Pan Tilt Thumb Knob

Discussion in 'MōVI M10' started by Eric Ulbrich, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. Eric Ulbrich

    Eric Ulbrich Member

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    Hey everyone,
    Wanted to know if anyone had come across a small finger operated pan and tilt knob that would mate with the spektrum receiver.

    Something similar to this (but smaller, think playstation directional pads.)
    http://www.varizoom.com/product-p/vzcp-t05.htm

    Would love to have control of the rig as a single op in remote mode and pan and tilt on the rig.

    Is this something that could be made?
     
  2. Brad Meier

    Brad Meier Active Member
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    I don't have an answer for you but I'm curious. What are you thinking by control as a single op in remote mode?
     
  3. Eric Ulbrich

    Eric Ulbrich Member

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    Well, Id like to have the option to control the rig in remote mode while i operate with it. Id like to have the ability to have more organic and precise control for framing.
     
  4. Brad Meier

    Brad Meier Active Member
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    So something like Majestic mode but using a thumb control instead? I was getting confused when you said remote mode.

    I would think this would be harder. If you have your settings dialed in for your taste, Majestic mode is a very powerful mode
     
  5. Austin Glass

    Austin Glass Active Member

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  6. Eric Ulbrich

    Eric Ulbrich Member

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    Exactly. Yes I agree majestic modes is powerful, however, I have been fighting with tilt control, Id like the functionality of the dual op mode in a single op configuration. I often find that to engage the majestic mode, pan and tilt it can lead to awkward angles when operating which can cause quick fatigue and can be painful. Sometimes a simple move or pan doesn't require rotation of the top bars or tilting of the whole rig itself. IMHO, while majestic mode is nice, It can sometimes feel robotic and un-organic. I would pay good money to free fly and Tabb if they offered a accessory similar to the DEFY throttle pan unit.

    If no one thinks this is a good idea, perhaps someone can point me in the direction of how to construct one? what does one need to transmit a signal to a spektrum receiver?
     
  7. Charles Lim

    Charles Lim Member

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  8. Erich Roland

    Erich Roland Member

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    I agree with Eric.

    A thumb control option particularly for tilt function is needed. This was the very first thing I thought this system was missing when I first got a handle on what it could do. And this is exactly why I put a deposit down for a Defy as our 2nd rig for rentals.
     
  9. Eric Ulbrich

    Eric Ulbrich Member

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    Anyone from freefly want to comment on the possibility of this? Seems like defy has the right idea.
     
    Chris Baldwin likes this.
  10. Hi guys,

    Chris here from Freefly (Tech Support).
    I want to respond to this thread as someone who has experience in the Film/Video production field and NOT as a Freefly employee.
    IMO the Defy joystick control is a personal preference option and is not something that makes any rig incomplete if it is not on a rig straight out of the box. My POV is this, If you want to do dual operator mode WITHOUT a dual operator, then using a joystick on the rig is probably the way you want to go. Though, the advantage of having a two separate people (actual Dual Operator) when obtaining a shot, is that the main operator (person holding the rig) can just concentrate on the path, movement, etc., while the other person (Holding the remote)just concentrates on the visual shot obtained by the camera. If you have a single person trying to control both movements/operations at the same time, the shot wanted may not always be obtained as easily or at all. I'm not saying it can't be done, and I'm not saying people aren't capable of multi-tasking (I know we've all done our share of multi-tasking on productions). If you wanted a crude analogy/example (still staying in the Film/video production world) I would equate it to having a Dolly track setup with a one person pushing the dolly and another operating the camera. I know I wouldn't want to be in a situation where I need to operate both and have to do twice as many takes to get the shot I needed, because I had to concentrate on both tasks. Again, we have all had to multi-task while on a shoot in many different ways, but one thing I have noticed in a lot of these threads, depending on the subject, is that nobody really mentions that some shots/equipment take time, practice, and devotion to master and is not something that can magically happen overnight because you mounted a joystick switch on your rig.
     
    Cameron Michael likes this.
  11. Eric Ulbrich

    Eric Ulbrich Member

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    Hey Chris,
    Thanks for the response. Always appreciated when Freefly chimes in to these discussions.
    I have a couple of responses to your post and I hope I can clarify my needs as well as further insight to why I started this thread.

