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Thread: Making Motorcycle Videos

  1. #1
    Motorcycleton
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    Making Motorcycle Videos

    A few weeks back, as a result of some MOA forum communications, I went on a quite nice ride through the Ohio Amish countryside. I made a little video of our ride. Boxergrrlie was nice enough to make the video available on the internet. The video is just a bit over 9 minutes and is around 145 MB is size.

    Thus a high speed internet connection is necessary to view the video. The link is:
    http://tinyurl.com/bzfol

    The astute viewer will likely note that the lead rider is on a R75/6 and the rest are on R11xxRSs.

    As a result of queries from similar posts on the rounder website and the airlist I've put together some information on the equipment and software used to make the video.

    I used the Helmet Camera setup from:
    http://www.helmetcamera.com/
    I use the 480 line resolution camera.

    For a video recorder I purchased a relatively inexpensive digital video camera. I use a Canon ZR85 camera that sold for about $300 last year. One feature that I wish that I'd gotten was the ability to turn the camera record on and off using a remote cable. The camera came with an infra-red remote, but that's of little use when the camera is in a tankbag or fanny pack. I think that this feature is called the LANC input.

    The video is transferred to a pc via a firewire cable. I use the software Studio 9 to capture the video and do the editing. Studio 9 is from Pinnacle:
    http://tinyurl.com/842hq

    I've also tried using less expensive security "bullet" or "lipstick" cameras, but these have seemed to yield less satisfactory pictures (even when advertised as having 480 line resolution). Some such security cameras are available from:
    http://www.scdlink.com/shop/shopexd.asp?id=1226

    I like to have the camera and helmetcamera.com housing mounted to the left side of my helmet. The housing is mounted with industrial strength "velcro".

    Quite a few of my attempts at doing videos don't work.

    I made a half-hour video of a ride through the Ohio country side in Sept. After riding for about 1 minute, I decided to adjust the camera's position on my helmet. I then obtained 29 minutes of video of the nice blue sky rather than the road. I should have left well enough alone.

    I also have to start the recording on the video camera and then place the camera and wires in the tank bag or fanny pack. On more than one instance I've inadvertantly hit the pause or stop button - result - no video.

    Wind noise is frequently a problem. I've yet to find the optimal location for the microphone. Thus I usually decrease the motorcycle audio when I get moving and add a music track overlay. Trust me, it is really irritating to hear the wind noise.

    I've tried to mount the camera to the motorcycle, i.e., handlebars and other locations. The high frequency vibrations that come through all motorcycles (BMW, HD, Ducati, Triumph) that I've tried thus far tend to adversely affect the video quality. Some damping of the high frequency vibration is needed. More experimentation is in order.

  2. #2
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    Very cool. Me like.
    -=Brad

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  3. #3
    SNC1923
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    Thumbs up Great Video and Info

    A: Thanks for the cool movie. I feel like I've been on a ride with you and it was fun.

    B: Thank you for this post. I've been mulling over the idea of starting a thread where I would ask several of the questions you answered in your post.

    C: I'm an avid, long-time photographer and videographer. I enjoy shooting and making videos. I edit on a Mac, but it's the same result that you are getting, which is very nice. The missing links for me have been on-board video and posting it to the web. Thanks for directing me to solutions for these issues.

    How great is this forum? You get your questions answered before you even ask them.

    Again, nice video. Thanks!

  4. #4
    BELG
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    Now THAT is a cool ride report :=)

  5. #5
    On a Ride
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    robsmoto... Good thoughts and shared experiences. I could leave a long post of what I've learned about camcorders, helmet cams, gas cap ring mounts wind noise management, vibration management, power management, position of the sun, video editing, and on and on. But the learning is worth it. Has taken two seasons of riding and now I can get things right the first time maybe 80-90% of the time . Have many vids. Many never posted. Took a sportcam (Samsung X-105L) to New Zealand two weeks ago and used it on a VFR rental following a business trip there. You know what helped pass the time on the long flight over? Re-riding many rides on my laptop, watching the videos. Keep it up!

  6. #6
    Motorcycleton
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    Posting motorcycle videos

    Quote Originally Posted by sfarson
    ... I could leave a long post of what I've learned about camcorders, helmet cams, gas cap ring mounts wind noise management, vibration management, power management, position of the sun, video editing, and on and on.
    Have many vids. Many never posted.
    I'd be quite interested in your thoughts about improving the quality of motorcycle videos.

