Archive for the 'Motion' Category

13
Apr
17

ProLights Lumipix Batten

Looking at lights like this makes me wonder if we will soon see the demise of the gel industry altogether. I must admit that I hope we don’t, having spent years learning about CTO, CTB and the ever-amusing oddball amber (162) and seedy pink (748) amongst the plethora of other coloured gels available. I guess we will all get used to dialing in a colour on the back of the lights rather than correcting them at the front with giant sweetie wrappers and no doubt it will be easier, cheaper, and more accurate this way. I can’t help feeling we are likely to lose something of the craft of lighting along the way.

 

Still, far be it for us to stand in the way of progress, so we are fully embracing the new LED technology and it’s minimal need for gel. A good example of this is the new Lumipix batten from ProLights. This is a 12 bank LED light batten with the ability to produce more than 16 million colours without having to use a single sheet of gel. And I thought there were only 7 colours, well that’s how the rainbow works isn’t it?

ProLights LUMIPIX16H LED Batten

Not only will the Lumipix display lots of pretty colours but it will allow you to do all sorts of combinations and effects with them. I feel that this has been designed with the stage in mind rather than the big (or small) screen. They would be perfect for concerts and that type of show with in-built microphones and adjustable sensitivity to allow for music mode where the lights will respond to music themselves. Also full Dmx control is available right down to the individual LED’s so you can change colours and make pretty patterns to your hearts content.

But before you tune out its not only rock bands that can use this, you image-makers may find them useful too. In our world we would think of them less as a disco light and more of an all-purpose flood or fill light.

ProLights LUMIPIX 12 x 3w RGB:FC LED Batten - A

Rather nicely they have a flicker-free operating frequency of 400HZ to allow for relatively high speed filming, and a LCD display user interface so you can play with the settings without having to put it through a complicated control desk.

IP33 protection and a maximum power consumption of 40W will keep the gaffers happy. You folks will also appreciate the minimal 3.2 kg weight and the robust aluminum body designed to disperse heat and also protect the lights.

Interestingly these battens are also capable of being “pixel mapped” This term describes how a bitmap or image can be displayed pixel by pixel on a series of lights thus creating a video screen of sorts. I presume this would be used for displaying simple moving patterns or images.

However, I can’t help thinking that this feature could be employed to make the ultimate big HD screen experience. As each unit has 12 x LED lights, I calculate that 158 ½ units side by side would do one line of a HD display and about 170 thousand units stacked up would complete it. What an impressive screen that would make, being 150metres wide, however, you may have to watch it from outer space. Anyway we don’t quite have enough of them for that and even with the minimal 40 w max power draw per unit it would still draw 6912000.00 watts in total that’s over 30 thousand amps.

As far as specifications go each unit has 12 tri colour High-efficiency CREE LEDs giving a LUX of 1360 @ 1m, the optics give a beam spread of 19 degrees. Several DMX selectable configurations are available (2,4,6,7,9,18 or36) for advanced or basic controlling. A tough aluminum body to aid with heat dispersal and a controllable fan for forced ventilation will prevent over-heating.

Each unit has twin brackets for hanging that can also be used for floor positioning.

A power output has also been built in to allow for up to 10 units to be joined together using the one 230-v supply (less distro required)

So all in all this is a very nicely thought through product with some great features and I will give it a 7 / 10 for my Brucie Coolness Rating, only slipping slightly because its too difficult to ride home with on my bike for parties.

 

Cheers all BB

 

16
Feb
17

Canon 1DX mark 2

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This is one blog that I’ve not been looking forward to writing. As a proud owner of a 1DX myself I am gutted that the Mk2 has even been produced to be honest. But as I can’t stop progress, I knew it would happen sooner or later. Inevitably, the Mk2 is better than the original as you would expect.

For those of you in the know, Canon name their cameras in the reverse order numerically so the lower the number the better the camera, hence the 1 series denotes this as Canons flagship model. If I am to be honest I believe the 1DX was a photojournalist’s camera, built to be used every day in whatever environment and whatever weather the operator found themselves in, from the touchline of a rugby match to the fence outside Buckingham Palace these cameras are built to work and to work hard.

