Tuesday, 24 May 2016

More Video in the Round - Judder Solved

First a couple of videos made at the end of my lane just past the Village Cricket Field:

Even though I glued a small bubble level on the wooden base I find it is still quite difficult to get the horizon level. As the camera mounting allows me to tilt the camera it really needs a level on the camera but the small Nikon doesn't have anywhere to mount one.

As my old school reports probably said on many occasions - room for improvement.

I found a couple of different, cheap, 12v slow motion motors advertised so I will experiment with those when they arrive. They are 3 rpm so should take 20 seconds to take a 360 panorama video if my maths is correct. One arrived this a.m. (less than 24hrs after putting in the order).

A happy hour in the workshop making a simple mount for it.
A piece of plywood, the motor and a switch:


First I tried the Nikon at its usual 30fps - still a bit jerky.
Inspiration, try 60 fps. Brilliant on two counts. With the motor turning at 3 rpm it was a bit fast but iMovie plays the video back at 30 fps which seems to turn out just fine.

A quick test in the back garden;

I know - the grass need cutting .... again!

Part of any perceived jerkiness is caused by the software which shows the video. On the Mac it is just about perfect when I use the free VLC  player

Now looking for a suitable 12V power supply which is pocket size. There are some small NM-HI types for drones etc. but as yet haven't found a suitable charger for them.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Video in the Round

Sunday weather was glorious, especially the afternoon. Lots of white cloud but plenty of bright blue sky between. Temperature peaked about 21C so I was able to shake the creases out of a pair of shorts and risk scaring the horses.

It was time for a field test of the Arduino unit I had built to rotate a camera while it was making a video. So far it had only been tested in the back garden. I wanted a 'real world' outdoor test or two before deciding whether to take it up on the Lincolnshire Wolds which are designated as an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Here is the finished set up fixed on an old tripod.
This shows the Toshiba camera.
For this test I used the Nikon S9050 as it has a brighter screen to monitor what is going on:

I walked down to the Cricket Field and took a couple of videos there and a couple more at the end of my lane. I wonder what any observers may have thought watching me slowly walk round the tripod so as to keep behind the camera and out of shot.

This is a pair of videos from the Cricket Field played back to back:

A bit jerky. I tried slowing the video down in iMovie but that showed up the jerkiness even more. Part of the problem is slight play in the gears in the small, cheap, stepper motor but it was the only one I could find which works at 5V, the same as the Arduino which controls it. The rest of the problem will be the instant movement every time the motor steps a fraction of a degree. The only way round that as far as I can see is to use a standard motor with suitable reduction gears.

I am now considering a set up with a larger stepper motor which would be capable of holding a Canon camera with the intention of making a time lapse video panorama. Just at the painful thinking stage at the moment.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Nearly a Flutter

I saw a wasp searching under the overhang on the Summerhouse so went to make sure it wasn't finding a way in. I can do without wasps building a nest in there. No sign of the wasp but did spot a pupa:


I tried searching to identify it but failed so I have no idea whether this is a future moth or butterfly. As the casing has become transparent enough to see some of the wing markings it won't be long before it emerges.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Friday at the Flicks - Snail


After a bit more use with the Shapes Collage app I noticed that it is able to save the pictures with any colour background. I gave it a try using green so I could see how they might work in a video:

I spotted this tiny snail, shell less than 10mm across.
The Blackbird was in fine voice along with some juvenile Starlings in the background.

Have a great weekend observing the wildlife around you.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

More with Shapes Collage on the Mac


As well as making titles with photos to make up the letters photos can be displayed in a variety of shapes and with each photo within a shape:




There is not much choice for the background; black, three shades of grey, white or transparent. Every collage appears to be saved at the same total size so most need cropping in another program. One annoyance is the way all the small photos are randomised every time even the smallest change of parameter is made. Each of the above was produced with the same 20 flower photos loaded. At the time of writing Shapes Collage was still a free download from the Mac App Store.

After a bit longer use I found that the designs can be saved with any background colour.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless 5

Not your average family runabout - a mere £150,000+
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