Jump to content



Photo

New to steadicam....need some balance help


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 Matt DeLuca

Matt DeLuca

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 28 February 2005 - 06:06 PM

Let me first say that after only a week with the steadicam flyer, I have the utmost respect for anyone that does this for a living.

I have a problem with the wobble when walking. I was wondering where the best place for a bubble level/s would be on the flyer. If this isnt a balance issue, then how can you get gyro type balance without a gyro on the flyer? How long, on average, would a regular person take to get good at the flyer? I have a feeling walking back and forth in my basement isnt going to cut it :lol: . Thanks for any help.


Matt
  • 0

#2 RobVanGelder

RobVanGelder

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 919 posts
  • Bangkok, Thailand

Posted 28 February 2005 - 09:47 PM

Practice - patience - practice - focus on the things that go wrong, switch off the screen and concentrate on your walk and look at the rig- how it behaves.
Have a very light touch on the gimbal, more force/grip = more wobble.
  • 0

#3 Nicholas M. Chopp

Nicholas M. Chopp

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 77 posts
  • Mankato, MN

Posted 28 February 2005 - 10:09 PM

Getting the system balanced correctly is 90% of the fight for a new op. Are you in LA or NYC, where you can find an experienced op to help you out with this?
  • 0

#4 Mikko Wilson

Mikko Wilson

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 268 posts
  • Juneau, Alaska, USA

Posted 01 March 2005 - 04:55 AM

*quiet whistper* ... "Workshop"


...no, but really.
That walking back and forth thing is the best practice you can do. Rob is absoloutly correct. If you can nail the Line excersize perfect, then your operating will be very good. (that's supposed to tell you that the lines dance not only is simple, but the hardest part to get right!) :rolleyes:
Watch the video that came with the flyer. (Still the SK-2 video? ..that's what I got) and search aroudn the forum and you will find lots of usefull hints.

Also read the Ultra manual (on the steadicam website) - sure it's not hte same rig, but all the same ideas and teachiniques apply - especially to balanceing. Also read the Dynamic Balance Primer which exaplins all you beed ot knwo about D.Bal..

As for the best place for a level. Somewhere where you can see it - So somewhere aroudn the monitor. I have put some velcro across the top of my monitor and use it to attach a level (among other things) - that way I can trim the level.

Gyro's don't effect ballance only Inertness. - Imagine you are holding a spinning bicyle wheel (basically a gyro) by the bolts in the middle. It will be very hard to move the wheel (that's a gyro's job) but it won't in any way make the wheel spin at any paticular angle.

...And if you only take one peice of my advice:
If you can afford it, find a workshop and take it. They are well worth it.


Good luck!

- Mikko
  • 0

#5 Matt DeLuca

Matt DeLuca

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 01 March 2005 - 12:50 PM

Thanks for all the advice, greatly appreciated(esp the d balance tip) . Unfortuatly I live in Akron, OH. But I will look into finding a workshop soon.

After playing around with the dove tail placement, most of the wobble is gone, but now it leans to the left when I walk. I can curve my body to get rid of the camera lean, but it seems unnatural to do. I wish I could get outside and practice more, but there is about 6 or more inches of snow on the ground. I guess the basement will have to do for now :)

Thanks agian for all the help, this is a great forum. Alot like dvinfonet.


Matt
  • 0

#6 Imran Naqvi

Imran Naqvi

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 221 posts
  • London. UK

Posted 01 March 2005 - 01:23 PM

Thanks for all the advice, greatly appreciated(esp the d balance tip) . Unfortuatly I live in Akron, OH. But I will look into finding a workshop soon.

After playing around with the dove tail placement, most of the wobble is gone, but now it leans to the left when I walk. I can curve my body to get rid of the camera lean, but it seems unnatural to do. I wish I could get outside and practice more, but there is about 6 or more inches of snow on the ground. I guess the basement will have to do for now  :)

Thanks agian for all the help, this is a great forum. Alot like dvinfonet.


Matt

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


By "lean to the left" do you mean the sled is tending to move towards your body, or do you mean that the camera horizon is off to the left?

If the first have a look at adjusting your socket block and loosen the top bolt till the sled stays where it is and doesn't want to move to the left.

If the latter, then you need to adjust the topstage trim (red knobs under the camera), and use the side to side adjustment till it sits vertically.

Happy flying.
  • 0

#7 Mikko Wilson

Mikko Wilson

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 268 posts
  • Juneau, Alaska, USA

Posted 01 March 2005 - 06:09 PM

Matt:
about that 'lean', just ot elaborate and ilustrate Imran's solution...

The one thing that neither the Steadicam Mini Manual or the SK-2 Video (which are the supplied documentation for the Flyer (at least that's what I got) mention is the "Threads" - Which niether of those rigs have. The threads are the 2nd most imporatant adjustment of a rig after the sled balance adjustments on the stage and the gimble position.