We’ve received so many enquiries about the Mk2 that we couldn’t disappoint you any longer. I do love this about Pixipixel, we are a rapidly growing company but still listen to you folks, our customers, and respond to your requests, so keep on telling us what you want.

Anyway on with the blog (and remember this is hurting me more to write than it is for you to read). As I said above the 1DX mk 2 is the new Canon DSLR flagship, it may not have the resolution of some of its “lesser” siblings like the 5DS or 5DR but it has (almost) the ability to shoot in the dark and for me that’s more useful than massive files. I’m pleased to say, that although the pixel count has increased significantly (now 20.2mp) this miraculous ability to shoot using higher ISO’s in gloomy, dull or dark situations is as good as ever, in fact its better.

The Mk2 has improved video capabilities too now allowing for 4k 60p capture, making it a genuine option for you moving image folks. 120p can be achieved in full HD for your slow motion creativity and truly amazing AF tracking keeps the subject pin sharp. A new touch screen allows for easy accurate focus and this works seamlessly with all Canon EF lenses.

1dx-mkii_option1

If shooting faster than a Gatling gun is your bag then look no further, the Mk2 can shoot at 14 fps with full AF / AE tracking or up to 16 fps in live view. This is thanks to the new DIGIC 6+ processors and a new mirror drive system. If you use the latest Cfast 2.0 media then a burst of 170 uncompressed 14-bit RAW images can be captured almost before you knew you were trying.

I find it hard to believe that Canon could have improved the auto focus over the Mk1 but they have. Now with 61 selectable AF points (including 41 cross type and 5 dual cross type) and advanced A1 Servo AF III + and improved EOS intelligent tracking you really don’t have much of an excuse to miss that vital sharpness. Even when you choose to shoot at f8 all 61 points are at your disposal including 21 cross type sensors. She really is an impressive focusing beast. I could take my glasses off and still get everything sharp I reckon.

A built in GPS system with automatic time-zone updates is a neat inclusion (should you ever get lost or lose your watch) and lightning fast Superspeed USB 3.0 and Gigabit connectivity via Ethernet or the optional WFT-E8 WiFi adaptor caters to numerous workflow styles.

Brucie coolness rating has to be a well-deserved 10 out of 10 as you would expect from a Canon top of the line body, as much as the little green monster inside me wants to mark it down I really cant. Ok so I’m jealous because its better than my camera but you needn’t be because we got it in for you, yes YOU so pop in and let your inner paparazzi have some fun.

 

Many thanks BB

06
Feb
17

Arri Master Grips

“It’s all in the wrist,” well that’s what I’ve been told anyway.

Many years ago when I decided to learn to play the drums at school I was told it was all in the wrist, I never could get the hang of it but think that was more to do with having no rhythm so I gave up, then my mum told me it was all in the wrist when it comes to whisking so I brought myself a KitchenAid, in fact I’ve only found one pastime that my wrists seem to help with but we won’t go there in this blog.

Still, moving swiftly on from that I would like to tell you all about one new and exciting use for those wrists of yours, the all new Arri Master Grips.

For years the traditional style cine handgrips have helped firmly support and stabilise a camera on the operator’s shoulder and that’s about it. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has wished that I could turn the wheel on the grip to alter focus rather than having to let go with one hand to do so. Well it would seem the good folks at Arri have been thinking the same thing.

The latest addition to Arri’s ECS (Electronic Control System) are the rather trick Master Grips. They are available in four versions: Right side or Left side and with either a Thumb rocker for super smooth zooming or control wheel for iris and focus adjustment. Our setup allows for the left hand to switch between focus and iris control leaving the right hand to take care of zoom.

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We can see this simply as a merging of documentary and cine style equipment allowing for a best of both worlds setup. Particularly when using small cameras like the Alexa mini with its reduced level of user interface, solid cine style grips with documentary style controls are going to be a great improvement in ergonomics.

arri-master-grips-4

When I first looked at these grips it occurred to me that the camera operator would have to become a multi-tasking genius. Not only holding and aiming the camera but zooming, focusing, and adjusting the iris all by themselves, that although possible would be challenging I imagine. I’m happy to say that Arri are one step ahead of me with this. By using the Arri WCU4 controller any or all of the functions can be taken over by the 1st AC so nobody is out of a job just yet.

