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Chris Miller
Grand Master
Username: cjm51213

Post Number: 323
Registered: 5-2013
Posted on Thursday, 01 January, 2015 - 05:56 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Folks,

I am planning a big engine bay project for March, when the weather is so lovely, and working outside is a delight.

I know from experience that things can get out of hand quickly, so to that end I plan to record everything I do, if only to prevent, "How'd that ever go together?". The probability of forgetting details increases with time, which is always greater than I think it will be. "Yeah, I can do this in a day.", and then you discover things you hadn't anticipated, or something breaks or won't come apart or a part you need is back-ordered, or ... Four weeks later, "How'd that ever go together?".

I have a reasonably good camera, but when my hands are covered with gunk, how do I take pictures? And if I have to interrupt what I'm doing to take a picture, then I probably won't do it and that could be a huge mistake. Recently I hit on the idea of using a detachable USB web cam mounted above what I am doing. It will record and if I want to highlight something, then I can move it around and provide closeups. At $20, its' no big deal if I gunk it up, and it is a sealed unit, so there probably won't even be any damage. I can use any of ffmpeg, kamora, cheese, mencoder....

Has anybody tried this? Any good advice one way or another?

Thanks for the help,

Chris.
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 1498
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Thursday, 01 January, 2015 - 06:39 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Chris,

Another option would be to use an in-car video recorder; these have the advantages of an adjustable bracket which is easy to clamp to a suitable support and holds the camera whilst allowing you to position the camera to view the work site from an appropriate position. The fact that the recorder is integrated into the camera means no trailing cables to trip over or get tangled up in.
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Chris Miller
Grand Master
Username: cjm51213

Post Number: 324
Registered: 5-2013
Posted on Thursday, 01 January, 2015 - 06:50 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi David,

That's a surprisingly good idea. I hadn't thought of it, and I have some dash-cams.

On the other hand, they are a bit pricey for a project that might sacrifice them, the view angle of the engine bay would be more oblique than is optimum, and they don't display what they are capturing, making it more difficult to know that I got the segment I need.

However, it is still a good idea.

Thanks for the help,

Chris.
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Bob Reynolds
Prolific User
Username: bobreynolds

Post Number: 213
Registered: 8-2012
Posted on Thursday, 01 January, 2015 - 08:17 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

How about a head cam?
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Bob UK
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 94.197.122.77
Posted on Thursday, 01 January, 2015 - 08:33 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Chris,
I have been involved with filming car technical stuff, for training.

My job was to quickly take wheels off etc. It was good well paid skive off from a proper job for 8 weeks.

It takes hours a make 5 mins.

Typical we put the car on the lift, and the camera guy says not enough light. Then it's an hour sorting that out. Then the angles wrong and the mechanics head is in the way. Often the same part would be taken off and fitted again and again.

What works better is stills.

One film we done ( headlamp alignment) was really bad. So they used the stills from the film. With a commentary. Changing the photo at the right place to align with the words.

The best one was lift safety which had filmed long shots and stills for the close ups of important details. That way we got good films of safety bits in operation with a still at either end showing latched and unlatched.

I see stuff on you tube and it can be Ireally bad. A guy was explaining how to set up the bridge on a fender guitar. It last 20 mins. He called the viewer a mother f###### every ten seconds. He could have done it 5 mins. Plus the method he used was the standard way that fender and everyone else uses, I got right to end expecting a revelation in bridge setting, fender bridges suffer from incorrect pitch shift. Whammy bar to you.

Best one I watched was this guitarist playing can't touch this, by MC Hammer. He played it then broke it down built it in sections. Then put the riff back together. He said nothing. A tricky bit he had the camera close to the fret board so the student can see exactly. 5 min practice and Im in the zone.

The way we did it was to write a story board. 4 bits of taking off 4 wheels is daft. So one wheel only sort of thing. Then set up the next shot.

Also we had a camera man a director an assistant director me and another mechanic. Plus the equipment would make the BBC tv engineers jealous.

Never mind have a go any way.

