ATOM + EPIC + Steadicam = 5k 3D on the move
Joey and guys over at Element Technica were nice enough to invite me to test fly the Atom Rig with the Epics today. Also checked out the neutron and scarlet combo.
I have worked with the Neutron alot this year on my steadi and was anxious to try the Atom/epic on my steadicam rig.
It's important to note that GPI maker of the PRO steadicam rig which the majority of A level operators use in the industry is coming out with a updated battery module that will allow greater battery movement. This will allow me us reduce battery weight from what you see in the pictures/video. Also, in place of that battery you see hanging off the back of the rig I'm excited to announce that Element Technica is currently working on a "balance module". It will be a device that will attach roughly on the back of the rig and will compensate for IO movement. It will have some unique design features allowing smooth "IO pulls" by the stereographer and provide the best IO balance system I have heard of. Just like the guys at RED, they are very busy over there and it will probably not be ready right away but they are working on it already. Can't wait to test that out!
The other advantage of this system is that it will place some weight were we need it...on the top camera towards the back. So it will serve few functions.
Right off the bat, I noticed just like the neutron with the gimbal at the top of the post (where it needs to be) the Atom/Pulsar allows the operator to pan past 90 degrees! This is currently impossible on all other 3D rigs since you hit the bottom camera way sooner. This is made possible on the Technica3D rigs because they have a very low profile bottom camera plate. In fact the only thing making contact with the gimbal handle is the dovetail. So in cases where you are using primes or other short lenses you can use a shorter rig dovetail and achieve 360 degree free rotation while operating or balancing. Frankly the close to 120 degrees it gives you normally without having to shorten the dovetail (I showed this in the video) is enough to do a very common "profile" walk and talk shot. This allows the operator to walk forward and point the lens 90degress towards the actor. Right now this simple task is not possible on other rigs.
I tested the rig with a few lenses,
Angeniuex Rouge 16-42
Main reason was to see what effect the different lenses had on rig balance because of weight and size.
Surprisingly, as a operator and sterographer I have to say there are the Angeniuex zooms are a good combination. Slightly longer post, but the flexibility of the zoom saves alot of speed on set especially a 3D set. Since the Epics are fairly light moving the weight back a few inches is not as bad as you think since you need some weight towards the back anyway!
Naturally, if I was preparing for a feature I would test some more and would improve further after some modifications.
The setup I threw together for the test can be improved on and made even lighter. While the setup is not lightweight around 60lbs (for everything including my steadicam post, monitor, batteries etc and rig) as it is, still a night and day difference from any other rig with RED One's or Alexas!! I know we can lighten that number alot. Especially if you take into account they are making a magnesium version that will be around 5 lbs. lighter!
and low mode was no problem...
The other options currently being used on set right now all have less resolution and 20lbs.+ more weight. All of them max out a PRO arm which means they are around 80lbs+. Also they all have the pan/gimbal issue. So when you think about it the Atom is a great step forward.
Complete specs on the Atom here;
exciting times...excited to be a part of it.
enjoy the video!
or on vimeo