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 What Side/Fun Projects are You Working on? 
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Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:07 am
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Post What Side/Fun Projects are You Working on?
Being here in Wisconsin, USA the winter has come and my inspiration is at an all-time low! I was thinking that it could be a good chance for us to throw around what projects we are working on, fun, side, or projects you wish you were doing. Sometimes just hearing what people are working on can spark ideas for other people. Or for the people working on projects, it could be a good chance to connect with other or get ideas if you are hitting a tough point.

I'll start with what I just finished since I don’t have one in mind.

For the past year, 52 weeks, I shot and published a short timelapse every single week. The goal was aimed to force me to get out and shoot ALL THE TIME, practice different shooting styles, techniques, and editing techniques. In the beginning it was good because I was able to get to know my camera really well, I've started to get really good and knowing what settings were necessary for the types of scenarios I was in, spending less time optimizing my settings and more time analyzing how I wanted the framing of my shot. It really was a ton of fun, some weeks were tough but most were very enjoyable. Now that it has been a year however I'm trying to come up with a themed project.

https://vimeo.com/channels/timelapsetue

**I still consider myself very much an amateur and hobbyist so the yearlong project was ideal for me!


So what kinds of things are you guys working on?

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Tutorial: A Beginner's Guide to Timelapsing


Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:45 pm
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Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:45 am
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Location: Merritt Island, Florida, Estates Unitas
Post Re: What Side/Fun Projects are You Working on?
For the past six years I've gone out every Summer to film sea turtles nesting on the beaches in south and central Florida. I got the idea after seeing Tom Lowe's short film "Learning To Fly". In Tom's film, I could see the landscape lit up like day using nothing but starlight. I immediately knew timelapse would be the perfect way to study the turtles, which only emerge from the sea to nest at night. I've learned a lot about the turtles, which the turtle researchers who come every Summer were unaware of. Most years, I discover at least one or two unknown things about them. My greatest accomplishment has been preventing the county from spending public money for cops to keep people off the beach at night. It was thought that people scared turtles off because tracks found in the morning indicated some turn around and leave without nesting. Movies showing what actually happens at night revealed that most people do not harass turtles and that turtles turn around all by themselves when no one is anywhere near them or very late when no one is on the beach. So the county saves money and people are not banned from the beach because of what I've done. Shooting for Natgeo Wild was on my bucket list, so that was nice too.

Over this Winter, I am building a cart with big balloon tires for hauling gear on sand. A neighbor threw away an electric scooter so I am making a gear reducer and cart that uses the electric drive components. In other years, lawn carts and wheelbarrows had been used with limited success. Having the cart powered so it can help over difficult places will be a big help when I go to Juno Beach this Summer looking for the giant leatherback turtles. It is over a mile from the nearest access to a big, dark, undeveloped stretch of beach where several leatherbacks nest each year. Hopefully the electric cart will make the trek possible. Leatherbacks are the rarest and largest turtles which nest here, and the only ones I haven't filmed nesting yet. They can weigh well over 1000 pounds and filming one has also been on the bucket list.

In two previous years, some film school students came here to practice night timelapse. It doesn't pay, and you have to pay your own way here. I don't get paid either, except for a little film sold to National Geographic one year. So its not a job but it can be an adventure. PM me if you'd like to come.


Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:34 am
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Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:58 pm
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Location: Denver, Colorado
Post Re: What Side/Fun Projects are You Working on?
that is a good question. hahahaha

I suppose for me, time lapse itself is the side project. We got really busy with The Chronos Project, but in the past year with excellent new systems from axis 360, dynamic perception, revolve camera, etc, things got a bit saturated and our sales have really died down. Neither Kyle or myself have been complaining, the break has been nice. This lull has allowed us each time to pursue our own passions. I have been spending a lot of time with my plants. The last video i put out really took off and went viral. That was a lot of fun, and now i am working on the logistics of the next Biolapse project. That is currently my main focus. I have a few other irons in the fire, but biolapse is the most enjoyable for me at this point.

