Jump to content



Photo

Camera Angles


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 Matt Mascheri

Matt Mascheri

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 15 March 2010 - 06:56 PM

Hi all, first post here. I'm new to the Steadicam world and have what may be a basic question. Say I want to point a RED ONE straight up while flying it. How would one do that? Is there some sort of L bracket or one that may even be adjustable to different angles? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Matt

(sorry for the cross post just not sure where this should go)
  • 0

#2 Mike McGowan SOC

Mike McGowan SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 624 posts
  • Miami, Florida, USA

Posted 15 March 2010 - 07:42 PM

Many ways to skin a horse... If you are only shooting up, you could balance the rig totally (or almost totally) neutral with your monitor tilted up and just point the rig upward. Depending on the rig there are other rig specific options. My first choice if possible would be to use a vehicle mount on an atv or golf cart and just sit and point.

my 2 cents.
  • 0

#3 Matt Mascheri

Matt Mascheri

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 15 March 2010 - 09:55 PM

Hey Mike, that is exactly what I did, balance the rig and tilt it with mixed results... Not really the look / control I was looking for. Was hoping that there was some bracket or device that would allow me to keep the rig moving in its natural position while angling the RED. Since this is a indoor shoot, a golf cart (while it would be fun) just not gonna happen.

Thanks

Matt


Many ways to skin a horse... If you are only shooting up, you could balance the rig totally (or almost totally) neutral with your monitor tilted up and just point the rig upward. Depending on the rig there are other rig specific options. My first choice if possible would be to use a vehicle mount on an atv or golf cart and just sit and point.

my 2 cents.


  • 0

#4 Brian Freesh

Brian Freesh

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 922 posts
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 15 March 2010 - 11:55 PM

Hey Mike, that is exactly what I did, balance the rig and tilt it with mixed results... Not really the look / control I was looking for. Was hoping that there was some bracket or device that would allow me to keep the rig moving in its natural position while angling the RED. Since this is a indoor shoot, a golf cart (while it would be fun) just not gonna happen.

Thanks

Matt


Many ways to skin a horse... If you are only shooting up, you could balance the rig totally (or almost totally) neutral with your monitor tilted up and just point the rig upward. Depending on the rig there are other rig specific options. My first choice if possible would be to use a vehicle mount on an atv or golf cart and just sit and point.

my 2 cents.



Hmm... Well, if you would be fine with an L bracket, I assume Mike was on to something thinking you may only be pointing it up during the shot, as opposed to up for part of the shot and somewhere(s) else for the rest of the shot. With that in mind, I think the neutral balance thing is probably the path of least resistance. But I'm not sure neutral balance is what you are describing that you did. Sounds like you are balancing normal and pushing the rig 90 degrees. What Mike is talking about is balancing the rig so that it stays at whatever tilt you put it when you let go. This would allow you to use 0 force to keep the camera pointed up. This would also be the fastest switch between operating for that shot and operating for the next shot, as you wouldn't have to remove the L bracket, just a quick gimbal adjustment and you are ready to go.

There are 90 degree angle plates, though usually they are for putting a camera on it's side, and would be short and wide for making a camera go certical. The only stuff I can think of that would point a camera up don't go quite 90, so you'd still have to tilt a bit. Or they are big, bulky, and heavy because they are designed for other purposes than pointing one camera up on Steadicam. I'm sure it's been done before (on Steadi or not) but I dunno where those plates are. You can always have a bracket machined easily enough, but I really doubt it's worth the time, effort, or money if it's only for one shot. If it's gonna be a regular thing, it might be more worth it, but personally I'd just go with the neutral balance.

But I've never actually skinned a horse...
  • 0

#5 Matt Mascheri

Matt Mascheri

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 16 March 2010 - 12:10 AM

Thanks Brian.

Well let me show you what I've been doing with the RED. I've been shooting for fulldome, or immersive theaters, for a couple of years now using a fisheye lens to capture a full 360 degree image. The camera needs to stay pointed up, or at whatever angle matches the angle of the dome I am shooting for. They can vary from zero degree (90 on the camera) all the way to a 30 (or 60 camera ) degree tilt.

