Use A Rubber Band For Smooth Panning Shots

Have you ever tried to take a panning shot with your DSLR and a crappy tripod? If you have, you know that the results are usually jumpy and un-smooth.

Seems like the solution for this abruptness is as simple as using a rubber band. Placing a band on the tripod’s head handle helps even out the tension on the start and the end of the shot, and also averages out any small movements that would have caused shakiness in the shot.

This video by brusspup has been floating about for a while, but it explains the trick very well.

Thanks for sending the tip over, Graham [Read more...]

Using A Seat Belt Pad As A Wind Blocking Deadcat

Chad Bredahl just sent in this smart tip about using a seat belt pad as a deadcat. (Deadcats protect microphones from wind, so if you are shooting video outdoors, it kills a lot of the wind noise).

Deadcats are not that expensive to begin with, but I guess auto part shops are easier to find if you are on a hurry and need a quick solution.

If you think this is crap, skip to 2:10 to see/hear the effect of the pad on wind noise, I was surprised on how nicely it works.

Thanks for the tip, Chad. [Read more...]

Using DIY Air Cannons To Create An Explosion

Compressed air cannons are lots of fun for launching paper rockets. Turns out they are also pretty useful for indie films. What? Why would an indie film director want to launch a paper rocket? Actually, the compressed air can be used to throw a small pile of debris, creating a small “explosion” for an action sequence.

The awesome guys over at Realm Pictures came up with a great film that shows the entire setup for creating such an explosion, including the mentioned cannon.

They are also trying to fund their ambitions underwater indie film via kick starters, and share the plans for this cannon and a bunch of other cool film DIYs with backers (including the waterproof LED strip light we featured a while back), so give them a call on their Kickstarters page.

Thanks for the tip Rich [Read more...]

Using A Motorized Yoyo As A Panning Slider

Using A Motorized Yoyo As A Panning Slider

I just love it when people use ordinary stuff to create new gear. Take a Yoyo for example. It’s built to roll and collect wire, reminds you of something? It reminded Marc Cocchio of a basic slider. And indeed a slider was build from a yoyo. Here are Marc’s rough guidelines on how to make a similar device.

(Of course, if Yoyo seems absurd to you, you can always go for a pen or a BBQ Rotisserie.

As a maker, Marc used all kinds of scrap that was lying around and a bit of trial and error, so the tutorial below is set so you can build a similar (yet not an exact copy) of the slider.

The non-cheap portion of this project is the camera, remote and tripod. It’s important to have a tripod with an “arm” that can rotate such as my Giottos MT8361. Manfrotto makes a few cool ones, too. [Read more...]

Build A Jib From 5 Pieces of Scrap

Build A Jib From 5 Pieces of Scrap

If you are doing any videography, a jib (or a crane) is probably the third piece of gear you will buy (after a camera and a slider).

Jibs can bring huge production value to your videos. See this tutorial by J. P. Morgan for example. Alas they don’t come cheap. A small starters jib will set you back about $270 and a production monster like this one will be about a left kidney.

I just wish someone will have plans for a small and affordable crane. Lucky me you. Videographer Dan Colvin from Unitips has a tutorial just like this. [Read more...]

How To Build A Slider From A Drawer Rail

When you are looking at your typical slider one of first things you’ll check is how smooth it is. Interestedly enough this is also one of the first things you check when you are in the market for a drawer system.

This coincidence did not slip Aron Anderson who used a drawer rail to build a small slider. It fascinates me how creative photographers and videographers come up with clever ways to overcome budget issues.

The slider has a range of about 22 inches and if you can find rails for deeper drawer, range will naturally increase. Aron says that this specific rail was $22 at Home depot but they come smaller and bigger in a whole range of sizes.

Slip and Slide The iPhone slider on trinityfxmg

[Read more...]

How To Build A Beautiful Camera Stabilizer

A few day ago we featured the EZ-Steady as a smart camera stabilizer. If you follow the blog, you know that there are plenty of DIY versions for similar stabilizers, none of which are as beautiful though, as the DIY Camera Stabilizer from Pixel Artwork.

The instructions come in Japanese, but Sergey Brin was kind enough to translate, see the first page here and the second one here.

There is also a video if you find Google transaction to lack some <cough, cough> clarity.

Thanks for the tip, Lance. [Read more...]

The EZ-Steady Is One Smooth Camera Stabilizer

It is no secret that I am a big fan of photography makers and tinkers. I am one myself with a few (smallish) inventions of my own. It is also no secret that Kickstarter is a great place for photo-tinkers. This is why I love sharing photography related projects on Kickstarter.

My latest favorite is the EZ-Steady. A small but clever DSRL Video Stabilizer.

The EZ-Steady has both a clever mounting stage for smart camera mounting, and an easy to level set of balances.

It also enables camera pointing with one hand (or actually one finger).

The project is already about 400% funded in less than a week, and a pledge of $225 will get you one too.

[Read more...]

Use An Electrical Drill For Smooth Dolly Sliding

Use An Electrical Drill For Smooth Dolly SlidingIf you are doing any video production, one of the first tools you’ll probably end up building/buying is a slider/dolly combo.

A slider gives you the ability to smoothly move the camera sideways during a shot and it adds a great deal of value to any video production.

If you are building a slider getting a one of the cheap sliders the “Industry standard” super cool (yet no so cheap) kessler pocket dolly, this tip will make your life easier.

You can use a drill as a dolly motor which will give it a constant and smooth movement. [Read more...]