Special Ops Paintball: How To's - Helmet Cam 101 - Special Ops Paintball

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How To's - Helmet Cam 101 basics of helmetcam work Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Tyger 

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 10:02 PM




With a LOT of people looking at doing helmet camera work this season, I figured I'd give some insights from personal experience.

FPS Video playlist : http://www.youtube.c...A610FD1FE8E8AFF

Cameras mentioned in video (current as of video release)

I-Kam xtreme : http://www.hunterspe...03&categoryID=8

Tachyon Ops : http://www.tachyoninc.com/opshd.php

GoPro : http://www.gopro.com/

ALSO, this will be the only vid this week, it's kinda an epic sized one so that should make up for it.

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#2 User is offline   Fear the Reaper 

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 06:12 AM

In my editing classes in film school, they told us 85% to 90% of handheld footage (aka paintball gun/helmet cam type stuff) is NOT good enough for final footage and should hit the edit room floor!

And that process while boring at times, is so important to making decent fps action video's.

The other thing that is astounding to me is that back in the early 90's I was selling high end editing suites for $150,000 that can be rivaled by Sony Vegas 10 HD platinum suite... For around $65! That run on dual processor laptops... AND include 400 songs that are liscense free, (and over 1,000 sound effects). Now they aren't songs that you hear on the radio, they are "elevator" type songs, with no words that you can use royalty free in a video production. But, that is another way to get "music" on your stuff, that won't be deleted because you stole it from an artist.

Here is an example of the type of music that is free with Vegas Platinum 10 Suite. This was my first video with my new editing software, and I love it after using movie maker for years...



Crazy that the technology has changed to that degree.


Seriously guys, slapping a gun cam/helmet cam doesn't mean we want to watch your "games".

We want the kills, the slides, and the funny stuff. And vary rarely is that captured well enough to be worthy of a video on youtube. I am working on my next one right now with (2 days worth) 5 hours of HD video with another 5 hours of standard video (helmetcam)...

I will be surprised if the final video is 5 minutes long... I have about 6 hours editing so far... And only about 1 minute of finished footage!


The other thing to remember is that if you shoot someone with a helmet cam/gun cam and they are "normal" distance from you.


NO ONE WILL SEE THEM. They are the size of a little smudge on the video, many guys put pointers on the screen to "show" you where the person they just "hit" was... Course you can't tell...

That is why you have to choose to either "play" or "get good footage"... You can't do both today with the available equipment.

I focused on "good footage" for a day this year, and got some amazing footage. But, it is hard, and you end up getting shot out a LOT more, as you have to wait... wait...



WAIT until they are close enough that it will show up on screen!

Then blast em.

Here is what that looks like, (when you watch this, realize just how close I am to these players. typically good "action cam" footage you have to be about 30 feet away to really see what happens). This was all shot with standard definition cameras a ATC3k (old helmet cam/gun cam) and a Visek $29 flash cam mounted to my gun. Yes, the audio is really bad on those old cams as they were "waterproof" and when you take out the membrane to make it loud enough to hear, it makes it too loud when playing in leaves. (mic points down as well...)




Now, with HD, you can cheat and zoom in on the HD footage, (decreasing the quality, but hey, if you can see what you are shooting it is worth it) But, only if you have good editing gear, that can handle HD footage. Or use a real video camera with zoom, like I do now for my gun cam. Then you can "see" the paint flying and what it hits as well.





The other thing is color/saturation correction. We typically play in the woods, so that is totally different than playing in a field. But, you typically don't "white balance" to fix your camera at both locations, so you have to depend on the camera you purchased to do this for you. They never do it great (go pro is the best I have seen for this ability) so you should buy editing gear that will allow you to do this easily. (the sony one I use is great).

Here at 1:10 is the same clip that is in the first video I posted... with the exception that this one is "unedited" it just came raw from the camera (before I got the editing gear). As you can see the image is washed out, and needs more contrast, which I did in the first video with the editing software. I also zoomed in on the first video where this is the raw footage.

