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Old November 11th, 2005, 10:04 PM   #166
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Leigh:

Refer back to our exchange from June in this thread. I didn't watch the entire video this time because it seemed like a carbon copy of the one from June--perhaps something different happened towards the end, but I'm guessing it was more of the same. Still no walking backwards, no compound moves, no real acceleration/deceleration.

When you take a corner, you should be panning earlier so that the camera pivots around the edge of the building, rather than losing it out of frame and then panning, which feels less natural. Try a variation where you speed up as you get to the corner and then go around it fast, this is a very tough aspect of operating as the rig will want to lurch out as you turn the corner. You need to start challenging yourself more with acceleration issues--you've already got down the walking in a straight line business.

Tilt down to the ground as you walk. Tilt back up again and try to land level. Do it faster. Do it slower. Make agressive pans as well as slow gentle ones. Whip around 180 degress as you walk down the side of the buildings. Do it fast. Do it slow. Speed up to a run, then drop your speed down to almost nothing and creep along as slowly as you can possibly move.

In other words, the material you have posted is alarmingly similar to what you put up five months ago, and you are keeping yourself from progressing as an operator by not varying your exercises. It's like learning to play the violin by playing an arpeggio in "C" over and over for a year until it's perfect--but what about the rest of the scale? And that's just a drill--it's not music.

A long time ago you posted a little edited sequence you made while practicing on a hill, had something to do with a dog--that sort of thing will be more challenging for you, more interesting for people here to watch and will inspire more creative feedback.

How about doing that shot I described for you in the earlier post? The one where you go around your dad? That shot requires you to incorporate all kinds of acceleration, framing challenges and is a great workout. Have you tried that one yet? You don't have to post it if you aren't happy with it--I'd just like to hear that you are attempting it.

Then again--I don't know. Maybe you are just trying to get the forward walking down to shoot a demo of that shot for your stabilizer when you start selling it? If that's the case, please tell me (and others) so we don't waste our breath trying to encourage you to grow as an operator.
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Old November 11th, 2005, 10:55 PM   #167
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Hi Charles,

Thanks

I have spent an hour a day for the last 15 months to learn how to operate my rig. There was up and down about my skill level. I can feel it. It was progressing slowly. I am still just at the entry level. I think that like any art it will take time to master. I plan to master it in 10 years. I gave up the idea to learn instantly and make money by doing steadicam work in film business. It was not realistic. I found that by repeatly doing the same thing again and again, I actually improve faster than try to learn more. In unix world(that is computer operating system), there is a saying "Less is better than more". I don't want to try to learn too much in short period. My current target is to get perfect steady shot in moving forward and moving backward. I am still not comfortable about the steadiness shown in the posted video. It is still shaking in the open field. I still put too much force by my hand which lead to the camera not level. It was very hard to detect the hand force shown up in 2.5 inch lcd on my camera while operating the rig. I can see it easily in my 17inch lcd monitor and my epson projector.

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Leigh
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Old November 18th, 2005, 04:23 PM   #168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert
Leigh:

When you take a corner, you should be panning earlier so that the camera pivots around the edge of the building, rather than losing it out of frame and then panning, which feels less natural. Try a variation where you speed up as you get to the corner and then go around it fast, this is a very tough aspect of operating as the rig will want to lurch out as you turn the corner.
Hi Charles,

Is it the right method in this video?

http://www.salenz.com/movie/www.sale...2005_11_19.m2p

I have to put huge force to the post to change the direction which is very hard for me. The inertia of my post is quite big which I never feel before.

The video file size is 9.9M bytes and is DVD format.

TIA

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Leigh
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Old November 18th, 2005, 05:14 PM   #169
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No, that doesn't seem like it's the right idea Leigh. You need to pan as you come to the corner, not after. I'm pretty sure that the battery and monitor being very far apart are causing the great inertia. That can be a good thing, but I'm not too sure it is here.
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Old November 18th, 2005, 07:30 PM   #170
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Here's another way to put it. When you are walking forwards, the side of the house occupies, let's say, 1/4 of the left side of the frame. Imagine (or even try this literally) if you were to draw a vertical line on your monitor 1/4 of the way in from the left side and then lined up the edge of the house so that it matched that line as you were walking along. Now, as you approach the corner, try to maintain that 1/4 of the frame being filled up the side of the house. At a certain point, you will need to start panning left to achieve this, well before you get to the corner. By the time your feet have arrived at the corner, the camera will be panned 90 degrees to the left, and you now need to make a nice smooth arc around the corner of the house to continue the move. The idea is to make a continuous shot without stopping at the corner, but to always keep a piece of the house in the edge of the frame.

I had my camcorder up on the rig yesterday, it's too bad as I could have rolled off a little clip that would illustrate that. I would recommend that you put in your DVD of "The Shining" and watch how Garrett took the turns in the hedge maze (both the day footage with Shelly Duvall and the little boy, and the night footage at the end when Nicholson is running around with the axe).

The shot you did was a nice example of a whip pan, which as I have said before is a good thing to practice also for a different application. It does indeed take a lot of force to pan the camera that quickly, and a particular technique to stop it smoothly without bounce. A shot that has a significant amount of whip pans in it will benefit from a less inert rig as Tom indicated, but if we are talking about a DV camera setup there's almost nothing you can do to make it REALLY inert, there just isn't enough mass there. I have a clip on my reel (about 2/3 of the way through) that has something like 5 whip pans in it, and it was with a 75 lb+ rig (Arri BL4)--now THAT is a lot of inertia, and a tremendous amount of starting and stopping force.
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Old November 18th, 2005, 11:18 PM   #171
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Hi Charles,

Thanks for the detail instruction. You are a really nice gentleman. ;-)

I tried to practise what you said. It seems impossible to maintain 1/4 of the left side of the frame at the corner.