The picture linked below shows a close up of the socket block on the Ultra. The 2 screws on the front are the "forward-backward" adjustment.. these effect weather the rig tends to drift towards or away from you. Stand up straight and the rig should float in place.. if it falls away from you, then you will need ot losen the bottom and tighten the top one to correct it. etc. - one of these screws must of course be opened to take the arm off - Note, you onlny need ot loosen one screw. just leave the other one so that next time you put the arm in it is allready set correctly.
The other adjustment is the "side to side" agjustment. it's a little different on teh flyer but works the same way. In the picture you can see a little peice of pink tape (with some rather famous initials on it) - just to the left of that is where one of the 2 "rod ends" comes out, the other one is just below it. On the flyer there is a pair of adjustment knobs right here - Turning these nobs will either extend or shorten the bolts - and therfor adjust the angle of the whole arm - and again which way it tends to lean. Note: you will most likly need ot take the arm off - at least undock the sled - before adusting these ones.

SO using these trim controls you can adjust the rig to fly where you want it, when you are Standing up straight - as you shoudl always be when flying.


one other thign that jsut came to mind to solve your problem with a swaygin rig is: be sure to check your drop time. the gimble shoudl be *just* (about 1/4inch or so) aove the center of gravity, no more. - Test this with a drop test. (when flying, turn the sled on it's side, then let go and see how long it takes to swing through verticle - it shoudl be about 3 secs - the video and manual cover this part well.

Posted Image

- Mikko
  • 0

#8 Matt Burton

Matt Burton

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 484 posts
  • UK

Posted 01 March 2005 - 08:41 PM

I have a feeling walking back and forth in my basement isnt going to cut it  :lol: . Thanks for any help.


  Matt

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Bit of advise on getting better. Get yourself some web storage, then creat some clips of your filming, then link to the clips in this forum. I'm sure plenty of people will help you out with things you are doing wrong.

A great way to improve as a cam, steadi or no steadi is feeback feeback and more feedback. Of course, you only want feedback from people who know what they are doing. So if their are no operators in your area or your shy lol. Then just get feedback from experts on the interjob thingy.

You could also think about getting a mate to film you filming and look back for problems walking. A word of caution about the walking the line method. It will only get your walk good going in straight lines back and forth on level ground. This isnt steadicam operating and you will need to keep good shots in the most diverse terrain. Practice on all terrains, stairs, hills, anything you can think of.

Feedback is normaly free, fookin up on a job is well...... the end in some cases.
  • 0

#9 Matt DeLuca

Matt DeLuca

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 02 March 2005 - 02:38 AM

I appreciate everyone going out of there way to help me out.

When I let go of the post(when standing still), it stays where it is, and is level. It seems when I start to walk, its horizon is off alittle to the left (just alittle). Its probabbly my posture more than anything, somtimes I get good shots, and somtimes not. Overall im more than happy with the flyer, everytime I use it, I get alittle better.

It may take me a couple days, but I can get some footage/frame grabs online for review. We are expecting the nikon D2X any day now(maybe tomarrow), so im still in new equipment shock.

Matt
  • 0

#10 Imran Naqvi

Imran Naqvi

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 221 posts
  • London. UK

Posted 02 March 2005 - 05:13 AM

I appreciate everyone going out of there way to help me out.

When I let go of the post(when standing still), it stays where it is, and is level. It seems when I start to  walk, its horizon is off alittle to the left (just alittle). Its probabbly my posture more than anything, somtimes I get good shots, and somtimes not. Overall im more than happy with the flyer, everytime I use it, I get alittle better.

It may take me a couple days, but I can get some footage/frame grabs online for review. We are expecting the nikon D2X any day now(maybe tomarrow), so im still in new equipment shock.

Matt

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Matt I think I know what's happeneing :)

You're trying to keep the monitor level and with too heavy a grip on the gimbal just leaning it off to the left :) I did it too at first. The way to check is to walk a little without your hand on the gimbal. If after reviewing that you find the rig is level (allowing for you not being able to correct major rolls) you'll know it's your gimbal hand. I think the best thing you can do is lighten your grip on your gimbal hand. Use only finger and thumb if necessary.
  • 0

#11 JayX

JayX

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 02 March 2005 - 07:19 AM

Bit of advise on getting better. Get yourself some web storage, then creat some clips of your filming, then link to the clips in this forum. I'm sure plenty of people will help you out with things you are doing wrong.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


If he can get some small clips (under 20mb preferably) to me, I have no prob with hosting them for this forum until its all good.
  • 0




Omnishot Systems

Boland Communications

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Varizoom Follow Focus

BOXX

PLC Electronics Solutions

Wireless Video Systems

Ritter Battery

Engineered Cinema Solutions

PLC - Bartech

IDX

Teradek

SkyDreams

rebotnix Technologies

Betz Tools for Stabilizers

GPI Pro Systems

Paralinx LLC