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Porta Head 5 brushless gimbal on steadicam


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#1 AndreasKielb

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 03:43 PM

Two weeks ago we did first tests with the Porta Head 5 brushless gimbal combined with steadicam and a custom bracket like Larry McConkey built. The bracket allows to move the camera during the take from ground level to over head height by rolling over the gimbal by 180 degrees.

 

The first system was custom built for Lorenzo Senatore. I visited him during the prep week for a new feature in Bucharest to deliver the system and give an introduction to the setup. He won't need the rollover function for this movie actually but we wanted to make sure that the basic idea works with his new Porta Head.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=DnH0bVWLf6M

 

Best regards,

Andreas Kielb

 

http://www.portahead.de


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#2 AndreasKielb

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 11:31 PM

I should mention that the "majestic" lag doesn't necessarily have to be as high as in the video. Later that day with Lorenzo we tried a follow mode window of 0.6 degrees and also a smaller expo so that the pan follows the turn of the post instantly. Expo is a logarithmic curve in the alexmos software that slows down the movement in the beginning but makes it faster with higher a deflection of the handles (... or the steadicam post). That felt very intuitive and allowed a direct control of the pan for framing.

 

It is possible to choose between full remote control by a second operator or follow mode for pan. Follow mode is often better to allow a good timing between tracking movement and pan.

 

I'll post more videos of the systems reaction and of course actual footage from the camera in a few weeks after I built another system of that kind.


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#3 AndreasKielb

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 04:27 PM

Here is a new music video made with our Porta Head 5 systems that shows very well what I have in mind about putting a 3-axis gimbal on a steadicam. Surprisingly it was done handheld but Christian, who also works with me in optimizing those systems, did a great job with hiding his own footsteps. The result is a kind of "out of this world" aesthetic like the moves towards the bathtub in the clip. I think such a look can be best achieved with a system that stabilizes all axes as all moves can be like drawn at a line. The clip was operated as single user with follow mode.

 

 

I also edited some tests I did two months ago in a skatepark. Some of the scenes where shot walking handheld with the system and others while running behind the skaters. Like the clip above every shot was operated as single user with follow mode. As far I understood from the specs and manuals of the MoVi and the upcoming DJI Ronin follow mode in combination with low to high mode on a steadicam will only be possible with alexmos based systems at the moment. That is because the alexmos software allows to enable follow mode separately for tilt and pan while MoVi and Ronin only allow to select between two operator mode and majestic in general.

 

 

Later I plan to offer the system in combination with the steadicam rollover bracket, if somebody is interested. Probably this offer will be combined with a 2 days introduction visit to go through the setup and also in order to tune the system to the camera and remote focus configuration which is going to be used.

 

Best regards,

Andreas

 

www.portahead.de


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#4 AndreasKielb

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 09:05 AM

Unfortunatelly I didn't have time to continue my work on the steadicam connected gimbal yet but some footage we shot with the Red Epic and the Porta Head 5 for Porsche is online in the meantime: http://www.porsche.c...ult.aspx#/intro

 

10338562_10152576577148209_3834808791262

 

 

There are a lot of car-to-car driving shots in the intro and also in the chapters 3 (off-road track) and 4 (on-road cirquit). The on-road cirquit is a race track which belongs to the Porsche facility in Leipzig/Germany. Here we used the Porta Head connected to a jib-arm from a pick-up camera car. For the off-road track we used the system from inside of another Cayenne supported by bungee cords.

For the aerial shots we used a rc helicopter together with a smaller brushless gimbal and the blackmagic pocket camera. I also did adjust the pid settings of that gimbal according to our tests ahead of the shooting. I'll offer this gimbal for aerial shots soon as Porta Head 1 system.

 

Best regards,

Andreas

 

www.portahead.de


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#5 Frank Schwaiger

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 01:29 PM

Hi Andreas,

 

I don't know about the DJI Ronin, but what you are telling about the MoVI is incorrect. It has actually 3 operating modes:

 

Majestic Mode (which is single operator mode)

Smooth Lock (which means that the gimbal operator operates pan while the remote operator operates tilt)

Remote Mode (which is completely operated with the remote control f.e. when running with the gimbal)

 

BTW Larry McConkey has tested the MoVI succesfully on his Steadicam.

 

Best,

 

Frank


Edited by Frank Schwaiger, 22 August 2014 - 01:30 PM.

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#6 Marc R. Berger

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 04:35 AM

Hi Andreas,

How heavy is this setup? Would it work with Epic/Scarlet?

Thanks

Marc


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#7 AndreasKielb

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 05:22 AM

Hey Frank,

 

wie geht's? Funny to talk in english to you on a forum :).

 

Didn't know about the Movi and it's ability to have pan operated in majestic mode while the tilt is fixed and remote only. In that case 'Smooth Lock' would be my favourite way of operating with the Movi.

I consider pan control by the operator as very important in combination with a jib style connection of a gimbal to a steadicam.

 

Of course I know Larry McConkey's application of his Movi on the steadicam. He was the first who had the idea about the 45 degree bracket when I was still thinking about how to accomplish the jib move over the front without getting the rear tubes into the frame.

 

 

Hello Marc,

 

the setup is quite lightweight as it's an aluminum bracket and only the weight of the gimbal and the camera. I think it was under 8 kg with the blackmagic.

It should work with Epic/Scarlet but I didn't tested it in that configuration, yet. I think it will be a good combination with Epic/Scarlet as they are short enough to not get in conflict with the turnaround boom.

I plan to test it as soon as possible and will try to place the touchscreen monitor directly behind the camera, connected to the dovetail.

 

The follow mode for pan works by turning the post, which is exactly as you would expect it for straight high or low mode. As the sled is horizontal it also works by turning the post itself and not by pointing the camera into direction. This needs a little time to get used to, you turn the post in order to pan and then follow your own pan by pointing the sled, so to say.

 

The three monitor positions would be behind the topstage or connected to the bracket pointing up for low mode, the normal steadicam monitor for high mode and directly behind the camera for horizontal sled positions. This way the monitor angle is kept horizontal together with the camera as it's naturaly the case with the blackmagics.

 

Still need to build one system for myself to make further tests as the rig in the video is now in Bucarest at the movie Lorenzo Senatore is currently working on.

 

Thanks,

Andreas


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