What about a camera in the workshop roof pointing down at the engine.

For most cameras a remote is available. Maybe the remote will take a bit of grease better than the camera and be cheaper to replace when and if it does get kippered.

I look forward to your first block buster.

Happy New year. You are about 5 hours behind the UK. OZ down under is 12 hours in front.

Regards Bob UK.

(Message approved by david_gore)
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Randy Roberson
Grand Master
Username: wascator

Post Number: 341
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Thursday, 01 January, 2015 - 09:27 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I saw a serviceable-looking auto dashcam at the local Walmart for less than $30 US. That should suffice.
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Chris Miller
Grand Master
Username: cjm51213

Post Number: 325
Registered: 5-2013
Posted on Thursday, 01 January, 2015 - 03:04 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Bob R.,

> How about a head cam?
Ha! Good idea! I recently watched a video on YouTube that was record that way, and what I learned is that your head does not always point where your eyes do. The stuff I wanted to see was often at the edge of the frame and sometimes outside it. Oh, yeah, and I don't have one...


Hi Bob UK

> It takes hours a make 5 mins
Yeah, if you'er making production quality stuff for publication. I'm taking notes so I can put stuff back together! It is unlikely in the extreme that any of this footage will ever be seen by anybody outside my subnet.

> What works better is stills.
That was my original plan, but it involves gunking up my camera, or de-gloving constantly. Either way, I suspect it would be such a nusciense that taking a picture would be reserved for special events, and I think I'm going to need far more detailed notes, if I'm to avoid making a shambles of this.

> What about a camera in the workshop roof pointing down at the engine.
Precisely! I'm going to have an awning to keep the flower petals from falling on the open machinery, and I thought that would be exactly the right place to mount a web-cam. I've learned that I need three feet of distance to get two feet of width of view. With the camera easily within reach, I can grab it and zero in on particular points I want to highlight.

> For most cameras a remote is available. Maybe the
> remote will take a bit of grease better than the
> camera and be cheaper to replace when and if it
> does get kippered.
Web-cams are dirt cheap. I have one on a three foot cable that cost about $18.00 If I lose that as a result, but I successfully complete my project(s), I'll count it a win.

> I look forward to your first block buster.
Ha! Believe me, this will be ugly! And don't say "block buster" around an engine! I couldn't stand the trauma.


Hi Randy,

>... dashcam at the local Walmart for less than $30 US.
Yeah, that's a good price. It still has the problem that you can't see what it is recording, as well as a finite recording capacity, while the web-cam has terabytes of disk storage available, and the way some of my projects go, it may take terabytes!

Thanks for the help,

Chris.
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Geoff Wootton
Grand Master
Username: dounraey

Post Number: 591
Registered: 5-2012
Posted on Thursday, 01 January, 2015 - 03:16 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

My projects would take petabytes!!
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Jan Forrest
Grand Master
Username: got_one

Post Number: 724
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Thursday, 01 January, 2015 - 09:45 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Get onto the evil bay. For a pittance you can buy a pair of sunglasses with a video camera in the nose bridge. If you always turn your head to look at something the camera will pick it up in tight focus. As they record onto standard cheap SD cards (up to 2 hours per charge) you just need to pop another card in when the first one is full. Later you can transfer the 'footage' to DVDs. They're so cheap you can get 2 or 3 to always have one fully charged!

Ps. When a spanner slips and you jam your hand into a hard surface it will pick up your 'verbal response' to it in the same quality of audio track!
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Bob UK
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 94.197.122.80
Posted on Friday, 02 January, 2015 - 07:47 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Chris,
The films we made weren't high quality productions, they were no nonsense training films, about 10 mins long.

Say for instance you are taking the bonnet off, you will have to edit it. Undoing 8 bolts is boring to watch. This means you have to watch the takes and cut stuff out, it takes time.

It all seems so easy, but it isn't.

Doing a film of a guitar fret board is one thing, but cars are much more complex.

You will need to plan carefully exactly what you are going to do. This is called a story board.

(Message approved by david_gore)

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