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What sled is this?

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#1 David Johansson

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 08:05 AM

What kind of sled is this? Glidecam? Homemade?



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#2 Chris Van Campen

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 10:32 AM

Wow, are they using a garden hose for a tether?? 

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#3 G. Grammatikos

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 06:23 PM

Ok is astrange sled probably modificated but what camera is this and so many devices on ?
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#4 Victor Lazaro

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 07:26 PM

The camera is actually a prototype from Microsoft for their Hololens project which includes a bunch of sensors which would explain the huge amount of cables.

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#5 Zack Charney Cohen

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 03:06 PM

To do the trick they needed for this demo they needed to have 3D positioning and tracking information for the camera, so they could live overlay the VFX. Thats the extra gak and the garden hose tether. Also wonder if they had it patched into his onboard, that would have been neat!

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#6 Mike Germond SOC

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 11:26 PM

Ah yes  :D  that is not me in the video, but since that demo I have become the HoloLens Steadicam guy. That video is from the first time they used a Steadicam, the previous demo was done Handheld. No idea what sled he is flying there, but I've been doing it with my PRO/XCS sled and Cinetronic monitor. Microsoft is amazing to work with, and their engineers came up with this system simply to display to viewers what the actual HoloLens device can see when worn on your head.


They purchased upwards of 25 RED Dragon cameras (before public release) with seemingly 1 of everything from the RED catalog for each body! I've been in the "RED Room" at the Seattle HQ, but I can't show you pictures.  ;)  They then retrofitted the guts of one HoloLens device to each camera. There is also an Xbox Kinect on board to help the system judge depth. The system requires a lot of bandwidth to work, they are spitting 4K out of that camera over 3G SDI just to get the resolution for the realtime processing. The cable "HOD" you see in that first Steadicam demo consists of:
-optical thunderbolt for HoloLens
-single mode fiber pair for Kinect
-3G SDI out
-3G SDI return (with holograms overlayed on a 1/2sec delay)
-sync signal
-regulated AC power to a breakout box for all the devices


As soon as I got my hands on the package, I eliminated the AC power and ran everything off the sled. I also put the HOD on my shoulder as I've done for many years with fiber/triax in Live TV. I used Alan Rencher's MegaFlex SDI cables to shrink the Output/Return/Sync signals to a manageable size. All that was left was a optical thunderbolt cable. It felt better, but still steers the sled like you wouldn't believe. But with the limited transmission of 3G SDI, the engineers had been restricted to a 25ft tether. The sever farm to process all this had to be immediately inside the backstage door.


Show #2 with Microsoft required more distance due to a bigger stage (and the first time we also put one of these on a jib). Optical thunderbolt for the HoloLens is limited to 100ft, so that was our number. We used multimode ST fiber with SDI media converters on both ends to encode/decode the SDI signal. The trick here was that these converters required a little trickle of 5v power to convert the fiber signal. So I spliced the media converter power cables to USB on site and velcro'ed a Mophie JuicePack on the back of my PRO vest to run them. The demand was so small that 1 JuicePack ran all day. The size of the bundle from shoulder to sled didn't change, only how it got there.


After the show, the SVP of Windows and the guy who invented Kinect had me in their green room for shots. Then they took my family to a private Katy Perry/One Republic concert, so it must have went well!


As you can imagine, the inner workings are all very secretive and proprietary. I don't get much say in how the package is built or laid out. I had to swear on my life to be allowed to power their devices with my sled because any voltage fluctuation could bring the house down (Alan Rencher Dynamo converters to the rescue). For the next show, my pipe dream is to embed all of the signals into 1 multimode ST fiber core and decode everything on the sled (not on my shoulder). Knowing the Kinect inventor like I've gotten to over the last few months, the next show will amp up the "WOW" factor. So the more mobility I can have, the smoother things will go.


Unfortunately I can't share any photos with you, but the internet did me the pleasure of recording it and posting on YouTube like wildfire. Show #2 is proprietary, so here is show #1 that I did.


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#7 Chris Van Campen

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Posted 21 August 2015 - 03:07 PM

That's really impressive Mike, and thanks for sharing what you can!!!  :D

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#8 Rich Cottrell

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 07:54 AM

This is mind bending to watch having no background in any of this "technology".

Just yesterday I was showing my 7 year old son the original 1970's documentary on how they made StarWars. Pulled out the ASC book The Treasury of Visual Effects to try to show him some of the nuts and bolts.

I guess I can throw that out the window. Looks like I need to go back to school. Thanks for bringing this to the forum.
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