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MikeS

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We are now full into the swing of the ski season in the Northern Hemisphere, which means the number of videos posted for MA (motion analysis) will be exploding over the next few months. However, some videos are better than others for doing motion analysis. So here are some tips to get the best out of your video so we can give you the best advice.

  • No POV- POV shots, like GoPro, are fun to show your friends, but useless for MA. In order to analyze your skiing, we need to be able to see you. The most we see in a POV shot are ski tips and maybe hands. This applies to analyzing the person wearing the camera. If you can get someone else to wear a camera and ski along with you in frame, that is actually ideal.
  • No vertical shots- If you are recording on a smartphone, make sure the person shooting is holding the phone horizontally. A vertical video will automatically be shrunken to fit a standard screen, which makes it hard to see.
  • Get multiple angles- Have the person shooting your video record you as you ski down to them, pass them, and ski down away from them. We use different angles to assess different things in skiing. Just an approach shot can tell us some things, but a multiple angle shot can tell us a whole lot more.
  • High-Resolution is your friend- Shoot your video at as high a resolution as is feasible, and upload in hi def. Yes, we can figure things out from a 240p video, but it's a lot easier to spot what's going on if you're in 720p or greater. While you're at it, if you can shoot at 60fps or more, go for it. It makes it easier to slow down if needed.
  • Make sure the lighting is consistent- Smartphone camera sensors are great at adapting to most daytime lighting conditions, but only one at a time. If it's cloudy, you're fine. If the sun is out, make sure you are not shooting in a place where you are going in and out of shadows. The camera will adapt to the sunny part, and you wont be able to see the shadowed part.
  • Shoot on appropriate terrain- Unless you are asking something that has to do with the challenge of the terrain, such as "my form breaks down when it gets steep/bumpy/icy", shoot your video on terrain that is not overly challenging to you. We can assess your issues in fundamental technique much better when you are not in survival mode. (Unless you are always in survival mode. Then just give us what you've got).
Those are the best tips I have for how to get a good video for MA. Maybe some other people have others. Just remember, the better the video, the better the MA. We are looking at surprisingly subtle things, so being able to get a good look is important.
 

T-Square

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If you have a stabilizer please use it. With a good stabilizer the cameraman can ski along side. This will give a longer clip closer to the skier. Also the stabilized clip is a lot easier to view.

Edit the clip to take out the ‘ash and trash." Those areas of film where the camera is rapidly moved up, down, sideways, and corkscrew gives us all vertigo.

Try to get at least 2 full turns in without stops and starts. 3 or 4 is even better. MA evaluators need to see your complete flow from turn to turn.

If you ski by the cameraman, keep away so you remain in the full frame. Also, the distance slows down the relative motion and the cameraman can follow you with more precision..

Be careful. I’ve done my share of filming. The cameraman can get lost in the camera and not be aware of his surroundings.
 

Tricia

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Making this a sticky
 

Mike King

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I know that landscape orientation is traditional for cinema, but I question the admonition to use it for all MA. Portrait mode on a phone is the best resolution for communicating feedback to your student -- it maximizes the body in the frame. If you use landscape, then the tall person is compressed to the narrow width of the screen, wasting resolution on stuff that doesn't matter. Even reviewing phone portrait video on a landscape display, the height of the person still fills the frame, allowing the focus to be on the movements of the subject.

If you are using a video camera, everything will be in landscape. Of course, if you are preserving this stuff for aesthetic reasons, then landscape mode is much better.

Mike
 

KevinF

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Remember that the cold will kill your camera batteries in a hurry. Keep your camera someplace warm. That got me the other day -- batteries were fully charged overnight, but my video guy got about four turns of me before the camera batteries died.
 

Monique

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No POV- POV shots, like GoPro, are fun to show your friends
No. Your friends don't want to see them, either, unless (as you suggested) your POV shot also includes another (good) skier.

The one exception is if you want to scare your parents by showing them how tight the trees are where you like to ski.

With a good stabilizer the cameraman can ski along side.
IF they are skilled enough to do this. I'm not sure I am. I was once on a ~40 degree slope and got vertigo while *standing still* trying to get a photo of a friend.
 

Jamt

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Let the skier pass the camera so you get about 5 turns from the front and 5 from the back.
 

Josh Matta

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I know that landscape orientation is traditional for cinema, but I question the admonition to use it for all MA. Portrait mode on a phone is the best resolution for communicating feedback to your student -- it maximizes the body in the frame. If you use landscape, then the tall person is compressed to the narrow width of the screen, wasting resolution on stuff that doesn't matter. Even reviewing phone portrait video on a landscape display, the height of the person still fills the frame, allowing the focus to be on the movements of the subject.

If you are using a video camera, everything will be in landscape. Of course, if you are preserving this stuff for aesthetic reasons, then landscape mode is much better.

