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New Small Steadicam Concept, made from LEGO (movie)


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#1 Johannes Hogebrink

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 04:18 AM

Hello Guys,

 

I'm currently in pre-production for a movie about a dog, for which i need to follow him running through the fields a lot. I figured i needed a small steadicam, something that could be held in one hand. I found many types of small 'steadicams', but they never cancelled out big vertical movements. Or they were electronically controlled and expensive. So I figured something out myself..

To test it, i build a concept version from LEGO:

 

As you can see it's still far from perfect, but hey, it's just LEGO.. It's under development and once it's made from proper materials with presice joints it should work a lot better. I'm currently consulting with partners to 3D-print parts etc.

 

I'm eager to hear what you think of the concept..! Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!  


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#2 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 05:18 AM

Johannes - its a really interesting idea, but the really big problem with your design in my opinion is that it does not isolate the roll axis, it is just a damper. This is why you have the constant wobble on the roll axis. 

 

 

If this is for a movie, I guess you will have a bigger camera than a Gopro, in which case you will need to scale up the contraption, which will probably make it very heavy to carry handheld as you are doing in the video.

 

I think when all is said and done, you'd probably be better off with a Steadicam Pilot or equivalent. 

 

It will work better and quite possibly be cheaper than making this.

 

Although making this will probably be more fun. :D


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#3 Johannes Hogebrink

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 06:50 AM

Hi Sanjay,

 

thanks for the comment! it does isolate the roll movements too, by means of a stadard a counterbalanced-gimball in the midlle. it doens't work perfectly indeed, but this comes from the inherent wiggle you get with LEGO-parts.. ;)  Also this part could be replaced by an electronic stabilized gimball. And ofcourse its ment for small cameras like the gopro or smartphones, not for bigger cameras. but the small ones perform quite well these days, and they will only get smaller and better in the future! 


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#4 Janice Arthur

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 09:02 AM

Johannes;

I like it. Your four arms work a lot like the Steadicam arms when I stand still and run in place.

Good luck.

It's hard to come up with something new these days.

As you know tilt is fixed and so adjusting for that maybe u have a plan or not? Of course tilted down helps you in part of a shot and not a help in other parts.

You shoot where you aim works wide.

Janice
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#5 Johannes Hogebrink

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 09:30 AM

Hi Janice,

 

thank you! The tilt is fixed untill a certain dergree. there's a counter balance hanging through the middle, that keeps the camera upright. but when you tilt the device beyond a certain point, the counterbalance rests againt the inside. this makes it possible to tilt the camera down or up. the close-up shot of the dogs face was shot this way. ofcourse, this is not perfect. when the balance rests against the inside, the chance of vibrations coming through increases. but maybe this could be solved partially by dampening, wrapping it in something soft or rollers or something. all still to be investigated! thanks for your feedback! 

PS Sanjay, it could carry DSLR's too, ofourse. 


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#6 Sam Law

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 12:19 AM

wether its perfect or not, its cool to see a new way to achieve a similar result. Not to mention legos were probably my favorite toy growing up.  Anyway my main question about the design, is will the actual version be a smaller profile, so the camera doesn't see itself in wide angle shots?


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#7 Johannes Hogebrink

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 01:42 AM

Hi Sam, thanks for your reaction! Yes, the final version will have much smaller profile, and won't be visible on wide angle shots. Because it's made from Lego this one needs to be big to be a little more stable. Actually I've adjusted the Lego version already, with the camera a little higher it's better balanced and nothing comes in sight. But for the video I thought it would be nice to catch a bit of the whole contraption in action..! :)
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