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Old February 21st, 2005, 12:05 PM   #76
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Non-linear

Charles,

Can you explain "non-linear" please to those of us who don't know what that means.

How do you make a non-linear arm or is it so complicated that it's past the reaches of this site?

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

I just did my own research and found that a linear arm stays where it is put. That's got to be tuff to make and shows why the Flyer is worth it's $6500 for those who have to have the best.

On the other hand our Indicam was made for the rest of us "indipendant" filmakers who want very smooth video but can't afford the price of the Flyer.

Note: We dropped the arm to just below horizontal and noticed an improvement in smoothness, especially in lower shots. We expect this is because we don't have to "hold" the arm low to keep it stable and in the higher shots our (human) arm takes up the small extra weight needed to lift it to a higher level.

This is cool stuff.

Tery
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Old March 20th, 2005, 12:19 AM   #77
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Hello everyone,

Here is an exercise video I shot today.

--------------------------------------
divx format(MPEG4) You may need to download decoder from www.divx.com

file size around 25mb

http://www.salenz.com/movie/2005_3_20.avi

--------------------------------------
wmv format
file size around 28mb

http://www.salenz.com/movie/2005_3_20.wmv

I hope you'll check out this video and offer some constructive criticism. I look forward to your comments.

Regards
Leigh
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Old March 20th, 2005, 03:49 AM   #78
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Leigh:

Definite improvement. You are showing good control of the rig for basic walking maneuvers.

Now I would recommend starting to think about shots themselves and more elaborate operating.

Most Steadicam shots involve walking backwards, so I would focus more on that than on forward-moving shots such as on this demo. Get used to navigating through tight spaces and through doorways walking backwards.

Make sure to include plenty of stops and holds rather than just continuous walking. It may not seem very exciting, but a large part of operating will involve lockoffs so it is important to get these down. The temptation is that once a practice shot is over, one drops the concentration; rather, you should glide to a smooth stop and hold for a count of 10 (or 20, or 60!) to get used to it. Same thing at the beginning of a shot.

Also practice fast maneuvers; speeding up and slowing down during a shot. Take a few fast steps to the side and come to a quick stop. The rig will tend to pendulum out; get a feel for how to reign in the forces to prevent this.

Find a practice space that has hallways and corners, and play around with where you place the pivot point when you take turns.

Regarding the discussion in the Steadicam forum about workshops; by the end of the 1st day, the students will have moved on from the type of shot you have done here to more intricate stuff.
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Old March 20th, 2005, 12:28 PM   #79
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Leigh,

I don't agree with Charles...Actually I said that cause no one has ever said that. I do agree with him.

The Good...Your forward shots are much smoother than they used to be. Also I noticed you were walking slowly which is harder to stabilize than fast moving shots. Good! The quality of picture is very good and the music good for the speed of the shot.

The Bad...Although not real bad, you show a bit too much control hand in that there is some side to side jerkyness visible. This is hard to overcome as many of us with smaller rigs struggle with it in our shots as well.

Your video kind of reminds me of the Glidecam 2000 demo where the operator is moving on a wooden walkway. Their shot is very smooth but there also aren't any stops, starts, speed changes, abrupt direction changes, etc. Master these and it will be time for you to leave, Grasshopper (I'm speaking as a student too).

So much for day one as Master Papert stated. Getting wide open forward (and I did see some reverse) shots is probably the easiest shot to do but still the basis for smooth shooting.

Question-What will you be working on in you next demo? May I be so bold as to suggest...starts and stops as well as direction changes.

Let all of us know.

Tery

I am going to try and get one of my shots available so you guys can help me as well. If I can't take it I'll get out of the fire.
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Old March 20th, 2005, 12:42 PM   #80
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Hi Charles and Terry,

Thank you very much.

Regards
Leigh
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Old March 20th, 2005, 01:24 PM   #81
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So Leigh,

Are you going to take my suggestion and work on starts, stops. and direction changes for your next video as suggested by Charles' post?

Please let us know. We would like a bit more conversation than just "Thanks" although thanks is good.

Tery
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Old March 20th, 2005, 02:11 PM   #82
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Hehehehehe, I knew it would get to you eventually Terry :D

Leigh is a guy of very few words...
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Old March 20th, 2005, 04:04 PM   #83
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<<<-- Originally posted by Terry Thompson : So Leigh,

Are you going to take my suggestion and work on starts, stops. and direction changes for your next video as suggested by Charles' post?

Tery -->>>

Hi Tery,

Yes, I will try.

Regards
Leigh
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Old March 21st, 2005, 09:58 AM   #84
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You did it again!!!
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Old March 27th, 2005, 02:06 AM   #85
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Hello everyone,

Here is an exercise video I shot today using panasonic gs400. gs400 weighs less than 1 kg.

