Archive for the ‘portable devices’ Category

DIY Camera Jib Project 2: Dogs Ever Vigilant

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 by Brian Spellman, KET


Here’s our latest assembly and video test of a camera jib support, based on the online Oliviatech build that’s been enhanced with useful directions, diagrams, and parts lists by The Basic Filmmaker. See also our earlier DIYcamera jib project, a DIY camera slider project, and a simple camera stabilizer project.

This version was pretty easy to put together. School staff should be able to assist students in building it easily and it will help students understand and make lovely crane-type camera moves as seen on tv and in film productions. Be sure to wear protective eyewear when cutting, drilling and filing, and remember: cut aluminum is shaaaarrrrp, as I found out when my pliers slipped and I gouged a finger. Before assembling, file-off any sharp edges of the tubing; the metal is soft and it’s easily done. Also be careful of the tiny metal filings that accumulate around the workspace. Wipe the filings off of the parts before they make it into an eye. This would be a great shop-related project, or a special project for other classes such as, “Explorations in Fabrication of Education-Related Camera Support Equipment”…

Most of the parts were from a local hardware superstore. I followed the Basic Filmmaker’s suggestion and ordered the aluminum tubing online already cut to size. Had to search a bit further for the nylon flange bearings but found them on from You may be able to find all of the parts locally at hardware and auto parts stores. Check the helpful directions for parts specifications.

Once the jib was assembled I mounted an inexpensive but solid little quick-release camera plate found on (available for around $10.00), and used a iPhone adapter and an iPad adapter to shoot test video. Thanks to KET’s J. R. Pemberton, who kindly cut and drilled the aluminum tubing and angle stock, and to Bill Osborne for his helpful assistance. Check out the The Basic Filmmaker for a very thorough project overview and jib project plan, then build one with your students or for yourself and have fun making those special camera shots that add so much to a video production.

DIY Camera Slider Project

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013 by Brian Spellman, KET

Continuing our test-builds of do-it-yourself photography/video production tools, here’s a camera slider that schools and home users should have a good time building for little money. Using it is fun, it’s very portable, and it adds many possibilities for interesting camera moves for video production projects. Students will notice that the moves are used regularly in films and tv shows. Slideshow pics are swipeable in portable devices.


Based on the Filmriot crew’s DIY Camera Slider design, our unit was inexpensive (around $20.00, including some used parts) and it helped to produce some nice test video right off the bat. Mods I added were: substitution of a raised metal electrical switch plate; addition of an inexpensive quick-release camera mount I found online; and felt strips to line the tubes for smoother sliding. If I can build this (think Homer Simpson BBQ project) I know you can.

Here’s the first quick video test. Could do better with practice and care, but the dogs, Precious and Bunny, were perfect with no direction at all.

Camera Slider Test Video
Camera Slider Test Video

Shot with iPhone 5; edited in Lumify app (to try); WiFi transfered to iPad w/PhotoSync app (on both); edited in iMovie app to add titles, stills, and music; exported to YouTube over WiFi; inserted into WordPress blog w/Royal Slider plugin.

See the earlier camera stabilizer project.

Coming soon: a camera crane/jib project for more super-silky-fun moves!

If you’ve made something useful for video production and would like to share it please leave a response, below!

Gallatin Middle Students Use iPads for Video at KET Media Lab

Thursday, January 31st, 2013 by Brian Spellman, KET

Ms. Michelle Lawrence brought students from Gallatin County Middle School to KET on January 17 for a tour of KET’s digital production facility and a workshop in the KET Media Lab on Using iPads for Video Production.

iPads, iPhones, and other portable devices with cameras continue to become useful tools for education, and using them for student video production is fun and efficient. The learning curve for video production as compared to pc-based software is drastically reduced — especially for editing — and the quality of the finished productions is impressive. A video project can be done from start to finish in much less time, with a minimum of equipment (iPad, tripod adapter, external microphone, iMovie or other edit software), and for much less money than pc-based solutions.

Here’s a great use of the iPad and the iMovie app by Camille Davis’ students from Lexington’s Christ the King School for the KET School Video Project: Election 2012.” Camille also started her students off with a KET Media Lab workshop on Using iPads for Video Production. Check out the excellent video quality and sound of the video these very well-prepared and charming young students made — all with just an iPad ($499) and the iMovie video editing app ($5.00), which includes graphic templates and free-to-use music backgrounds — and for much less than the cost of a camera, a pc with editing software, and other gear. Improvements could be made by adding a tripod adapter and tripod, and an external microphone, which could together add about $150 or so — still well below pc-based video production costs. That brings easy, effective, and fun video production much closer to more schools.

If your school is within driving distance of KET and you’d like a free workshop (and a tour, time permitting), contact Jeff Gray, KET Education Division at; 800-432-0951 ext. 7263, 859-258-7263.

And, if you and your Kentucky students are already using iPads, iPhones, or other portable devices to make student-produced video projects, please upload examples of your work to the KET School Video Project website to share (please list what you used to make your videos in the “Notes” field of the upload form). Call or email Jeff if you have questions or need help.

Jeff will also be presenting on Using iPads for Video Production at the next  KYSTE 2013 (Kentucky Society for Technology in Education) spring conference (Willis room, 3:45 pm, Thursday, March 14). If you’re headed for the very useful and entertaining spring KYSTE conference, stop in to see and hear about video project recording, editing, and sharing using iPads (and some new information on using iPhones), along with a demonstration of various useful add-on accessories and workarounds that Jeff has found that make it all even better.

600 Cooper Drive, Lexington, KY 40502 (859) 258-7000 (800) 432-0951