Biking videos…dipping my toe

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  • Biking videos…dipping my toe
  • DickBarton
    Member

    Evening folks,

    I’m about to take delivery of a Drift HD and realise that I know absolutely nothing about making videos/setting the camera up/best position for shots/etc.

    I’m starting to think blowing my bonus on a camera for filming biking stuff may not have been quite as good an idea as it sounded when I hit ‘purchase’!

    Anyway, I’ve watched a fair amount of Youtube videos and I’m still stuck. I’ve had a shot of a video myself and basically set the camera up on my chest and hit record…then felt mightily unimpressed with the result – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0HD5eTkdWY – the full thing is 42 minutes!

    I need to have a plan for a shooting angle both on the bike/on me and I guess from the ground with me going by.

    I’m not expecting to get this perfect first time out but can anyone share any hints/tips/advice?

    I’ve read that filming in 1080 makes the rider ride faster than he actually was (going by my video I can confirm that – I’m nowhere near that fast!) – so I’m going to assume 720 gives a more realistic sense of speed.

    For playback online is 1080 worth it? It appears to take up not quite twice the amount of space but given the quality of my riding/filming and presentation media, I suspect 720 would be fine, is that the case?

    What about frame rate? I’m assuming the higher the better so would 60fps be best?

    What about position of camera? On the chest it was very unobtrusive and seemed to work well but given the fact I’m got arms thinner than a strand of spaghetti, the footage makes me look like a very lanky streak of P – so what difference does a helmet-mounted camera make? If it is mounted on the bike, where is best? Seatpost is tempting as I’m guessing I could easily rotate it to also point backwards and catch the view looking backwards.

    So I’m not expecting to be a pro at this but it will allow me to waste more time after biking instead of parenting but any advice would be appreciated, thanks.

    Oh also, how does the music thing work? When uploading to YouTube can I ask for it to link to the tune to be downloaded or does YouTube do this automagically? Or does it get blocked instantly?

    Cheers.

    DickBarton
    Member

    Anyone? I’m not looking to get more folk watching my video…it’s utter mince, but shows the sort of ‘starting point’ to give an idea of how clueless I am…it’s more info on the best settings for the camera…the HD stuff is no doubt brilliant but as the footage is going to be watched via YouTube then is 1080 the best setting for my videos?

    Well – I ain’t no magician / expert at all – I quite liked the vid but eh first part could have done with being broken up a bit more and its nice to have someone in shot ahead of you. Also a backwards pointing camera and someone behind you.

    helmet mounted is good as well –

    The bit I didn’t like was the fish eye bit looking down as you went over ayres rock?

    So – 3 mins or so max befoer I ge tbored, break up the shots a bit and cut out boring bits, use multiple camera angles adntry to get someone else in shot some of the time.

    vorlich
    Member

    Can’t offer much advice, but reckon 720 is plenty for online, unless you’re putting out really impressive edits, I’d save the encode time/bandwidth.

    Don’t understand why higher resolution would make you look faster…

    Premier Icon althepal
    Subscriber

    Dont really know anything sbout this kinda thing but have watched a lot of vids!
    Some background noise would have been nice- tyres crunching on the gravel, that sort of thing..
    Apart from that not too bad!
    Edit- think the comment about having a rider in front is a good one..

    Euro
    Member

    720 + 30fps – quality still good and file sizes are significantly smaller (especially if videos are 40+ mins long). 60fps is better if wanting to use slo-mo. The sped up 1080 thing is probably down to how the footage was exported or where/how it was uploaded.

    I’m not familiar with the mounting options on the Drift (use a gopro), but you’ll have a rough idea of the positions you like form watching other vids – just take a day and try to mimic them or think of new ones. Watch your footage back, make any adjustments to the angles and try again. It’s crap when you get home and realise the camera was too low/high.

    edit: watched your movie (initially put off by the 42 minute thing 😳 ) – you can add your own song in most editing software – what did you use?

    DickBarton
    Member

    Hi,

    Thanks very much for the comments…the video I uploaded was all I had – I was billy nae mates and had no one else to film…I’ve read elsewhere that 1080 appears to speed up the ride…going by the footage, I’m not convinced I was going that fast so I think there is a degree of accuracy there – could be the fish-eye lens as well perhaps?

    I’m expecting my next few attempts will be better…it was pure luck I got that angle on the chest mount but the beauty with the Drift is it has a screen that shows what it is filming so set up should be easier in that respect.