--------------------------------------
divx format(MPEG4) You may need to download decoder from www.divx.com

file size around 16mb

http://www.salenz.com/movie/2005_3_27.avi

--------------------------------------
wmv format
file size around 18mb

http://www.salenz.com/movie/2005_3_27.wmv

I hope you'll check out this video and offer some constructive criticism. I look forward to your comments.

Regards
Leigh
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Old March 27th, 2005, 11:25 AM   #86
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Leigh:

Either you have an extremely dry sense of humor, or you just aren't getting what many people have expressed to you both here and in the Steadicam forum. To continually post your videos with a form letter asking for criticism followed by a form letter simply stating "thank you very much" is, while superficially proper and polite on the surface, actually quite rude and thankless by repetition. Various people have taken the time to help you; others have challenged you, but you remain tight-lipped about your goals and intentions, and it is clear from the responses you have received in both forums (and for all I know, you could be posting these in half a dozen other boards as well) that you are frustrating people with your posting style.

What exactly is your intention? To become a good operator, or to gain feedback on a product that you plan to market, or both? When this thread began you were looking for the latter--now I don't even know what you are looking for. If this is still the case, you are using all of us for market research, and let's call it for what it is, and we can discuss the efficiency of your machine and not spend our time trying to help you become a better operator.

If you are truly invested in becoming a good operator, you must understand that there is an ethic in place that was set in motion by Garrett Brown nearly 30 years ago, and that is to share information and teach others about Steadicam in a generous fashion. It was handed on to me, and I hand it on to others, and I'm happy to donate my time to this even though I am tremendously busy with my own career and other pursuits.

However, I can't help but feel that you are being evasive and manipulative (whether intentional or not) with these identical posts for criticism. Read through this board to see what everyone else does when they put their work up for others to see. They generally will present their work with some qualifiers, others will comment on it, and then they will RESPOND to those comments, elaborating on the issues brought up, explaining their setbacks or triumphs, tackling each point so that they can learn from it, and others as well. It's a dialogue.

I have personally taken the time to offer you my thoughts on your work; I have also suggested in a more succinct manner many of the points in this particular post. I feel that neither has been responded to or learned from in some ways.

For instance: both Terry and I hammered home the importance of stops and starts from your last video. In this follow-up video, all the stops and starts are wobbly and seem like an afterthought, particular the last one at the end where you move off the subject arbitrarily and tilt up to the building. It looks like you gave up and turned off the camera. Is this the case? Or were you really trying to stop smoothly? Tell us; don't just say "thank you very much". What were you going for with this particularly video, what aspects of operating were you exercising? Or was it just that you are excited about putting your rig into low mode? There are literally dozens of comments I can make about composition and operating form as represented in this video, what worked and what didn't, but I want to hear from YOU what your assessment is of your work.

OK, here's your assignment: write a 100 words on "what I did on my summer vacation"--well, no, but do write about what you think of this exercise, where you failed, where you succeeded, what you need to work on. Then and only then will I furnish my comments on it, and I recommend that others do the same. I will stop short of re-posting this missive over at the Steadicam forum, but I strongly suggest that you consider taking the same approach over there, since as you have seen folks are more likely to tell you like it is, and that is "take a workshop". In other words, there's only so much free advice you should be asking for before paying someone for their time to teach you.

Oh, and thank you very much.
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Old March 27th, 2005, 12:10 PM   #87
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Hi Charles,

Yes, I will try.

Regards
Leigh


...hehehehe...
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Old March 27th, 2005, 12:55 PM   #88
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Charles,

I'll second that! I'm ROTFL about ..."write a 100 words on "what I did on my summer vacation.""

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

Funny Richard.

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

Leigh,

I was hoping for your latest post would say something like this...

Here is my latest video showing my progression on starts and stops as well as direction changes. I worked a week on them and feel I have progressed quite a bit. You will notice on the earlier direction changes I have some pendulumming* movement but on this last one it is almost gone. I am really pleased with my progress and would like to know if it looks as good to the rest of you.

I await your feedback and thanks in advance

Leigh


This is what we are looking for.

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

The following is an honest question and not a criticism. Is English your first language or do you have a hard time with it? If you have a hard time with it I can see why you would use all the form posts and replies. Let us know so we can understand you better. If I had to write in another language I wouldn't have long posts either.

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

What bugs me the most (Charles would put that more eloquently) is that all the time Charles has put into posting information on this and other forums "unnecessarily", he could have been doing his training and instruction video and the rest of us could be much richer (ability wise) on our steadycam rigs. Once it's on video, we can have answers to questions we never even thought of asking. He is a very busy guy and I wish there was some way of helping him free up some time for his video so we could all benefit. You can see from what he has written that he has a great knowledge of steadycam principles and what's even better is that he is also a very good writer. You don't find that in very many people so we need to take advantage of it.

I would like to hear from others concerning this subject. Maybe I'll start a new topic "Who wants Charles Papert to finish his training video?" I told you I was going to be the pebble in your shoe, Charles.