    1. Yes I agree the joystick is a personal preference but also something that I believe is a necessity stemming out of production (and my own needs to further execute complex shots.) I don't disagree that majestic mode is great but I have often found that it feels very robotic, it tends to want to over or under correct on both panning and especially tilting. I have several hundred hours on the rig now and much to my tinkering I feel like there is a disconnect between the operator and majestic mode. Its served me well, but I still yearn for more organic tactile control of the rig in both executing shots and making small framing tweaks mid-shot.

    I have done around 20-25 Movi jobs now and trying to get production to hire a secondary operator is a pain. Im often faced with the question from production "why do you need two operators to make this shot happen?" "We were under the impression that a single operator was all you needed." and while I have done a lot of work and had many conversations trying to dispel the myth that for an complex shot you need a dual operator setup, I still often get pushed into a corner with production.

    furthermore, at the cost of the rig rental plus the two techs Im often faced with the response of "well we would love to bring your rig out but we are going to go steadicam instead because its only one person and the whole rig is self contained."

    Usually it ends up that I do the job as a single operator and give the remote to a DOP or the rig to the dolly grip. This however can cause even more trouble; either the dolly grip has a hard time and isn't familiar with the rig, communication breaks down or the person I give the remote to isn't an experienced operator and has trouble pulling the shot off. IMHO this is a dangerous place with the rig because production tends to want to blame the rig for not working and not the inexperienced people using it. Im only one guy on set and being able to have the option to take full control could help combat some of these issues that have arisen. As least I can provide an option that may work depending on the situation!

    2. in regards to the control both movements in one operator and multitasking:
    I wouldn't compare it to a dolly grip and dolly. The dolly is a large unit that already has a long pre-existing reputation of requiring two or more people to operate. Production is aware of this and there is a general understanding that if you have a dolly, your going to need someone to push it. I wouldn't compare the movi to it because technically the movi can be operated effectively with one person, a dolly not so much. In my experience production always goes with the lowest common denominator in regards to crew. If they think the rig only takes one person they are not going to be open to the idea of spending more money on additional crew regardless of what the creatives and technician monkeys are saying.

    I think a better analogy is that of a jimmy jib crane. You can get cranes that allow for a crane operator and a camera operator on the wheels but 99% of the time the crane tech is operating both the boom arm and the hot camera head off a simple pan and tilt remote. In fact many of these operators are hired solely for their ability to pull of shots while operating both aspects of the crane.

    3. I don't disagree with you that just slapping on a thumb knob will make all the shots perfect every time, however, as someone who is developing the skills to master this rig I can point to the joystick as something that can only help and add to the possibilities of the rig. And while I don't always think this is the right choice, having the option only further expands the versatility and the possibilities with the rig.

    If something like this can help owners and operators alike to have more options to pull off shots no matter what the situation or crew size and deliver a more consistent quality to shots why wouldn't this be a good idea to have as an option? It doesn't seem to me like a sizable task to implement and offer as an accessory? Am I wrong here? what am I missing?
     
  12. I agree, I like you crane example much better. As I said, mine was a crude example. I didn't give myself enough time to think of a better analogy since we are so busy here at Freefly answering questions about when the MoVI M600 with the Vulcan mind meld follow focus control will come out. ;) I also wanted to mention that budget is also a factor for everyone, but I thought that would have been an obvious statement, and thanks for making the point about how much of a pain it is getting production to hire a secondary operator. Good point. Regarding the question about having specific "options available to pull off shots", I will try and answer that without diving back in as a Freefly employee too much. This is a single thread, on one forum, about one item. It hardly justifies dropping the requests for other items/ ideas that have been talked about more, and have been requested more often than a Joystick-thumb control knob. That doesn't mean there won't be something made in the future or that it isn't a good idea, it just means that others items, such as the accessories that will be available in the next week or so on our store, have been more of a priority. It takes time to R&D and test items before they are made available to the public. As much as our designers and engineers would love to make every single "option" that is suggested or brought to their attention, it's just logistically impossible. Thanks for your input and patience. Chris
     
