this system they could share? How does it compare to the P+S Technik Freestyle or the Element Technica Atom?

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#2 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 09:12 AM

Nick,

I just did some camera tests with both the 3-Ality rig and the ET Neutron rig for a film. We ended up doing most of the test shots with the 3-Ality on the dolly and the ET rig on the Steadicam but that was because of timing. When I prepped both systems, there were pros & cons to each.

I was fortunate enough to inherit David Luckenbach's crew fresh off Spiderman so they had it down to a science. I'm also fortunate enough to have the PRO 3 battery base so I was able to mimic his set-up to start. That said, there were some changes to the 3-Ality rig since Spiderman - namely they were now using the Angenieux 15-40 zooms instead of Ultra speed primes. While these lenses might be a bit heavier than the primes (especially with a full compliment of motors in place), it offers one huge advantage. It pushes the vertical camera's CG (Epic cameras) under your gimbal and it pushes the horizontal camera's CG way back so the rig is not as front heavy. End result, I was able to loose the battery on the back of the 3D rig and still balance the set-up (note, I used three batteries to independently power each Epic Camera and the 3D rig - the rig draws 4.5 AMPS at 12 Volts so less on a fresh Dionic HC. I chose the sled's monitor battery to power the 3-Ality rig since I was not powering my own monitor [read on] and the camera battery for one Epic and lastly the AUX battery for the other Epic. I was also able to skip using the "shark fin" A/B hot swap plate on the bottom of the sled (which makes the rig a bit wider) and opt for keeping three Dionic HCs in their traditional positions. The 3-Ality techs very much insisted on flying two RED monitors so I did as David did and kept one on top and used one on the bottom of my rig as my monitor (you'll need a very long eyepiece cable). Would never want to use this crappy monitor outside but it worked well for camera tests indoors. In an a nutshell, I was able to balance this set-up in this configuration with my post only extended two inches. I was shocked. Weight wise, still a beast, but I actually had a few turns to spare on a PRO arm with four black springs.

Biggest draw back I saw with this system (beside the weight) is the lack of pan-ability. Your gimbal yoke hits the front mirror box housing very quickly meaning you have to pan a lot with your body. This could get tricky on tight corners or while hard mounted (an option I highly recommend for 3D work). I wish we had more time to do test shots with this system so I could have actually seen how problematic this would be. You should also know that you will be umbilicaled to the 3D station, but I'll take it; they get all the video lines and can control the complete system. It also keeps the Preston MDRs (yes plural unless you happen to get the prototype MDR-3D) off the rig!

I don't want to get too much in to the ET Neutron here since this thread is for the 3-Ality. We used primes (Ultra Primes) on this set up and it has a much taller center of gravity. As a result, I had four batteries on the bottom of the sled (two on a shark fin) and an LCD monitor instead of my TB-6. Post was extended 8". Yuk. Because of the extra batteries, I had the arm maxed out with four black springs but it held. The one good thing is that you have a lot more pan clearance. If I were to actually do a show with this system, I'd have the guys lower the CG of the 3D rig by machining a new plate that could reduce the CG by a good 1.5" to 2". This would hopefully allow you to shed a battery on the bottom of the sled as well as loosing some unneeded aluminum up top reducing the overall weight a few pounds.

In short - heavy times. Enjoy.
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#3 Nicholas Davidoff

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 02:01 PM

Xlnt info. Thanks Alec. I'll report back after my experience with this rig.
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#4 Nicholas Davidoff

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 01:23 AM

Alec,

The TS-5 you tested, was it the original TS-5, or the newer carbon fiber lightweight TS-5?
I believe Dave L. had the lightweight Carbon fiber on Spidey.
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#5 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 10:11 AM

Nick, I believe it was the carbon fiber. It was the same crew and same gear as Spidey but with some modifications made to allow zoom lenses.
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#6 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 10:33 AM

Using the carbon fiber rig now (2nd week of prep). Pictures and report to follow once I've had it on set.
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#7 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 10:54 AM

Sounds like the 15-40 is a great option but they do not have the ability to filter it so for the moment I'm stuck with primes (and more batteries).
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#8 Pedro Guimaraes SOC

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 04:07 PM

Using the 16-42 right now and we just tape on round filters.... But thats on a atom rig. I not sure why you couldnt do that on a ts5 .....
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#9 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 11:54 PM

So I went through several variations with the ts5 lightweight. At one point I had my monitor behind the post and upside down with the image inverted to get weight in the back without adding a ton of overall weight. We tried primes and the 16-42 and ended up with the 16-42 mostly because it allows me to do more shots without taking the time to change lenses.

My final build is ts-5L with 16-42's, focus and zoom but no iris motors, on 2 epics with both red touch screens coming off the back for ballast. On the bottom I'm using 3 batteries in their standard configuration with my new 8.4 Boland (much more on that later) and a K4 gyro. Basically the K4 does 2 jobs. It adds weight to the bottom and gives me a little help with the mammoth matte box and 1/4 wave filter (aka giant sail) on the front of the rig. The total shooting weight for my PRO sled, 3ality rig and 2 epics in full shooting mode is 79lbs. Add the PRO vest and arm and I'm holding just shy of 100lbs.

I spent 3 months with a strength and conditioning coach getting ready for the job and it made a huge difference. I only wish I had been doing that since 1998 when I first picked up a rig, I'd be a ten times better operator today. The weight (while oppressive and mind blowing) is not really the big issue. It's the size of the 3d rig that matters. Basically you double the with of your camera and then double the overall length while putting half of that increased length about 2 inches from your post and gimbal. It greatly limits your every movement in regular mode and makes for a very interesting time to put it mildly in low mode. You know how you sometimes feel like you are walking around the camera in low mode??? 3D makes it several times more difficult. I have done a few walking low mode shots in the movie so far but for the most part if it is any way possible I hard mount to something when going low mode.