    Not sure I’m ready to dabble with slow-mo yet so will leave that for later.

    Thanks also for the suggestions on what would improve that actual video – it wasn’t what I was after but it is all very useful…the backing track thing is more my ‘worry’ about getting it blocked due to some copyright issue so it is more how I work with the music and use it.

    I think the Drift comes with some mounts to fit to the bike so I’ll hopefully be capturing other riders in the shot which should make the footage a bit more entertaining…all comes down to the edit but thanks very much for the pointers…all will be put to good use.

    I filmed the whole ride, so apart from editing out the fireroad section, I’ve got a movie of the entire red route at Laggan…which comes to 42 minutes – but I’m not planning on uploading that as even I get bored watching it!

    I’ve got a movie of the entire red route at Laggan…which comes to 42 minutes – but I’m not planning on uploading that as even I get bored watching it!

    Edit that down to the best 3 mins

    Premier Icon stevomcd
    Subscriber

    Haven’t watched your movie, but in general I’m not a fan at all of helmet/chest cameras. I think all the footage just looks the same after the first few seconds.

    Shooting with a separate camera/cameraman takes much more effort but the results are much, much better.

    A few seconds of on-board camera footage here and there within a movie can work well, but a whole film of it is dull, dull, dull.

    Personal opinion!

    druidh
    Member

    I’ve been liking this somewhat different viewpoint

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSmdt3yctMc

    Premier Icon stevomcd
    Subscriber

    AAAAAAAAAAAARGH! Not the GoPro-on-a-stick! 👿

    See so many people doing that while skiing. Always makes me want to ride along behind them making rude gestures.

    swisstim
    Member

    Just one tip from me…you only need to record at 30fps, the human eye cannot perceive anything faster than that. The 60fps setting is so you can record at 60, import at 30 and get super smooth slowmotion without your editing software going bonkers and jerky or trying to make infill frames…just a tip.

    choron
    Member

    I have to say that this kind of stuff is like looking at pictures of other peoples kids for me: pointless and tedious. If you edit it down more and have a bit more of the “action” in there, it could be good though.

    As a side point though, what’s the soundtrack? Sounds like Camera Obscura with american accents.

    Premier Icon composite
    Subscriber

    Here’s my latest bike video: https://vimeo.com/39667530
    That is like a million different angles but IMO is what keeps it interesting.

    Generally speaking I would say though you don’t need that many angles just never stay on one too long. Pick some music that fits the riding. While editing edit to the style of the music and riding. So fast gnarly riding pick some fast music and edit fast with loads of cuts… etc etc I’m really into drum and bass and would love to use some of my favorite tunes but it just won’t go with my type of riding so I leave it alone and pick something that suites.

    Generally you will get far better results on sunny days than cloudy days.

    Try to tell a story. Have a bit of you getting to the trail, or maybe getting your pads on, or lubing your chain whatever it is it needs to tell people you are at the start of your ride. Then have a middle bit, where you are riding and “looking rad bro!”, then have an end of the story where you “book end” the ride and have a beer, get in the car, whatever.

    Hope that helps. 🙂

    Premier Icon composite
    Subscriber

    In terms of the technical stuff.

    60fps is not just a difference for smooth slow mo. If you shoot at 30 fps on most “sports cams” that is giving you a shutter speed of 1/30th of a second. If you shoot at 60fps its giving you a shutter speed of 1/60th of a second. There is a debate that 1/30th can actually make you footage seem smoother as the more blury (technical term) each frame actually the smoothy the video looks. Kind of counter intuitive but that’s the argument. On the flip side the rolling shutter effect is less noticeable at 1/60th of a second than 1/30th so filming at 60 fps can give you less rolling shutter. Google rolling shutter if you don’t know what it means I cba to explain it now.

    The reason that 1080p gives a different feel to 720p in terms of “speed” is that a lot of these cameras will have a different field of view with different resolutions. For example on the GoPro HD (what I use) the 720p setting has the full field of view where as the 1080p setting “sees” a more narrow view and is not as wide angled. In this case though the effect would be the reverse of what you say and 720p would seem quicker as there is “more stuff” passing through the screen in the same amount of time.

    I always shoot in 720p unless I’m specifically not. 720p is my go to resolution as most people don’t watch web video in full screen anyway and so there is really no point shooting any higher. In all honesty you could probably shoot in 640×480 in 4:3 and no one would give a shit. 🙂

    If any of these 2 posts are a bit garbled then apologies I’m pretty pissed, specially for a school night. 🙂

    Agree with Stevomcd.

