R&D Labs

Portable camera platform

Alt Gobo always likes to get the camera higher. Here is a solution that does not involve aircraft. The best way to get a clean shot across a crowded room is to get the camera (and subject too) elevated. When recording long events the operator needs a place to stand or sit too. Here is a solution Alt Gobo designed and built. This system provides a sturdy camera platform and a wide platform for the operator. The two are separate so operator movement is not translated to the camera.

The components are simple with two collapsible 24” stage risers. A folding track supports the tripod. The operator platform is a two-piece 3x3 deck. Under the decks are compartments that holds and protects all the components, including the 24” stool. The rig is easy to cart through doorways when moving gear but is a little heavy at 58 pounds.

“I like the wide platform. It allows me to shift my weight or even sit down which is great when rolling on long speeches,” says Alt Gobo DP Peter Roof. The platform also features an anti-fatigue surface with an easy to see and feel edge. The support for the tripod only needs to support the legs leaving no surface for wandering guests to sit or set their stuff which can unexpectedly shake the camera.

If space is tight the platform is large enough to accommodate the operator and camera but not as shake-free for the picture. If really necessary the two riser sections could be stacked for a 48” riser.

This new tool can provide the necessary vantage point for superior picture quality when covering important events.

Safer and better cart clips

Have you ever used the popular TriKart folding hand truck and had the hook on the bungee cords snag on just about everything? Has it ever let go of what it was supposed to stay connected to? The stock hooks seem to hold onto everything except what you want them stay on. After years of aggravation the hooks on the cart were replaced with these carabiner clips.

This modification is safer too since an open hook won’t come snapping back at you if it accidentally released. That’s because these clips have a spring-loaded arm that closes across the open gate.

The inspiration was the fact that the stock hooks would snag on just about everything in the vicinity including cables, the undercarriage, and shoe laces before you could stretch it around your gear and clip it near the top of the cart. Sometimes the hooks wouldn’t stay secured dangerously snapping loose and releasing the cargo. Stories of a flying hook gouging out someone’s cheek were horrifying and this was not to happen to anyone.

Any operation that uses these model of carts should seriously consider making this modification. It is primarily a safety issue but it also makes using such a cart a lot less of a nuisance.

Moving map can now accompany moving video

We now have the ability to include geographical reference information to video captured from most moving vehicles (bike, car, boat, or helicopter). What you see are two windows, one with the video and the other is a map with the route displayed and an icon indicating the current position.

Not only is it interesting but is useful for many commercial and industrial projects. The primary application will be to enhance aerials to allow clients to identify subjects. The positioning data indicates where the helicopter is positioned so it can be easy to find what objects on the ground are being recorded. Other data is displayed such as speed and elevation.

This can also be useful for industry applications such as surveys for utilities, water management, mining, forestry, and other surface features.

In this example two cameras were positioned on a bicycle as it went past many of Washington DC’s most famous landmarks. The total trip was about 20 minutes but you can position the pointer anywhere on the route to see what is in view.

Glissade® (camera slider)

Designed and built the Glissade®, a one-meter long camera slider. This will give ability to create subtle dolly moves. The unit is portable and easy to setup. A simple way to significantly improve production values.