Operating advice

Discussion in 'MōVI M10' started by Justin Marx, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. Justin Marx

    Justin Marx Active Member

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    Hey MōVI owners/users

    Just need some advice on how you smooth your steps so you don't see them while shooting.. Camera is steady, MōVI is rock solid, its my arms! I'm ok with the weight, I just can't seem to get a shot while walking/paying attention to shot, without seeing the tiniest hint of up/down.. Ive tried to shoot just looking at the camera to make sure I didn't bounce, and I still see it..

    Maybe I'm being to critical? I DO see it in most videos, but was wondering if there is a trick?

    Thanks guys..
     
  2. Jonathan Stevenson

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    Roll your feet. Oddly enough, it's a technique I learned in marching band in high school.

    Knees bent, roll your feet heel to toe with each step. Takes some practice and you look like a dork, but it works. The goal is to take the "bounce" out of your step. By rolling heel to toe properly, there is a smooth transition between each step.
     
  3. Justin Marx

    Justin Marx Active Member

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    I don't understand.... You must make me a video :)

    How do you run like that?
     
  4. Jonathan Stevenson

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    haha, well when you're running, you just have to run. Not really anyway around that.

    Here's an ULTRA DORKY video I found on youtube that shows the technique. I highly recommend watching it on mute because, seriously it's SUPER dorky haha!! I would recommending bending the knees way more than what they do here, but you kinda get the idea. Skip to about 1:20.

     
  5. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    You can also practice by filling a glass to the brim with water and walking/running with it. I've variously seen it called the "glide walk" or the "Groucho [Marx] Lope":

    The cure for this disease: the Groucho Lope. If you've ever seen a classic Marx Brothers' comedy, you've seen the immortal Groucho scuttles through the action with his knees partly bent, as if to keep from shaking the ash off his cigar. A milder form of that same crook-kneed gait will greatly reduce your camera shake. Crouch slightly as you walk; focus on keeping your upper body level and smooth.​

    The Groucho Lope works especially well when you're moving sideways--say, to walk along parallel to your moving subject. (Incidentally, you don't have to worry about looking ridiculous. Folks expect camera people to act like this.)​

    See http://www.videomaker.com/article/1409-camera-work-smooth-moves

    Oh....and be prepared to look dorky, but the results will show in the video.

    Andy
     
  6. Jonathan Stevenson

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    Ha! Thanks Andy, didn't realize there was a more camera-official way of explaining it. Same concept though. Thanks for the link!
     
  7. Justin Marx

    Justin Marx Active Member

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    Andy I love you.. hahahha

    Hey guys, i shot this as the sun was setting as a good example of how crappy my walk is:


    Will me being a MARX help me with this? hahahha

    sorry for the music, it just made it creepy and almost motivated my crappy walk :)
     
  8. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    More knee bend, practice with a glass of red wine walking around over a white carpet. It raises the stakes and will help you focus your mind.

    Alternatively, use a false nose, eyebrows and glasses and walk around with a cigar in one hand and your knees bent (and say loudly such things as, "Hello, I must be going....." or "The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made." ;)

    If you don't look absolutely dorky, you're not doing it right.... :)

    Andy.
     
  9. Justin Marx

    Justin Marx Active Member

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    Andy, still cracks me up that he walked like that to keep his ash from falling.. It's amazing how people come up with things... Love it..

    Will practice today.. Besides the steps, can you tell if all looks ok in my video? Everything seem balanced well?

    Thank you :)

    - Justin
     
  10. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    The balance looks good. The fundamental physics problem is that it's really tough for the MoVI to eliminate "vertical translation." That's "up and down motion" to most folks :). Certainly the better balanced the gimbal is, the better the MoVI does. But the Mark II Groucho Marx Lope is the ultimate weapon. Anything physically close to the camera is the "acid test" for whether you've eliminated that. We were practicing today at a training session and sometimes it's easier to see whether there is vertical translation by NOT looking at the monitor and using the horizontal handlebar as a "sighting aid" against some nearby horizontal object.....you can immediately see if your Groucho Marx Lope is working or not or whether Harpo's going to be laughing at you... ;)

    Andy
     
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  11. Bryan Vaughan

    Bryan Vaughan New Member

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    We are working on a related problem... side to side movement. We shoot real estate - and often, we are "sliding" side to side in majestic mode, as opposed to walking straight forward. We use 40" and 60" sliders and have 9 and 12 foot dolly track. But the MOVI allows complex sliding and curving movements that would be impossible and impractical otherwise. Going slow and stepping across while moving side to side and watching the monitor is a challenge.

