'Tis the season! We're caught up from Black Friday & with the holidays approaching all orders will ship within 1 week. We will be back to same day shipping after the New Year. happy holidays!

0

Your Cart is Empty

7 Creative Camera Moves with Slider + Arc II

Camera movement is always a hot—and extremely important—topic when it comes to storytelling. Much like the dialogue, acting, etc., the right camera movement can either greatly enhance or distract from the story. It's all about finding the right tools for the job and when done properly, it can be poetic, epic, cinematic, [insert impactful adjective here].


As a company that has primarily focused on elevating stories through camera sliders and motion control systems, that's where we're going to put our focus in this article. For more info on other types of camera movement, check out our glossary below.


We’re all familiar with the staple slider shots for interviews and time-lapses. We love them too and do them all the time, but we wanted to really tap into a creative space and explore several different moves. In fact, we’re going to do seven creative camera moves with the Rhino Slider and Arc II. Alright Storytellers, let’s dive in.

Number one. 

For our first shot, it’s time to think outside the camera. Product photography is bigger than ever in our online world. Lighting is a great way to bring depth to a digital display. There are several ways you can mount a light to Arc II. 


Here are a few:


  1. For smaller lightsit works great to mount a mini ball head to your 501 plate. We love using Aputure’s MC lights for setups like this as they’re light, bright, and have a ton of creative effects.
  2. Need more light output? Mount a baby pin to your 501 plate. Just be sure to not overload Arc with too heavy of a setup.

Then it’s up to you. Create a move to transform the light around an object. For this effect to work best, focus the light beam as much as possible to isolate the movement of light across your subject. Another option is to move the subject as well while the light is in motion. In post you could enhance the effect with a digital push or pull.


Number two.

Doing a lot of Zoom calls for work? Us too. Have a presentation and want to make it more dynamic? Throw your phone on your Rhino Arc II Motion Control Kit and provide the attendees with a more dynamic view. 


Simply grab a tripod mount for your phone and connect it to your 501 plate. Then, set the move on Arc II to loop. You don’t want to over do it and make your audience sick so be sure to have your move be between at least 30-45 seconds. One of the great things about Arc II is that it automatically applies ease in/out at the ends of the move. 


From there, it’s up to you to blow the team away with your presentation.


Number three.

Arc II isn’t just for your slider either. It can serve as a powerful replacement to your fluid head. Create perfectly smooth preplanned moves or go freestyle in Fluid View and control a live move with the built in joystick. 


Shooting solo? Use Arc II’s active track mode and enjoy the hands free benefit of automation.


Number four.

Having issues with your rails being seen in your shots? Rig your slider in an underslung mode. There are a ton of ways that you can do this—the most important thing is to make sure the rig is secure to protect both your equipment and crew.


For doing an underslung shot, the42” rails are perfect to get the longer, dolly-in or out shots. These shots are great for an over the shoulder reveal, a transition from one plane to another, or full bird’s eye shots. Even with the 24” rails, you can do truck movements, or your traditional side-to-side slide.


Depending on how you mounted your camera, the shot is most likely upside down. To correct in post, rotate the shot by 180.° There are tons of ways you can use this setup, again, just make sure it’s safe and secure.

Number five.

For our 5th shot, again, sometimes it’s helpful to think outside of the camera when using your slider or Arc II, or both. With an easy mod,turn Arc II into a turntable. Want more of a tabletop turn? Use a round board and mount your 501 plate. Looking for a more complex move? Mount the product directly to Arc II and remove the rigging in post.


To get the shot, set the pan rotation (and tilt) to the desired duration and rotation. Pro tip here: film the shot slower than you plan for the final shot—this will help to keep the move nice and smooth. Then, use speed ramping in post to get to the desired end result. Once you’ve got the speed dialed, it’s time to let your lighting skills shine. 

Number six.

This isn’t a “new” shot per se, but it may be a new application with a bit of a hack. Cars are notoriously challenging locations to film because they’re small and confined. That’s why we like to let the gear do the heavy lifting. 


