(Admin, if deemed appropriate please re-locate in another section)
Following something of a thread hijack in the User Video section regarding the use of a camera crane, to expand the quiver of available shots, as my time is limited I'd like to sound folk out about how you would like this design suggestion of mine to be presented to you. I've bought the parts today (pleasantly surprised by the cost which was less than estimate) so I'm going to make one for myself, this gives three possible ways to present the idea, the significant thing being the time between now and seeing the suggested design. Before that though, some design criterion in order of importance:
For both operator and cameras, the design will be load tested to a factored amount above likely load carrying levels, and will be robust enough to ensure the camera will not be damaged through use or failure.
Safety issues over the making of the crane will also be considered. No processes will be beyond a person with basic knowledge, no potentially dangerous practices will be required. Where there are practices that carry a 'normal' level of risk, such as using a saw or certain drilling operations, this will be highlighted.
The crane will work, will not have unreasonable compromises in image stability, it will have good scope of movement, and be easy to operate and adjust.
3) Scope of operation.
The crane will be able to accommodate a typical pro-sumer type camcorder, with accessory lenses, large batteries and mic's fitted. Optional monitors will also be able to be mounted on the crane. It is designed to be for indoor operation with a maximum elevation of approximately 8 feet, a minimum elevation of 6 inches depending on camera type, 360 degree rotation, adjustable tilt/rise ratio, adjustable counterweighting, and single person operation. It will not be suitable for use on uneven ground, or ground that is not level.
4) Easy to assemble.
In both it's making and operation the crane will not require more than a single person to put it together initially, or to set up/break down for a shoot.
5) Limited scope of tools required.
No special tools will be needed to make it, i.e tools used will be those possessed by any person who carries out simple DIY assembly tasks.
6) Wide tolerances.
The design will be configured to keep the need for accuracy to a bare minimum. Certain requirements are there to ensure proper operation, but such things as materials cut to lengths will be arranged so that by simple means the cutting is either irrelevant to it's operation, or of minimal nature to achieve the desired result.
7) Material Availability
Most of the parts needed have been bought from one DIY supplier (Wickes in this instance), however there will be no rare or specialised components.
Presentation (LOL! Item 8 with a close bracket after it is the forum code for this dude with the shades!)
The primary version will look like a home made crane, however there will be a cosmetically improved version for the sake of it for those who wish to take it a step further, this will also look like a home made crane, but will be more suitable for those conscious of the image they project when working with paying clients.
So to the methods of presentation:
1) As a drawing (quickest route)
Those able to simply look at a drawing and see how something goes together will need no more, it is assumed that if a part requires cutting to shape then the viewer knows how to do that, that if accuracy is needed that the maker has the knowledge to configure the operations to achieve this.
The drawing will be in true scale within reason, with all appropriate views, and details will be enough for people to not have to inquire further on how it is made, adjusted, or operated.
2) As still images (easiest route for me to show the actual making of one, intermediate time scale).
I can simply photograph (competently) the main processes and provide activity text for each photo (such as the rifle modifications to be found in the link in my sig). A demonstration video of the crane is use will be included.
3) As a video (most time consuming and long term method).
This will take a long time to get together, shooting opportunities are limited considering other activites and it could take a few months to get to a viewable finished result.
So, what are your thoughts on this? I'd like there to be a reasonable level of interest overall, and some form of clear preference for the way I show this to you before I commit the time to actually making one if it's required. I do need an indoor sized crane, but not right now, LOL!