We’ve been experimenting with a video camera slider to produce some modeling videos. This clip was filmed on the modutrak modules of Bill Denton and Mike Skibbe. These are just some test shots, but we think it turned out pretty well overall. We look forward to doing something bigger in the future.

Edit: People have been asking us what a “slider” is. This is a device that has a camera mount on it that the camera can “slide” back and forth on in a smooth motion with resistance to keep it nice and slow. One example is pictured below which you can find more information on HERE.

Phillip Bloom Slider

Geeky notes: We shot the above video with a Nikon 5100 digital SLR. Depth of field is an issue that is hard to overcome for the same reason we have to use Helicon Focus to overcome the depth of field issues in photography. I did a number of experiments using one of our Nikon digital SLR’s, a standard video camera, a GoPro video camera and a point and shoot digital camera that does 720p video. It is possible by using wider angle lens to get some improvements in the depth of field but then you end up with a lot of extraneous crap on the periphery getting into frame (ceiling, walls, etc). The other way to try and improve depth of field is to adjust aperture down to F22 or smaller. However that means the amount of light coming into the camera sensor is greatly reduced which manifests itself in lots of noise/artifact in the shadows and dark areas. So with the Nikor 35mm 1.8 lens that I filmed this with, I settled on F14 as a compromise between depth of field and low-light noise. This is an improvement over the 60mm Macro lens I shot with in the past which as a very narrow depth of field. We’ll keep trying new things to see what we can accomplish.

Lighting was done with some daylight corrected fluorescent lights with one main light having an orange filter over it. This created the main warm low light. I tweaked the color saturation and exposure in Final Cut Pro and also added the color to the sky to create that late afternoon/early morning mood (see video below). Sounds were dragged in and I didn’t spend a lot of time tweaking them, but did try to get the volume levels more normal and to time the train effects to be a little more subtle and correct for the movement of the train. Overall a fun bit of playing around.

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