Ratchet straps are an amazing tool that we always like to have with us on a shoot. They've come in handy more than once. Almost any car, no matter the size, will have hooks to mount car seats. They also double perfectly to ratchet your slider setup to the car. With your slider secure you can get creative shoot a time-lapse or traditional video shot.

Number seven.

For our final creative shot, use Arc II to create a one-of-a-kind oner. Getting a pan perfectly smooth on even the best fluid heads can be incredibly challenging. With Arc II, you can get much more complicated than a simple pan. Add tilt functionality as well to create a dynamic shot.


For the actual shot you can have the talent know their marks at various points of the move or you can comp several shots together with some simple masking in post.

Bonus 

For a quick bonus, Fast focus is another great tool you can use with Arc II to make your moves really stand out. It allows you to set a focus rack at your desired percentage complete of the move. There are limitless ways to use this shot so go out and have fun with it. 


Conclusion

No matter the shot, it all comes back to story. Any move you put together should have a motivation whether it be to add drama, depth, or intrigue it’s all about understanding “the why” for each shot. A slider and motion control system are powerful tools to have in your arsenal. We can’t wait to see the creative applications that all of you put together with these tools. Be sure to tag @RhinoCG so we can see your work in action. Until next time, keep sharing your stories.


Want a chance to win some Rhino gear?Follow the instructions here for your chance to win and be featured on Rhino’s Instagram feed.


Camera Movement Glossary

In cinematography, camera movement is something we talk about all the time. Camera movement can be defined as the movement of a camera through physical space to create a “camera move.” There are several types of camera movement and each carries with it certain emotions and objectives. We’ll discuss a handful below, some do’s and don'ts and when’s and why’s.


Type of Camera Movement

What it is

Do’s

Don’ts

When/why to use

Zoom

A zoom is when the focal length changes during the shot. This requires a zoom lens (there are several popular focal lengths: 16-35mm, 70-200mm, etc.) While the camera itself doesn’t have to move for the shot, the relative field of view changes for the audience thus creating a camera move.

It’s preferable to use a parfocal lens for this shot. This is typically a more expensive cinema lens vs a photography lens. This is because it holds focus and maintains light transmission through the zoom.

Zooms can be jarring—which is sometimes what you want—just be careful not to overdo it.

Zoom camera moves are great to create an added emphasis and focus your shot. Steven Soderberg, director of the Ocean’s Eleven series, is a master of this move. 

Pan

A camera pan is when the camera is moved horizontally from to the left or right. While this move is most commonly done on a tripod or a fluid head, it can also be done handheld, with a gimbal or motion control system.

Whatever the speed (when executed quickly it’s called a whip pan), the most important thing is that the move is smooth.

Be careful to not get jitters or bumps throughout the movement. If filming on a camera with a high rolling shutter (slower refresh speed) do the move slower so that vertical lines stay vertical.

Pans can be used to show where a character is looking, to show the breadth of a landscape, or as a transition.

Tilt

Tilts are similar to a pan only on the y-axis. They are completed by moving the camera up and down. 

Like pans, a tilt can be completed using a variety of camera equipment. Using a tripod will provide the most hands-on control. Fore best results, place one hand on the tripod legs to stabilize while the other hand completes the tilt with the pan arm on the tripod.

Be careful with your framing. You’ll want to make sure you know your marks and hit both the beginning and end of the move.

Tilting the camera up provides a sense of awe. Tilting the camera implies feeling small.

Dolly

Dollies are most often used for push ins or pull outs. For larger camera payloads, this is accomplished with a large set of dolly tracks, which allow a dolly cart to roll along. Dolly moves for lighter cameras (<15lbs) or shorter moves can easily be accomplished with a camera slider system.

To best utilize a dolly shot, know when and why you are using the move. Some shots start or end static and use a dolly push in or out to create emphasis or show more of the environment.