*NOTE:Pendulumming is the swaying of the post caused by changes in direction or speed. This is due to the bottom being slightly heavier than the top in order to keep the post vertical. Charles could do a better job of that description. When I checked the word "pendulumming" using MS Word it gave only "Pendulum Ming" as an alternative and since I don't know anyone named “Pendulum Ming” (maybe Flash Gordon’s enemy?) I'm going to leave it just the way I spelled it. Charles...help!

Tery

P.S. It took me an hour to write this post as I have to correct and rewrite a lot so Leigh...make it worth it please.
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Old March 27th, 2005, 03:55 PM   #89
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Great post Terry (and CP)
But MS word missed one.. (and I'm saying this for the benefit of anyone reading... Sorry if you allready know this Terry..) But it's Steadicam with an I - not a Y! :)


- Mikko.
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Old March 27th, 2005, 04:25 PM   #90
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Hi Charles and Terry,

Thank you very much for spending the effort.

I apologize for what I did.

I am a software engineer with around ten years experience. I worried about my job as a programmer and thinking sometime I might not be competent enough to do programming anymore. My eyes get sored after 8 hours sitting in front of the computer every day. I need to find some skill to backup and make a living and do not want to always sitting in front of the computer for another 30 years.

I like watching movie and I heard that shooting wedding video can get NZ$600 plus for just one wedding. I thought that I just need to shoot four weddings every month and that would cover my basic living cost and was quite relaxed too. So I asked on the net about wedding camera. Lots of people gave me good advice to get a JVC gy-dv5000 camera. At that time I did not realize that it was not the camera, but the person behind the camera make a difference. I never touch a still camera or video camera before last April. Once I got the camera and it was big. I was very excited that it looks so professional and make me feel good. I hold the camera on my shoulder to shoot. I was really sad once the video play back the pc. It was too much shaking while I was moving. It seems that the difficulty only occurs after experience it. I asked the question about how to solve the shakeness problem on the cameraman forum. Lots of cameramen suggested me to exercise my muscle and do physical training. I thought that I did not want to be very strong while I was in 20 and I was quite happy about my current shape. I was sad that I might not get the steadiness I want to operate the camera on the shoulder. My collegue suggested me to learn about the steadicam. I used google and found the steadicam website. I was amazed by the steadicam described on the steadicam website. I thought that was the one I want to operate. But sadly once I found the price. It costed US$30,000 plus if I really want a decent one. My JVC gy-dv5000 package costed me around US$8,000. I had to use my programmer salary to repay back the camera for a whole year. At that time I did not think that I can repay back US$30,000 easily due to around half salary level in NZ compare to USA. My dad helped me to build a stablizer in last May. Once we finished that stablizer, we realized that it was so simple and can make a fortune on it. So I decided not to make a living on wedding shooting, but manufacturing the device. After using the stablizer, I realized that operating stablizer also was a challenge. I searched on the net and found that operating a steadicam need years of practising. I thought that if I really want to sell the device, I first need to demo the video shot by the device. I can't afford to hire a steadicam operator to demo my device. I heard there are aournd two steadicam operators in NZ. I have to do the job myself. There were limited training material on the net. I purchased the book <steadicam techniques & aesthetics> written by Serena Ferrara. But there was little mentioned about the skill to operate the steadicam. I also purchased the tape <award winning workshops advanced steadicam techniques>. But just as the name said, the skill described in the tape is not for the beginner. I asked the question on the home built stablizer website. Someone told me that it was a combination of my equipment and a lot of practice. I thought that maybe the best is just to practise myself and posting the video on the net for feedback. That is why you have seen these videos posted on the net. I want to be like Mr. Brown and get every cameraman a stablizer.

The first video I made at that time I did not know anything about how to operate the steadicam. I just viewed the photo posted on the steadicam website and the advanced training video tape. The photo just tell the hand position but nothing else. It was too much side movement and I spent months trying to figure out the reason. Actually my left hand hold the post very tight as I worried about the post not in straight position. Now I realized that I should gently slightly touch the post as Charles and others pointed out in previous post. Later I found out that most beginners like me worrying about the camera might drop to the ground.

I experienced low mode several months ago, as mentioned previously, I hold the post too tight and the footage was really bad. I have not practised low mode just yesterday. I was really surprised that the gs400 camera was very light and not much shaking demonstrate in the lcd screen. John Cooksey from elitevideo said walldo in his training video is very important. And I really feel the powerfullness of walldo in low mode of steadicam. Walldo stand for wide, angle, low, linking, depth, opposite. I was very happy all these elements were applied in low mode shooting. I did not realized the importance of stops and starts from my last video. I just excited about low mode demo and simulate fake 3d environment. It looks so fun. And it really seems that low mode is an unusal shooting angle from normal viewing and is really powerful and offer some perspective.

I am sorry about lengthy post and I look forward to getting a copy of Charles training video. Hi Charles, let me know once the tape is on sell. Thanks

To Terry:

I am a Chinese and mandarin is my mother tongue.

Regards
Leigh
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