Gimbal 101: How to Create Beautiful Camera Movement using your Gimbal | Chris Brooker | Skillshare

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Gimbal 101: How to Create Beautiful Camera Movement using your Gimbal

teacher avatar Chris Brooker, Filmmaker & YouTuber

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (44m)
    • 1. Introduction

      0:58
    • 2. What are the Benefits of Using a Gimbal?

      1:40
    • 3. How to Balance a Gimbal?

      7:02
    • 4. How to Hold a Gimbal

      7:31
    • 5. Top Gimbal Moves

      6:49
    • 6. How to Pull Focus

      7:31
    • 7. How to Monitor

      4:38
    • 8. Top Tips when using a Gimbal

      6:20
    • 9. Outro

      1:03
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About This Class

Gimbals are everywhere! And it seems like almost every video creator will tell you at some point to buy a gimbal but is it as easy as just throwing your camera onto the gimbal and running around? Well... not exactly. There are quite a few important lessons that you need to know before you start filming with a gimbal.

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This course is aimed at anyone that is new to the world of gimbals. I start off by talking about why you should use a gimbal, then I cover the setup, balance and calibration process. I then explain how to hold your gimbal to get the best shots and then run you through a list of camera moves that will give you dynamic shots. Then we're jumping into gimbal accessories (focus and monitoring) before finishing up with top tips when using a gimbal. 

It's tempting to buy a gimbal, throw your camera on, power it up and get outside, but just taking half an hour to watch this course and spending a few hours practising and troubleshooting at home, you could end up dramatically improving your footage and saving yourself a massive headache when something goes wrong. 

So, grab your camera, grab your gimbal and let's get into it!

Meet Your Teacher

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Chris Brooker

Filmmaker & YouTuber

Teacher

I’m a filmmaker and photographer from England. I graduated from London South Bank University with a first-class honors degree in 2015 and have since created hundreds of music videos, corporate films, and commercials with many established companies, record labels, and artists. 

In 2018, I turned the camera on myself and launched the Brooker Films YouTube channel. With 900 uploads and 95,000+ subscribers, I focus on sharing educational content to help others create compelling video content. I wanted to take that a step further though, so here we are.

 

