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#1 Blair Phillips

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 07:09 PM

The other day I tried walking around a bush in my garden to see how it felt. There is some horizon role that I am not happy with, but I am more concerned with the bobbling that is going on.

Is this an operator problem and if so what can I do to fix it?

Link to the footage: here

I was walking on grass, using a Flyer-LE and a DSLR

Thanks!
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#2 Douglas John Kropla

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 08:34 PM

Hey Blair,
glad the rig is working out for you. I'll throw out some advice, for what it's worth. Looks to me like the right hand needs be a little firmer in keeping the rig at a desired level, also make sure the arm is dialed in as far as tension goes. The forearm section should ride about 5 degrees above the horizontal, and the upper arm should follow it smoothly. Also your steps, rolling from the heel to the ball of the foot. Something else I can tell you is maybe think about some ballroom dance classes. I use to teach years ago and now all those years of dancing with large Ukranian women in Winnipeg is paying off:) There it is for what it's worth from one newish guy to another.
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#3 Ken Nguyen

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 09:00 PM

Hey Blair,
glad the rig is working out for you. I'll throw out some advice, for what it's worth. Looks to me like the right hand needs be a little firmer in keeping the rig at a desired level, also make sure the arm is dialed in as far as tension goes. The forearm section should ride about 5 degrees above the horizontal, and the upper arm should follow it smoothly. Also your steps, rolling from the heel to the ball of the foot. Something else I can tell you is maybe think about some ballroom dance classes. I use to teach years ago and now all those years of dancing with large Ukranian women in Winnipeg is paying off:) There it is for what it's worth from one newish guy to another.



Hi Blair,
Arm and vest were out of adjustment.
- Vest might be too low and loose.
- Arm's tension might be too high for the load.
I don't have the Flyer, so I have no tip on how to adjust it.

"Looks to me like the right hand needs be a little firmer in keeping the rig at a desired level," this is a wrong advice.
I think you were over controlling the sled by your right hand (arm hand).
So, loose it out - Not holding it firmer.

"Also your steps, rolling from the heel to the ball of the foot."
Don't need to. Just walk as normal.

Practice or/and workshop (no offend) will help.

Have fun,
Ken Nguyen.
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#4 Charles Papert

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 09:36 PM

If you had another camera that could shoot you while you were walking, that would give us more information on how to help you.

Both of the guys had reasonable advice, even though seemingly contradictory. It's all in how you describe it. The arm (gimbal handle) hand is responsible for setting and maintaining the height of the rig; if you allow it to bounce with the up and down motion of your body, that will translate into the rig and cause the vertical movement you are seeing. If you are new or newish to operating, chances are you need to keep a pretty good hold on the rig to have it fly where you want (once you get solid with the hip to rig relationship, it is generally less critical as the rig will naturally fly alongside your body where you want it without having to be reined in). Let your arm be a separate entity from your body, from the shoulders down, and focus on your hand holding the gimbal at a constant height to the ground (while your body "bobs" separately). Same advice for your operating hand, of course. So as you can see this is somewhere between Blair's suggestion to grab on tight and Ken's to let it float.

While it's not necessary to perform a handheld style walk, for some people their standard walk is too plodding and needs some smoothing out. This will make it harder to keep the arms from translating said plodding into the rig itself as discussed above. Most operator's walk with the rig ends up being somewhat smoother than regular walking but not as highly smoothed out as handheld. It does require you to maintain complete balance at all times and all speeds.

I would indeed experiment with the tension of the arm (super simple, just the two knobs on top of the arm) as Ken suggests; too much tension will make the rig bounce.

I wouldn't want to speculate on the vest without seeing it in action.
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#5 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 11:29 PM

The other day I tried walking around a bush in my garden to see how it felt. There is some horizon role that I am not happy with, but I am more concerned with the bobbling that is going on.

Is this an operator problem and if so what can I do to fix it?

Link to the footage: here

I was walking on grass, using a Flyer-LE and a DSLR

Thanks!



Looking at that video there are two things that I would change/adjust.

Lower the arm tension so that the arm sections are just below level not above, above is too much tension

Learn to disassociate your arms from your body.

I have a slightly different approach to modifying your walking gate than others. Don't. You spent your entire life learning to walk the way you do so why change it and introduce that variable into your learning to operate.

Learning to operate is about managing your challenges, so why introducing trying to learn to walk a new way. Adjust your operating to your established kinematics, not the other way around.
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#6 Charles Papert

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 12:22 AM

Tiffen does recommend having their current arms fly slightly above level rather than the traditional slightly below--never got a good explanation on that (Jerry?). Especially with the small rigs, for me it seems better to do it the way I've always done it (slightly below).
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#7 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 09:38 AM

To the excellent advice you've been offered already, I'd add:

- If you haven't yet bought and studied the EFP training DVD and the Steadicam Manual, stop everything and do that first.
- The best way to add weight (and inertial resistance) with a DSLR is to make or buy a weight plate or weight cage. Contact Janice Arthur. This will improve controllability.
- It appears that your right-hand grip is too tight and your arm/shoulder tensed up, transferring the up-and-down from your steps (defeating the isolation that the Flyer arm is there to provide). Take Eric's and Charles' advice. Relax your arm, keep your shoulder, elbow, and wrist relaxed, and use the lightest grip you can.
- When you stand up straight and relaxed, can you release both hands and have the rig pretty much "float" in front of you, or does it want to race toward you, away from you, or to one side? If that's the case, your socket block is mis-adjusted and you are having to work too hard to compensate with your grip.
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#8 Jerry Holway

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 02:26 PM

Tiffen does recommend having their current arms fly slightly above level rather than the traditional slightly below--never got a good explanation on that (Jerry?). Especially with the small rigs, for me it seems better to do it the way I've always done it (slightly below).

Charles,

I think the point where the effort to boom all the way up or down was equal for the IIIa type arms was slightly below level, and the "equal effort" point for the single spring arms was slightly above level, hence the general recommendation.

It's of little matter with the iso arms, so it's more a matter of feel - what you like. I tend to set the arm I use most (the G-70) slightly higher than level because I don't have as much power to boom up as I have to boom down, unless, of course, the shot is low, and then I let it float at the nominal lens height or close to it. If I have an extra minute, I'll set to arm to float so I do the least work.

For Blair, it's most important that the section nearest the body (the upper arm) tracks with the forearm section. How you stand and walk (your posture) can affect how the arm behaves - so do all your adjustments standing in good posture with the rig in balance with you.

Jerry
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#9 Blair Phillips

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 05:00 PM

This has all been helpful guys, thanks!

I taped myself doing the same thing today, then trying to keep my arm hand loose and shoulders relaxed. Should be interesting to look at it when I get time on Wednesday
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#10 Jonathan Parris

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 10:56 PM

Definitely add weight to your camera. I also have the Flyer LE and primarily shoot with a DSLR. It always had to fly at the lowest tension on the springs in the arm, and it was difficult to keep the camera level, since it is so light. I had a local machine shop fabricate a 5lb steel plate for me that I could mount under the camera, and it has made all the difference in the world. At a cost of about $40, it is so much easier to operate now and naturally more stable.
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