Self adjusting "First Person" camera rig + GS-1 Roll Stabilization

edited January 2012 in General
After a few other roll adjustment experiments, I decided to bite the bullet and go for active stabilization, so I added a GS-1 for roll stabilization. (which BTW, is a very nice piece of kit, and was delivered very quickly)

You can find the results here:

Pitch and yaw are adjusted using a feeler as I described here on the "First Person" camera rig thread a few years ago (which I'm not going to link to because google seems to think it's got some malware links right now)

The video was been post processed through VirtualDub and Deshaker as you can see through movement of the black the border.

10 points if you can guess where this is taken!



  • Extremely impressive results, Matt! Congratulations!
    Can you describe the improvement caused by the GS-1 a bit? e.g.: how would the result have been without it?
    Thanks, Hans.
  • This video looks fantastic !
    very well done on the really great rig.

    Is it hard to deshake the video with virtualdub ?
  • Brilliant work, you can see the conditions where a bit variable by looking at the kite line and the way it was dancing towards the end of the video.
  • Thanks for the comments!

    @Hans: It's a bit hard to describe, but basically, if you watch the kite line in the frame, and whenever it deviates from top dead center (which is when the pendulum swings from side to side), and you subtract the angle of the top border (which is the deshaker correction) from that angle of deviation, the remainder is correction done by the GS-1.

    It might be easier to get an idea from this unprocessed clip.

    @Yaniv - running Deshaker is easy. It requires downloading virtualdub and then the Deshaker plugin. Processing is done in two steps. The settings can take a bit of tweaking but they're pretty good out of the box, I'll see if I can find somewhere to upload my settings files. Mostly, I remove any zoom correction.

    Here is another set of clips where Deshaker has been set to 120% zoom, which removes the borders and give an even smoother feel.

  • Thanks for the answer on the deshaker,
    I will be more than happy to have some photos of your rig.

    The stability is really amazing !
  • Matt,
    Outstanding job! It's nice to see such a smooth video taken using a kite. Runing with the kite line adds a very interesting perspective.

  • edited March 2012
    I could not resist any more,
    I just placed an order for 3 units (2 standards and 1 circular)

    Now I need to start and build a rig for them.

  • edited March 2012
    Two questions about the GS-1 & GS-1 CR servos:

    (1) When using a GS-1 on a camera for roll control, does tilting the camera up or down affect the GS-1 servo in any way?

    (2) When a GS-1 CR is used with a BBGG {Brooxes Better Gear Guide}, does the difference in gear ratio - 1:1 direct drive without BBGG, versus 4:1[IIRC] with BBGG - affect the servo in any way?

    I presume the answer to both is "NO", but I figured I would ask anyway.

    {Thanks in advance!}

  • Hi Allan,

    Regarding 1) - my rig will see variation of about 45 degrees of the axis of rotation and it operates fine (because the axis is always pointing towards the anchor point, and the rig will be anywhere between flat and 45 elevated.

    2) You can adjust "gain" - it's described in the manual here: Manual I assume its the same for the CR.

    cheers, Matt
  • Roger all that, Matt. Thanks for the reply.

    {Actually, I printed-out both GS-1 manuals a few days ago, but I have not read them all the way through yet. D'OH!}
  • edited March 2012
    It was a trick getting the GS-1 CR to operate properly in panning applications due to the fact that KAP suspensions tend to be "soft" and panning usually makes the rig turn slightly in the opposite direction of the camera rotation. To make things more stable, the GS-1 CR has a bit of a dead zone in the center to make sure it does not overshoot when returning to center and oscillate back and forth. What this all means is that a pan gear reduction between the GS-1 CR and the suspension helps keep things moving better because the dead zone is reduced. It will work with no pan gear reduction at all but you may notice more "steps" as it tries to keep pointing in the same direction (or tries to keep turning at a fixed rate).
  • edited March 2012
    Roger all that, Scott. Thanks for the info.

    BTW, I finally skimmed through both manuals, and you were correct, the information is in them all right.

    What was the word I used for that? Oh, yeah. I remember:


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