    Some ideas:

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    I’m with Stevomcd – chest/headcam is pretty boring, it’s only worth watching if you want to do a little trail research.

    It’s much more effort to set the camera up and ride past it but it makes for a much better film. Also it’s all about the editing, anyone who makes videos / films will tell you that only a fraction of the footage makes it into the edit. Also it’s more interesting if there is a personal element (eg short comments from riders, some panoramic shots etc) or some background scene setting.

    Have a look at these films from a fellow STW forum member

    Chris Maloney

    swisstim
    Member

    Composite – so do you always use the 720 60fps on the gopro as your standard? I note you did for your posted film (which was ace btw). Then import and edit at 60fps? Interesting, I’ll give it a go, I had always been told that was unnecessary but I do like the idea of reducing the rolling shutter effect.

    I would also posit that a good mounting system is the most important aspect of creating a good ‘moving’ film. I find having a fixed ‘constant’ in the frame often helps – a bit of frame, part of a fork etc..

    I think the best films are ones where you are seeing films from different viewpoints

    Here’s a really old example of one of mine, I like the shots from where the camera is mounted on the rear stays most as it’s quite unusual

    [video]http://vimeo.com/4459946[/video]

    Premier Icon alfabus
    Subscriber

    since we’re posting videos… here’s one I did the other day:
    [video]http://vimeo.com/39141579[/video]

    Dave

    Premier Icon composite
    Subscriber

    swisstim my work flow is:

    [list][*]Convert the 60fps mp4 in to 60fps Apple Pro Res422 (a full frame format that can play natively in Final Cut Pro) [/*]
    [*]Then open the file in Cinema Tools and Conform it to 30fps. All this changes is the meta data that tells any players or editor software what the fps of the clip is. It doesn’t actually change any of the frames.[/*]
    [*]Then pull it into a Final Cut Pro Sequence (or project) that is set to be 30fps at 720p. When you drop the clip onto the timeline it appears to be playing at half speed.[/*]
    [*]On the majority of clips I will then change the speed of its play back to 200% so it appears normal. Any thing I want in half speed slow mo I leave as is. Anything I want at 25% slow mo I reduce the play back speed to 50%. This still give pretty smooth slow mo in Final Cut Pro and is the equivalent of recording at 120fps[/*][/list]

    If you want to get super slow mo (equivalent to 1000fps) then you can either use a plugin like Twixtor or use Motion’s Optical flow feature but mileage will vary depending on the exact footage.
    If you have the latest version of iMovie (I don’t) it has a feature for reducing rolling shutter. I have seen some demos of what it can do and was surprisingly impressed with actually how well it works.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    @dave – have a search around Vimeo, I find the material posted there generally more interesting, more creatively put together (I like the YetiCycles films for example)

    Who do you make them for? Are you wanting it to be a profession? I’m not. I make them for me to watch when I’m sat in the nursing home.

    So

    chest/headcam is pretty boring

    is irrelevant to me.

    If you want people to watch and be impressed then it doesn’t matter how many angles you have, you’re going to have to do something impressive.

    EDIT Not everyone watches vids because of their radness, some are planning a trip to where you’ve ridden and want an idea how it will be.

    composite – Member

    Here’s my latest bike video: https://vimeo.com/39667530
    That is like a million different angles but IMO is what keeps it interesting.

    Opinions are like what again 😉 I found all the faffing about and use of effects OTT on yours – 40 seconds into the film and no MTBing yet.

    Perhaps 15seconds of faffage would have been enough? I do have a very low tolerance for faffage tho – not a critism – just an opinion. I don’t want to see you sorting your camelback out.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    Agree with the comments about headcam videos looking very samey, unless they’re truly spectacular trails.

    [video]http://vimeo.com/22070375[/video]

    I shot this in a couple of afternoons a year or so ago, on my own, just using a digital compact and a Gorillapod.

    The quality is mince, the editing could be tighter, and my riding is pedestrian to say the least, but I think it gives you a much better idea of what the trail is actually like than a comparable headcam video (below).

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqtSX74ZvEU[/video]

    I know that part of the attratcion of headcams is you can just stick them on and leave them running, but it’s a bit like whipping out your cameraphone and taking a picture as you’re riding along.

    Match your music to your speed is a good tip.

    I often use The Orb :mrgreen:

    Premier Icon composite
    Subscriber

    Opinions are like what again I found all the faffing about and use of effects OTT on yours – 40 seconds into the film and no MTBing yet.