After 30 minutes practising, I made a video for your reference. I found that the footage which I turned the first corner is quite watchable, but at the second corner I lost the frame. But even the first corner is no way near what you described.

DVD MPEG2 format 25m bytes
http://www.salenz.com/movie/www.sale..._11_19_dvd.m2p

WMV format 2008kbps encoding 7m bytes
http://www.salenz.com/movie/www.sale...9_2008kbps.wmv

WMV format 600kbps encoding 2m bytes
http://www.salenz.com/movie/www.sale...19_600kbps.wmv

Regards
Leigh
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Old November 19th, 2005, 12:13 AM   #172
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Leigh:

That's a definite improvement--don't you agree? Much more dynamic and interesting.

For whatever reason, you were walking about twice as fast this time, which would make this exercise a bit tougher. Try doing it quite slowly so you can get the feel of the pan. You started it very well, but the reason it didn't follow through is that the pan rate actually increases the closer you get to the corner, until the camera is looking completely around the corner. Again, walking slower will make this more apparent and easier to perform. Once you have that down, increase your walking speed again. You will discover that the camera almost feels like it has a life of its own, as it hinges around the corner and starts to push down the next side of the building while your body has to make a much wider turn to catch up.

Another movie to watch for this, absolutely brilliant choreography (although not a great movie): Carlito's Way. Towards the end, there's a very long shot where Al Pacino is being chased through Grand Central Station. Some amazing wrapping around corners on that one.
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Old November 19th, 2005, 01:09 AM   #173
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Hi Charles,

Thanks

Something to try tomorrow.

I will buy that movie for my own Christmas present. ;-)

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Leigh
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Old November 19th, 2005, 01:36 PM   #174
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You're definetly getting better Leigh. You still have a little ways to go in terms of how you walk, because there is some vertical movement transferred, but it really is much better than it has been. That shot, once you have the vertical bounce down would look quite nice on a demo reel.
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Old November 19th, 2005, 01:41 PM   #175
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Leigh, I've been checking in on your progress from time to time with your rig. You're getting good! I'm very impressed by your commitment and enthusiasm for your project. Evidently you realize that Charles' efforts to help you out (and Mikko's to keep you educated on forum decorum) are pretty cool. Kudos to Mr. Papert.

I think your challenge now is to promote your unit while maintaining a professional presence on the forum. There's a balance I think between promotion and irritation. I'd cite Dan Selakovich as a very good example of someone who encourages others and promotes his book, while maintaining a very professional presence on a number of forums.

So good luck, and of course I'm quite eager to see what you've come up with.
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Old November 19th, 2005, 04:49 PM   #176
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Hi Dennis,

Thanks

Regards
Leigh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Wood
Leigh, I've been checking in on your progress from time to time with your rig. You're getting good! I'm very impressed by your commitment and enthusiasm for your project. Evidently you realize that Charles' efforts to help you out (and Mikko's to keep you educated on forum decorum) are pretty cool. Kudos to Mr. Papert.

I think your challenge now is to promote your unit while maintaining a professional presence on the forum. There's a balance I think between promotion and irritation. I'd cite Dan Selakovich as a very good example of someone who encourages others and promotes his book, while maintaining a very professional presence on a number of forums.

So good luck, and of course I'm quite eager to see what you've come up with.
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Old November 19th, 2005, 08:25 PM   #177
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Hi Charles,

I shot the video today. I was reminding myself walk slowly and still missed one moment the wall out of the frame at the corner.

DVD MPEG2 format 28m bytes
http://www.salenz.com/movie/www.sale....11.20.dvd.m2p

WMV format 2008kbps encoding 8m bytes
http://www.salenz.com/movie/www.sale...1.20.2008k.wmv

WMV format 608kbps encoding 3m bytes
http://www.salenz.com/movie/www.sale...11.20.608k.wmv

Regards
Leigh
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Old November 19th, 2005, 08:36 PM   #178
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Leigh,

I'm glad you are trying the exercise.

One of the reasons you are finding this so tricky is that the topography is forcing you to walk very close to the side of the house. If you have another area like that big complex that you have shot before, you will probably have an easier time of it.

The way I would approach doing this shot given the proximity of the wall is this: as I started to pan the camera, I would simultaneously bring it out in front of my body and as far as possible to the right to gain the most distance between the lens and the wall as possible. As I clear the actual corner, I would then push the rig (which is now facing completely left) back to the left and then rotate my body around the outside of the rig. Hope this makes sense.
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Old November 19th, 2005, 10:10 PM   #179
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Hi Charles,

Thanks for the hint.

That will be my next week exercise task.

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Leigh
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Old November 20th, 2005, 10:47 PM   #180
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Charles,

You ARE the man! Your explanations are fantastic.

=================

Leigh,

Nice footage. Does your rig have a three axis gimbal? I ask as I see some left to right movement as you walk and that is what I used to get with a rig I had that didn't have a bearing around the post. In other words, the post didn't move freely.

I missed the oriental music.

Tery

P.S. We're making our plans to visit New Zeland next year at Christmas time. I hear it's a great place.
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