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Old June 15th, 2010, 07:54 AM   #1
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Glidecam shots not up to par.

I shot this a few weeks ago and i am not happy with these glidecam shots. It almost looks like the frame rate is to slow. I shot it at 30P. Any ideas on how to make it less choppy?

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Old June 15th, 2010, 04:50 PM   #2
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You could buy Lock&Load. It's about $150. Or you could give Smoothcam a try, but L&L is better.

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Old June 16th, 2010, 01:28 AM   #3
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Are you referring to the playback on Vimeo? That looks like the result of a bad encode, possibly too low a bitrate and the codec couldn't keep up with all the motion.

Regardless of what problems might lie in the encoding process your camera movements are way too fast for "steady-cam" type work. That high-rate of movement would normally be associated with a sports-type venue, not a wedding.

Normally in a setting such as a wedding environment camera movements would be very slow and deliberate, almost as if you were tracking a shot on a rail-mounted rig, not a fast-pace walk.

If you used proper encoding techniques for your final you could try using a higher frame-rate in-camera but normally if camera movement is too fast for the selected frame-rate you'd get smear, skew (rolling shutter) or out-and-out blur. I don't see blur, I see "frame jumping" in the playback.

Also, this post belongs in the forum category specific to camera rigs such as the Glidecam/Steadycam mounts. There's nothing at all that relates to Final Cut in this post; it's not about your NLE software, you're talking about camera technique.
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Old June 16th, 2010, 01:51 AM   #4
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It looks a bit stuttery to me but that may just be Vimeo. You don't mention what camera or lens you used but generally it's preferable not to use a the onboard lens stabilisation when flying a camera on Glidecam/Steadicam. The principle is similar to when you are shooting on a tripod that the IS on a camera often confuses intentional moves as wobbles and ends up working overtime when panning or tilting & then stuttering when it an no longer correct the movement.
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Old June 16th, 2010, 06:09 AM   #5
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I was using a Canon XH-A1 with the Canon Wide angle.
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Old June 16th, 2010, 09:26 AM   #6
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Hi Craig

It doesn't stutter for me at all. However your movement is way, way too fast!! It almost seems as if you are running around the car!! You need to also practice keeping your horizontals correct it almost seems as if the sled was totally out of balance and out of control.

Slow and smooth shots are essentially an operator function so you need to move slowly and smoothly, especially at a wedding!!

Chris
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 02:22 AM   #7
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Looks like you may be getting some vibrations due to the Glidecam arm not carrying the full load. If youíre lifting up on the gimbal handle to boom up to a particular height (rather than letting the arm and springs do most of the lifting) vibrations will transmit through your arm with every step. I donít have a strong objection to the fast movement or oblique angles. The rolling horizon looks intentional in these shots (and can be the best option for decent shots with a lightweight rig on a windy day without a crew to block gusts) and fast movements shouldnít create undue vibrations unless the arm isnít adjusted properly or isnít fully supporting the weight.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 03:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Wiedemann View Post
Looks like you may be getting some vibrations due to the Glidecam arm not carrying the full load. If youíre lifting up on the gimbal handle to boom up to a particular height (rather than letting the arm and springs do most of the lifting) vibrations will transmit through your arm with every step.
mmm...actually it's more likely the opposite, if anything. If one is to dial down the spring tension and take more of the weight in one's own arm, very often it will reduce high frequency vibration; however it is a tiring way to work.

This type of vibration in stabilizer shots generally comes from play in the system that amplifies through the rig. You can easily test for this by doing the "stomp test" where you stand in one place and stomp one foot and observe if vibration is noticeable in the frame. Easiest to judge with a longer lens. If this is the case, check through every tie-down point from the chest spar through to the sled to make sure everything has been properly tightened. Sometimes the camera connection is the culprit--the single 1/4"-20 screw found in most camcorders is less than ideal and a small wedge may be in order.

There's not a ton of vibration that I can see in these shots; there does however seem to be a frame rate issue with this footage, but that has nothing to do with the stabilizer.

I would echo Chris' advice regarding the content. I'm not an expert on shooting weddings but this material seems a little "manic" compared to what I've seen. More deliberate and thoughtful shots would seem to suit the event. I'd also recommend practicing the line dance and slow movements--the expression "one must learn how to walk before one learns how to run" is well applied to the skill of operating a stabilizer.
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Old June 23rd, 2010, 10:27 AM   #9
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My guess-not the Glidecam. Is this the first time this problem has shown up? What do the shots look like when played back in the camera? The video almost seems a bit like 24 frames per second at times. If it was the stabililzer at fault, I would think the shot moving towards the couple in the beginning would have a different look.

We use the A1 and don't have that studder problem unless we shoot at 24P and are moving too fast. Lots of good recommendations from others to check out.

Because you can move quickly with a good stabilizer doesn't mean you should. The occasion and music many times dictate the type of shot that will work best.

Remember the steadicam motto - "Practice, practice, practice". (Well, at least it's our motto.)

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Old July 5th, 2010, 05:22 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the great feedback! I have used the Glidecam alot but usually am skiing and filming athletes so i am not that comfortable yet actually walking using the Glidecam. Defiantly taking the idea of making the shots slower and simpler and not to push it until i get more comfortable using the setup. Its allot different using this set up while walking vs skiing.
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Old July 5th, 2010, 05:49 PM   #11
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Hi Craig

Just one last comment...get yourself the official Steadicam EFP training DVD...it's worth every penny and will give you so much information. You can get it from the Tiffen website.

Whether you have their product or not all the principles remain the same and the training on this is absolute gold!!! Best $40 or so that you will ever spend!!!

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Old July 6th, 2010, 09:06 AM   #12
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Seconded on getting the EFP DVD. Also get Jerry Holways' book "The Steadicam Operators Handbook".
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Old July 10th, 2010, 06:07 AM   #13
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Just viewing the DVD isn't going to help either unless, as Terry says, "practice, practice, practice!!"

When someone like the Master Charles Papert says "every time I use the rig I find that I suck a little less" should drive home that you needs LOTS of hours to get better.

I actually am quite amused at people posting You Tube videos which are titled "First Test" etc etc... do they honestly expect to get great results the first time out???? You just need to keep the rig flying and believe it or not you will get better but the operator is a huge part of the package and so many people watch footage then buy a rig and expect it to float magically around the room.

I have done my wedding photoshoots on my rigs now for 3 years and I still suck...but like CP..I do suck a little less than when I started!!!

Chris
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Old July 21st, 2010, 03:50 PM   #14
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Simon, Chris, and Terry are totally right!
it takes a lot of practice to get the whole thing down. the exercises in the EFP video are super!!
I have also heard that the ind!cam video is top notch as well...definitely do yourself a solid and pick these and the Steadicam Operators' Handbook up at your earliest convenience...happy flying...
PS...practice til you're sick of it...then practice a little more...
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Old July 21st, 2010, 06:10 PM   #15
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Hi Billy

Welcome to DVInfo!! Nice to see you here!!

...when you are done with your practice, go out and do more....it's really only many hours that allow you to produce reasonable footage.... remember when you first learnt to drive a car???? same story except a rig needs even more hours!!!

Chris
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