Movi on a Steadicam

Discussion in 'MōVI M10' started by Shawn Sutherland, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. Shawn Sutherland

    Shawn Sutherland New Member

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    Has anyone ever tried mounting a Movi on top of a Steadicam sled?

    I know it's been mounted to a Steadicam arm.

    What about the sled?
     
  2. Phil Macdonald

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    I don't really see the point....plus I can only imagine how much of a nightmare that would be to balance as the because of the way the MoVI operates surely the centre of gravity would constantly be changing every time the camera gimbal moved?
     
  3. Shawn Sutherland

    Shawn Sutherland New Member

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    Let's start with the Movi itself. From what I understand, the initial setup of the Movi can take up to an hour to get all geared up and balanced. I don't claim to know what's involved with this, but I'm sure there are plenty of people around who know the answer. What's involved with the initial setup and balance of the Movi?
     
  4. Phil Macdonald

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    So the MoVI is more akin to a remote cam rather than a stedicam. It is in essence a gimbal that hangs down from a rail with handles on it. So the balancing act essentially requires you to get the camera on that gimbal and make sure its balances, much as you would get a camera on a stedicam sled and make sure that is balanced....thus I don't quite get why you would ever put a MoVI on a Stedicam Sled....I get why putting it on an arm would be good, partly gives it extra balance but primarily its so you dont have to go to the gym 10 times a week just to be able to get through a day :)

    Phil
     
  5. Tim Joy

    Tim Joy Active Member

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    The reason I see is that it would both support the weight on your hips/shoulders and it would stabilize the Z axis, so movement up and down, which the Movi can't compensate for, would be smoothed out.
    In theory, I think, once you balanced the camera on all 3 axis, then camera movement would not change the balance on the steady cam.
     
  6. Shawn Sutherland

    Shawn Sutherland New Member

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    From what you're telling me, it sounds like the Movi balances much like a Steadicam. Just to make sure I didn't miss anything here, I'll assume you're talking about the pitch and roll axis. The camera must be balanced on those two axis when bolted to the Movi.

    Yes?
     
  7. Brad Meier

    Brad Meier Active Member
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    The actual balance part of the equation would probably be more in the 10 min range when your new to it. Ive had no problem doing lens and filter changes on set in as little as 30 seconds once its already been up and running. The only reason it takes up to an hr the first time is because your figuring out where your going to mount follow focus, external battery(s), wiring to the monitor, etc. After that, lens changes and the act of balancing is a very fast and straightforward process.
     
  8. Howard Dapp

    Howard Dapp Active Member

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    Mounting movi on a steadicam sled would be defeating the purpose of buying a movi. The movi is essentially doing what the Steadicam sled's gimbal does. I also see a potential for oscillations when standing still. If you mount the movi gimbal on a base that is not solidly fix, such as hanging from a string or in this case a steadicam sled with gimbal assembly, you will encounter oscillations due to gyro correction.

    Though there IS a huge benefit to mounting movi on a Steadicam arm to eliminate up and down movement from walking or running shots...with this combo you essential have dolly shots for every shot. Not necessary to use the Steadicam sled and gimbal.
     
  9. Shawn Sutherland

    Shawn Sutherland New Member

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    So it's much faster than that? Good to hear. At this point I'm going to assume that once you have connected the lens, filter, follow focus, external battery, matte box, wiring to the monitor, etc...., the camera must be balanced on the pitch and roll axis.

    Sound about right?
     
  10. Howard Dapp

    Howard Dapp Active Member

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    Pan axis needs balancing as well.
     
  11. Joseph Mullins

    Joseph Mullins New Member

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    As a Steadicam owner/op myself, i would think that the center of gravity would be constantly changing with the movi, making it incompatible with the gimble and sled of the steadicam. i could totally see the arm being able to stabilize the rig, which i cant wait to try but adding the gimble and sled makes my left eye twitch a bit...

    (man, i hope i can explain what is in my head) My thoughts being that, once you get the camera's center of gravity set on the movi, the COG of the movi as a whole, would be constantly changing as the system is moving, that is, of course, unless you can figure out how to mount the movi onto the rig that allows it to maintain the overall COG of the movi regardless of its position in relation to the camera.....

    ...ok, i must admit, my brain melted a bit just thinking about all the moving parts..haha
     
  12. Howard Dapp

    Howard Dapp Active Member

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    No, movi's COG does not constantly chage...it can't or else it would GREATLY affect the pan axis's ability to stabilize. When you have balanced the gimbal on all 3 axis and you are holding the gimbal (movi) in your hand while a 2nd operator sends pan and tilt commands to the gimbal you should not feel a shift in weight while hand holding. You will however feel inertia from the weight of the movi gimbal, camera and accessories...inertial will be the main issue for the steadicam sled gimbal.

    What you will (probably) see when mounting movi on a steadicam sled and gimbal is a gradual oscillation. Inertia from pan/tilt movement commanded by the 2nd operator will definitely affect the steadicam sled gimbal.
     
