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Eliminating that "walking" feel


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#1 Dan Coplan

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 01:48 PM

Just got dailies back from a shot I did where I slowly walked through an airplane cargo hold. Pretty much one of the worst types of shots because there were plenty of strong horizontal and vertical lines to give away horizon errors, no actor to draw attention away from the background, and they wanted me to walk nice and slow.

Well, the horizons looked pretty good and I felt pretty good doing the shot but watching dailies I cringed because it has a bit of a walking feel to it as opposed to a "camera on a string" feel.

Wondering what sort of advice you all have regarding this. Loosen the spring tension? Walk a certain way?

Dan
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#2 Brandon Thompson

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 03:49 PM

That is a great question Dan. I too have found walking slow hardest. I prefer a full run over the slow walk. I will be interested to see what advice is given.
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#3 JobScholtze

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 03:58 PM

I losen the springs, make small steps and bend my knees a little. The less movement on your body the less it shows in your picture. At least thats the way i do it.

Try it with a spoon, put an egg on it or water and walk around as smooth as you can without dropping that egg, or water. Whatever you prefer.
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#4 Christopher T. Paul- SOC

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 04:23 PM

I second that, loosen the springs so that your Gimbal arm, (as opposed to your post arm), is carrying more of the weight- thus lessening the effectiveness of the Steadicam arm. It will add a glide to your stride, and a dip from your hip will not disturb the mothership.

Hope that it helps.

Funky,

CP
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#5 Charles Papert

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 04:35 PM

It's easy Dan; whatever you were doing, just don't do that!

Actually, it would help to analyze what makes it feel like "walking" shot rather than, say, a dolly shot in specific terms. What is happen to the frame? My guess is that what you are seeing is the result of slight variations in pan, tilt or roll that create an edginess to the shot. Almost always this is caused by over-controlling the rig, i.e. too much input from the gimbal hand.

Otherwise, if what you are seeing is more like footsteps, i.e. vertical bounce, then both of the things you mentioned would help. However unless there are objects quite close to the lens which give away the variations in height due to parallax, it's usually harder to feel this compared to the angular deviations described above.

Probably all of this is due to ingesting lamb kebabs, though.
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#6 Imran Naqvi

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 04:07 AM

Hey now,

Don't diss the kebabs!
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#7 Colin Donahue

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 07:53 AM

Dan,
with the show I am currently shooting, almost everything I do is with out actors... point of view beauty shots of beautiful homes. I struggle with this problem as well. One thing that helps me it to take tiny steps and do a little heel to toe roll when I walk. It seems that lifting my feet is where I see my steps. I am fairly new at this so this is my no means "expert advice"... just something that has helped me.

colin
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#8 Mike Marriage

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 09:44 AM

Like Colin, I can't claim to give expert advice but I was pondering the physics of this.

In my experience, slower pacing seems to cause more of a resonant movement in the sled. Your gimbal handle arm/hand acts as a damper against this movement, so I guess that is why loosening the mechanical arm may help.

There are also other factors such as slower movements making errors more evident, but I was wondering how more seasoned ops dealt with resonance in their rigs. Is it less pronounced on more advanced arms like the pro and G70?

[Edited for clarity]
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#9 Jerry Holway

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 01:55 PM

Your arm controls the arm in space, and you are the only thing that will ultimately dampen the spring action of the mechanical arm.

Better, more iso-elastic arms will require less effort to dampen, but ultimately, it's your insistence on a given height and path that will keep the rig there.

Shots without actors bobbing about are tough to keep perfectly on line (no distractions), but then buildings don't miss their marks, jump out of frame, or forget lines... Practice, practice, practice. If it were easy...

Jerry
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#10 Stephen Press

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 01:59 PM

I?ve found if I?m moving slowly forward or back instead of facing the camera straight ahead in the 12 o?clock position if I face the camera slightly to one side, the 1 o?clock or 11 o?clock it helps smooth it out.
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#11 Anthony Violanto

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 01:41 AM

I think loosening the arm is a crutch. It's all in the walk (in my opinion). My trainer would always watch me walking, and yell at me to take tiny steps like a geisha, and not just walk. As if you had a cup of hot coffee balancing on your shoulders i suppose
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#12 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 03:32 AM

I think loosening the arm is a crutch. It's all in the walk (in my opinion). My trainer would always watch me walking, and yell at me to take tiny steps like a geisha, and not just walk. As if you had a cup of hot coffee balancing on your shoulders i suppose



I totally disagree. I walk normally and have absolutely ZERO bobing issues. It's all in the setup and operators skill.
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#13 kip ross

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 07:23 AM

I totally disagree. I walk normally and have absolutely ZERO bobing issues. It's all in the setup and operators skill.
[/quote]


What is a "bobing?
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#14 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 01:27 PM

What is a "bobing?




Bobing is the vertical displacement of the rig that gives the "Walking" look and feel
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#15 Charles Papert

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 04:42 PM

Bobing is the vertical displacement of the rig that gives the "Walking" look and feel


Strictly speaking that would be "bobbing"...!

Or perhaps we are talking about "boba-ing", which either means carrying the rig as smoothly as a tapioca ball floating in milk tea, or perhaps flying it through the air like a bounty hunter with a jet pack?
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