You can see some vimeo vids here - http://www.vimeo.com/mmascheri/videos
Some vids are dslr, some cgi, so take a look at the ones marked RED.

A while ago I tried a bunch of Steadicam shots, but with tilting the rig and it always fought me. It wanted to always level out rather than be tilted at all.

If you have a solution (or person / product/ machinist) that would allow the camera to stay at 90 degrees straight up, or even have an adjustable plate, that would be awesome. Just not sure where to start. The issue that I have noticed is that any, and I mean any, jarring move is amplified 10 fold when projecting the image back onto the dome.

At this point, I am willing to skin a horse if I can get this to work right!!

Again, thanks!

Matt
  • 0

#6 Brian Freesh

Brian Freesh

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 922 posts
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 16 March 2010 - 02:45 AM

Fun stuff, yeah, I'd enjoy seeing some steadicam in there as well.

I still vote the neutrally balanced solution. You'll certainly have to practice to get used to it, but like I said, path of least resistance. Easy, quick, and you won't have to fight gravity pushing the rig up.

Whereabouts are you located? Some camera rental houses will have plates, but any that work may very well not be worth the weight they are likely to be.

If you still wanna go with a bracket, any machinist should be able to make what you need. Give them all the measurements and weight preferences, and see what you get. It'll be more expensive because it'll have to be made out of something both light and strong, like Aluminum, and you may want to mill out some of the metal to make it lighter. When you do your measurements, mock up something out of cardboard to make sure it's gonna work the way you need it to, and that you'll have easy access to buttons, removing CF cards and/or raid drives, cable ports, battery if on camera, etc...

Keep in mind that with the camera up like that, you are raising the CG of the camera, which means your sled will need to be longer and/or heavier on the bottom to balance it out. And though it doesn't look like you'd be doing it all that often, if ever, switching to shoot regularly will take a minute.

It'll take a lot of work, time, and money to use the bracket, relative to sliding the gimbal down a bit for neutral balance, which is also free, and ready for you to practice any time. I find that more often than not, simple is better, and I try to live by KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid.

My mom's a vet, she might know how to skin a horse...
  • 0

#7 Brian Freesh

Brian Freesh

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 922 posts
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 16 March 2010 - 02:52 AM

You may also need to use a longer arm post/raise the socket block on your vest/adjust the arm tension to get the lens far enough above you. However, that lens does see more than 180 it looks like, so the shorter your rig, the better, but you may not be able to shorten it enough. In that case, you could look into a simple tilt plate (or, depending on your rig, the tilt stage that is already on there) which will get, what, 30 degrees (someone correct me if I'm wrong) and then just balance the rig so that the camera is pointed straight up, which will have the post at a forward angle. I've done that before, worked beautifully, but not for a fisheye, so hopefully you can angle the camera enough away from the sled, if it is indeed necessary.
  • 0

#8 Mikael Kern

Mikael Kern

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 66 posts
  • Denmark

Posted 16 March 2010 - 07:03 AM

I would go for the bracket. You get much better control over the rig. Also you would get your own head in the shot if you just tilt the rig to horisontal. To go horisontal you would balance the rig neutral and then you get no help from gravity - even the slightest pan (of the post) will show.

To get safely above your head I suggest you try a bracket that is T-shaped. Think of a T upside down, the horisontal shorter part attaches to the Steadicams dovetail plate. The vertical part is long, so that you have room for cables, harddrive etc. and also gets the camera up above your head. The post gets long and the gimbal goes down, which helps with getting the lens up.

- Mikael Kern

Attached Files


  • 0

#9 Jerry Holway

Jerry Holway

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 737 posts
  • Philadelphia

Posted 16 March 2010 - 08:03 AM

In the book, pages 170-171, there are pictures of a bracket like Mikael describes, mostly in horizontal modes, but one in the vertical mode - perfect for the sort of shooting up all the time shots you describe. Inertial augmentation will also help.