Mike
Sorry portrait mode is awful unless your playing back on the phone, and even then its much harder to an inexperienced camera person to track as the FOV is much narrow. If the ultimate goal is to post it to youtube then landscape is superior.

all my recent videos have been entirely shot on a Iphone, You could easily MA from if you wanted to. In fact I am basicaly done MAing vertical video and if everyone else just stop MAing we can stop it from getting posted.
 

QueueCT

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The real question is whether it's better to take a static shot (scene 1) or a following shot (scene 2) when you don't have a gimbal to stabilize the camera.

These are my daughters last year in Whistler being ridiculously passive with their arms and poles.

 
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MikeS

MikeS

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The real question is whether it's better to take a static shot (scene 1) or a following shot (scene 2) when you don't have a gimbal to stabilize the camera.

These are my daughters last year in Whistler being ridiculously passive with their arms and poles.

Either of those shots could be useful. Both could be even more useful. As I noted up top, a single angle is less useful than multiple angles. In the first shot, the video cuts off before your daughter passes you. Next time, have her continue to ski past and ski for at least a few turns prior to stopping. A follow shot is useful because the subject of the video stays in frame, and stays relatively close to the camera throughout the shot. The drawbacks of follow are that you only get one angle, as well as the potential risk of having the shooter be distracted while skiing. As far as stability, the follow video was a little shaky, but nothing terrible. If you're concerned about that, most video editors have a mode that will stabilize that type of shakiness. Some action cameras (Sony, for example) have built-in image stabilization, as well.

If you're serious about shooting for MA, you can get an action cam (GoPro or the like), and use a shoulder mount harness. It has the advantage of being more stable than hand held, You're not as distracted because you're not holding/looking at the camera, and the good shoulder mounts can have the camera facing front or rear, or even to the side, so you can get multiple angles of your subject. This is something that really is best for people doing a lot of MA, like instructors. I have the Stuntman for my camera, photos below.

 
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mdf

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Youtube itself offers video stabliization at upload time, although according to this review other tools do a better job.

The examples in the link are skiing videos, by the way.
 

wutangclan

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Don't zoom in so much that you have to pan from side to side to keep the skier in the frame as they turn. Panning (if any) should be very slow, smooth and in one direction only.
 

Fishbowl

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Remember that the cold will kill your camera batteries in a hurry. Keep your camera someplace warm. That got me the other day -- batteries were fully charged overnight, but my video guy got about four turns of me before the camera batteries died.
An easy solution to the “cold phone” issue is to stick a chemical toe warmer to the back of your phone. As I only usually take my phone out for quick pictures, I just keep a warmer in the same pocket as the phone, but for extended use, you can stick it!
 

Doug Briggs

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I know that landscape orientation is traditional for cinema, but I question the admonition to use it for all MA. Portrait mode on a phone is the best resolution for communicating feedback to your student -- it maximizes the body in the frame. If you use landscape, then the tall person is compressed to the narrow width of the screen, wasting resolution on stuff that doesn't matter. Even reviewing phone portrait video on a landscape display, the height of the person still fills the frame, allowing the focus to be on the movements of the subject.

If you are using a video camera, everything will be in landscape. Of course, if you are preserving this stuff for aesthetic reasons, then landscape mode is much better.

Mike
For this argument to succeed, you have to zoom in quite a bit. If you zoom that much, you risk increasing the shake factor and cutting off the subject when you pan.

As the skier is typically going left and right, having more real estate for them to be viewed in horizontally gives you a better chance of not cutting them off.

I like have a plan so that I know where the subject is going so I can anticipate how and when to pan and zoom.

Don't over zoom. It makes for shaky video, loss of subject while panning and often cutting off the subject.
 

mdf

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I've seen the soloshot commercials and think it looks like a great tool (provided it works as well in real life).
Someone on epicski used to do movie selfies in the back country by skiing past and then hiking back to the camera. Maybe the bumper Blake (forget the screen name). I think @Stev here sometimes does something similar.
 

Stev

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I use the custom timer function on a Canon SD780 mounted on various versions of a mini-tripod. I usually can get one good shot after trying a few burst of 10s.
 

Mike King

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For this argument to succeed, you have to zoom in quite a bit. If you zoom that much, you risk increasing the shake factor and cutting off the subject when you pan.

As the skier is typically going left and right, having more real estate for them to be viewed in horizontally gives you a better chance of not cutting them off.

I like have a plan so that I know where the subject is going so I can anticipate how and when to pan and zoom.

Don't over zoom. It makes for shaky video, loss of subject while panning and often cutting off the subject.
This presumes that the camera is in a fixed position following the skier. I use portrait mode while skiing behind or beside my subject. The larger image of the body and skis provides a clearer mechanism to identify ski performance and body movements.
 
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