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Discussion in 'Video' started by smorgasbord, Sep 18, 2011.
Here's a little video I put together, called Roadster Reflections:
Hope you enjoy it.
I assume you used a DSLR to get most of those shots since the space is so limited, especially under the car. What slider did you use for the final shot? I've found the Konova gets really low to the ground, but I haven't tried driving over my Nikon with it yet!
Looks really great, well put together!
Really enjoyed that one.
Wow! Great work. Definitely one for the big screen this evening!
Do you have any photos / details explaining how you attach the camera to the exterior?
That's a lot of work. Very nice.
If you don't mind wide angle, this will mount on your car using a suction cup.
Motorsport Racing On Board Camera: HD Motorsports HERO
I have one. They're ok, but the white balance can be weird in high-contrast shots (they tend to make skin tones yellowy in shadows), and they make warpy images in very shaky situations. They're available at Best Buy.
I love my Hero camera. Lots of different mounts, waterproof cases, etc.
On the other hand, stay away from the Contour. I have a Contour GPS and it requires an inordinate amount of futzing to get it to work. The white balance is much better on the Contour, but plan on an extra half-hour to get it set up. The little card that allows it to transmit images to an iPhone via bluetooth must be seated exactly flush with the end of the slot or it absolutely won't work.
Thanks all for the kind comments. It was fun making the video, but then driving the Roadster around is always fun. I was lucky to have great sunrises and blowing fog on the days I shot.
The on-car shots were done with a GoPro HD, using either their short-arm suction mount, or this dual-cup mount, which has a longer arm that can hold the camera further away from the car to give a better perspective. It should have been overkill for a camera as light as the GoPro, but vibration can be a problem since the arms lock down with a single clamp on ball joint. I've seen 3-cup mounts that triangulate for rigidity, but they're pretty expensive.
Off-car shots were mostly done with a Sony HDR-FX7, with some shots done with a Canon S95 (the chase car stuff was with the Delkin mount holding the S95).
The last 2 shots didn't involve a slider, but the shots of the stationary car did. I have this slider, which cost about $10 more than what it would take for me to build it myself (directions are on the site, btw). What's neat about it is that you make your own track from 2x6s or 2x4s - as long as you want. If you travel, you don't take track with you, you just buy a 2x4 at your destination, then worry about how to support it.
I wouldn't try driving over an SLR with the Roadster. Ground clearance varies with speed and terrain, and it's pretty tight under there. My heart raced even with the GoPro on the ground (no housing), but I think I had a good couple inches of clearance.
As noted, the GoPro has lots of limitations, and the CMOS sensor gets things all distorted if the mount isn't absolutely rigid. You can see some examples in my video - I'm still playing with post processing to fix it up, but it might be a lost cause. A rock solid mount and smooth roads are the key. Many of the shots were taken on the section of Skyline Blvd repaved as part of TARP in 2009.
Almost forgot - the front POV shots were taken with the GoPro using one of its mounts stuck to the Mower Deck front license plate holder. And, wiping off the lens cover frequently from fog condensation.
Now, if I had the budget, a steadicam operator in a helicopter would yield some interesting angles....
Yeah I had to trade in my first Contour because the power button wouldn't work. Now the battery in the new one is holding a charge for about 5 minutes. And they advertise the Bluetooth feature on the box but it's an extra-cost option.
Also the sticky mounts tend to fall off. Mine broke loose during Autocross this weekend; luckily I had a passenger and he managed to catch it just as it flew out the window!
I'm gonna switch to the GoPro HD.
Good info. Thanks. I've made three-cup mounts from single-cup panavise mounts by simply parking their rigidly-locked arms tightly together at one point, then cable-tying them together with very heavy cable ties (I should say heavy cable ties... the really big ones probably would be a pain). They work perfectly and are very cheap. Amazon has them for about $16 apiece.
You must have zoomed in in post on the last shot then. Looks like a slider/dolly shot.
I just ordered a few 5.5' balloons from here and built a rig to fly a small camera that is forced by 150 lb test fish line rigged so as to always aim back to the spot between the 2 bridle tether points. The line is basically camo-colored so it's hard to see. I could probably pull it slowly behind the car... 8^D It was intended to be used for time-lapse shots of a campground site (tent setup, etc).
Here's one of the (relatively) cheaper 3 cup mounting units that looks pretty decent:
Cheap gets you going, but has its limitations, and then pretty quickly you find that you're spending an order of magnitude more money to improve the image quality. A DSLR with a nice wide angle lens on a beefy mount setup can cost thousands of dollars. My setup costs hundreds.
Of course, people do all kinds of things. Here's a car chase rig showing a car chase rig in action:
Since I already have some smaller suction-cup mounts, all I really need is this cheaper triangulation kit from filmtools. Thanks for the heads-up! $285 gets me fully triangulated with my DSLR. I love it. I think I'll be able to mount my slider across the hood easily (it's a Konova with 3/8" and 1/4" threaded mounts on either end and the middle) using their teeny-weenie grip heads and those suction cups. I can sneak one of my 1/4" pana-vise heads in the middle for triangulation on that too.
BTW I took one of my cheap panavise heads and removed the arm and bolted it flat to the plastic cup so that the camera can be mounted much more firmly and closer to the car to reduce harmonic vibration and wind shake. Really stiffens up the GoPro Hero.
That's a pretty shaky (and dirty) Red.