Built to Arri’s super high standards and based around the proven ergonomics of the much loved Arriflex handgrips the master grips are solid, rugged, and reliable even in harsh shooting environments. Controls are easy to reach yet protected from accidental triggering.

At the moment the Master Grips allow for full control of cine lenses including adjustable motor speed, zoom response and motor limits, they also allow for control of integrated servomotors on ENG and EF lenses.

Featuring easy set up using the integrated touch screens or physical buttons all controls are fully configurable with reassuring status readout on the controls themselves.

arri-master-grips-zoom

I must say the Master Grips are rather impressive.  Arri have done their homework well on these, incorporating everything you would expect and more into a great package, putting you firmly in control whether you are shooting as a single operator or part of a crew. The Master Grips are sure to become a must have addition to your kit list. I’m giving them a full 10 out of 10 for my Brucie Coolness Rating.

So if you want to get you hands on some give us a call at Pixipixel Hoxton and we can arrange for them to be on your next shoot.

Oh and just in case you are wondering what that other use for my wrists is, well fishing, obviously!

Many thanks

BB

arri-master-grips-iris

20
Jul
15

Who assists the assistants?

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logo hi.jpg111

So are you thinking of taking the well-trodden path of becoming a photographer/ cinematographer by learning your craft as an assistant? Or are you looking to become a full-time assistant in your own right? Both are admirable goals and worthwhile career paths, but how do you get your assisting experience and knowledge up to scratch before you find yourself in a studio scratching your head?

Well personally the first thing I would do is a barista course, because that will make you really, really useful, but as a close second I would enrol in one of the fabulous Assistant’s Lighting Courses now being offered by The Academy at Motel Studios.

Back in the day if you could put a lastolite back in its case without asking how and had armpits large enough to develop a polaroid, then you were in with a shout, but todays ever-changing equipment and high pressure timeframes make this on the job training a luxury most photographers can’t afford and what’s required today are trained assistants ready to go

So ask yourself what a socaplex fan is or what a honker bonker set is used for? How about how many 4k lights can be run off a 32 amp three-phase outlet and so on. If you don’t have the answers don’t feel bad, just get trained.the acadmeny

Motel Studios, Pixipixel and The Academy are offering brand new, hands on courses in all aspects of assisting, from distribution and grip to setting up, using and pulling down todays sometimes complicated and always expensive equipment (without breaking it) and we at Pixipixel think this is such a great idea that we are getting involved by supplying our equipment.

lerni

Yes that’s right you get to play with some lovely kit from Pixipixel in Motels fantastic studios whilst being trained by some highly experienced lighting experts. It’s an unprecedented combination and one you can’t afford to miss.

The next course is in October so get signed up quick because it is filling up fast.

http://www.motelstudios.co.uk/assistants-course

Now it’s not just the assistants out there that could benefit from this training but you producer types too. Imagine how a bit of knowledge could save you a dozen phone calls or emails, you know it makes sense don’t you.

The course is designed to be very hands on with plenty of opportunity to ask questions of the expert lighting technicians that are conducting the training. Equipment covered will include Profoto and Broncolor flash equipment, tungsten, Kinoflo, HMI and LED continuous lights, light modifiers, grip and so on. Pixipixel will supply the kit, so it’s all of the highest quality and is industry standard equipment that you will be encountering on set in the future.

So get yourself down to The Academy, learn something useful and put yourself ahead of the assisting pack and on the right track for your future.

Oh and get them to show you the right way to use a C stand it’s so obvious once you have been shown but it really astounds me how many assistants don’t know.

And finally, the answer to my opening question. “Who assists the assistants” well its Motel Studios with the space, The Academy with the knowledge and needless to say Pixipixel with the kit.

28
May
15

Freefly Movi M10 / M15

moviOk so like me I guess many of you will be a bit on the shaky side after the long weekend and that’s not great if you are trying to get some nice steady video work done. But don’t worry we have a solution for you and its not a Bloody Mary, hair of the dog kind of solution (mind you that may help).

