Sunday, November 15, 2009

DIY Stabilizer Gimbal

DIY Stabilizer Gimbal

The gimbal is based on the WSCATLER Design #4. It has a Traxxas 5151 as its base and two skateboard bearings. Instead of a flashlight I am using Sch 40 PVC fittings. The base is attached to a Manfrotto 357 for demonstration.

If you're looking for ready made stabilizers ...
Tips for the CMR Blackbird
Tips for the Opteka Steadyvid Pro

Friday, November 13, 2009

Traxxas 5151X

The shaft end is M5-.8 according to the metric guide at Home Depot.

And skateboard bearing barely fits in a 3/4" PVC pipe. It needs shaving to fit but it will.

A Maglite Mini head is the exact diameter of the skateboard bearing on the outside. Forturnately there is no way to shave the inner cavity to make it fit. Use PVC or find another flashlight to use. The brinkmans are too large and the electronics are not easy to get out.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Neoscene and Vegas Pro 8 editing notes

Finally bought Neoscene after two years of using free solutions. The MOV files from the 7D are just too much for editing on my Q6600. Renders to WMV and MP4 frequently crashed. With Neoscene its a bit better, not perfect though. When rendering a long clip or rendering JPGs remember to 'Selectively Pre-render'. It will use the Cineform codec on the HDV format (1440x1080) for a 1920x1080 project by default. To remedy this create a custom format with 1920x1080. I removed interleave. Render the final to the AVI Cineform same format. Trying to render directly to WMV or MP4 may still crash Vegas due to memory. Therefore use the final rendered AVI to transcode to the WMV/MP4 format of your choice. This one will succeed. The multigeneration format will hold up given that Cineform is supposed to be visually lossless. Make sure to close all other programs before starting to give Vegas the most memory possible.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Rails - a Canon 7D Subway Short


Shot with Nikon 28mm prime and Canon EF-S 18-55mm zoom.

Friday, October 2, 2009

EOS 7D body arrived

I have my Canon EOS 7D (damn you Nikon!) body but no lenses. I ordered the 18-55mm IS USM kit lens from a different vendor to use as reference but it hasn't arrived. While the battery is charging I tried out my Nikon 28mm MF AI with a Kawa Nikon to EOS body adapter. It gave me a scare when the second time I tried it, the lens came lose. I felt cold as I thought about how to remove the adapter from the brand new body. So I discover how to mount a Nikon lens correctly by practicing with an N6000 film body. Hence my previous post. Good thing I had a body cap too while I figured it out. I put the lens back on to the Canon and unlocked the entire assembly. I take it out and put it back on to be sure I knew how to do it properly.

One thing I notice immediately, my viewfinder image is fuzzy even with infinity focus set. And the focus screen image is darker with a mottled look. I don't remember it looking this way on the 5d and T1i on the shop floor. Is this normal on a 7D? I'll have to ask the guys at DVInfo. I'm a noob again.

In about 2.5-4 hours the battery will be charged. Live View will give some clarity (pun intended).

Update: There viewfinder looked blurry and dark due to the LCD overlay. Once a battery is inserted into the body it clears up.

Using Nikon to EOS lens adapter

Ok, you put your adapter on until you are certain it locks to the lens body. To insert a nikon lens on an f-mount it is with the 'top' at the 3 o-clock position. Then twist counterclockwise to the 12 o-clock when the lock clicks.

To insert the whole assembly to the EOS body, you find the red mark on the adapter, align to the red mark at the 12 o-clock on the body. Twist clockwise until it locks.

To unlock the assembly, push the locking button on the body, twist counter clockwise.

To remove the adapter from the lens, find the tab where the locking pin should be. You should be looking at the rear of the lens. Pull the tab toward you so the locking pin is disengaged. Then twist clockwise if you're facing the rear of the lens.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Using AVI files from Casio Exilim FC100 in Sony Vegas Pro 8

The first clue was my thumbnails were green with a band of static on it. I've always used the MPC included in CCCP which didn't have problems playing back the video clips. Portable VLC has its own decoders so it never has a problem. Windows Media player didn't work despite having a copy of Morgan installed. What I had to do was enable MJPEG in FDDShow for VfW. Vegas and Windows Media Player needed a VfW drive.

Start -> Programs -> Combined Community Code Pack -> Filters -> FFDShow VFW Codec Configuration

Decoder -> Codecs -> MJPEG -> libavcodec (from disabled) -> Apply
Decoder -> Codecs -> Other MJPEG -> libavcodec (from disabled) -> Apply

Reboot your PC.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Realtek, Audacity, and Windows Vista

For the past few years I've been capturing my audio via HDV. Strange huh? I thought that my cheap microphones were the ones the sucked. I had an Audiotechica ATR-25, ATR-35 and Azden SMX-10. But they worked fine when monitoring the audio levels on my HV20/30's display. The microphone in on my editing computer always came in barely audible for voiceovers. That was until I discovered the culprit: Audio Enhancements.

Do yourself a favor and turn off the extra effects on your Microphone.

Start -> Control Panel -> Sound -> Recording -> Microphone -> Properties -> Enhancements -> Disable all sound effects

If you're using Audacity you're better off applying the adjustments yourself. The default setting has DC Offset Cancellation which mutes the microphone if it determines it is "too loud." It wasn't doing a very good job. Noise Suppression and Acoustic Echo Cancellation were kind of dodgy. Like when you over apply noise cancellation in Audacity it starts to sound like a tin can.

With everything off, life is better.