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Old May 12th, 2011, 02:53 AM   #1
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Beautiful glidecam work of Kauai!

I found this amazing footage of Kauai, at first I thought the camera was mounted on an RC helicopter. After reading that everything was done with just a handheld glidecam, I didn't believe it. After watching it one more time again, I realized that he did indeed shoot on a glidecam and not a helicopter. Very well done!

YouTube - Kauai - The Lost World - Canon 5D Mark II
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Old May 12th, 2011, 04:24 AM   #2
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Re: Beautiful glidecam work of Kauai!

Wow! Impressive! Wonderful shots, editing, music, environment, colours.... I think I need to get in "a bit more practice" with my 7D and Merlin to even come anywhere close to what this guy's done with a Canon 5DMkII and Glidecam!!!

There are several shots where you think he's going to go over the edge - with the camera and into the water! Thanks for posting. Very inspirational.
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Old May 12th, 2011, 10:57 AM   #3
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Re: Beautiful glidecam work of Kauai!

So I guess there might be some time remapping involved? i don't know how he can move that fast without introducing motion. Also, do you think he has the glidecam on a pole or something? Some of the shots get pretty high off the ground.
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Old May 12th, 2011, 01:09 PM   #4
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Re: Beautiful glidecam work of Kauai!

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Originally Posted by Greg Fiske View Post
So I guess there might be some time remapping involved? i don't know how he can move that fast without introducing motion. Also, do you think he has the glidecam on a pole or something? Some of the shots get pretty high off the ground.
I'm pretty sure most of the shots are slowed down to 80-85%, but anyways it is a very good glidecam operation, and great camera work!
I was wondering the same thing about high shots, but honestly I doubt you can operate glidecam on any, even short pole, you can't extend your second hand to control pan :)
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Last edited by Buba Kastorski; May 12th, 2011 at 02:45 PM.
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Old May 12th, 2011, 01:36 PM   #5
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Re: Beautiful glidecam work of Kauai!

Some of the shots look like a glidecam or steadycam but many are a jib arm on a dolly track.
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Old May 12th, 2011, 01:39 PM   #6
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Re: Beautiful glidecam work of Kauai!

My guess (and I stress guess) is that what were all seeing is the effect of that 16-35mm lens on the Canon 5DMkII when set on full wide. I find some of the most impressive shots I get are with my Canon 10-22mm lens on my Canon 7D when also set on full wide on my Merlin Stedicam, i.e. equivalent to the widest setting used in this film - I have examples on YouTube but won't post the links here as they are not in the same league as this film, no way :-(

However, what he did is truly wonderful. I've watched it 3 times and I suspect will do a few more. Great, great stuff!
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Old May 12th, 2011, 04:50 PM   #7
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Re: Beautiful glidecam work of Kauai!

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Originally Posted by Bob Willis View Post
Some of the shots look like a glidecam or steadycam but many are a jib arm on a dolly track.
I think some shots look like a jib arm because they appear to be taken from a high angle. But take a look at some of those that have hikers in them, and imagine the hikers weren't in the frame. The extreme wide angle makes it appear that the shot is up high, but in reality it's only about chest high

Also, because the shot is so wide, walking the glidecam will make it appear that you're almost running. There is definitely no track either, because the camera is always moving forward...if there were tracks, you would see it in the shot.
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Old May 12th, 2011, 05:10 PM   #8
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Re: Beautiful glidecam work of Kauai!

"Also, because the shot is so wide, walking the glidecam will make it appear that you're almost running."

Exactly right Warren!

OK, bearing in mind this is not in the same league film wise (!)....but to back up this observation... I will post a link after all. Look at the shots, especially in the second half of this test, with my 7D and a Canon EF-S 10-22mm set on 10mm, i.e. 16mm equivalent FOV for a Full Frame like the 5DMkII. As you can see when I follow my little girl down Ely's High Street I'm walking faster than everyone else - but ONLY SLIGHTLY faster - if you study it.

Yet, I often get e-mails and comments about this film that "I must be running". Here is one typical comment: "Were you on a bicycle or (pant) running? I'm surprised it stabilized so well with you moving as fast as you were."

But in truth that's the effect of using such a wide angle on a steadicam/glidecam, that's all. There are other test examples under my YouTube user but this one allows an easy comparative assessment of the speed that I'm moving compared to normal peoples walking pace.

YouTube - Steadicam Merlin & Canon 7D - 2nd Test (HD Video)
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Old May 12th, 2011, 06:43 PM   #9
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Re: Beautiful glidecam work of Kauai!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren Kawamoto View Post
I think some shots look like a jib arm because they appear to be taken from a high angle. But take a look at some of those that have hikers in them, and imagine the hikers weren't in the frame. The extreme wide angle makes it appear that the shot is up high, but in reality it's only about chest high

Also, because the shot is so wide, walking the glidecam will make it appear that you're almost running. There is definitely no track either, because the camera is always moving forward...if there were tracks, you would see it in the shot.
Not if it is on a jib arm. The camera can start where it does not see the track and dolly forward. This is the way to set a shot to look over the edge of a cliff. The camera can dolly forward and the arm is hanging over the edge.
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Old May 12th, 2011, 06:47 PM   #10
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Re: Beautiful glidecam work of Kauai!

If he shot all of this on a glidecam I give him credit. It is beautifully shot and very smooth.
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Old May 16th, 2011, 09:40 AM   #11
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Re: Beautiful glidecam work of Kauai!

Great work! Those cliff hangers were scary! Prob glided all the way to the edge
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Old May 16th, 2011, 10:55 AM   #12
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Re: Beautiful glidecam work of Kauai!

Some very nice work there.

In Devin's blog he does note that he applied Smoothcam to some of the shots, which I had suspected. A skilled Steadicam operator can achieve most of these results on any given day (and is expected to), but some of them were notched towards perfection such that it caused me to wonder if he had "help".

The fact that they were achieved on a handheld system is surprising only because the lack of inertia on a rig that small makes it harder to operate to this degree of precision. And the Glidecams notoriously have gimbal issues which can contribute to decreased isolation from the operator. It's to Devin's credit that he has learned to overcome these factors in his operating. As he noted (and we always have), practice makes perfect. In the internet age (and in this very forum), many intrepids come searching for the quick answer on how to make their work duplicate the sheen of what they see on TV or in the movies and they are sometimes frustrated to hear that it is the result of years of hard work, while what they wanted to hear was a quick solution. We are on the cusp of having digital image stabilization done in post become transparent enough that their wishes may soon be answered; sometime after that we will see the same concepts implemented into the actual camera and the days of heavy, mechanical camera stabilizers will be behind us. Until then--it's all about practice.
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Old May 16th, 2011, 03:32 PM   #13
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Re: Beautiful glidecam work of Kauai!

Already many of the concepts are integrated into the top-end consumer Sony handycams - 3 axis stabilization showed up in the CX500/520, and has been refined further... tomorrow was here yesterday, as it were! I was amazed at the level of image stabilization in these tiny cameras, as many others have been.

If you understand some of the basics of steadicam operation as well, and can thereby also impart some camera control, they allow for a quite stable image. As with all things tech, the methods will trickle down until a $100 consumer cam will probably be able to do it if you don't flail about too much while using it!

Still, takes more than just a stable image to create a compelling video like this one! Tech is great, but still won't trump talent!
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Old May 19th, 2011, 03:03 PM   #14
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Re: Beautiful glidecam work of Kauai!

Holy words Charles!
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