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Drop time


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#1 JasonMcKelvey

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Posted 19 June 2004 - 07:05 PM

I have about 30 minutes total in a vest... something I hope will grow in the future... but I think that qualifies me for this corner of the website. I thought I would inaugurate this forum with a question that I'm sure is worn out... What is drop time?
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#2 MichaelStewart

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Posted 19 June 2004 - 08:08 PM

I was talking to someone today about web board posting, he says he never posts and just looks, I stated that so many experts have taken the time to post answers for me that I feel a resposibilty to answer the simple questions and leave the hard ones for them (circle of life?) So I will do my part here. Once you get the sled balanced and it is on the balancing stand, if you lift up the bottom portion of your sled so that it is horizontal to the ground, when you let go of it, your drop time is from that point to the point when it reaches its upright position (of course it will swing past if you don't catch it), OK how did I do?


Mike
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#3 Nikk Hearn-Sutton SOC

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Posted 19 June 2004 - 08:56 PM

aslo when dealing with drop time you want it between 2 to 3 secs depending on smoothness and experence 2 sec is for me the standard DT(drop time) but the 3 sec one is for when you want the movements like BUTTA,smooth like a womans legs fresh after shaving :D ANYWAY you have to make sure that the rig doesnt feel sluggish to movement so that everything about the rigs balance is equally distributed thru out. Hope this helped also.

NIkk
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#4 Ruben Sluijter

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 08:15 AM

Drop time is very shot dependant, and also a very personal setting.
Hell, nowadays there's people who occasionally try a neutrally balanced rig (no drop time) which can be really funny to fly with (but bloody difficult to control).
If you're doing a straight back/forward shot then a 2 second drop time might help keep the rig more stable and level.
If you find yourself accelerating and slowing down a lot you might want to go for a slower drop time (3-5 seconds maybe) so that it's easier to control (less finger pressure to correct).
Same goes for lots of tilting where it will become a lot easier to tilt if you have a slow drop time(i.e. less force needed to tilt).
Disadvantage of a slow drop time would be that it can be a lot harder to keep a good level since the sled will not give you as much feedback.
A heavier drop time will give you lots more tactile feedback but has a tendency to 'pendulum' more when you move.

In other words, both slow and fast drop times have their own advantages/problems.
I suggest playing around with it and practising with different drop times until you get comfortable with the differences.
I would also recommend not limiting yourself to one set drop time for each situation but to experiment with it and use whatever's needed to make the shot work.
A good starting point (in my opinion) would be a drop time of about 3 seconds and just take it from there.

I hope that helped some, have fun with it and don't be afraid to change it.

Peace, Ruben "Drop-out" Sluijter
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#5 Howard J Smith

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 01:38 PM

Hi Jason

I agree with Ruben - it is totally shot and operator dependant.

When doing the drop time - (from horizontal to vertical) please bear in mind to count 1 AND 2 AND 3 etc not just 123.
As you get more experenced you adjust this more depending on the shot.
Working on long lenses or on a stage I use a 4 second ish and outside I use a 3 second ish drop.
But oddly enough now with my new Alien Revolution I have 'embraced' flying Neutral - like Lynn and Eric and this gives you another dimension altogther.

When I started out I used to practice a shot (at home) and record it - then adjust drop time and do it again - I would keep changing the DT subtly until the shot became easier, I would make a mental note (ie 4.5 secs) then change again - and see if it helped if not I would go back to the one that worked.

I hope this helps you and good luck with everything.
All the best

Howard J Smith MK-V

P.s. I don't know if this helps - I teach steadicam operating if anybody would like to attend one of the workshops please email - training@mk-v.com
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#6 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 21 June 2004 - 12:29 AM

But oddly enough now with my new Alien Revolution I have 'embraced' flying Neutral - like Lynn and Eric and this gives you another dimension altogther.

Yes it's hard to do at first but with practice it makes my life so much eaiser, now I can do any thing shot wise that I want with the rig at anytime. Plus it totally removes the acceleration pendulum effect. GREAT for vech mount stuff.
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#7 JasonMcKelvey

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Posted 21 June 2004 - 10:18 PM

Wow... such a simple thing yet it explain so much! The one thing that being bottom heavy would cause problems with (in my mind) is whip pans. Wouldn't the bottom swing out causing an inadvertant tilt up? How do you approach this?
Jason
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#8 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 21 June 2004 - 11:05 PM

Wow... such a simple thing yet it explain so much! The one thing that being bottom heavy would cause problems with (in my mind) is whip pans. Wouldn't the bottom swing out causing an inadvertant tilt up? How do you approach this?
Jason

The Tilting up is from two things. The Rig not being in Dynamic balance and also the excess force your using to stop the whip pan.
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#9 Larry McConkey

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 01:57 PM

Being bottom heavy (short drop time) will not cause the bottom of the sled to swing up as a result of panning, in fact it is less likely to do so. Being out of dynamic balance will cause it to swing around however.

Larry
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#10 JasonMcKelvey

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 10:59 PM

Thanks to everyone.
Jason
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