Our solution is coffee and the Freefly Movi 3 Axis Motorized Gimbal stabilizer (lets call it the Movi rig) and it will give you the most incredible steady shots no matter how much your hands are trembling.

This great piece of kit is already very popular with many of our customers and is fast becoming a must have on many film sets.

The secret behind the Movi rig is its three custom built brushless and silent motors aligned along the three main axis of movement, Pan, tilt and roll. The motors are controlled by a computer brain, the IMU (internal Measurement Unit). The IMU detects unwanted movement and activates the motors to counteract it leaving you with beautifully smooth movements.

Designed predominantly as a hand held stabilizer the Movi rig is also fully adaptable for use on everything from booms and cranes to vehicle rigs and even drones, so it as a truly versatile piece of equipment.

Unlike the steady cam systems that we all know the Movi rig is very quick to learn how to use and even first time users can quickly achieve excellent results after only a small amount of practice.

Setting up the Movi is fairly simple, attach the camera of your choice and adjust its balance then finalize the configuration via Bluetooth on an android mobile or computer tablet. If this is all a bit too much after the weekend then our digital gurus here at Pixipixel will do it for you.

Once set up the Movi rig can be used in a number of ways.

Majestic Mode :

In this mode a single operator can confidently move with the camera knowing that the Movi rig will steady his movements. The camera will remain pointing where you want it to and the motors will do all the hard stuff and make your shots super smooth (turning you into a hero).

Stabilized Mode:

The Movi will compensate for any movement it detects but the camera will remain pointing at a fixed angle. This is ideal for vehicle rigs or any shots involving movement but with the camera set at an unchanging angle.

Slew Stabilized Mode:

With this mode the camera movement (roll, pan and tilt) are controlled via a remote control totally independently of the Movi rig itself.

This is great as the Movi rig can be carried by a second person or attached to a Jib or even a drone etc and no matter what movement the rig undergoes the operator still has control over the cameras pan, tilt and roll. So as the operator you can keep the camera pointed where you want and watch your mate run around holding the rig …nice!

The Movi rig is also great at reducing Translation (this is the bobbing effect caused when running with a camera) At a full speed sprint even the Movi will not eliminate this totally but it will iron out the majority of it and allow you to keep the subject in frame at least.

Too smooth? Well there is always one eh. But don’t worry you can even dial in some shake if that’s the look you are after.

One last feature is the “Shot recorder” function. With this the Movi can record height, pan, tilt, roll and position of the camera (provided it has a GPS signal) this is useful if the shot needs to be recreated or if Visual effects people need to align the footage with CGI elements and so on.

We have two sizes of the Movi Rig available at Pixipixel, the Movi m10 and M15 so we can offer you this solution for a wide range of cameras up to 15 Lbs / 6.8 Kg in weight.

If I haven’t sold it to you yet and the thought of holding your camera all day still makes your arms ache then why not consider pairing the Movi rig with one of our Easy Rigs to help take the strain, give us a call at Pixipixel and we can run you through all the options available (your running out of excuses sorry)



I feel that I should apologize to those of you who have invested time in mastering the use of a steady-cam, as by now you are probably feeling that the Movi rig is going to take your livelihood away. Far from it, good steady-cam operators are still in demand and the Movi rig should be your friend, with the use of an additional plate it will mount onto your steady-cam arm and give you the extra benefit of an active stabilization system. Now this coupled with your existing skills, as an operator should make you unstoppable.

Oh and as far as a Brucie coolness rating I give the Movi rig a solid 8/10 because it’s a bit of a game changer bringing the ability of creating great steady footage no matter what the environment or brief may be and it dosnt take years to learn.

Freefly also make some super cool big boys toys that the Movi rig is designed to complement the Tero (an ultra cool RC Car )and Alta (a totally fantastic looking drone able to carry a Red or Arri camera)   I want us to get both but don’t think my nerves would cope with flying the Alta, having crashed my Phantom numerous times.

Now did I mention a Bloody Mary? Cheers.

