Tag Archives: live action shooting
UK-based robotics manufacturer Mark Roberts Motion Control (MRMC) has expanded its range of Polycam tracking systems to include Solo, Velocity and Auto.
Launched at IBC last year, Polycam is a software controlled robotic system that allows multiple triangulated cameras and lenses to track a point (or numerous points) of interest, simultaneously and in real-time, using a single control interface.
With a 45 year history of manufacturing technology for the commercial TV and film industries, MRMC created Polycam to offer new editorial and commercial opportunities for live sport coverage. Producing fluid and precise repeat camera moves is a key requirement of motion control technology and this latest MRMC development builds on that tradition. “Although the principal of triangulated robotics is well understood,” commented Managing Director, Assaff Rawner, “producing systems that are easily configured, deliver consistent results, fit technically and economically in a live broadcast environment and offer real creative possibilities, are vital to realising the technology’s potential.”
MRMC has been developing Polycam with these challenges in mind, creating self-calibrating robotic heads, robust system architecture and simplified user interfaces. This process has now produced three Polycam variations which have been extensively tested and trialled on many sports including football, tennis, basketball, horse and dog racing.
‘Polycam Velocity’ is designed to simplify the control of multiple cameras at race tracks and other circuits where the path of the subject is known. The user need only adjust the speed of the cameras following the path. Real-time positioning data automatically adjusts focus relative to the moving target and slaved zooms maintain consistent framing. By offering consistent and repeatable camera moves Velocity allows features such as comparative race analysis possible.
‘Polycam Auto’ is designed to interface to 3rd party image analysis and tracking systems such as ChyronHego’s TRACAB and automatically control the point of interest of the camera. The operator simply selects an individual player (or group of players) to follow. With automatic and precise focus tracking, Polycam Auto is also ideal for supporting Ultra HD and high-speed camera technology.
‘Polycam Solo’ is the general system form that allows a single operator to manually and simultaneously control multiple perspectives and camera motion from a single controller.
“By refining our Polycam features,” added Rawner, “we are aiming to offer a clear path to potential production benefits. Whether the driver is cost savings, unique camera perspectives, enhanced visual analysis or multi-camera web content creation, the new Polycam configurations are designed to add value on many levels.”
MRMC UK, 8th July 2013: Mark Roberts Motion Control (MRMC). takes a giant leap forward in photographic development, with the introduction of a revolutionary new robotics solution that allows professional photographers to achieve shots that were never before possible.
Bob Martin, legendary sports photographer, made history at Wimbledon 2013 as the first photographer to trial a new fast action robotics system; the product of a collaboration between Nikon and MRMC, the leading designer and manufacturer of quality motion control products.
Using Nikon’s award-winning D4 digital SLR cameras mounted on MRMC’s SFH-30 robotic heads located at the venue, Bob is able to quickly move and rotate any of the cameras and take shots from positions that would not normally be physically possible, allowing photographers to shoot difficult angles and in impossible locations.
Each camera is controlled and used to shoot images by a single photographer from a remote location. The impressive latency of this system of less than 0.1 seconds makes this robotics system an ideal solution for shooting fast action sporting events.
By attaching one of the robotic heads and camera to the roof above Centre Court, Bob was able to capture images from a location that had never before been attempted at the event.
James Banfield Professional Services and Business Solutions Manager at Nikon UK says: “Our robotics project has been in the making for some time; since the London Olympics we’ve been working with Bob Martin and leading photo agencies who needed more from existing robotics systems, listening to their feedback and requirements to refine and develop this system.
He adds: “Initially the robotics set up has been designed to support sports photographers, maximising the qualities of the D4 camera and allowing them to track fast moving subjects, however there is great scope to use it for other areas of photography – our customers will dictate where this solution is used next.”
Bob also made history during the first week of the oldest major tennis championship, shooting with a new MRMC Polycam configuration, with three separate robotic heads being used in synchronisation. As the master head was controlled by Bob, two other robotic heads overlooking Centre Court moved at the same time to track the same subject, allowing Bob to capture the action from three separate angles, using a remote, with every release of the shutter. Polycam allows any number of robotic heads to be working together intelligently to automatically all track the same point of interest but from multiple perspectives, allowing one photographer or cameraman to effectively and easily control multiple remotes.
Bob Martin, sports photographer, says: “The demand for new images at big sporting events is what encourages me to push the limits of photography. Using this set up, it’s proved that capturing the impossible is now possible, which is very exciting for the future of photography.
I had some images in mind at Wimbledon before we set everything up; I was constantly hoping for sun so that I could capture the players on the grass with stunning shadows. Eventually the sun came out, so I’ve now got new, different images to add to my portfolio and offer my clients.”