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Thu Dec 04, 2014 12:19 pm
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Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:38 pm
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Location: Exmouth, Western Australia
Post Re: What Side/Fun Projects are You Working on?
I got sidetracked away from timelapse when I realised the same setup was ideal for making stop-frame animations (all D1's fault ;) ). Things have been going rather slowly as I have too many other hobies as well,but I now have a dedicated studio space, a couple of LED spotlights with a dimmable, but highly stable, light output and the timelapse moco rig, all controlled from DragonFrame software.
Exactly when you will be able to see a finished production is not certain but we live in hope.

Kit


Sat Dec 06, 2014 2:43 am
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:18 pm
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Post Re: What Side/Fun Projects are You Working on?
Hey Kit don't blame me it was prob all that tv you watched when ya kid . Hope you get the new Clangers over their should be out next year .
Side projects well for me Blender for many reasons but if ya into motion control its a no brainer On the simplest level its good for practicing moves on a rainy day when you cant be bother to get the real rig out . Also because i use Df which cant do real time moves its good to practice in Blender first so you can at least get i idea of timings and length of moves . Give it a go its free more of ware i am up to in this thread viewtopic.php?f=24&t=11275
D1


Sun Dec 07, 2014 9:35 am
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 5:36 am
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Post Re: What Side/Fun Projects are You Working on?
Ive got a few things I'm planning. Like dropping a camera off a cliff and recording the journey down from the camera's point of view. For the descent, I was considering attaching balloons or a parachute to the camera. Another idea is lowering the camera down with a fishing rod and line.

I'm also in the midst of building rigs for attaching cameras to the lines of kites for aerial photography. One rig will be for stills for use with a single line kite and the other rig will be for video on a dual line kite. It's hard to get decent video (stable footage) with a kite but I'm going to give it a go anyway.


Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:33 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:07 am
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Post Re: What Side/Fun Projects are You Working on?
after crashing my little drone i'm not so confident about hooking a camera up to a bigger drone :oops: . i too have been looking at a kite as an alternative for some aerial action :-) .


Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:26 am
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Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:45 am
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Location: Merritt Island, Florida, Estates Unitas
Post Re: What Side/Fun Projects are You Working on?
Check out these aerostats which combine the features of kite and balloon. I'm pretty sure you'll need some stabilizing in post if you try timelapsing from the aerostat, but they are great for shooting video. Using one will probably be OK where you live as long as you keep it relatively close to the ground.

http://www.allsopp.co.uk/

I wanted to try a tension-leg tripod using weather balloons for lift on one of my expeditions to the Florida keys. I run into two problems. Idiots love to fly little cessnas and piper aircraft just 50 to 100 feet off the deck over the islands or running up the beach on the peninsula. Although the irresponsible yahoos are endangering my life and ignoring the regulations which prohibit them from flying within 500 feet of a structure, vehicle or person, I'm sure they will say its my fault if they fly into my tether and crash. I could put anti-collision strobes on it, but this attracts Homeland Security, Fish and Game, County and every other cop with a boat. Turns out its illegal to use a strobe on your boat or around the water because strobes are considered a distress signal. So complying with one safety regulation puts you in violation of another one. G-men operate a huge aerostat off of Cudjo key but they never arrest themselves for some reason. I guess government employees are free to violate any laws they find inconvenient.

Just a word of warning. Try to use it somewhere it won't be seen.


Wed Dec 24, 2014 5:39 am
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Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:07 am
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Post Re: What Side/Fun Projects are You Working on?
out here nearly anything is possible for a carton of beer. however that only works if there are no supervisors around otherwise they tend to frown on it :o no cessnas over here just the occasional helicopter for the energy company or the police copter looking for a drug crop. perhaps you could ask the g-man if you can hookup up onto their line for a couple of hours for a carton ;) . surely you would have some sort of environmental / science accreditation from working with the turtles that you could use as leverage for further aerial turtle/habitat sand dune erosion studies ? i think out here the limit is 400 feet been a couple of incidents on the news involving drones over the last couple of months.


Thu Jan 08, 2015 2:15 am
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 5:36 am
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Post Re: What Side/Fun Projects are You Working on?
chardie wrote:
after crashing my little drone i'm not so confident about hooking a camera up to a bigger drone


Oh gosh, I can relate. Ive had such bad luck with rc aircraft. Ive had three quadcopters fly off and disappear. And I had an rc plane that stopped responding to my commands and flew off out of sight on it's maiden flight. However, it was found about three days later.