Movi 10

1.8Kg

Max payload 5.44 Kg (1DC, Red Epic / Scarlet, 300, Black Magic etc)

Untitled

Movi 15

2.47 Kg

Max payload 6.8 Kg (Alexa F5 /F55 etc)

movi1

The Tero and Alto (defiantly on my Christmas list)

tero

alto

And finally, here we see a camera operator who has forgotten his easy rig argue with a bloke in a basket over who gets to use the balloon!

balloon

Brucie Blogger

07
May
15

KOTW-Flowcine Gravety One

Gravety One

Gravety One

This weeks KOTW is something i have been looking forward to since i spotted it in the digi arch.

I’m going to give it a Brucie coolness rating of 8/10 before I even set my hands on it, its an ultra cool piece of engineering and solves a couple of real problems for videographers and did i say it was …… cool !

If Arnold Schwarzenegger was a camera operator he would have one of these and so would the Space Marines in Aliens. It also comes in an all white version if you are a stormtrooper !

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Ok so you probably get the idea that i like it by now so what is it?

In tech speak the “Flowcine Gravety One” is a small lightweight external 2 axis mechanical gimbal. Thats a bit of a mouthful so what’s it mean, well it attaches to a camera and allows for controlled tilt and roll movement but also when used in conjunction with an “Easyrig” camera support system it totally eliminates any pendulum or pull back effect.

Ok whats the pendulum effect before you ask. Well we all know the “Easyrig” camera support system, its the one that makes you look like you a extra from thunderbirds but with the strings showing, despite making you look fairly ridiculous it saves your back by re distributing the weight of a camera down to your hips so you can shoot all day without your arms dropping off, However what you may not know is that it has an inherent problem called the pendulum effect. In basic terms if you try to run with the “easy rig” on then the camera tends to swing and bounce on the bungie cord that is supporting it thus spoiling the shot. Well by attaching the `”Gravity One” this problem is eliminated.

One other problem with using a camera support system like the “Easyrig” is the “Pull Back Effect” this is encountered with any tilt or roll movement and requires the operator to fight against the elasticity of the bungie cord that tends to “pull back” against the movement, this makes the movement physically hard and thus less controlled than is desirable. By adding the Gravety One to the system the operator has free tilt and roll movement of the camera without any fight against the cord, this allows for far more precise movements and reduces fatigue for the operator.

Well thats all great and yes i know its been done before using helicopter gimbals and brushless motors etc but these systems are battery powered and can be complex to set up. The Gravety One is totally mechanical so will not run out of charge half way through the shoot and its easy to set up having an x / y positioning stage to adjust for a perfect balance.. Also unlike many other gimbal systems the Gravety One sits very close to the camera, is top mounted and has an open cage design meaning that the camera can very quickly be used on the shoulder or put onto a tripod without having to remove the rig.

Made entirely of high grade aluminium the Gravety One is extremely strong and impressively lightweight weighing in at around 2 Kg

Technical stuff

Dimensions   Width 355 mm

Height 310 mm

Depth 135mm

weight 2.380 Kg  not (2.380 g as the web site claims)

Movement

Roll 30 degrees counter clockwise and 60 degrees clockwise

Tilt +/- 60 Degrees (approximate as may vary dependent on camera height)

Payload 4.5 KG to 17 Kg (so no good for a go pro)

Flowcine have a good webpage and video to explain all this at

http://www.flowcine.com/gravity-one/

They are also working on a powered version that will have a small joystick to control tilt and roll movements and be giro stabilised so watch this space.

The Gravety One is here at Pixi HQ if you want to investigate further.

If you want to come and have a look see and play then please contact the Digital Team to arrange some time in our new fabulous testing room!!

Brucie Blogger

images-1Gravity One All Set

22
Nov
13

Autumn/Winter newsletter

Below we outline Pixipixel’s most up-to-date stills, motion and lighting equipment available for hire.

Generator Van

Pixipixel Generator Van Quite literally, our on-location power-house. This custom made vehicle is the smallest of its size to house a record breaking 60K generator. This means we can deliver the power you need, wherever you need to be shooting.