All of which shows how important editing is, as well as practicing and testing out your gear before you play. Then thinking about your camera and the shots you are getting. All while playing! It isn't for everyone... But, if you like that kind of thing, it is very rewarding capturing video of the headshot you just put on your cousin at 150 feet!


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#3 User is offline   Thalion 

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 07:28 AM

All good points for film work in the video. It was your original FPS videos that got me interested in seeing if I could promote my home field(s) with some good footage. While I gave up the "helmet cam" approach, I'm thinking of doing some videos with more traditional perspective (non-player documenting a game in progress).


View PostFear the Reaper, on 31 May 2011 - 08:12 AM, said:

That is why you have to choose to either "play" or "get good footage"... You can't do both today with the available equipment.


And this is why I ended up hanging up the helmet camera.

I got one several years ago, and for half a season taped everything I could. But, very rarely did I walk away with good footage. In fact, even my better works still had a lot of shooting at "invisible" (to the viewer) players, followed by running up to fill the spot, repeat.

It was extra bulk and hassle (I was running one of those helmetcamera.com types, wires and all), and it was a rare benefit.

I still have it around, and plan on trying my hand taping other stuff for the fun of it as experimentation. But paintball FPS videos? Probably a thing of the past for me. Haven't done it in 2 years, and I'd rather play paintball and help my team win rather than trying to make a good video.
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#4 User is offline   Tyger 

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 04:39 PM

View PostFear the Reaper, on 31 May 2011 - 08:12 AM, said:

Seriously guys, slapping a gun cam/helmet cam doesn't mean we want to watch your "games".

We want the kills, the slides, and the funny stuff. And vary rarely is that captured well enough to be worthy of a video on youtube.


I tend to focus on telling a story. FPS 2 is a good example, I told a story of an hour+ game in 10 minutes. I could have edited it down a lot more to get right to the kills and such, but I wanted to tell the story of how I got to where I did, and how it worked out. The opening firefight I did edit out most of the 3 pods of paint I shot, but it was important later on to explain why I did what I did for the flag grab.

I coulda gone into detail on that, but that's more of a REAL class and it's more the realm of like professors who really know what the hell they're saying...

-Tyger
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#5 User is offline   Supergyro 

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 09:28 AM

I really hate that just because people "can" upload videos, they think they should.

And good on you reaper! I have yet to see a more definitive, concise, and clearcut review of the Apex 2.
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#6 User is offline   Fear the Reaper 

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 04:36 AM

View PostSupergyro, on 01 June 2011 - 10:28 AM, said:

I really hate that just because people "can" upload videos, they think they should.

And good on you reaper! I have yet to see a more definitive, concise, and clearcut review of the Apex 2.


Thanks Man, I appreciate it. I always thought the Apex was that much better, but that was the first time I had locked down my A-5 to a table and tested out barrels like that. Usually I just hold them, and people think I am purposefully missing with the other barrels...

I am convinced that spinning a paintball greatly increases the accuracy as the imperfections aren't as bad when the paintball is spinning and they don't have the time (or air resistance) to let those imperfections degrade the flight path. Testing at 75 feet gives plenty of flight time to show those issues.
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#7 User is offline   Dr. Wiggy 

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 06:40 PM

Sorry about being late with this reply....

I enjoyed your video on helmet cams Tyger. (I always enjoy your vids) I need help mounting my helmet cam to my mask. I have a Contour HD and V-Force Profilers & Grill. I'm pretty sure you have never used the Contour HD personally but do you think you could expound on helmet cams with some more videos in the future? After all, who better to ask than you?

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#8 User is offline   scooby doo 

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 05:25 PM

Hay, I know I'm late and your busy but here is my channel:
I have mostly helmet cam paintball videos taken with my tachyon xc hd.

I would however disagree with you on one point though. I tend to look through the top half of my goggles with my face tilted down for crawling, crouching, bent over stalking, etc. In that case I need to point my helmet camera up to see whats going on.

This post has been edited by scooby doo: 27 August 2011 - 03:57 PM

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#9 User is offline   I.K.E. 

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 06:49 PM

Great topic Tyger!
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