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Old November 19th, 2002, 05:19 AM   #1
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Are you ready for some football

Did anyone catch the Pats/Raiders game on Sunday night ESPN. ESPN has some gimmick they call the "spy cam" or some such silly nonsense where they have a remotely controlled camera suspended over the field. The images from that camera have a very strange look to them similar to a comercial for a "realistic" video game (ala EA sports Madden). The players looked animated and strangely jerky (no Tom Brady jokes please).

Any explanations out there? It was annoying for sports coverage but it could be used for a neat effect.

Thanks in advance
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Old November 19th, 2002, 06:41 AM   #2
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I believe they use a ballon and the tiny camera does not do 30 frames per second. Hence the fewer frames produce jerky motion. I think they have to use a wireless transmission method and that is the limiting factor for the frame rate. I've seen the balloon, just a guess on the other part.

Jeff
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Old November 19th, 2002, 07:14 PM   #3
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What I could catch in the other shots, it appeared to be a cable suspension system on a very steep dip over the field. They must have to have a pretty good suspension system on either side of the feild and an automated high speed pull out system.

It's the camera setup I'm curious about.

It sucked for a live video feed but I wonder what they use to record this image. It had a strange look and feel to it.

Any insights would be really appreciated

Thanks Jeff!!!!
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Old November 20th, 2002, 07:25 PM   #4
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Suspended Camera

I think what Marc is referring to is a system called a trolley camera. This works by reeling in & out cable from opposing points. Below is a picture of a rig that you probably saw.

Suspended Rig
remotetruckbook.com/images/skycam_checkout.jpg


More Pictures
remotetruckbook.com/chapter_2.htm
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Old November 20th, 2002, 07:32 PM   #5
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Another Picture

It never fails. Here's another picture with it in use.

Rig is in action
remotetruckbook.com/images/skycam_in_flight.jpg

More Camera Pictures
remotetruckbook.com/chapter_4.htm
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Old November 20th, 2002, 08:49 PM   #6
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James!!!!

Thanks for the pic's

I can design a better control system BUT

Why do the players look like robots or characters from a commercial for a video game?????

The pics relly helped
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Old November 20th, 2002, 09:05 PM   #7
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I have to appologize,

After looking at the other photos, my design and industrial automation skills could give you a solid and reliable system..... But I can't say it would be better.
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Old November 20th, 2002, 10:57 PM   #8
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Yes, that "SkyCam" is perhaps the only relic of the late XFL. It's certainly an interesting view of the game requiring an elaborate set-up. I believe, but do not know with certainty, that the NFL agreed to this potentially obstructive rig because it basically lends a video game-like view to live action. Since the NFL earns a significant amount of royalty revenue from sales of football video games, such as those from EA Sports, anything that merges the two experiences is viewed as good for the coffers and negotiable.
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