You’ll want to be sure to give yourself plenty of time to set these shots up. If you’re a single operator, a full dolly track is most likely not an option. In this case, use a camera slider as a simplified alternative.

Dollies are best used for revealing or focusing. A pull out reveals new scene information while a push in focuses attention on a particular element of the scene.

Truck

A truck camera movement is when the camera is moved laterally (side-to-side). 

With all track based movements, they’re best down with either aninertia system ormotion control to keep moves smooth.

Don’t forget about layering your shot. If you don’t have foreground, mid-ground, and background elements, the parallax effect created by a truck movement will be hard to notice.

Truck moves are great to move from one point of interest to another, to show progression, or to create seamless transitions when linking back-to-back truck shots.

Pedestal

A pedestal shot is when the camera raises or lowers along the y-axis. The move is strictly a vertical lift or lower.

This can be a tricky move to accomplish if trying to make it completely jitter free. Of course the simplest way is to do the move handled and begin in a standing position and then bending at the knees to lower the shot (or vice versa). It can also be accomplished by mounting a slider system vertically.

If using a slider, be sure to counterbalance the payload so that you do not drop your camera rig.

These shots are great to give different perspectives, for instance, moving the camera from an adult eyeline to a child’s or dipping below a plane to provide more detail/informationsuch as the example shot featured here.

Rack Focus

A rack focus is shifting the focus from one focal plane to another. 

For the most precision, this is typically completed with a geared lens (a cinema lens) that has a larger focus throw (the distance of the barrel rotation between macro and infinity). Nowadays, however, many camera systems are getting highly reliable autofocus systems that can achieve the same effect even on a photo lens.

This is an easy one to overdo (just think about pretty much every 5D II wedding video). Make sure that it is intentional and adds value. Also make sure you nail your focus points otherwise this goes from an effect tool to a distraction.

This is the single strongest way to drive audience focus as you are literally moving focus from one point to another.

Crane or Boom 

A crane, boom, or jib move is when a camera is mounted to the end of a long arm that then tilts at a centralized focal point.

Use a crane move when you want to reveal the vastness of a set/scene. They’re especially great for establishing shots.

Cranes are big, take time to set up, and are expensive. There are cheap alternatives to mimic a crane move either with a gimbal, a drone, or a travel jib.

When you want to level up the cinematic nature of your project, crane moves are a great way to do it. They were born in Hollywood and still bring that big budget feel of grandeur. 

Tracking Shot

A tracking shot is whenever the camera tracks a particular subject as they move through a scene. 

This is best accomplished on a rig that will give you freedom to move freely such as a gimbal, steadicam, or even handheld.

Don’t simply do a tracking shot because they’re cool—which they are. When used with intent, these are some of the most dynamic moves in cinema.

Tracking shots are amazing to use when you want to get in the mind and world of a character, most typically the protagonist of your story. 

Arc Shot

An arc shot is when the camera revolves around a subject in either partial or full orbits.

If wanting to do a complete orbit around the subject (think about that end kiss scene in pretty much every rom-com) then a gimbal or a steadicam is your go-to. For partial orbits that you want more control over, a slider with motion control system is a great solution. You can even loop these moves for interviews for a great B cam shots.

Don’t over do it. If doing complete orbits, this can make your audience nauseous and disoriented so limit the number of revolutions. For interviews, don’t forget about creating that parallax effect.

A looping arc shot is a great way to add production value to your corporate and doc interview work. 

Handheld

Handheld camera movement is just like it sounds—it’s operating the camera freestyle with no stabilizing rigging.

Handheld is all about creating that organic feel. Sometimes you want it chaotic. Other times you want it free yet smooth. The best thing is to find the “Goldilocks” weight for your camera rig, hold it close to your body, and mind your hip and foot movements.

Don’t hold the camera away from your body, walk heavy, or use too light of a setup.

Like all of the other shots, know your intentions. The best camera movement is when it becomes invisible to the viewer and strictly enhances the story without becoming the story.