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: If you've watched a film-making tutorial, chances are you've probably been given the advice, get a gimbal and put your camera onto a gimbal. Or if you've been to a wedding, a music show, or some other event, you've probably seen someone running around, move one of these things. But the thing is, no one one teaches you how to use these. They just say, get a gimbal, and get these really awesome shots. In this course, I'm going to run you through what gimbals are, why you would use them, when and when you should not use them. Then talk about the technique, what you should do, what you shouldn't do, and then how to control other things on your camera like, your focus, and your monitoring. By the way, I'm Chris. I'm a full-time filmmaker and photographer from England, and I specialize in music and dance videos, but I also shoot adverts, corporates, and more. Gimbals are a big part of my workflow. I'm always looking for a really nice way to get seamless smooth footage. Throughout this course, I'm going to be talking from experience, and talking about everything you need to know about gimbals. Let's get into it. 2. What are the Benefits of Using a Gimbal?: First things first, what are the benefits of using a gimbal? Well, a gimbal is basically just going to smooth out your camera movements. Rather than holding your camera in your hands, if you place it on a gimbal, the gimbal is going to do its best to iron out any imperfections or camera shake. Essentially, if you do this right, you can get some really beautiful moving footage, and it looks like the camera is floating in the air. Now traditionally, the way to achieve this is to use a Steadicam. But Steadicams are very expensive. They start at £3,000, £4,000, £5,000, and they go all the way up to really high numbers. Steadicams aren't really an option if you're just getting into the world of video creation and film-making. That's where gimbals come in. Because you can have gimbals that range from £200 all the way up to a few thousand pounds. Take these two gimbals, for example. This is a Manfrotto gimbal, and this goes for around £300 or $300. Then this is the Zhiyun crane 3S which is intended for larger cameras. This is the gimbal that I use on a regular basis. But that is somewhere around £7,800 or $7,800. Gimbals are a tool that you can use when you're filming your videos to smooth out any imperfections or handheld camera shake from your footage. If you do it right, you get really nice floating footage. Now, if you just purchase any random gimbal and you throw your camera onto the gimbal, and you just power it up, chances are the footage is not going to look any good. It's going to be wobbly, it's going to be shaking, probably vibrate quite aggressively. That's because first of all, we need to balance and calibrate the gimbal. In the next video, I'm going to run you through the balancing process, because getting your gimbal balanced correctly is the first step to capturing really awesome smooth footage with your gimbal. 3. How to Balance a Gimbal?: Balancing your gimbal is one of the most important parts of this process. Because if you haven't got your camera and your gimbal balanced up correctly, then, unfortunately, it doesn't matter how good the gimbal is. You're never going to get that really nice, seamless, smooth footage. The camera will wiggle and it would just look really amateur. The first step is to actually make sure that your gimbal can take your camera. Certain gimbals will have different restrictions. This gimbal can take around two kilograms. Make sure that the camera is not heavier than the payload of the gimbal. Then also make sure that the gimbal, this area here is able to accommodate your camera. Because if you've got a camera which is too big, so if I was to try and put Sony F7 or a Red Gemini onto this gimbal, it'll be too big, too chunky and it wouldn't fit, and plus as well, it would be way too heavy so it would never balance. But once you've made sure that your camera and your gimbal are a perfect match, you would then want to go ahead and put your base plate onto the bottom of your camera. These is just these plates here which enables you to connect the camera to the gimbal. You should get a base plates with your gimbal. But if not, then you can purchase these fairly cheaply. I just want to make sure that you screwed on nice and tight. Just scrub a screwdriver or a tool of some sort, and then just make sure this is [NOISE] nice and tight. Then once you've done that, you can just slide the camera onto the gimbal. Now as you can see instantly, this is not going to fit, so I've got to make an adjustment. This is where I'm going to have to pull this part of the gimbal over. I'm just going to slide that over, and that should fit the camera in. Now, before we start actually balancing a gimbal, we want to make sure that the camera has everything that it will have when you're filming. Make sure there is a battery in there. Make sure the lens cap is off. Make sure you're using the lens that you plan on using. Then once you've got your cameras set to half of you you're going to have it when you're filming. We can start the balancing process. First of all, just make sure this is nice and tight. Then we just want to start with this access here. You just want to unlock this and instead, you can see that it's completely out of balance. First of all, I'm just going to slide this forward. Then I'm just going to try and get this to the point where it doesn't fall