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#1 Jurgen Badenhorst

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 05:57 PM

Hey evrybody..

I have been on this forum only for a few months now I am still a very fresh operator. Overnight my work load jumped from about 5 days a month to 5 days a week..I need to ask you guys a Q: how can i get my rig not to do small pendulum "sorry for the spelling" effects I am doing "Pop Idols" at the moment and when I look back at the stuff I shot it looks like the rig is making small movements left and right it is like my waist moves the rig when I walk...I have a Pro arm and rig...Do i need to shorten my Rig or do I need to adjust the arm more....i have less problems on Film rigs due to weight but I sometimes see it as well...

What can you guys suggest I do..

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#2 RobVanGelder


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Posted 13 August 2006 - 05:42 AM

Jurgen, it is probably a combination of a few things:

1) too tight grip with your gimbal hand, transporting the movements of your body to the rig

2) walking with too much left-right motion (stomping, like an elephant :) )

3) walking with too much acceleration and decelleration differences, eg, you must try to make your walking motion more fluid. as a test, try to walk with a glass full of water and hold that at arms length and observe if you tend to make waves that will make you spill the water.

4) Arm not adjusted to it's needed floating point. The moment you have to lift or push down the rig, you can introduce othr movements in it. Try to get the working height with extended posts, but leave the arm in about -15 degrees position (Steadicam IIIa standard) when it is loaded with the rig.
For other arms there might be a slight difference, but in general around horizontal is where your arm has the smoothest performance.

Practice, practice..... :)
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#3 thomas-english


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Posted 13 August 2006 - 12:41 PM

is the image panning from left to right or is the whole sled swinging like a pendulum.

Try having a 5 second drop time? see how that changes things. Maybe even try it neutrally balanced. Play around with that, If the whole sled is swining like a pendulum this could be the solution.

And try what rob says
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#4 Jurgen Badenhorst

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Posted 13 August 2006 - 02:30 PM

Hey Rob & Thomas

I just returned from the live show now...Sadly I could not go on the internet before the show otherwise I would have tried some of the advice before we started the production. I still have two shows left so I will pratice this week to see if I cannot get this right. It is hard going to a steadicam course not knowing all these small problems that can jump up on productions, thanks for guys like you who have done this a lifetime i can only pop a e-mail and fix the problems...

Thanks again for all the advice I will keep you guys posted on how it went..

Did my first 16mm shoot this week had to pull of a 3min shot...talk about STRES!!!!

Oh Thomas I actually downloaded your showreel last week how weird is that....Luv you work>>>Rob is there a place I can see some of your stuff...

From a hot South-Africa later.... B)
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#5 Chris Haarhoff

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Posted 13 August 2006 - 03:07 PM

Hi Jurgen

The problem that you are suggesting lies at the heart of Steadicam fundamentals. My first question is whether you attended a Steadicam workshop. There you would have experienced some excercises that would have helped you, some that you could have taken home with you. Here are a few excercises that you could try...

1) place a cross on a wall, track towards and away DonJuan and Missionary keeping the cross on the cross-hairs ( 50mm plus).
2) tune your arm so that that although it may hang down slightly, it requires a slight up-force. Somehow the participation of your own lifting force will contribute to a smoother shot.
3) place a taped line on the floor, similar to excercise 1. Make sure the rig stays directly above the taped line.
4) although setting a longer drop time will help cure the penduliming, along with being a very effective solution to many operating situations, you should not substitue it for an understanding of the operator forces that counteract your regular drop -time pendulum forces. This just requires a lot of practice, and starting out you should probably be consistant with your drop time.

Beyond that you may have some other problems like a bad hand grip on the post, a dirty or bad gimble, you may be carrying the rig too close to your body, you may be manhandling the rig, you may not have it well trimmed to begin with......the list goes on. Sometimes it pays to go back to basics, think about the function of your two hands, just like your left foot operates the clutch and your right foot operates the accelerator, you need to always keep the function of your operating hand seperated from you gimble. If you blend the two in their functions, you will always have a problem. And by the way..watdiefokgaanaanmetdiebokkebroo.

Chris Haarhoff
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#6 Terry Thompson

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 12:38 AM


Another help for the pendulum thing is to spread your control hand out along the gimbal sleeve so you can feel the post if it starts to move one way or another. You probably already know this but just in case... I had a guy who learned this and it made all the difference in the world.

Also try to keep your steps short and in front of you to minimize hip movement. Every little bit helps.

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#7 Dan Coplan

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 01:23 AM

Have you all noticed that the farther away the gimbal is from your top stage, the more you notice horizon roll? Makes sense (I think of a boat rocking in water - the top of the boat rocks more than the bottom), but I only came across this experience the other day.

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#8 RobVanGelder


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Posted 30 September 2006 - 02:58 AM

Dan, though may seem to you like that, this is not the reason, when the your rig rols for instance 5 degrees to one side, that is true for every part in the system, from top to bottom, from battery to camera. and it does not matter where your gimbal is.

The main reason for what you see is that "the longer you make the tail, the slower the wiggle"
So yes, a long post can help you when you want slow reaction to outside forces like wind.
at the same time, when it starts to move with that long tail, it is also much harder to stop it.

A shorter post is good for fast action, instant reaction, though it might introduce some more roll during the shots. But that can often be hidden by the action in frame.
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#9 Imran Naqvi

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 06:13 AM

Surely the amount of visible roll will increase the further the lens is from the gimbal at any given deflection from the horizontal?

The Closer the gimbal is to the lens the less a 5 degree roll to the right will be visible because the lens will physically move a greater distance than if the say the gimbal is 15 cm from the lens than if it is 8cm from the lens.

Of course the closer the gimbal is to the lens the greater the base will swing to the left for the same 5 degree deflection to the right on the lens.

Of course how visible that is to the viewer will always depend on what is in frame, parallax will come into it.
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