    Perhaps 15seconds of faffage would have been enough? I do have a very low tolerance for faffage tho – not a critism – just an opinion. I don’t want to see you sorting your camelback out.

    I’m interested in this sort of feedback. The thing I’m trying to do with my videos now is to tell a story and to capture the feel of a ride. This really does emphasis the point about audience that was made by billysugger. I generally make this stuff because I enjoy documenting what I’m up to and really me in 10-20 years is the only intended audience (at the moment anyway). It’s nice to share though and if people can be inspired/entertained in some way by videos the way I have been, then all the better. I’m surprised 40seconds would actually be long enough to cause someone to point it out but fair enough. If the title bit wasn’t there it would only be something like 25secs faffage, which I guess may have been OK?

    I’m interested in the point about to many effects as actually there is almost zero effects, only really the slight “film burn” bits on the section when I have the camera on the telescopic pole. The rest of it is pretty much all “creative cropping”. Is this what went over board for you? To many different views? Personally I don’t think I would ever do something in quite this style again. I think a couple of split screen shots can be cool but I certainly wouldn’t use it as much as I have here.

    It was the split screen stuff that bugged me and creative cropping.

    I am looking for simple, interesting and non boring. All nicely done yours was but looked more like “watch the editing skills” not “wath the film”

    10 seconds faffage would be OK 🙂

    Its just my opinion tho and I am no creative type

    Liked the transition at 1:00 ish composite.

    well, since everyone else is firing their riding videos in for C+C:

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=712Du_FLymQ[/video]

    my first effort with my gopro HD2. i know some of the scenes are too dark – the curse of my laptop screen being too bright. i need to fix it and re-upload a copy.

    i shot in the 960 60fps mode and the footage looks quite square, also need to investigate 60fps on 720p and mess around with 1080p too.

    interestingly DB why did you go with a drft HD?

    Premier Icon composite
    Subscriber

    t was the split screen stuff that bugged me and creative cropping.

    I am looking for simple, interesting and non boring. All nicely done yours was but looked more like “watch the editing skills” not “wath the film”

    10 seconds faffage would be OK

    Its just my opinion tho and I am no creative type

    That’s cool mate, like I said up there I think I agree with you mostly about the too much split screen and wouldn’t do it to this degree again. Thanks for taking the time to give me the feedback.:)

    DickBarton
    Member

    Dave, much cheapness and the camera has a screen to ensure everything is framed.

    I have done video editing at work so have an idea of what I’m doing there…but it is a very basic idea. Thanks for the feedback, all useful stuff.

    As mentioned, the video I posted was my first and only had me to film so I’m agreeing about how dull it appears. Rear mounted sounds worth a shot and I’m not discounting mounting the camera somewhere and I ride past. I’m not a good rider, don’t have any skills or tricks so the ‘story’ will primarily be me filming my riding…hopefully over time it will show progression.

    Thanks for the suggestions, tips and the videos posted…all worth a watch, cheers.

    TJ, I was going to edit it down but it is so boring just watching it myself is problematic. 😉 great idea, I’ll use it as a learning piece, thanks.

    No idea what the music is…YouTube offered me the ability to add a track and that was the only rock song…it might mention it lower down the page.

    just watched your vid composite – great work.

    from my very novice view:

    loved the soundtrack, very well matched to the vid. melodic and soulful, good beat

    i also really like the split screen stuff, although i agree less would be more. totally see why you did it though as it takes practice to get it right! loved the transition at 1min too – looked slick.

    again the multiple angles worked well but maybe a bit too many but again you need to experiment. one thing i definitely noticed while making my vid was the lack of viewpoints. if i’m going to make a “good ” vid i’ll have to put lots more thought into the camerawork than simply wearing the chest mount and riding around.

    i’ve also noticed my chest footage can make people feel seasick 🙂 move around far too much!

    good vid though mate, i liked it 🙂

    Euro
    Member

    I made a couple of off-camera mounts for this one, as I was getting bored with the headcam view.