back. If it falls backwards then it needs to go forwards, if it goes forward then it needs to be pushed back. Just make sure you get this balanced up perfectly. Then you can tighten that up, and then you can just double-check this. That's not going anywhere. Next up you want to go down to here. As you can see, if I just turn this, if I try and face this like this, it's dropping. This is because we need to adjust this here. As you can see, we've got this dial here. If we just pull that down and then we hold that up, you can see you want that to try and hold. That's not holding at the moment we just pull that up. That is holding, but it's coming down a little. I'm just going to push that up a little. There we go. That staying exactly where it needs to stay. I'm just going to tighten that up. Then I'll bring it back to this position, and if it falls again, then I can just make any small adjustments to this again. I can just slide this forward a little bit and lock that in. Now we've got this access all balanced up. Now we can move on to this axis, the side-to-side. If we just unlock that and let it go, you can see it's just going to fall over to the one side. This is where we can just unlock this knob here. Then we can just move the gimbal side-to-side and make sure that it sits perfectly sensor. So you want this to be perfectly horizontal. There we go, that staying where it needs to stay. We'll just lock that one off. As you can see, unfortunately, I made a small adjustment there and it's thrown off again. I'll just make another small adjustment and that looks like it's staying put. We'll just lock that access off again. Now we're coming down to the last axis, which is this here. If we just unlock here, you can see this is the axis that we're going to adjust. In order to make sure that this is balanced correctly, you just want to lean the gimbal over to the side, and if it moves, it's out of balance. It's not calibrated or balanced properly. We'll just unlock this option here and we'll push it forward. Then we'll lock it off. Try again. As you can see, that's not quite right. Push that the other way again. That's slowing down now. That means we can push it even further in that direction. We lock that off try again. As you can see, that has perfectly stuck where it needs to stay. However, I'll show you what will happen if we took it too far. If you push that too far forward and we lock that off, it would go the other way like this. You want to make sure that you adjust this so that it doesn't move in either direction. I guess that's still too far forward. Make a small adjustments. There we go. We balanced up and just check in all directions that this isn't going to move, that it's staying perfectly way it needs to stay. Now you just want to unlock all of the axes and then just make sure that nothing moves. If it moves, then you need to go back in and make an adjustment to that area. But if not, then you're perfectly balanced and ready to go. Now, all you would need to do is just power this up and begin the calibration process. So as you can see, I've powered the gimbal up now that it's doing exactly what it needs to do, It's not vibrating too much. If I put it down and it starts to vibrate, it's wobbling a little bit, but that's about where it needs to be, and that's because we've balanced this up correctly. If it wasn't balanced correctly and it was falling over then it would be wiggling around and the camera would be knocking around all over the place. It's really important that you get that balance correct. Then once you have balanced that you can just go through your menus. If I just scrub through these menus here, you'll find an option that should say gimbal settings and there should be a calibration option in there, or it could be in more. But you basically want to find some variation of calibration. Then once you've found that option, you want to place the gimbal on a steady, hard surface which is nice and flat, and it just wants you press calibrates. Then you leave your gimbal for a few moments for it to calibrate the exact configuration that you have. Once you've completed that process, your gimbal will be perfectly balanced and you can go ahead and start filming. As you could see, I haven't calibrated my gimbal. This is the exact demonstration of what it would do if it's not calibrated correctly. This is where I would need to go through the process of calibrating this gimbal. But like I said, once you have calibrated your gimbal. You can now go ahead and start filming some footage. 4. How to Hold a Gimbal: Now that we've set up balance and calibrated the gimbal, we need to actually go through the process of how to hold the gimbal. Now, there are two primary ways to hold the gimbal. The first way is upright mode, and this is where you're going to be doing most of your filming. You'll be in upright mode. However, you also have briefcase or underslung mode, which is where you hold the gimbal upside down, and this allows you to get really low to the ground. This creates some really dynamic results. But let me run you through the upright mode first, and I'm going to talk about what you should be doing and what you should not be doing in order to properly film with this gimbal. My first piece of advice is to try and avoid filming with one hand because the problem is when you're holding the gimbal with one hand, chances are there's going to be quite a bit of movement there and the gimbal is going to be quite unsteady. So rather than having one hand or one point of contact