    I'd also like to see the videos that you've made.

    There is a free resource on the net, hosted by Google, that will allow posting of videos. That is what is used for the Thread Starter video. The link to create an account (free) and upload videos is:
    https://upload.video.google.com/

    The link to find and view videos is:
    http://video.google.com/

  7. #7
    SNOONE
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    I viewed your video at 7:30 AM sitting at my desk drinking my morning cup of tea.. Thanks for contributing to my morning serenity

  8. #8
    Motorcycleton
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    Other free video hosting resources

    Another free resource to host videos is Putfile. There is a 10 MB limit, however, on the size of the videos. To search that site for videos use the link:
    http://www.putfile.com/search.php

    If one, for instance, types in "motorcycle" as the search term a number of video clip titles uploaded by others will be shown. Many of these clips seem to be of show-off stunts and accidents. At least one of the accidents is quite grim.

    I uploaded a little mpg (about 1 min) clip of a ride this past Sept. It is at:
    http://media.putfile.com/r11rs050922a Note: I could not play this clip on a mac. PC users should be able to view it just fine. Sorry, mac folks - now that I have a mac I can do more thorough testing.

    This little clip fully illustrates the need to leave well enough alone. I had the camera correctly positioned on my helmet, but after a little bit I decided to reposition the camera. Fortunately for anyone wishing to view the video you are spared the subsequent 30 minutes of blue sky and clouds... :-) The first little bit isn't too bad.

  9. #9
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing a great video and information. Now that I have the information I have to redo my Christmas wish list.
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

    St. Paul Pioneer Press , Minneapolis Star Tribune

  10. #10
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robsmoto
    I like to have the camera and helmetcamera.com housing mounted to the left side of my helmet. The housing is mounted with industrial strength "velcro".

    Wind noise is frequently a problem. I've yet to find the optimal location for the microphone. Thus I usually decrease the motorcycle audio when I get moving and add a music track overlay. Trust me, it is really irritating to hear the wind noise.
    I have one of the older "lipstick" cameras from Helmet Camera; 330 or so lines of resolution, I think.

    I also used the helmet mount that came with the camera using 3M Dual Lock.

    Helmet mounting takes care of most vibration and bumps, BUT on very twisty roads with very tight hairpins, it isn't the solution. My 8 hours of videoing in the Alps proved that. With a helmet mounted camera, head motion has to be kept to almost nil or to very slow panning. Tough to see the road when doing that. As for hairpins, you need to swing your head around to see where you're going.

    As for the microphone issue, I solved that by buying a Stereo Amplified Listener from Radio Shack. I wrapped it in foam and stuck it behind the fairing. Worked like a charm.

    Link to On-Bike Video Cameras on the Horizons Unlimited site.

  11. #11
    Motorcycleton
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    A few more video clips with some comments

    I've placed a few more video clips on-line and will provide links with some comments on how they were made - and some problems.

    First, here's one I call "Ed departs". This video was made using a Sony Cyber-Shot Model DSC-F505V digital camera operated in the "movie" mode. This camera will capture up to 15 second video clips. I took several of these clips and put them together to make this clip. There is no music track, just audio and sounds of his R100RT starting and departing. We'd just returned from a camping trip somewhere, likely the Ga Mtn Rally some years back.
    http://media.putfile.com/Ed-departs

    Next is a clip made of me riding a R100GS/PD through the Hocking Hills about 30 miles southeast of Columbus, Ohio. The camera used was a Aiptek Pocket DVII camera; camera review and info at:
    http://www.epinions.com/content_156119568004
    The camera uses a CF flash memory card rather than tape to record the video. The images are captured at 10 frames per second (fps) and the focus is fixed - no zoom. However, the camera was relatively inexpensive (less than $80). The camera was mounted to the PD's handlebar using a RAM mount. The PD has the tall Parabellum windscreen and the reflection of that windscreen can be seen in the video. A suprising amount of video is contained on a 256MB CF card and the two AA batteries that power the camera last for a good while (I'm only on my 3rd set of alkaline batteries after having the camera for about 18 months of sporadic use). The avi image can be transferred to the computer either via a USB cable or by removing the CF card and using a multi-card reader. The video is at:
    http://media.putfile.com/R100GSPS_aiptek

