Customer’s needs

Ideas2Reality have, over the years, been asked to produce many items for sporting and other prestigious events. These have included the camera tracking systems for the diving and table tennis at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the 100 metre athletic track system for the 2002 Goodwill games in Brisbane, the track camera for the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and Formula One Motor racing.

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We have also designed and built several new and novel “Steadicam” type systems used by the BBC and on many feature films since 2003.

The television industry is always seeking new shots or viewpoints for sporting events. Most of the directors and cameramen are not engineers, so one of the functions that needs to be provided is to assist the client to understand what is actually possible. This is an interactive exercise as clients initial thoughts may not be feasible within their budget or timescale.

Having worked on many such projects the Ideas2Reality team are used to working closely with clients in order to come up with a modified design that will achieve their objectives.

Examples of various clients’ requirements are:

100 Meter Athletics Track Camera

Specific features needed:-

The track must be easy to transport and assembled by two people
Stability during operation even with heavy cameras
The track must be no higher that 200mm off the ground
Accelerate and brake the camera carriage at up to 2G
It must be capable of reaching a speed of 15 m/s (50 ft/s)
Can be assembled in less than 2 hours

Steadicam type mobile camera unit

Specific features needed:-

A new mobile camera system that is lighter than existing units
More reliable and easier to maintain
Longer telescopic Carbon Fibre column
Top camera mounting easier to adjust and set up
Compatible with new articulated arms on the market
Easier battery replacement

How the customer’s needs were met

100 Meter Athletics Track Camera

The unit that Ideas2Reality designed was a twin tube track in 2.2 meter sections which would self stack on top of each other for transport. This allowed a standard sized van to be used and also fitted airfreight containers unlike other products on the market.

Each section locked into the next section by means of a rigid catch. As a result a 110 metre track could be assembled by two people in less than 40 minutes.

In between the rails two thin tanks were fixed which, once the unit was assembled, were filled with water. This provided the stability when heavy cameras were being used, but when drained the unit was easy to transport.

The drive system used encoded servo motors driving through a wide steel belt. The tension drum was sprung loaded to enable the acceleration and breaking forces to be absorbed. A variety of camera Dollies could be accommodated. The controls were relayed to a remote unit which could be controlled by the camera operator as required.

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Steadicam type mobile camera unit

Having examined the most popular units on the market and discussed the requirements for such a unit with various operators Ideas2Reality designed a unit which not only complied with the client’s requirements but provided a number of additional unique features. These included:

A longer telescopic column which enabled a wider variety of camera shots to be achieved
Additional fittings that could be carried on the unit such as a flat screen monitors
A gimbal bearing ring which has less friction than any other unit that was tested.
The ability for multiple units to be fitted to different and high load arm systems.
Easier camera balance set up.
Remotely controlled camera balance.
Laser leveling system

The unit has been successfully used in a number of major films together with sporting events such as football and rugby matches, the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics

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