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Old February 1st, 2010, 02:53 AM   #1
Car Mount Footage
Chuck Spaulding Chuck Spaulding is offline February 1st, 2010, 02:53 AM

If the weather ever cooperates I'm hoping to shoot a video which includes quite a few high end cars, so I thought I would test out shooting my car around town.

I'm trying to figure out how to lesson the vibration so I can have sharper images. I'm also hoping for a higher end look. Although this isn't what I'll be doing with the cars I think you can get an idea for what I'm trying to do.

I'd like to hear what you think and any suggestions on how I can improve shooting with a car mount.


Chuck Spaulding
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Old February 1st, 2010, 02:03 PM   #2
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Wow - this was really cool!
Actually I don't think there can be much of improvments. Looks really good!

What mount did you use?
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Old February 1st, 2010, 08:11 PM   #3
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Thanks for the kind words.

I started with this:
http://www.filmtools.com/gripper-302...era-mount.html
Solid mount but no way does it work on its own. Obviously because of the CMOS sensor the 7D is very susceptible to vibration.

I then added this:
http://www.filmtools.com/filmtools-i...er-116-xl.html

and this:
http://www.filmtools.com/filmtools-g...pport-kit.html

Just when I thought I was done I added some accessories like:
http://www.filmtools.com/ninmounbracf.html
http://www.filmtools.com/58babspudw381.html
http://www.filmtools.com/stainless-s...y-18-inch.html)

With this setup I can support the camera from the bottom as well as the top at the same time. This enables me to triangulate which provides a lot of rigid support. Most of the remaining vibration is from the car itself. If the road is a bit bumpy you can let a little air out of your tires to soften the ride. If there's a high frequency vibration, because maybe you need to travel a bit faster, you can tighten up part of the mount and loosen another to apply torque differently. I'm guessing this sometimes works because you can get a lateral vibration from the pavement or a vertical vibration from the tires [balance, suspension etc.], but you generally won't get both. So if your not getting the results you want change it up a bit.

I have shot with what I thought were identical setups at the same location and had very different results. Its actually kind of obvious once you see the video in HD. Another thing that is valuable is an external monitor. My exposures and setups were much improved after I started using an external monitor, plus it all looks great in the LCD but when I viewed the footage on an HD monitor the vibration became painfully obvious.

Last edited by Chuck Spaulding; February 2nd, 2010 at 12:40 PM.
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 12:16 AM   #4
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Here are some frame grabs from what I've shot so far:

www.frameyourart.net

www.frameyourart.net

www.frameyourart.net

www.frameyourart.net

www.frameyourart.net

www.frameyourart.net

I'd like to be able to match the shots from inside the garage a little better with the outside driving shots, hence the camera mount test.

Any thoughts or suggestions are always appreciated.
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Old February 5th, 2010, 01:34 PM   #5
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Those are some great pics of the cars! Really liked the wide shot where it really clashed with the environment...cool.

So it really took all those pieces to get a stable shot ? I agree with others that inside, you're ready for prime time, those are perfect. Just kind of uhhhh that it's going to cost a couple hundred to make this set up work.
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Old February 5th, 2010, 02:09 PM   #6
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Thanks Andy,

how much stuff you need depends on what your trying to do. If all you want are shots inside the car you can get away with a lot less. I have so much stuff because I mount the camera all over the outside of the car to get more unique angles etc..

I didn't include any of those shots in this test because I didn't want to steal my own thunder before I complete what I'm working on.

Thanks again for the kind words.
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Old February 5th, 2010, 08:30 PM   #7
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I wish your setup was in regular motion. ;-( Great video though!
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 03:57 AM   #8
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Thanks Chuck. Can u summarize the total cost of the system? I'm a bit confused with all the stuff in there! Looking at the 3 suction cups and interconnects will do. Thks.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 02:40 PM   #9
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Hi Sean,

Probably the easiest way to start that would give you a fairly comprehensive setup you might want to start with this: Filmtools Camera Triangulation Kit w/ Vacuum Cups

And then Add this: Gripper 3025 - The Filmtools 6" Suction / Vacuum Cup Camera Mount

So you'd be into it for about $300. The important thing to keep in mind is that all cars flex, so the more points of contact the more stable the shot. Generally I try to have at least three points of contact. Here's a sample: www.frameyourart.net


Here's the resulting video:
-- just in case you haven't seen it yet ;)

You can get away with less, it really depends on what your trying to do. This setup is very flexible.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 12:48 PM   #10
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Oh man how did the owner of that car not have a heart attack, looks like there are a lot of non-suctioncup pieces really close to the paint.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 11:08 PM   #11
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I think I had more of a heart attack with my wife driving...

I kid, therefore I am.

As long as it doesn't actually touch it doesn't really matter how far away it is.
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Old March 13th, 2010, 09:00 AM   #12
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to the OP, footage looks dead on to me and I had to laugh because your vehicle for the test, the Touareg, is one of the smoothest vehicles out there for camera work. I had one of the V10 turbodiesel models for about two years (then had to lemon law it...don't get me started!) But during that time, I put mounts all over the thing and not nearly as sophisticated as the film tools stuff with great results. With the adjustable air suspension, it looks like steadicam footage! Mostly I was filming my motorcycle on really twisty roads. If my wife wasn't bitterly upset at VW for how they treated us, I'd love to have a Touareg again (just not the TDI!)
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Old March 14th, 2010, 12:18 AM   #13
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Your right it has been a good camera car. I have stuck camera's all over it, oddly enough the worst place to mount it is on the hood, it flexes too much.

If the camera wasn't mounted on the Lamborghini, most of the shots where from the Touareg.
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Old March 14th, 2010, 10:29 PM   #14
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that was gorgeous! I'm wondering, did you underexpose a little for most of the shots? because usually when I hit the meter right in the middle, and edit in post my range doesnt look like that!

the in-car shots are fantastic :)
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Old March 15th, 2010, 12:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt Zhuang View Post
that was gorgeous! I'm wondering, did you underexpose a little for most of the shots? because usually when I hit the meter right in the middle, and edit in post my range doesnt look like that!

the in-car shots are fantastic :)
I'm not sure I understand your comment. I I was in and out of a lot of highlights and shadows so I underexposed about a half a stop. I used the neutral picture profile with color, sharpness and contrast turned dow to give a very flat look in camera. This gave me more latitude in color correction.
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