  13. Shawn Sutherland

    Shawn Sutherland New Member

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    Really? I didn't see that one coming. So the camera must be balanced on the pitch, roll, and yaw axis when connected to the Movi. And from what I understand, the Movi stabilizes the pitch, roll, and pan axis using the brushless gimbals. I think I've got it now.

    Here's how I predict the Steadicam will work with the Movi:

    Instead of placing the Steadicam monitor on the sled, mount it to the Steadicam arm with one of these:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/648157-REG/Ikan_MA210_MA210_10_Articulating_Arm.htmlYou

    You can still leave the monitor on the sled if you want to, but it won't be necessary. I recommend filling the empty space with wireless video transmitter and a battery. Don't forget to mount a wireless video receiver to the arm and plug it into the monitor.

    Put the Movi on top of the Sled, balance it up nice and neat, and make sure it passes the spin test. After the sled is in dynamic balance, get rid of the 2-3 second drop time. There won't be any need for it because the sled won't have to stay upright. That's what the Movi is for. Also by balancing the sled to neutral gravity, you won't have to fight with it in low mode. The sled will stay wherever you put it.

    Now let's take it for a ride.

    With the Movi/Steadicam combo, You won't have to watch the sled's horizon anymore. The Movi will take care of this for you. Re-locating the monitor on the Steadicam arm puts it directly where you need to look. This is particularly useful with Don Juan shots. No more craning your neck to get a better look while hoping you don't trip on something. Just a forward looking view with the ground in your line of sight at all times. This also works for high to low mode shots as your rig just became a jib.

    First thing you'll notice is that the camera to pans and tilts all by itself. That's the DOP doing his thing. You will instinctively follow what he does by panning and tilting with him. There won't be any learning curve on this one. It's a positive feedback loop. Everything else is handled by 2 way voice communication. With a blue tooth in your ear, you'll receive real time directions from the DOP: Move In, Move Out, Move Left, Move Right, Boom Up, Boom Down.

    Additional benifits?

    The steadicam sled can provide additional onboard power and can easily handle the weight of the Movi with an Epic size camera.

    In addition to getting rid of footsteps, you have the option of placing the lens anywhere from eye level to a few inches above the ground - just like the Alien Revolution.

    Imagine a steadicam shot that starts quite close on an actor and then pulls out slowly to a very wide shot of the whole plaza to visualize the sudden loneliness of the character, maybe even down some stairs, music, end titles etc. As the actor isn't moving at all every little pan and horizon error will clearly sidetrack from the narrative intention of the scene. Very difficult for many operators.

    Also imagine a shot running at full speed through the woods in Don Juan. With a brushless gimbal on the rig you can fully concentrate on your path as the remote operator will take care of the framing.
     
  14. Tim Joy

    Tim Joy Active Member

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    The Movi needs something solid to "push" against. So yeah, the sled and gimbal is not solid, unless you're holding it, as you normally do. I would expect only faster pan moves on the movi to really cause issues, but Howard, you make a good point that the sled and gimbal are kind of redundant in this case.
     
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  15. Howard Dapp

    Howard Dapp Active Member

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    Tim, I'm sure you've held one of these BL gimbals or any gimbal for that matter by hand just by the pan axis fully loaded with heavy camera gear. Even small pan movements will cause your wrist to fight the movement. Finger holding the sled/gimbal assembly of the steadicam would not be enough...you would have to grip it in order to not see any unwanted kickback or pushing even from very small movements..you'll just end up with very messy shots.
     
  16. Shawn Sutherland

    Shawn Sutherland New Member

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    The Movi needs something solid to push against so the sled and gimbal are not solid, unless the operator is holding it as he normally does. In other words, The heavier the camera, the more the operator has to resist those forces. Yeah so what? Any Steadicam operator worth his salt can do this in a heartbeat. I suspect this won't be a problem, but the added control of a stabilized triple axis gimbal would do amazing things for long lens shots.
     
  17. Howard Dapp

    Howard Dapp Active Member

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    Shawn, unless you can predict the exact moment when your cam operator pans the camera left of right, you will be behind the eight ball trying to correct the push back with your hand while holding that narrow sled bar...you won't be able to predict the amount of hand force you'll need to restrict this movement because slow pans = soft kickback, faster pans = harder kick back...it'll be a mess and I can see these corrections certainly translating to the image.

    This isn't a problem when movi is mounted on the handlebars...solid surface plus wide handheld stance = no feeling of push back to correct. The push back from a 2nd operator's pan input is much greater to overcome with such a narrow base, gripping the steadicam sled gimbal bar. For me this is all relatively easy to understand since I've been using these type of gimbals for years plus some steadicam experience.

    Get rid of the sled and just rig up movi using only the steadicam arm.
     
  18. Shawn Sutherland

    Shawn Sutherland New Member

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    Do you have access to a Steadicam?
     
  19. Howard Dapp

    Howard Dapp Active Member

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    Not in front of me. but I have access to an Epic capable brushless gimbal
     
  20. Shawn Sutherland

    Shawn Sutherland New Member

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    Not in front of you, but I suspect you can get one on reasonably short notice. Look I know you think it won't work and all. But what if the problems you're describing are miniscule by comparison? In the interest of science, I say give it a try.
     

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