SSYTC051 & 52 More GoPro Trials

The first video is using the fly-jig, with an additional wire now (as pictured recently) for additional stability.  The second wire will also allow panning effects, by offsetting the attachment points in relation to the main line.  There is still some shake that I haven’t been able to solve – wind is the primary culprit, so this jig is probably more of an interior-only variety.  There will still be more I can do to stabilise it – I’ll just have to think what that is!  Raising the camera so it is directly opposite the line, rather than below it will help a little.  Having some damper system on the line(s) to minimise vibration transmission is probably the next target.  Further slowing the period of oscillation of the jig (in the same way as a pendulum is controlled, or a spring-system) will also help.  Further increasing line tension would help too, but that will require some modification to the jig itself to cope with the increased rigidity that the tension would cause. (BTW, the timelapse is over approximately 20 minutes, not that there is much to watch – a few clouds and growing grass!)

SSYTC052 More GoPro Trials

The second jig is a skate jig.  It uses the same type of motor (30 RPM at 12V) driving directly on one of the wheels.  The camera was used to get the shot, so was notably absent, but is fixed via a tripod screw through the hole that can be seen near the battery.  This jig is either used to run on a smooth surface or track.  It will be interesting to see how easy it is to create a track that it can follow. Vibration is much less of a problem, but getting overhead shots is its limitation.

SSYTC051 More GoPro Trials

There are commercial solutions, but they often can operate over 1m or so, and/or are prohibitively expensive. Cheaper (non motorised) ones are out there – will keep searching for better options.

Episode 93 Installing a Gas Log Fire

Episode 93 Installing a Gas Log Fire

Viewpoints

GOPR1234In preparation for the long-awaited shed construction, I’ve been working on a few viewpoints, and techniques that I haven’t tried before. For one, the GoPro was very much intended to provide some of these new angles.

The above-photo is actually a frame from a video (shot low-res, well low-res as far as the GoPro is concerned – it can shoot up to 4k Cin – which is video at 4096×2160) The actual size of the image is a lot larger than seen here. It is also shot on a narrow setting – the wide setting fits the entire backyard in.

The viewpoint itself, approximately 4m from ground level, using a Rode mic pole to mount the GoPro to. One view for a time-lapse of the build. Another I am working on is more of a normal eye-level view, but a tracking time-lapse. I have a couple of 12V high torque 30RPM DV motors on order to assist with that. One to produce horizontal tracking, and a second to allow some control over vertical panning.

So what is actually happening? After all, that looks a lot more like a grass block than a new shed (either that, or the shed seen is a little small to accommodate anything, let alone everything that was in the old one)!

True, but I am very close to being able to show my hand. The main wait has been for the new financial year. Very painful, but for financial reasons it could be no other way.

The pole on the right-hand side (just past the sandpit and the wheelbarrow) is about as far as the shed extends into the garden. Has to be 2 metres from the right hand side fence (as previously discussed), meaning the trailer can be stored long-term around where it is seen in the photo. In that respect, it is not wasted space, as things like the trailer have to be stored somewhere, and around the side of the shed is as good a place as anywhere (and better than somewhere that can be seen from the street).

Surprised you can’t see tracks in the grass from me pacing back and forth. Hopefully for not much longer (please, let it not be much longer!!!)

BTW, you may have wondered (probably not!), but how do you use a camera 2+ metres over your head? In this case, the answer is simple, and isn’t just a remote that you hope has told the camera what to do. It is a remote app that runs on iPhone, iPad (and Android). Not only can I control the camera from an iPad mini I have available, but I can also view life footage from the camera. The brave new world is pretty awesome in places!

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GoPro

The GoPro camera range is relatively new on the market, part of the wave of cameras made possible by developments in digital technology. They are normally associated with the sporting world, providing POV (short for 1st person point of view) shots, and equipment/vehicle-mounted shots and views.

I have decided to add one to the lineup, to provide some interesting and unique views to the shed videos. There are a few drivers for this- one being the upcoming shed build, which I want to capture in a series of time-lapse shots which is one of the strong points of this camera. It is very light (and small), so some different viewpoints are a lot more achievable, as well as being extremely weather-proof. It can operate up to 60m deep in water, so a bit of rain will not phase it in the slightest.

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I would have absolutely killed for a camera like this back when I was heavily into diving, and to provide some really interesting perspectives on the ships I served in the Navy. While directly involved in damage control (fire fighting, flood control etc), and various evolutions (refuelling at sea, equipment maintenance (such as inside the ship’s boilers), it would have been an awesome device.

Another driver was where I have been looking at the ability to capture high speed footage. My normal video captures at 25 fps (frames per second), which means slowing the footage down immediately becomes choppy. A dedicated high speed camera is around $17k, so that is out of the question. However, this camera can manage up to 240 fps at its highest rate (low res, but still fine for web-based), and 100-120 fps for high def video. Slowing an event down 10 fold is now possible.

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The camera shoots high definition video, as well as 12MP stills (and those can be up to 30 images/sec). I’m going to use it to provide some unique views and POV shots and angles.

I’ve picked up the camera early so I can get some experience with it. Have had it mounted in the car for some tests, and have already captured videos of cars reversing up Eastlink to a missed turn, a car using a footpath to get into a service station, another car skidding around a corner (idiot), powering on and loosing control. 3 trips, 3 idiots.

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