I'll post some pictures and more review when I get a free minute (I had my second child last month about the same day I started prep).

Thanks for all the help, advice and support from Pedro, Nick, Ozzi and Dave, 3D steadicam with a full sized rig is NOT for the faint of heart!

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#10 Martin Hawkes

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 09:44 AM

Great post Mike. That's a photo your kids will treasure.

What sort of routines was your trainer having you do?

Cheers,

Martin


So I went through several variations with the ts5 lightweight. At one point I had my monitor behind the post and upside down with the image inverted to get weight in the back without adding a ton of overall weight. We tried primes and the 16-42 and ended up with the 16-42 mostly because it allows me to do more shots without taking the time to change lenses.

My final build is ts-5L with 16-42's, focus and zoom but no iris motors, on 2 epics with both red touch screens coming off the back for ballast. On the bottom I'm using 3 batteries in their standard configuration with my new 8.4 Boland (much more on that later) and a K4 gyro. Basically the K4 does 2 jobs. It adds weight to the bottom and gives me a little help with the mammoth matte box and 1/4 wave filter (aka giant sail) on the front of the rig. The total shooting weight for my PRO sled, 3ality rig and 2 epics in full shooting mode is 79lbs. Add the PRO vest and arm and I'm holding just shy of 100lbs.

I spent 3 months with a strength and conditioning coach getting ready for the job and it made a huge difference. I only wish I had been doing that since 1998 when I first picked up a rig, I'd be a ten times better operator today. The weight (while oppressive and mind blowing) is not really the big issue. It's the size of the 3d rig that matters. Basically you double the with of your camera and then double the overall length while putting half of that increased length about 2 inches from your post and gimbal. It greatly limits your every movement in regular mode and makes for a very interesting time to put it mildly in low mode. You know how you sometimes feel like you are walking around the camera in low mode??? 3D makes it several times more difficult. I have done a few walking low mode shots in the movie so far but for the most part if it is any way possible I hard mount to something when going low mode.

I'll post some pictures and more review when I get a free minute (I had my second child last month about the same day I started prep).

Thanks for all the help, advice and support from Pedro, Nick, Ozzi and Dave, 3D steadicam with a full sized rig is NOT for the faint of heart!


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#11 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 11:22 PM

LOL, she basically beats me like a prisoner at GITMO! Lots of body weight, lots of stretching, lunges, squats, pushups, pullups, that kind of stuff. There is also a lot of abb work, lots of cardio and a fair amount of focus on lower back and legs. The workout had more heavy weight at the beginning (3 months before the job started to build size) and now it's low weight with more reps and more cardio. She also does things that work my (fast twitch???) muscles like squat jumps on to a platform. The end result is that I've gained a little size over most of my muscles, lost some weight (mostly mid section fat), gained overall body definition (I look a bit more like an underwear model now than I did when I started) and Ive gained strength, endurance and flexibility.

She also tweaked my diet to pretty much totally eliminate processed sugar and reduce carbs and trans fat. I have always done pretty good with fruits and veggies but I do more of that now as well as more protein. I've also gone from 2 to 3 meals per day to 7 to 8 meals per day. I'm more hungry more often, I eat a lot more often (including 2 protein shakes per day) and I continue to loose weight. I guess my body is now working faster that it did when it only needed to process 2 meals per day.

The end result is that aside from being able to hold a 100lb rig longer, I feel better and have more energy. Most days after working a 12 to 14 hour day, I go to the gym and do a 45 minute workout before I go home and sleep. I'm also sleeping longer and with better quality.

I highly recommend a trainer to everybody on the forum. I have done sports my whole life including fighting mixed martial arts. I've always worked out and I've always been in pretty good shape. But having somebody who's job is to make sure that I'm constantly getting better and making sure I don't make any mistakes is worth their weight in gold........... Not to mention the trainer is a tax write off!
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#12 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 03:42 AM

I do pretty much the exact same workout Mike! Well, I guess it's a bit/completely different...mine is more beer and scotch/whiskey based. Baldwin put me onto it. Works great!
All the running, jumping and lifting can't be good for you!
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#13 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 09:13 PM

As promised a few more pictures.

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#14 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 09:20 PM

The top of the rig. 3alitys ts5 light (im not too sure about the light part). 2 epics, 2 16-42 zooms, 2 focus motors and 2 zoom motors but no iris. 3 AJA boxes, 1 wireless to hard wired preston control box, one clockit box, one sip box (how they control the 3d effect of the rig) and 2 boxes devoted to making the rig wireless. (seems like there is another box or two on there but i cant think of it at the moment).

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#15 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 09:30 PM

the bottom has my new super kick ass 8.4 inch boland (blows the old boland away like a bugatti veron vs a pinto). the short pro monitor arm as i don't need any extra front weight. k4 gyro and inverter (which adds necissary weight to the bottom back and provides a little stability from the giant sail of a matte box and 1/4 wave filter up front). anton bauer hc up front and 2 crazy chinese batteries on back. those 2 batteries power: both epics, the 3ality ts5 rig, the k4 gyro and a p tap splitter box powering no less than 4 other boxes and a 4 pin xlr that runs the wireless unit (which transmits the sip both ways and 2 wireless hd signals). those batteries must have some weapons grade plutonium in them becuase even with that load they run the rig (gyros and epic fans spinning at 100%) for fricken ever!

the total sled weight is about 82 or 83 lbs plus the pro vest and arm which come in at around 18 lbs. the extra weight is a worth while trade off to have no frickin wires and a cute little gyro keeping me honest.

im actually starting to get used to dancing around with the weight and size of this rig, i can't imagine what it will be like to fly a simple alexa with a prime lens again.

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