Thread: Need advise on motion control to eliminate cam operator (Cinedrive?)

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  1. #1 Need advise on motion control to eliminate cam operator (Cinedrive?) 
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    I just stumbled upon http://www.kesslercrane.com/cinedrive/ and didn't know until today that this concept existed. After doing some quick research I see a lot of talk about it being used for time lapse etc but I am mainly looking for someone that can replace a camera operator and focus puller by allowing me to program the shots in advance and be able to act them out with minimal crew. I have a few questions for those with experience with this or anything similar.

    1. How practical is it for replacing a camera operator/focus puller? I don't mind setup time really since I would be using it to nail the perfect shots in a film not something low key.

    2. Can it be used on curved tracks? Ideally I would want it to be able to run on a track about 50 ft long with multiple curves.

    3. If I have shots that require the camera to be higher up than others will it climb up a track that is on let's say a 45 degree angle going from lets say a foot off the ground to 6 feet off the ground? How about climbing a full 90 degrees?

    4. I am guessing the track is sold separately. Will it work with most tracks or mainly just the Kesslers? How about rubber flex tracks (http://www.porta-jib.com/flex-trak.htm)?

    4. How well can it support the Red Dragon? I read earlier threads that it was more of a DSLR rig but that was in 2014. Which kit would be ideal for the Red? I am guessing the most expensive one :) I would want it to be able to tilt up at least 75 degrees.

    5. Are there any better alternatives in the 10k-25k price range?

    I know there are a lot of questions but I am very serious about picking one of these up and don't see too much info online. New to this whole motion control concept and the main selling point for me would be if it doesn't require a camera operator and focus puller once its set up.
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  2. #2  
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    I think best is to talk to Kessler Crane directly, they are super nice.

    Cinedrive is capable of many things but your long tracks and curves would need a bit of a modification of their belt system i think. Some sort of a pulley or a guides for the belt to move trough the curve of your tracks and up an down a slope...
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  3. #3  
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    Yah they seem super nice in their videos. I will give them a ring this coming week. Would be awesome to have some user feedback as well.
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  4. #4  
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    I own a CineDrive for stopmotion stuff (https://vimeo.com/74107499) and linear moves with pan and tilt and it works like a magic.
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member Chad Lancaster's Avatar
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    I've used my cinedrive for a huge majority of my film so far. I love it! to answer your questions..

    1. They have a control center unit that has a joystick and focus wheel so you can do recorded moves or live moves
    2. The slide motors use a belt system so off the shelf no but with a little DIY you may be able to make it work.
    3. Climbing depends on the motor used and the camera weight, check out their website for the info
    4. Track depends on which dolly system you get. They have the small square tubing all the way up to speed rail
    5. It works great with a lightweight red setup. Primes of all sizes are ok, zooms you'll need lenses on the lighter side. You'll want the high torque pan/tilt motors.

    let me know if you have any other questions I'll try and do my best to help out.
    Chad Lancaster
    ICON Motion Pictures

    The Southwest
    www.thesouthwestfilm.com
    www.fb.com/thesouthwestfilm
    Instagram: https://goo.gl/6cElQF
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  6. #6  
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    Thanks for all the answers. Didn't get up in time to call them today but will try them tomorrow. I guess my big thing now would be if it can climb, even if its just on a slant like 20 degrees or so.
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  7. #7  
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    Gave them a call. Looks like it can climb with the right motors. My big thing now is the curving. I can see a lot of uses for this if it can work on a curved track. Another alternative would be to have a turn table style tripod as another axis that will turn the slider track accordingly or even lift or lower it.

    Are there any automated cranes in the market that can basically move on a track and be lowered and raised? All programmable/automated?
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  8. #8  
    Senior Member Blair Thornton's Avatar
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    I own a CineDrive too, it works really well to control movement on a slider and pan & tilt heads. Operates via Mac based app (my preferred method) and iOS app.

    NOTE: always update it's binary via SD card instead of Wi-FI. This method is much more stable.

    See mine in use here: http://www.visitingnovascotia.com/?p=4109
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  9. #9  
    Not sure if a motion control can eliminate having operators... Usually to make that work you kind of add operators. And 99% of the time you probably do better, faster and more convenient with an extra operator that manually do pan tilt slide focus etc. Motion control has benefits for sure but it also comes with quite a bit of extra gear and does not always speed things up... A film student is more usable and smarter in most cases and most likely also less costly.

    But I just talk from my own experience I got 200k USD poured into moco stuff and it did not make it so that I could loose my assistants on the contrary, you usually need more people on set to get any kind of momentum.
    Björn Benckert
    Creative Lead & Founder Syndicate Entertainment AB
    +46855524900 www.syndicate.se/axis
    VFX / Flame / Motion capture / Monstro
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  10. #10  
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    Here is another RedUser who was asked a similar question:
    Quote Originally Posted by Steffen Baermann View Post
    Motion Control : Kessler CineDrive vs Dito-Gear Evolution
    Hi !

    I am looking into buying on of the above mentioned devices for my Red Scarlet. I need it for real time motion control...
    - Scarlet 996 -
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