Movi M10 (Steadicam)

Pixipixel Movi M10 (Steadicam) Say goodbye to the tripod and dolly as Movi’s steadicam system gives flawlessly smooth motion capture through a diverse range of movements. Working beautifully in tandem with the Red Epic or Canon C300, the world of steadicam motion is now available for a fraction of the budget as previously possible. Check out the incredible results of their demo video here.

Arri Alexa XT

Pixipixel Arri Alexa XT Arri boast the “most capable and highly regarded motion picture camera system in the market” with the Alexa XT. It allows you to shoot in 1080p through to ProRes 2K, recording directly on to SxS PRO cards or XR capture drives (in-camera). At 16:9 you can shoot up to 120fps, and up to 48fps at 4:3. It exclusively utilises the finest PL mount lenses on the market, including Cookes S5i and MiniS4/I, Zeiss Master Primes, Ultra Primes and Compact Primes. The Alexa has become the natural choice for cinematographers who are looking to recreate the mood and depth of film cinematography.

Inovativ Equipment Carts

Pixipixel Inovativ Equipment Carts Combining 100% sealed bearing wheels, disk brakes, and their Self Locking Adjustable Shelving System which allows 10” of height adjustability, Inovativ ‘s carts are the some of the most practical and portable equipment carts on the market. The ‘Scout’ cart is durable (holding up to 600lbs), yet ultra-lightweight (64lbs), and folds down to a compact 7” deep base, lending itself perfectly to those travelling the world or working outdoors.

Jokerbug 1600K with Softube

Pixipixel Jokerbug 1600K with Softube The Jokerbug 1600 is the latest in the Joker generation of daylight fixtures, producing one full stop more light than it’s cousin, the Joker 800.  Supplied with four different lenses (Medium, Wide, Super-Wide and a Frosted Fresnel), it gives you a huge range of control, varying lighting spread from 5 to 45 degrees. Combined with the 1600W Softtube, quick and easy to incorporate, saving valuable set-up time, this usually hard light now gives a soft and even light source. See it in action here.

Profoto B4

Pixipixel Profoto B4 The Profoto B4 can capture motion in breath-taking clarity and incredible speed. It allows you to shoot up to 1/25,000 of a second whether you’re out in the field, or connected to mains power in a studio. The ability to fire up to 30 flashes per second, means you don’t need to reshoot that tricky motion sequence hundreds of times to get your perfect shot. All this, and an 11 f-stop power range to boot. Check out their video here.

Arri M90

Pixipixel Arri M90 The M90 is the small giant of the lighting world. Lighting power requirements have recently dropped with the emergence of high dynamic range digital motion cameras (such as the Arri Alexa XT and Sony F55/F5). An M90 kit is three to four times more compact than the Arrimax 18/12K, but still delivers 50% of the light, so potentially a huge time saver for your lighting crew.

Sony F55 / F5

Pixipixel Sony F55 The Sony F55 is a compact, light-weight, 4K digital motion picture camera. Rated at 1250ASA it allows for an impressive 14 stop exposure latitude. You have the option to shoot in either 2K or 4K on-board, or 16 bit RAW 2K/4K via a Sony AXS-R5 outboard recorder. The F5 is the same camera in many ways, the only real differences are internal. The F55 can shoot with more options for higher frame rate shooting, and has a more complex colour filter array, the colour gamut exceeding that of a 35mm motion picture film. The F55 can also connect to Sony’s new 4K production monitor. Sony have also introduced a global shutter to the F55, which completely eliminates the shutter distortions associated with rolling shutters and fast moving objects.

Phase One IQ260

Pixipixel Phase One IQ260 We’ve just added the new IQ260 H-fit digital back to our inventory. Used in conjunction with our new Hasselblad H4X cameras, the IQ260 can impressively shoot up to an hour-long exposure. With its inbuilt wireless system, you can capture direct to iPad using Phase One’s Capture Pilot software for remote shooting. Gaining half a stop in dynamic range from the IQ160, the IQ260 now has a 13 stop exposure latitude. GET IN TOUCH Email us at office@pixipixel.com




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