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6Ds7Uxey90[/video]

    swisstim
    Member

    Thanks for the info Composite, I will give it a try that way, it is certainly a nifty way of editing. Also I really appreciate the time you have taken…kudos

    Premier Icon composite
    Subscriber

    Euro what sort of mounts did you make?
    I have rigged up bar mounts on branches before to get some similar angles to what you have there.

    fergal
    Member

    composite that is a very good effort indeed, fitting soundtrack, (why middle aged blokes mincing along think rap is fitting is beyond me, as most vids shown on here, gnarly!) other than the over use of the segments, very profesional, captures the ambience nicely, the best video being showcased here by a mile, so take negative feed back with a pinch of salt, subjective.

    i’d be interested if you think the rap track i used fits my vid fergal. I will be the first to admit its all about personal taste, but listen to the lyrics and you’ll see why i chose it.

    i completely take the point though that most videos showcase every element except the riding – its pretty hard to make something look awesome if you’re not very good at it 🙂

    Premier Icon composite
    Subscriber

    Personally I don’t think there are genres that are “in” or “out” in terms of suitability it just depends on the exact track, the footage you have and the way you cut it.

    Davidrussle I think that the track you have used is way more appropriate than 99% of the hiphop used in bike vids. There is just something about the funky flow of it with generally flowing riding plus enough cuts in the edit to keep it bubbling along.

    I’m guessing in general what fergal is referring to is the 3 fat blokes riding round a forest with all that well rude super ghetto stuff as a sound track, that you get on pinkbike. 😆

    On a side note what are you using to edit? Does it have any sort of 3 way colour correction tool that lets you isolate the mid range tones? You could sort out that brightness issue pretty easily on those shots of the slab.

    Euro
    Member

    Composite, the homemade mounts are nothing special. A pointy stick and a butchered head strap for wrapping round trees.

    DickBarton
    Member

    Composite – sorry to keep asking questions but you clearly know a fair bit about this and I’m hoping it’s an easy enough question to answer…

    The Drift HD can film in 1080 or 720 – I’m thinking 720 is what I’m after, the lens is 170 degree affair – which I think is pretty much a fish eye. If I film at 720 with 60fps the viewing angle reduces to 127 degrees – this obviously gives a narrower field of vision, but will that also reduce the fish-eye affect on objects closer to the camera?

    I’m thinking (just now) that 720 @ 60fps is the way to go and hopefully will show a more realistic sense of speed (or my lack of!).

    Sorry for the questions, but figure as the users on this site tend to produce biking films, then it makes sense to ask my questions here…if anyone has another website that can answer my questions in a way a complete idiot (me) can understand then please let me have the links.

    I’ve now got on here on a PC is broadband and I’m watching some of these videos…all very good but a huge variety in them.
    Thanks.

    Composite – thanks for the feedback, appreciated. I used adobe premiere elements 9 to edit, took a while to get the software working well (brand new quad core i7 was struggling to run it, but dont go there 🙂 and also marrying the input footage levels to the available presets) and learning the app itself was a bit frustrating, but seems powerful enough once you get the hang of it.

    I was pretty disappointed when i viewed the vid at work today and when i first saw it on my iphone too – very dark. The adobe premiere software allows you to drop preset effects onto each clip which you can then adjust, which is a bind with 28 clips for a 3 min video. I dropped the brightness and contrast effect onto all those clips, so i’m not sure if it has made it better or worse. like i say it was looking fine on my laptop screen when running on mains, so I will need to have a look at some form of calibration or colour correction as the vid looks bad now. I’ll have a gander at the 3 way colour correction though – thanks for the tip!.

    just need to get out riding more and get some good footage to edit up…

    oh, does anyone know of any 64 bit apps that can take advantage of a new machines power? possibly the most disappointing thing i found about APE9 was that its a 32 bit app, so all that memory and power can’t be used. It does render quickly right enough 🙂

    Premier Icon composite
    Subscriber

    @DickBarton No worries about the questions fella, a forum is for conversation isn’t it? 🙂 To clarify on your camera 1080p is 170degrees and 720p is 127degrees? If this is right then I would imagine the following is true. The sensor in the camera is actually picking up 1920×1080 pixels so to make a 1280×720 pixels image it only uses the middle of the sensor and “crops” the picture. So you lose some of image and so the field of view appears to be smaller. Generally speaking barrel distortion (the fish eye effect) is worse towards the edges of the image but those are being cropped so you should loose the worse of it around the edges. You will still get some distortion in the centre though as its still the same lens.

    @davidrussell The problem with brightness/contrast is that when you brighten the image it brightens everything so the colours go grey and so on. You then up the contrast to bring the colours back but then you lose the detail in the picture. You could maybe tweak saturation as well to put the colour back but be really careful and use it subtly. Any sort of colour correction where you can isolate the mid tomes is really what you are after though.

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