on the gimbal, try and use two hands. If you have a handle on the gimbal, that's great because it allows a good distance between the hands. But if you only have the one handle, which is down here, then put both hands on the gimbal like this. The reason why I suggest two hands rather than one is because one will wiggle all over the place, but two will really stabilize that. It will make that a really strong connection with the gimbal. Regardless of whether you're holding it with two hands down here or one hand up here and one hand down here, that is completely up to you, but then I would recommend leaning the gimbal into yourself a little bit. So rather than being all the way out there because you're just going to get really tired and fatigued, if you lean into yourself a little, then you can lean that into your body weight, and that's going to be easier to hold in the long run. Now, it's very tempting when you're holding your gimbal to put your elbow into your body like this. Because if you're holding it up there, your arms are going to get tired, but when you go into yourself like this, you're taking some of that weight from the gimbal and putting it into your body. Now, this makes sense. But the problem is if you're operating the gimbal, every time you take a step, the gimbal is going to move as well. So that is not what we want to. We want to try and avoid that bobbing. You want to try and keep your elbow disconnected from your body, and then you also want to try your very best to turn your arms into suspension. Because if you're not careful, if you're running around, your camera and your gimbal is going to go all over the place. But if you separate your arms from your body a little bit more and you try and turn your arms into suspension, it means as you're running along, the gimbal isn't going to move around as much as it would do if you're more connected. Try and turn your arms into suspension, loosen those arms off as much as you can. Then when you're moving around, that movement won't be transferred into the gimbal as much as if you were connected. That's really important. Two points of contact on the gimbal, keep your elbows away from your body and then try and smooth out any up and down movement with your arms. Now I am going to contradict myself and say, if you're just standing there and you're just getting very subtle camera movements, you can actually lean the gimbal into your body, and if you wanted to, you could just do a very subtle body sway, and that is going to create a very subtle pan or slide left and right. You have to be very careful here though not to do any aggressive movement because that will be transferred into the camera. So if you're just looking for a very subtle slide from left to right, you can lean that into your body, but be aware that you're breathing doesn't get transferred into the gimbal. Because if you're doing a long take and you're breathing in your hots and you're breathing up and down, that's going to get transferred again into the gimbal and therefore into the shot. Just try and hold your breath if you're doing that. Of course, there's only so long you can do that before you have to breathe, so just do that for as long as you feel comfortable, pull it away for a moment, take your breath, and then bring the gimbal back in. That is probably the best way to film most subtle camera movements rather than having the camera out here for a whole two, three-minute tape because eventually your arms are going to get too tired and you'll just end up dropping the camera and the gimbal or you'll just have to collapse and put it on the floor. Those are all my tips for holding the gimbal in this option, in the upright mode. Now if you go inverted, so the underslung mode or the briefcase mode, this is how you're going to be operating the gimbal. Again, you want to keep your two points of contact on the gimbal. One hand here on this handle, and then another hand here. It's very tempting to run along with the camera like this, but the problem is I find it can get a little bit wobbly if you've only got the one hand. So keep your two hands on the gimbal and that should iron out any vibrations or calibration errors, and that should give you a really nice shot. Now, when you are in this underslung mode, it's really important that you're quite low to the ground to really see the benefits. You see, if you'll just doing underslung mode up here, your arms going to get tired and there's no real point of being it underslung here because you could just move the gimbal down here. So if you are going for this underslung mode, make sure you're really low to the ground, and that's going to give you a really nice dynamic camera movements as you're moving across, pushing towards or pulling away from an object or a subject. Now the beauty of being in this underslung mode is we can actually get into our vortex mode, and this is where the camera is just going to spin. Now, not every gimbal is going to have this feature. But if you do, then if you go into underslung mode and select your vortex mode, it should start doing this spin. However, if you don't, you can just go into underslung mode, tilt the camera up, and then we can adjust the wheel or we can adjust this joystick here to the maximum speed, and then from that we can just pull that all the way over to the side and we get this really cool vortex mode. The vortex mode can be a little bit of a gimmick. However, when done correctly, that can be really dynamic and come out really awesome. Again, though, when