Galleon Studios prides itself on constantly updating the kit at our Manchester hire studio. As such we recently invested much of our retirement fund and children’s University money in purchasing not only the Ditogear Omnislider, but the Omnihead, the Evolution and the Dragonflame. To most the nouns above are gibberish so let me elaborate on what the Ditogear does and why you should hire it forthwith. Ditogear produces high-quality programmable motion control rigs that allow you to repeat precise camera moves time after time. This is useful in timelapse, ideal for building special effects sequences and essential in giving your video production a professional edge when a gimbal just won’t do.
The Ditogear Omnislider available to hire is 2 meters long and has a quiet motor, which we’ve made even quieter with a soundproof housing. This allows it to be used in interviews or other projects where sound is an essential component.
The slider of the Ditogear can be programmed to operate at different speeds; sllloooooooooowwwwwww shots or sped up to give dramatic crash zooms a real shot in the arm. The great thing about the Moco Slider we have for hire is that as well as working across the X/horizontal axis it can also be mounted vertically to move up and down across the Y-axis.
The Omnihead controls the pan and the tilt of the whole rig and therefore the up down and side to side of the camera mounted on it. Again this can be as slow or as quick as required and all these axis movements can be automated to be repeatable.
Ok, I want to hire the Motion Control Rig but how does the Ditogear work?
The Motion Control Unit, when hired, comes with a baffling array of controllers. These include 3 controllers that can control the pan, tilt and slide individually. Or we have a larger controller that all 3 axis can be plugged into. This option also comes with an attractive shoulder harness so you can walk around with it like it’s an 80’s synthesizer. The next option is the tablet that uses the Ditogear App to control the axis, this makes programming the Motion Control of the Ditogear even more adaptable by allowing you to add keyframes and controlling the “ease in” and “ease out” as you would in a special effects or editing program. This device is the Ditogear Evolution. At this point I should add there are 2 more controllers. These manipulate the focus and zoom of the camera and come with a variety of ring adapters. Again these plug into the Evolution and can be controlled by the app. The final means of control (yes, we have another!) is the Dragonflame. This allows you to control the pan, the tilt, the slide, the zoom and the focus using a computer. The Keyframes from this means of control can be exported and then imported into FX programs.
With all these different combinations of motion control then we obviously encourage you to come in and try the rig first or alternatively hire a member of our team to run it for you when you hire it in or out of the Manchester hire studio.
Above: The Ditogear Omnislider at the Manchester Studio on an FS7 with autocue.
Below: The Ditogear in action (apologies for the vertical video)
What are the uses of the Motion Control rig?
The Motion control rig allows complex (or very simple) camera moves to be replicated. This is essential if you want a time lapse where the surroundings alter but the camera “move” remains uniform. Being longer than a traditional slider the 2 meters gives a lot more play and a lot more movement than most sliders. It can also move less than 2 meters if you only want a slight “push”.
The gyroscopic arm on the Omnihead means any camera mounted in it is given largely unrestricted movement meaning that it can achieve shots even the most capable camera operator would struggle with.
Additionally, the Motion Control rig can be transported to and from location and will retain its programmed movement. This means that if you shoot on location and then come to the green screen studio you can simulate the exact camera move and add as many elements as you like to it; the green screen and the repeated camera movement become a blank slate for your production to use.
This is the case still if you have an existing virtual or CGI background and need your talent to perform differently but need to retain the same movement both in your “fake” background and the real foreground. This is illustrated by the video production below where the company had a CGI background and needed the presenter to say different lines while the camera accomplished identical movements.
What cameras will fit on the moco rig?
Because the moco rig is required to run at speed and often perform some elaborate moves we don’t tend to fit our large broadcast cameras on them. We therefore suggest DSLR’s or very stripped down larger cameras. For example, we rigged the slider with a Sony FS7 and small autocue but to do so we removed the viewfinder, arm used a lighter prime lens to achieve a steady motion. If you’re not sure if your camera will be appropriate then drop us a line and we can advise.
The Motion Control rig is a real boon to any production that uses it. It takes time to set up in programming the intricate moves so do bear this in mind when scheduling your shoot at the Manchester studio or on location.