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How I learned to stop worrying and love the GoProDuring this weeks podcast there was mention of me at the Circuit of the Americas, particularly about GoPros. I thought I would do a journal entry to clarify a thing or two... and hopefully not seem like a douche who can/will waste $300 a weekend on cameras haha

First off, COTA is awesome. This was my second time there and the facilities are amazing. Management is a joke, but as a race track it doesn’t get any better. Jack, Gilby & Joel came out to hang out on Saturday… happy they were able to make it!



Now that that is out of the way, here is the deal with GoPros. It must have been lost in translation (very very loud trackside) but average losing about 1 GoPro per year… most of which are due to inadequate mounting, one due to physical contact. I DO have to replace the lenses on them every race, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

If you are going to an event like this, it is tremendously helpful to record footage for 1) enjoyment 2) analyzing for better lines 3) refresher course before hitting a track again. Many many events later running 6-10 cameras per event I have found what I think to be the best formula.



- If you want to see what is going on outside of the car, PUT THE CAMERA OUTSIDE OF THE CAR. Recording through windows sucks. Tons of glare/distortion. This is the reason why I have to change the lenses every event, you’d be amazed at how much shit gets kicked up by tires on a race track. To front of the cars are peppered with debris, and the little glass lenses don’t hold up well.



- Always mount the camera to a structural panel. Sticking a camera on a bumper or hood or door will always result in excessive high-frequency vibration, causing tons of rolling shutter artifacts. The windshield/roof/pillars/rear fenders are the best points of attachment.



- Keep the camera as close to the mounting point as possible. Sure, sticking it way out from the car might result in cool angles, but for every joint/inch you add you increase susceptibility to vibration and shake from the added wind and reduction in structural integrity. Suction cup mounts do work, but if possible stick it directly to the car using red 3m tape. If using suction cups, I’ve found it helps to use two and just zip tie their arms together tightly to help reduce movement under load. This is especially important at 200mph+



- Vibration WILL cause GoPros to corrupt a capture. I noticed this particularly on the prototype-style cars. I used roll-bar mounts to rigidly mount the camera to the car, but 10/10 times the camera would come back with corrupted footage. If I used tape and stick it to the body panel (or the same bar for that matter) the footage would be fine. I guess the vibration from the suspension/high-revving motor proved too much for the circuitry?



- Record audio from a second source. GoPro mics will always result in shit audio, theres nothing you can do about it. If you plug an external mic into the GoPro it still doesn’t sound great due to the cheap pre-amplification. I’m not bitching, it’s a fact of life. I use small PCM’s (e.g.- Zoom H4N) and place them in the car. This placement is also important. These track events REQUIRE you to drive with the windows down, making the entire interior a wind tunnel. Finding the calmest place varies from car to car. In Corvettes, the best place is in the passenger footwell velcro’d to the floor under the glovebox. In Vipers, it is much better on the rear decklid. Dedicated track cars with stripped interiors can’t be mounted near the floor at all otherwise all you will get is road noise. Mid-engine cars like Ferraris and Lamborghini’s are also tricky, sometimes on the center console behind the drivers right elbow works the best. The dashboard is almost never ideal, you’d be amazed how much wind curls around into there and all you get is buffeting.



- If you use a Hero1 or Hero2, use an actual SD card and not a microSD card in an adapter. They WILL vibrate loose causing you to drop capture.



- For the settings (only applicable for Hero3’s & Hero3+’s) I recommend 1080p 30fps. Medium FOV (wide gives you very little extra but penalizes you with tons of barrel distortion). If I HAVE to shoot wide angle or forgot to check settings, I use Optics Compensation in After Effects to help correct distortion. ProRes on (this is a must). AutoWB, since the files are MP4 it is better to let the camera guess then grade it out later… if it shot RAW this would be a different story.



And for a bonus, here is the Lamborghini Gavin mentioned seeing a picture of:

10 months ago  |  Comments (3)
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I should really post here more often.
10 months ago  |  Comments (0)
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I feel like Tim "The Tool Man" TaylorMORE POWER ARH ARHH ARHHH
[link=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sx7sFR8mlBY][/link]
1 year ago  |  Comments (0)
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Hard to keep upI am really bad about staying up to date with posting journals.

Being old and busy sucks, I haven't had a chance to even pick up a controller since last fall. My only chance to experience gaming is through Let's Plays which I watch while eating lunch.

I can't overstate how enjoyable it is for me to watch those videos... sure I wish I could just plop my ass on the couch and frag away, however it just isn't a luxury I have time to enjoy at the moment=( I preordered both an XB1 and PS4, so hopefully I will be able to carve out a few hours this winter!

In the mean time the lads and gents must suffice. They have definitely done the job so far!
1 year ago  |  Comments (0)
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Today's Podcast Looked Familiar...I wonder why?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzEPlF3oFbs

Beat up on that place last Fall... going to do it again twice this year

Can't wait to see what the crew is up to. Friendly advice... don't take turn 12 too hot!
1 year ago  |  Comments (0)
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What I do during renders...Mess around with lights/cameras.



"Game of Strobes"
1 year ago  |  Comments (0)
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Austin tripSo I was in Austin again (first time since RTX 2011) to race at the new Circuit of the Americas F1 track.



The weather was PERFECT... beat the pants off of STL weather in February. Got to set up shop in Fernando Alonso's pit all weekend. It was pretty legit.



I shot about 1.5tb of footage via GoPro's, Racekeeprs, DSLRs, etc. I haven't had any time to sort through it due to a crazy busy schedule (notice my lack of journals?). That will be coming soon. In the mean time you can check out the video I made for our trip to Atlanta back in November here:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzEPlF3oFbs

Ate at Whataburger, that's about it. LONG days, not much time to enjoy the city=( Need to get back! RTX 2013, anyone?
1 year ago  |  Comments (1)
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GrossWant to be grossed out?

Watch my eyeballs get cut up with a laser.

youtu.be/jqlHQ7MBUag
2 years ago  |  Comments (0)  |  + 2 Cool
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