you're doing that, you want to try and keep your two points of contact on and then adjust this settings here on a gimbal, and that's pretty much everything you need to know in order to get started with your gimbal. Regardless of whether you're upright or you're low, try and keep two points of contact on the gimbal at all times, and then you really want to make sure that your arms are being treated like suspension to iron out any of that movement. It's also worth noting as well that when you are walking or traveling with the gimbal, try and avoid heavy footsteps because any heavy footstep is going to be converted into a camera bob, and that's very difficult to get rid of when you're in the edit. Instead, try and walk very gently, trying to have very soft, very calm footsteps, or if you're running, be very soft and gentle, and then try and get a really nice fluidity in your movement to smooth out any movements. As you can see, if I was being reckless and I was not worrying too much about what my body is doing in regards to the gimbal, we're going to end up with a really bumpy shot. However, if I am careful, you can see I can smooth that out, half decent that looks pretty good. Then of course, once you add the movements in, you'll barely see that up and down motion in the footage. That's everything covered on the how to hold a gimbal video. In the next video, I'm going to talk about different gimbal moves and how these moves can add drama and excitement into your video. 5. Top Gimbal Moves: Now that you've got your gimbal setup, it's very tempting to just grab the gimbal, gets outside and start running about with the gimbal. But there are a few different types of gimbal moves that you can use to create really awesome and dynamic shots. In this video, I'm going to run you through that entire list. The first one is going to be a follow, so you can follow forward, you could follow it backwards, but essentially this is just going to track somebody moving or checking an object or something moving through the frame. Let's say we have a person, for example, if they're just walking down the sidewalk or the path, you could be directly behind them and as they're walking along, you're just keeping the same distance, keeping them framed up the exact same throughout the shots. This creates a really nice dynamic movement. We can flip that and you can be in front of the person, you can be walking backwards with the gimbal and then they're walking towards the camera. Again, keeping them framed up the same, keeping that same distance and you've got yourself a really nice tracking forwards or backwards type shots. The next step we have a orbit or a parallax type shots. Essentially, you have a subject. Now this could be a person, an object, something framed up in the sense of the composition and then all you do to create this camera move is you just spin around them, so you walk a circle around them and keep them framed up the exact same throughout the entire shots. If I was to orbit around this and this was the front of the camera lens, you're essentially doing this, so you're orbiting around and when you keep them framed up the exact same, that position, the same so they're not moving, but their background is moving. It creates this really awesome visually dynamic shot. You can do this really slow, or you could do this really quick. It's completely up to you and the type of shot that you're looking for, but that is an orbit and that looks really dynamic. Next up we have a sliding reveal. In order to do this, you want to have your subject and then you want to make sure you've got something in the foreground. Generally, if I'm filming outside I use a wall or I use something that I can block the lens and then I pull the camera out to the side creating a slider type movement and this is going to reveal that subject from that foreground layer. It creates really nice element of depth within the frame, but if you do this gently enough and smoothly enough, it can look really nice and really professional. Next up we have a profile shot or a walking tracking shot from the side. Essentially, if somebody is walking along a path or a sidewalk again, instead of shooting them from the front or the back, you're just filming them from the side. Again, keep them framed at the exact same throughout this entire shots. Keep that same distance there and as you're walking, they are walking with you. If you frame them directly from the side, you create this nice profile shots and that can look really nice and dynamic. Then we've got a subtle push in and pull out or a slide in, slide out. Essentially you're just mimicking a slider here. You just going to gently track forward or you can track backwards and you're just adding a little bit of gentle movement into the frame. Now, this looks really nice when you have an object in the foreground, so maybe we could use some frame within a frame composition here. I'm inside a room, I'm shooting through a door and I'm using that gentle camera movement to create this really nice elements of movements by using that doorway as our foreground elements. That can look really dynamic and it does help to add a little bit of wow factor into the footage. Next up, we can use the gimbal to squeeze through some tight spaces. You can put the camera through something that is quite tight, so maybe there is a gap in the wall which you can squeeze the camera and the gimbal through and this is going to create a really dynamic shot. Maybe there's some fencing or maybe there's a pole or something