Nikon is working with Bob Martin to trial the setup. He used a Nikon D4 camera, 200-400mm and 80-400mm lenses with the robotic system and MRMC Polycam configuration set up with SFH-30 heads to control Pan, Tilt, Roll (landscape/portrait),Zoom and Focus control via ethernet. Three Nikon D4’s were also set up in various locations to record time-lapse images, with each taking one picture every minute and feeding it directly to the Wimbledon Ipad App giving viewers a unique Wimbledon experience in superior full-frame resolution.
Assaff Rawner, Managing Director at MRMC, says: “We’re pleased to be working with Nikon, to explore this new area for us creating solutions for photographers who are keen to take photography to a new level, with the help of our robotic and Polycam systems. Whilst the partnership has only been going since the start of the London Olympics, we’ve learnt so much and look forward to taking the systems further to support all photographers’ creative ideas and other specialist projects".
For more information please contact our Sales / Rentals Manager on +441342 838 000 or firstname.lastname@example.org. www.mrmoco.com
Cutting Edge Motion Control solutions that push the envelope and keep the industry moving forwards has been the stock-in-trade for UK based company Mark Roberts Motion Control Ltd since it's inception nearly 50 years ago. So it was with a hint of nonchalance, but extreme pride, that the AFC-100 Broadcast Motion Control Head was released at the BVE Expo in London recently.
The AFC-100 offers unparalleled performance for a compact robotic head and provides advanced features designed to excel at a wide range of TV production requirements.From high speed live action, precise time-lapse and silent studio operation, the AFC-100 is built to exceed the most demanding of creative applications.
With integrated I/O connectivity, network scalability, optional CCU control and high-bandwidth throughput, the AFC-100 fits seamlessly in current and emerging multi-camera workflows.
MRMC controls every aspect of the manufacturing process allowing for a high level of customised features and personalised finishes.
The reponse to the Head has been nothing short of exceptional,and it is expected that news will soon be following of aplications with results and footage. See below for a short summary of features and specificsations:
- Accurate, fast and compact
- High bandwidth pan slip rings with support for up to 3G HD video
- Available with brushless servo or stepper motors
- Networkable and easily scalable for multi-camera operation
- Ethernet control of pan, tilt, zoom and focus (further options include RS232, RS422 & wireless)
- Integrated control of Canon and Fujinon broadcast servo lenses
- External fibre interfaces for extended operating distances available
- Control options include Joystick console, Pan Bars, Handwheels and Flair software
- High quality personalised logo engraving available
Please see the below video of this head:
MRMC continue to deliver groundbreaking solutions that flex the creative minds and muscles of this advanced age. Offered with next generation slip rings, near silent operation and precision servos which enable unlimited panning and gives the AFC-100 a distinct advantage when considering tactical and challenging locations. The new head is aimed at servicing a wide range of demanding creative applications. The head itself is based on the SFH-30 model already available from MRMC but has been considerably modified to render this new and exciting piece of Broadcast Moco kit.
The desire to make this technology available to the broadcast market has grown out of the long standing precision engineering and technological prowess renowned throughout the Movie and TV production industries by the Technical Academy Award Winning MILO Motion Control Crane and Flair Software.
Managing Director, Assaff Rawner, commented, "This new head is testament to our focus on delivering high-end technology that meets new TV production standards, whilst ensuring we continue to provide a tailored and personalised service for our customers."
- Weight 5kg
- Camera Payload up to 14kg
- Max Speed up to 100°/sec
- Acceleration 100°/sec2
- Dimensions 250x256x139mm
- Power 24 VDC / 110-240 VAC
- Resolution <0.0001°
A bespoke version of the AFC-100 has already been commissioned for a medical facility, employing nine newtorked MRMC heads and a 3G HD workflow. For a more in depth insight, please contact Mark Roberts Motion Control directly on: +441342 838 000 or email@example.com
We often get asked to go around a subject at high speed. This month we were asked to create a high speed rig for a client wanting to go at over 5m/s (16’/sec) around a subject while filming with a high speed Olympus i-Speed camera. Additionally they wanted to be able to go around and around and not have to worry about cables tangling. We created what was needed and the results were pretty jaw-dropping so we thought we’d put some of the test footage online.
Standard off-the-shelf rental dolly rail was used and special dolly wheels were used to “grip” onto to the rail to stop the dolly from flying off due to centrifugal forces. Even so, everything including the rail had to be heavily weighed down to ensure nothing tried to move off during the high speed motion.
For more information contact Mark Roberts Motion Control on T: 441342 838 000 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some users may have noticed a new addition to our website last month. www.mrmoco.com/shop is our new online shop. Its only a small taster of what’s to come, but we thought we’d start by putting on some of our popular smaller products online, for users to buy directly from the website. It includes the more standard configurations of our small pan-tilt heads and sliders for motion control and time-lapse, including various controllers. It’s only a tiny portion of what we do, and buyers are always welcome to ask about customizations for their specific applications. It also calculates UPS shipping costs although for large orders it is best to get a direct quotation for shipping. More content will be added shortly, but you will find some interesting items on there.