Sat Jan 17, 2015 3:45 am
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Post Re: What Side/Fun Projects are You Working on?
tribal-warrior wrote:
chardie wrote:
after crashing my little drone i'm not so confident about hooking a camera up to a bigger drone


Oh gosh, I can relate. Ive had such bad luck with rc aircraft. Ive had three quadcopters fly off and disappear. And I had an rc plane that stopped responding to my commands and flew off out of sight on it's maiden flight. However, it was found about three days later.


you sure do know how to kill an idea pretty quick :roll: spare parts for the drone tuned up this week i'll have to find some utube vids to figure how to pull it apart and reassemble it

those HELIKITE do look interesting and and a little pricey from my point of view i wonder about their longevity and if you can patch leaks


Sun Jan 18, 2015 1:10 am
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 5:36 am
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Post Re: What Side/Fun Projects are You Working on?
Looks like my bad luck has extended to kites as well. I had my first flight with a 9ft Levitation Delta kite (which was recommended as a good kite for aerial photography) and one of the spars (that forms the spreader) broke. Not a good start.


Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:50 am
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Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:45 am
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Location: Merritt Island, Florida, Estates Unitas
Post Re: What Side/Fun Projects are You Working on?
Sorry. I thought G-men would be your biggest problem with those. How much wind was there? Those things aren't supposed to break so easily, although they do have to be light. With any small, light flying machine, there will be days when you can't fly because of wind or other weather considerations.

There is a place near my house that sells hot tubs and spas. They have one of those big blimp shaped balloons holding up a sign for their business. It must be 300 feet up in the air. That thing is incredibly durable. They fly it even in pretty strong winds.

There are places that rent balloons like that for advertising as well as the big gorilla and dinosaur that sit next to the road and have a fan constantly blowing air into them. Maybe a place like that would rent you something for the time you need it. You might be able to rent something nicer than you could afford to buy?


Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:07 am
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Post Re: What Side/Fun Projects are You Working on?
Yea, this particular kite is not designed for strong winds. I was using it in light to medium strength winds. Though the spreader (which is made up of three sections) is a known weak point on that kite. Ive heard that bamboo is a good replacement. Ive also tried to lift my GoPro with a home-made light weight rig and two line kite but that didn't work. Perhaps the wind was not strong enough?

Out of curiosity, what is it that gives those balloons lift? Is it helium? I don't think there are places like that near me that rents such balloons or blimps. However, once I toyed around with the idea of buying some hellium balloons off eBay and getting some filled (I'm just assuming that there is a place that does hellium refills locally - I'm currently living on an island.) Some time ago, I did buy a solar balloon off eBay but I couldn't get it to lift off the ground! It's recommended to use it in cool, sunny conditions. So I tried to launch it on a Winter's morning when the sun was out but did not have any success at all.

I can't believe how hard it is to get a camera into the air. It's certainly a lot harder than I initially thought.


Thu Jan 29, 2015 2:34 pm
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Location: Merritt Island, Florida, Estates Unitas
Post Re: What Side/Fun Projects are You Working on?
Helium gives the balloon its lift. You get it at welding supply places. They have a cheaper grade of helium for balloons than most used for welding. Expect the helium in one big tank to cost a couple hundred dollars and you also have to rent the tank or buy one of your own.

Weather balloons are just big rubber balloons like party balloons except bigger, unless you go to the huge ones that cost tens of thousands. They will lift something into the stratosphere, but one little poke with a twig and it pops, releasing all your helium. The rental ones are much stronger. Maybe there is a party rental or advertising place in a city near you where you can rent one for a while, then return it when youre done?


Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:36 am
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Post Re: What Side/Fun Projects are You Working on?
i have heard that you can hook up one delta above another increasing your lift. they need to be maybe fifty feet apart. disappointing to to hear no success stories
the drones back together but i'm not taking it outside till the winds die down :oops: on my third outing had the drone stuck up in a gumtree had a tractor with a cab under it standing on top of the cab with a 6 meter flexing shaft to free it from the tree. i doubt the health and safety department would approve :-)


Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:45 am
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