where you can squeeze the camera and the gimbal through. In order to do this, you might have to have somebody behind that object, so you're passing the camera through to them. Then there's a nice trade-off and then the camera carries on through. This creates a really nice dynamic effect and it can look really awesome when done correctly. Next up we have a jib or crane like shot. A camera crane or a camera jib are those long arms that you see and they move the camera up and down and as you're going up, the camera tilts down and as you're coming down the camera tilts up. As a result, when you keep the subject framed up the same, the shot can look really dynamic, but you don't need a camera jib or a camera crane for this. It helps if you do, but you can mimic that with your gimbal. Make sure you're in the correct settings on your gimbal so that you can tilt and then all you have to do is crouch down and then as you stand up, you just tilt the camera down and then in reverse you can start really tall. Start with the camera tilted down and as you come down, you tilt the camera up. This creates these really nice, visually dynamic shots. Then, if you wanted to film from a car, you could either mount your gimbal to a car using a car suction mount. This is one of the suction pads that I have generally when you're filming with a camera on a car, you want to have at least two, but three is better. All you do is you get the suction pad, you stick it to the bonnet and you make sure that doesn't move anywhere. Then you can mount your gimbal onto this. You can mount the gimbal onto the car, but the camera onto the gimbal and then as you are driving alone, you can capture some really nice dynamic moving shots. Alternatively, though, if you didn't want to trust your camera stuck onto the car, you could actually open up the boots and drive along with you in the boots, filming an object or an item or a car or something behind you. If you've got two cars, for example, you can be in the front car with the boot open filming of a car that is following you. This is a great way of capturing 3D dynamic shots. It's really important that you're doing this on closed roads. Don't do this in any public roads. It's really important that you're not driving too quick and it's also really important that you are buckled into the car. Make sure you're harnessed in and make sure it is completely safe because you don't want to fall out of the car as you're driving along. This is a really great and fairly low cost way of recreating those really dramatic car shots that you would see on car shows. However, they would use a big camera crane mounted onto a car, but if you're just hanging from the boots, making sure you're all harnessed in. You can get a pretty similar result for a low budget, just using your gimbal to stabilize all of that movement from the car. It doesn't just end there. There are so many different types of gimbal shots. This is just scratching the surface, but if you start practicing these few shots, it should unlock more ideas and spot more creativity and allow you to move the camera in new and interesting ways. But there you go, the selection of gimbal moves, should get you started and allow you to start shooting some really visually pleasing shots with your camera and gimbal. 6. How to Pull Focus: When it comes to filming with a gimbal, one of the difficulties and one of the limitations is focus, because normally if you are filming hand-held, you would just adjust the focus ring, so you would pull the focus ring as you're operating the camera. No big deal. But the problem is, if you try to do that with a gimbal, let me just power this up. Unfortunately, you'll see I'm holding the gimbal and then if I try to adjust the focus, it's going to mess up the position of the camera, or unfortunately sometimes it could completely throw the gimbal off and it could send the gimbal into a lot of wobble. Unfortunately, we can't adjust the focus by hand when we are operating a gimbal. This means we need to find other alternatives to focus. Now the first option and the easiest option is to just use the auto focus in your camera. If you have a camera with great auto focus like the Sony a7S, for example, then you just put your camera into auto focus mode and then you just go ahead and film what you need to film. The problem with auto focus though, is you're trusting the camera and the lens to do what you want it to do. If you wanted to rack focus from your foreground to your subject, unfortunately, you're trusting that the lens and the camera is going to do that and sometimes it might not get it right. Sometimes it might do well, sometimes it might not. Unfortunately, if you're in a professional environment, you need to make sure that you have full control of your focus because it's not good enough just trusting the camera. Now alternatively, you could just set your camera to a higher aperture of around F20, F22, basically making sure that everything is in focus and then you just keep a pretty similar distance from your subject and the camera. So if they're moving towards the camera, you just keep that similar distance between yourself and the subject. Make sure the focus is in and chances are, if there's a slight adjustment in the positioning, is going to be fine, because of the wide aperture, you'll be completely fine. They'll be in focus. But the problem is if you're in a darker environments, you can't use those higher apertures of around F22 because it's going to get really dark. This is where we need