Jerry
  • 0

#10 Matt Mascheri

Matt Mascheri

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 16 March 2010 - 11:38 AM

Hi all, thanks for all the great replies. I'm just outside Chicago so there should be rental place that can help me out. The breakthrough though looks to be a tilt plate. Such a simple solution!! I think that would work out perfect for my needs.

http://www.g-f-m.net...e/griptool.html

Though it looks heavy, about 5 pounds... Any suggestions on a tilt plate out there? Again for a RED ONE and a light fisheye lens. Would be shooting with CF cards to lighten the load and the battery would be off the camera and rig.

BTW Jerry, being a noob here, I'm not sure which book you are referring to. Is there a Steadicam bible that I should have my nose in?

Thanks again.

Matt
  • 0

#11 Brian Freesh

Brian Freesh

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 922 posts
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 16 March 2010 - 01:46 PM

Jerry is referring to The Steadicam Operator's Handbook, which you should probably go ahead and grab, as it is extremely informative.

You may be able to rig the plate you linked to work, I don't know. It would need to be mounted way off center, but you could probably manage it. It's just not intended for use with Steadicam. Weight wise, you could probably keep the entire camera package under 30lbs including that plate, if you really strip that camera. But I don't know how much your lens weighs, plenty I'm sure.

I was talking about something more like this which actually is a 20 degree tilt, not 30 degrees as I had previously thought. It won't get you the full way, but might point the camera far enough away from the sled so that the sled won't be in the shot when balanced so that the sled is 70 degrees forward. And that's only if the sled is in the shot without a tilt plate. This is all related to the concern that the lens sees more than 180. So, to avoid getting your head in as well, you would need to raise the sled, and there are various ways to do so that I mentioned above.

If you want to use something like Mikael is recommending, I think you're much better off machining something based on his design than using the tilt plate you linked to. His design is simple, light, and will work perfectly. Also check out the pages Jerry mentioned in his book, I can't recall the images, but it might help you if they show you a mounted camera.

You may absolutely prefer the L or T plate once you have it. In the mean time, right now, without spending any money, time, or effort, you can test the neutral balance thing. If you hate it, you can move on. If you love it, you're done. And if you're mixed, you can do it until the plate is finished.
  • 0

#12 Mike McGowan SOC

Mike McGowan SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 624 posts
  • Miami, Florida, USA

Posted 17 March 2010 - 09:39 AM

Wow, cool stuff........ I thought something else that may help. You (since you are using a RED) could over crank. That way you could move at a more comfortable speed (instead of super slow) and still have a nice smooth shot.

And a side note.... My wife is a vet and I just asked her about the whole horse thing. She gave me a strange look and asked why. I gave here the (don't worry, I'm not actually going to try it in the garage look) and so she reluctantly replied that yes, she can skin a horse and that it's just like skinning every other animal.

Learning new stuff every day :D
  • 0

#13 Matt Mascheri

Matt Mascheri

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 17 March 2010 - 02:28 PM

Hi everyone,

Thanks again for all the great info. Brian, Jerry, got an order into Amazon for the handbook, thanks for the link.

Brian, the fisheye that I am using is quite light, and in my opinion the best our there, so the camera should be under 30lbs easy. I also found another tilt plate - http://www.filmtools...-aka-wedge.html

Mikael, I really like the T-adapter, but the tilt plate might make more sense for me since different venues have different tilts. I'd hate to have to machine multiple brackets for every shoot.

Mike, I could over crank the RED but, since I am shooting at full 4k rez (which is required for fulldome), I'm stuck at 30 fps tops. If I have time, I'll try that out for lower resolution footage.

Thanks again!

Matt
  • 0




IDX

Varizoom Follow Focus

SkyDreams

Paralinx LLC

BOXX

PLC Electronics Solutions

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wireless Video Systems

PLC - Bartech

Engineered Cinema Solutions

Teradek

GPI Pro Systems

Boland Communications

Ritter Battery

Betz Tools for Stabilizers

Omnishot Systems

rebotnix Technologies