    Is there a sideways lope? ;-)
     
  12. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    Try this. Camera carrier faces forward, one handle close to body, other handle stretched out in front. Camera panned 90 degrees to the left or right so that rather than trying walk sideways the carrier is walking forward.
     
  13. Bryan Vaughan

    Bryan Vaughan New Member

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    Gary,
    Pretty smart! Worth a try for sure. You would have to use the remote to set camera position right?

    We were hoping to be able to do shoots with one operator. Guess it also begs the question if you could use the remote to set a camera position, then do a shot on your own. I know this is not how many production outfits will use the MOVI but want to push limits of single operator mode.
     
  14. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    Majestic mode should work fine. Maybe reduce the pan window a bit?
     
  15. Ashley Fairfield

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    Hi Guys. Can anyone tell me if the "vertical translation" in this video is normal. I have been trying to figure out what is wrong with me or the MoVI. After reading all of the above it may be the lack Groucho lope. It's hard to do amongst the cane fields. I was holding the MoVI above my head and the ground was uneven but I was expecting better results. I can't even blame the cane affecting the gimbal as I tested the same technique out in the open and had the same result. Cheers

     
  16. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    The "Groucho lope”...love it!
    The MōVI cannot do anything about vertical translation, so take this with a grain of salt, but I’d suggest carrying it out in front of you instead of above you, as your arms will provide some degree of vertical stabilization. Or just keep your arms slightly bent when it’s above you. Have you tried using the MōVI upside down? I know it’s hard to hold it above your head if the camera’s hanging beneath the crossbar. If you invert it (but leave the handles pointing down) you might be able to bend your arms a bit and not have the camera hit you in the head. o_O
     
  17. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    G'day Ash:

    And the lack of the Groucho lope is exacerbated when you have objects just off to one side of the the lens axis (e.g. corridors, cornfields, and other words starting with c) -- it really attracts attention to the fact that the MōVI compensates for rotational motion not linear translation -- except to the degree it keeps the lens axis at a constant angle to the gravity vector (which is often called "down" but actually varies depending on motion).

    So a combo of the Groucho Lope and the Maller Bent Grip is required (the Grip is bent, not Mr. Maller). The inertia of the MōVI plus accoutrements will then slightly overcome the muscles of your arms, forcing them to become shock absorbers (and, in my case, to feel like wet noodles after ten minutes of hefting).

    So, crack a couple of tinnies for fortification and she'll be right.... :)

    Andy.
     
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  18. Ashley Fairfield

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    Thanks Steve. I'll try it inverted and see how that goes. I really need that height to get to the top of the cane. And this is the shortest cane I could find. Thanks Andy, at least I know it's a common issue. Something I guess a 4-axis gimbal may solve. Now off to find those tinnies and a stubby holder.
     
  19. Brett Harrison

    Brett Harrison Active Member

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    I've found that holding it with fingertips helps (there's a bit of give in the joints of the fingers) but mostly it's about using your whole body to focus on the rig. Your arms have to give as you step to remove the step translation, much like a Steadicam arm gives as you step. It's a transaction between arms and legs. The arms flap in sync with your foot falls like chicken wings. Watch the experienced operators in the behind the scenes material. Also allowing the rig to rock slightly with each foot fall (aided by the light hand holding so it can torque in your hands, i.e. you aren't disturbing that rotational inertia). Sure this will give you some bit of translation but it's worth the trade. Put your elbows out slightly to maximise boom range. Don't hold the handles near the top because butting up against the flange will connect your hand to the rig too rigidly.

    Regarding your stepping, do all you can to not disturb the center of gravity of your body, i.e. make it so your stepping maintains a constant hight and latitude. This makes for some 'ministry of funny walks' antics :)

    Watch the pros carefully in the behind the scenes videos, they have a terrific dancing ability - perhaps even greater than is required of a Steadicam operator since they have to do it all biomechanically.

    I anticipate people who can smoothly translate a MoVI becoming in-demand for shots that don't allow for the use of Steadicam or Easyrig attachment. Particularly people who can run and skate with it effectively. The benefit of skating is that it removes the foot fall shock because you're naturally minimising your COG translation so it remains above the skates as they connect with the ground.
     
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  20. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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