Friday, August 7, 2009

The Ongoing Cycle-Cam Experiment



When the camera was mounted on the handlebars there was way too much vibration. That's why I then tried mounting it on my helmet. That got rid of a lot of the vibration because the body automatically damps a lot of that stuff out as you ride. But in order to put a chunk of footage into manageable amounts I have to speed it up and any lateral movement of the head makes that really jerky and uneasy on the eye.

It was easy to edit out small amounts of it when it was just me cycling because I'd be looking straight ahead most of the time. But when I cycled in company - which I will be doing on the tour a lot of the time - I naturally spin round more to chat and to check on people and so on.

So now I've tried mounting it on the front fork. I can't see how it would have any less vibration than anywhere else on the bike itself but somehow the ever-present, spinning front wheel seems to make it feel steadier by remaining constant in relation to the frame of reference. Or something like that.

Anyway... it was a 20 minute ride, the video is just over a minute long and the music is by Grandmaster Gareth.

17 comments:

Brendon said...

That's exactly it. It's the constant wheel that stops this giving us nausea.

You've now hit upon the best solution, I think.

Tarmac said...

This seems pretty smooth to me. Presumably this will be intercut with shots of other things, so it won't feel nauseous at all.

Trevor said...

Looks great to me. Glad you've stuck with it to find the best way to do this!

Mike said...

So, a stationery element gets rid of the nausea?

You clearly need a constantly whirling blue light at the bottom of the picture..

Dave Gorman said...

@Tarmac: I'm not sure what you mean by "presumably this will be intercut with shots of other things"... there are no plans to do anything specific with any footage. I'm just playing with a new toy because it seems like it would be a shame to cycle 1500 miles and get nought on film.

John H said...

There are image stabilisation filters for video. Here's just one: http://www.guthspot.se/video/deshaker.htm

It's possible the toolchain you already have includes stablilisation (many cameras have it built in) - in which case it's possible that the front wheel gave the filter a crucial extra clue to make it do its job better.

Craig Jones said...

Dunno, it makes me feel more queasy than some of the earlier experiments.. I think it's the ever-revolving spokes. Or maybe it's just me.

Anonymous said...

Dave,

I'd kind of assumed you were planning to project that day's ride onto a screen behind the stage as a lead-in to the gig - kind of like a 3 minute countdown to build the anticipation.

Alex T said...

For some reason it reminds me of John Noakes going down the cresta run - which makes me like it more but then I'm old and contrary. I recognise the area as I used to live nearby many years ago, hasn't changed very much from what I can see.

Phil said...

I feel like I'm constantly about to fall to my left. still good though.

Dave Gorman said...

@Anonymous: no such plans I'm afraid. Even if I wanted to there wouldn't be time to upload, convert and edit 50 miles worth of footage before show time.

Anonymous said...

I think it works well, because the lower position gives less feeling of or distance of lean when cornering and also means there is no vertical movement which is more likely to give nausea. It does possibly feel a little manic with the spokes, but overall quite a bit smoother and much more watchable. Good work and perseverance.

Steve Arnold said...

The trouble is we can't really make a proper judgement on whether it's better than the helmet cam without seeing whether it captures you crashing in more spectacular detail than the, if I'm honest, slightly disappointing helmet cam crash footage. If you cold arrange a good wipe out to film, that would be great :-)

Dave Gorman said...

@Alex T: memories of John Noakes' Cresta Run run have just made me warm and fuzzy. Ta.

@Steve Arnold: You're right the crash footage was disappointing. Nobody was more let down by it than me... believe me, it felt spectacular in real life and as I sat in A&E waiting to see if I'd broken a bone in my hand I was consoling myself with the fact that I at least had some spectacular footage to go back to. I doubt 1500 miles of cycling will be spill free so let's see what happens, eh?

KingOfCarrotFlowers said...

The video works nicely Dave. I think having the wheel in shot makes it much easier to watch... I must ask, however, did I see a unicyclist halfway through that video? Surely not a commonplace sighting?

Dave Gorman said...

@KingOfCarrotFlowers: Yes, there was a unicyclist on the towpath.

Anonymous said...

Can you give us an idea of what your cycle-cam is please? It looks great for a cycle trip we're planning around the coast in 2010 (all of it!).