  13. It was brought to my attention I may have come across in an inappropriate way, so I thought I should chime in here and address my last response. I prefaced my original response with "I want to respond to this thread as someone who has experience in the Film/Video production field and NOT as a Freefly employee." for obvious reasons. I enjoy reading, learning, seeing all the points of view people have here, and helping others with tech support on the forums and via the support email. I am expressing my opinion and expertise like everyone else. If what I said earlier gave anyone the impression I was rude or someone else was wrong about their POV, I apologize. I don't know everything and I don't think it came across that way. English is not my first language. BTW, we don't plan on having the MoVI M600 come out until the year 2096. Thanks, Chris
     
  14. Erich Roland

    Erich Roland Member

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    Options is the key. Having the duel operator system is fantastic but as Eric points out its not for every job. Having the Majestic feature is an amazing ability for solo but its not ideal for every shot. Its not uncommon that within the same shot or scene I'll want a slow pan in one part of the shot then a faster pan in another part of the same shot. So whatever pan speed Ive dailed in will work for one pan but not the other. So having a joy stick of some type would hopefully offer a speed adjustment depending on amount of push of the lever. This would possibly be more organic and less "mechanical" movement that Eric mentions above.
     
  15. Mark Pugh

    Mark Pugh New Member

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    Chris I spent time at the Freefly MoVI stand at Cinegear in June. I discussed feeling that a thumb controller would be a big help in Majestic mode, for fine adjustments , and Freefly staff - I think it was Tabb, agreed wholeheartedly, and mentioned clearly that Freefly was working on it.
    It sounds like now you're really trying to damp down expectations. Is it not possible to implement this with the technology you have on board the rig?
     
  16. No, Mark. I am not trying to "dampen down expectations" on anything. Your discussion with Tabb has nothing to do with me and I'm happy to hear that they are working on it. I hope it and many other accessories that work with the MoVI, Defy, etc. are released so it will make many a shooter happier, whether it is made available 6 days or 6 months from now. I think my original post was completely misunderstood. In fact I know it was. This is why I started my very first sentence with "I want to respond to this thread as someone who has experience in the Film/Video production field and NOT as a Freefly employee."
    Me making a joke about the "MoVI M600 not coming out until the year 2096" and embedding it into the same comment regarding the title of this original thread, I think has confused some people about my point of view and I take full responsibility for that. I apologize. Maybe I should try this another way?!?!
     
  17. Paul Christopher Greene

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    I just had 2 shoots recently that both required near "whip pans" which MoVI can't handle even with pan window and smoothing set to nearly 0. The answer here - if you want to be a single op in Majestic mode - is a "defeat" momentary button / switch that locks the camera in straight ahead position (defeating majestic pan for a moment)

    I too am very interested in adding thumbwheels for control of follow focus, zoom, and potentially the gimbal itself, although I think the "Momentary Defeat" switch idea would be great. That said, I have no idea if this is even possible with the current shipping software and existing RC TX parts / controllers available today.

    PCG

     
  18. Paul Christopher Greene

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    This…




     
  19. Paul Christopher Greene

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    I think I may be onto something with my "defeat switch(s) or sliders / knobs" idea.

    What I hear Eric saying - and agree with having experienced it myself, is that there are points in many kinds of shots where Majestic Mode just doesn't cut it…and I wonder if the answer isn't having the ability to "desensitize" majestic mode on the fly to varying degrees so that it's thinking less, and the operator is controlling the shot more. IE - you're going into a tough framing situation (whip pan - whatever) in a particular shot, and you either "dial in" more human control for that part of the shot, or hit a "defeat" button giving you full control of the camera by the camera locking to dead center - or wherever it's pointed when you hit the button. That way you could control pan, tilt, everything manually, and re-engage Majestic mode when you were ready!

    Yes…a LOCK button seems like a great idea to me lol…I wonder if anyone else agrees and if there's any sort of way to add this capability to M10?

    PCG
     
    mark Berry likes this.
  20. Mark Pugh

    Mark Pugh New Member

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    Thanks, Chris
    I just wanted to point out that Freefly had acknowledged publicly, at Cinegear way back in June, that the thumb joystick was not just a good idea, but that it was a really good idea, and personally it's not just something that should be somewhere down the list of accessories to develop.
    If you're walking, jogging, or even doing vehicle to vehicle, being able to tweak tilt or pan finely from the handle would be a major help.
     

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