The SFH-30 is one of our most popular heads. This versatile head can be used for many applications such as live-action, sports, Time-lapse, Stop-Frame animation, or High-speed shooting. This video offers a simple introduction to this popular Motion Control Pan-Tilt-Roll Head.
Imagine setting up 10 cameras to broadcast a football game, or music concert, and then having only one operator controlling them simultaneously. Or imagine, having a full complement of camera positions and camera operators and then adding some additional automated camera positions for generating additional second-screen views and revenue, without having to increase man-power. These are just some of the benefits and applications of MRMC’s new patent pending Polycam system, released this year at IBC.
Developed by our clever boffins, using our precision mechanical technology developed for the film special effects industry, our IP-networked electronics (for LAN and internet remote control) and some funky mathematics, Polycam is the way for future multi-camera productions. Its application is not just for main camera views, but also for slave cameras carrying cameras with alternative formats or resolutions, or for the rapidly growing second screen views, allowing users to choose different points of view and on mobile or smart TVs.
Additionally Polycam could be integrated with leading real-time image analysis software to automatically follow the player or other point of interest. The interest generated at IBC has been very welcome and more and more applications for Polycam are continuously being raised.
And of course because the system is IP-based, control can be achieved not just locally but from a remote control room anywhere in the world, allowing for suitable bandwidth.
Polycam has developed out of the precision technology Mark Roberts Motion Control is industry renowned for and offers broadcasters the reliability and consistency of shots that have made the most demanding of motion control composite sequences possible for many blockbuster movies.
Here is a YouTube video that demonstrates the principles of the system and how to control it.
Polycam is just one of the Broadcast Solutions newly available from Mark Roberts Motion Control, click on the link here to go to the brand new broadcast solution pages on our website. Please contact Steve Boland to request more information.
01342 838 000
For 6 Months AFP worked with camera manufacturer – the default camera for most of the Agency’s photographers – and us, to adapt the devices to be used in London.
SFH-30 custom remote robotic pan, tilt, zoom and roll heads
The Heads are a variant of the MRMC standard SFH-30 Pan Tilt Head, but by working with AFP and Nikon have been custom upgraded to include remote robotic pan, tilt, zoom and roll (changing from landscape to portrait). These are now installed in 15 different positions in the Olympic venues and are currently in operation for the games. This is the first time this technology has been used to such an extent.
The Heads are mounted from holes in the ceiling of the Aquatics centre as due to Health and Safety concerns human photographers were not permitted.
The Heads can move a heavy payload at speed, with ease, to capture the action at the events. The Heads shown in the photos above carries 2 Nikon D4’s, one with a 200 – 400mm zoom for getting close up shots and the other one with a 70-200mm lens for slightly wider shots allowing photographers in the Aquatics Centre to get the exact shots they want from positions they wouldn’t normally be able to shoot from.
The Youtube Video of these heads being manufactured and tested was uploaded and has proved to be very popular. (Pool image showing holes where cameras are mounted to).
Please click the link here to the afp robotic video or the image below to see these remarkable heads being developed.
MRMC have also supplied remote heads with underwater housing for getting shots of the swimmers and divers underwater for award winning AFP photographer Francois Marit.
Sneak Peek SFH-30 with Car Mount
The SFH-30 is precise enough to be completely pixel accurate with HD cameras
yet compact and lightweight for ease of use and transportation to any location.
It is a fast-moving head but also easily capable of macro filming. Its robust design accommodates a wide range of cameras and lenses with a maximum payload of over 13kg. With simple to use controllers for every application
(iPhone apps, Joystick Console, Pan Bars, Handwheels, Flair programming
software) your attention is free to create and get that perfect shot.
This lightweight and versatile Pan/Tilt Head is becoming ever popular recently. It can be used for Stop-Frame, or Timelapse applications, but is increasingly being provided to be used in many new and exciting ways. We have taken the head to various expo’s and trade shows this year including Annecy and Cine Gear, as well as NAB and CABSAT.
Contact Mark Roberts Motion Control for more details, or for a quotation.
T: 01342 838 000
Here you can see a photo of the Motion Control Pan-Tilt unit tested at Pinewood studios water tank at 6 metres depth. or alternatively click on the link below to see a video of it working in a swimming pool.
The Underwater head is one area of major developments that MRMC have been involved in recently. Some of which are being supplied for use during the Olympics. The picture below shows a sneak peak of the early underwater prototype, designed to go in the swimming and diving pools. It will also work in the sea for underwater filming or time-lapse. Not shown on this model is the underwater focus control.
Click this link to see the Underwater Head Test in a Swimming Pool
Here is a link to the Prototype Underwater Head Video Our new underwater pan/tilt head allows you to remotely control the head from above ground or with special underwater controllers. Can be used for underwater photography, video or time lapse in swimming pools or in open ocean. For more information contact us www.mrmoco.com