    The third clip is also of the GS/PD in another part of Hocking Hills, but the camera is a Canon ZR85 digital video camera. The camera is also mounted to the handlebars with a RAM mount. I first heard of the RAM mounts on the Pashnit website.
    http://www.pashnit.com/more/cameramount.htm
    http://www.ram-mount.com/index.htm
    While the RAM mount is secure, it also allows high frequency vibration to transfer to the camera. For the Aiptek camera, the microphone would resonate at certain frequencies (rpms) and give a loud buzz. For the Canon, which uses digital tape, the vibration seemed to cause the tape to move relative to the head in a manner other than desirable with a resulting fuzzy picture. Normally the Canon would give a much higher resolution picture than the Aiptek, but this is not apparent from these clips.
    http://media.putfile.com/R100GSPD-HH_Canon_2m

    The fourth clip is of a Triumph Tiger riding through a neighborhood during the autum of 2004. The helmetcamera.com 480 line camera with a wider angle lens was used. For subsequent videos the wide angle lens was replaced with one having a slightly longer focal length. I thought that there was too much view of the cockpit and not enough of the upcoming road. Personal preference.
    http://media.putfile.com/Tiger-ride-thru-UA-Oct-04

    All of these clips are relatively short (1 to 2 min) and are saved as wmv streaming files. I'd originally saved the clips as mpg files suitable for viewing on a TV (about 350 lines of resolution). I used a little program called AVS Video Converter from avsmedia.com
    Last edited by robsmoto; 11-30-2005 at 01:43 PM.

  12. #12
    Motorcycleton
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    Yet another video clip

    One of my favorite motorcycle videos was made using the helmet camera and taken while riding a 1977 R100RS through the Hocking Hills last October.
    http://tinyurl.com/cy5x7

    The RS is a pretty neat bike (don't need to tell this group that, though) and the leaves were brightly colored and the sky was nice and blue. I've watched this video around 50 or more times. I like the ride and I like the bike.

    I placed the mic just behind the fairing and increased the volume at selected times, just because I like to hear that airhead motor. A music track is supplied also.

  13. #13
    Motorcycleton
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    Google free vidz, less rez

    I'll have to apologize to y'all that have accessed the video of the R100RS riding through Hocking Hills. It seems that the free Google video hosting doesn't provide a "perfect" rendition of the uploaded video. The wmv file was a bit over 100 MB and that was after compressing the initial 1+GB file!

    I've watched a bit of the linked Google video and then looked at the original. Man oh man! Sorry but y'all are missing all of the details that make this such a neat ride.

    Alas, I don't know where I can upload the full video so you can really see the high[er] resolution.

    Well, all I can say is - come on down (or up, or left, or right) sometime and take a ride through the area... :-) It's better in person, on a bike, anyway.

  14. #14
    On a Ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by robsmoto
    I'd be quite interested in your thoughts about improving the quality of motorcycle videos.

    I'd also like to see the videos that you've made.

    There is a free resource on the net, hosted by Google, that will allow posting of videos. That is what is used for the Thread Starter video. The link to create an account (free) and upload videos is:
    https://upload.video.google.com/

    The link to find and view videos is:
    http://video.google.com/
    Have the vids parked at my own server. Very convenient . Here's links to some of the vids placed here under Ride Reports...

    Colorado Mountain, Utah Canyons Ride (Helmet Cam)
    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=6100

    Up Bear Creek Canyon (Gas Cap Mount)
    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=6906

    The Ride Over Boreas Pass (Helmet Cam)
    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=3894

    BMW 100,000ft. Ride (Gas Cap Mount)
    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=7402

    The Ride to an Alpine Lake (Helmet Cam)
    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=7500

    Normandy France, Omaha Beach, The Ardennes - Belgium (Helmet Cam)
    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=6530

    And one of many never placed here... Victor to Cripple Creek Colorado Loop (Gas Cap Mount). Just watch the vid again. Nice to re-ride after a snowy day.

  15. #15
    Motorcycleton
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    Colorado Dept of Tourism or GS Ad?

    Very nice videos Mr. Farson.

    I thought that your videos retained decent resolution whereas the ones that I posted on the free hosting sites lost a lot of clarity.

    Only problem was that I was just not comfortable sitting in front of the monitor watching you ride through the snow covered terrain. I felt as though I needed to go put my Gerbings heated jacket liner, one-piece 'Stich, insulated gloves, and full-face helmet on. :-)

    I gather that you are using some sort of miniDV recorder that uses a flash-type memory card. I didn't catch which one. Mind saying (or repeating, if I missed it)?

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