About Me

Welcome to a blog about a film-maker, one who could be described as a story teller with an experimental approach to technology.

Hello, my name is James Tomkinson and this is my microscopic slice of the world wide web which should give an idea of what I do.

I think we can agree that people make films in a number of different genres. Mine is drama, a human story of either fact or fiction recreated in a gripping performance. Although that isn’t a dictionary definition it is what I write and capture either ‘in camera’ or on-stage.

An interest in building things has stayed with me throughout my younger years. I have to admit my DIY skills could use a little polishing yet that didn’t stop me from designing and refining the designs for my stereoscopic 3D rig since 2010 the results of which are on my YouTube channel.

Feel free to have a look around.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Evaluation of triple camera setup


A little while ago I adapted my 3D camera setup to make my Mk4v2 3D/2D rig. Now it is time to reflect on the results this produced. Included are a selection of the videos filmed in 2014 with this setup. An outline for said a review is below.

1 Logistics

2 Framing

3 Final Results

4 Conclusion

First of all there is the weight of the rig which has proven to be a hindrance. I’m sure that this is far from the heaviest rig around but never the less, this setup can become difficult to hold steady after a while. I had thought that the additional weight would help plant the rig against my shoulder and thus produce steadier footage which, when filming, was initially the case. I shall have to find out whether the rate at which the rig becomes difficult to hold decreases in warmer weather.

The problem of framing was only a slight one. As the 3D rig was mounted above the 2D camera the two setups were filming vertically parallel to each other. This meant that they were aimed at different points on the subject and I hadn’t built in a method of vertically adjusting the angle of the 3D rig.

There was another issue with the way the 3D rig was mounted atop the 2D camera. It was attached with a cold show to 1/4 inch screw thread adapter. This meant that a large weight, spread over a wide area was balanced on one relatively small point. Cutting to the chase, this meant that vibrations were introduced into the 3D footage.

Final Results
Okay those two headings were a blast of negativity so let’s finish this one on a more positive note.

Having filmed Ash on the Rails for four years in 3D and therefore at a fixed wide focal length it was great to be able to zoom again. When filming steam trains you can’t always get the angle you want or get as close as you want as there are usually two dozen or more other people trying to do the same thing, so having the choice of focal lengths was a welcome treat.

In concluding this was an interesting experiment which has taught be some interesting points about building camera rigs. There will be jobs where this rig will be an appropriate filming tool, so there may be further updates should I choose to use it again on a future project.

Bittern - 22/11/2014 - 2D

Bittern - 22/11/2014 - 3D

Rood Ashton Hall - 19/12/2014 - 2D

 Rood Ashton Hall - 19/12/2014 - 3D

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