to control the focus ourself. Now as you'll notice on each one of these gimbals, you'll see a wheel here. This can be used to pull focus. As you can see there's one here and then there's also one here as well. But the problem is, first of all, this is an added extra that you need to buy. So you buy a focus motor and the focus motor will look a little something like this. You buy a base plate with a set of rails, you mount this onto the lens and then this can pull focus when you adjust this wheel, which is great. But the problem is, I find the focus wheel being there, it's just a little bit awkward. Now like I mentioned in a previous episode, when you're filming your gimbal, you want to have your two points of contact because that's going to give you the most stable shots. If you're running around with one hand, then chances are, there'll be a little bit of bob in the frame. But if you're holding it with two, you can turn your arms into a stabilizer. The problem when you're trying to pull focus is you're trying to keep the balance, you've got to lean the gimbal into you and then pull the wheel up here. As you can see, this focus wheel is set to tilt at the moment, but you can collaborate that to focus. But holding the camera, trying to take the weight with your hand over here and pulling focus becomes very difficult, especially if you're in a low mode because you're going to want to hold the gimbal over here and then you're stretching your thumb and it just doesn't feel natural whatsoever. Yes, you can use the gimbal focus system, Zion has one, Manfrotto has one, and you can control it with this ring here or you could get an external focus motor. This right here is the PDMOVIE Live Air 2. This is doing exactly the same that this is going to do. But rather than being there, I can mount this wherever I want this to go. Same story, I just mount this focus motor onto the lens. I calibrate it up with this focus wheel, and then this focus wheel can go wherever I want it to go. I can hold onto this if I wanted, so I could hold onto the gimbal and pull focus, or I found the easiest way to operate is to have your focus wheel over here because you can take the weight with your backhand and then your thumb here is free to pull focus. That is where you can buy a magic arm with two clamps either side, as you can see, these are around £20, $20 on Amazon. What I would do is just mount this onto the handle here, make sure it doesn't get in the way of the gimbal arms, so make sure it's not swinging in the way up here. But I would just mount this on here. Then I would mount this focus motor onto this clamp, so secure this clamp down. Then I can make any fine tune adjustments here. Then you can see I've got the focus over here on my thumb. As you can see, I've got two hands securely on the gimbal and then I can just adjust my thumb over here if I wanted to pull focus. This is generally what I do nine times out of 10, I can get the type of shot that I'm looking for with the system and I don't have to worry too much about being out of focus or having to strain to pull focus because it's all there at the convenience of where my thumb lands. Of course, the beauty of having this focus wheel on a magic arm like this, is it can go any where you like. If you wanted it up here, completely fine. If you wanted it down there or if you wanted it down here so you can pull focus with your other hand. Maybe you hold on and you have the focus wheel on the other side, completely up to you. Or alternatively, the PDMOVIE Air has a really great distance. You could just hand this over to somebody else and they can pull focus for you. You can run around with the gimbal, you don't need this magic arm, and then somebody else can use a wireless monitoring system to pull focus. Although the problem is with this system is this wheel is very small and if this is your only job, unfortunately, you're lacking that precision. If you're looking for precision, then you could use a larger version of this. This right here is the Tilta Nucleus-Nano or the Tilta Nucleus-N, and this is doing exactly the same thing. You get a wireless focus motor that goes onto the camera and the lens and then you get this wheel. You can just get really fine tune, make some really nice adjustments with this wheel. You can pass this to somebody else and they can be perfectly responsible for just pulling the focus as you're moving. The problem with this though, is you need somebody else because you can't mount a wheel this big on and pull focus with your thumb because the wheel is too large. But if you do have an extra person which can pull focus for you, then this is a really solid option because you know all you have to do is the gimbal operator is move the camera. The focus puller can then just adjust the focus for you and it's going to look great. The problem is though, this version does require extra person. So if you're a one-person crew, it's just yourself filming, I would recommend using the PDMOVIE Live Air 2 mounted onto the gimbal because you can operate the camera, move the gimbal, and pull focus all at the exact same time. 7. How to Monitor: When it comes to operating your gimbal, you want to make sure that you can perfectly see the screen because if you can't see the screen, then it's going to be very difficult to frame up the shot. Of course, there's many different ways that you can do this. But the first option is to quite literally just use the inbuilt screen on the camera. That's fine if you're shooting upright. The problem is that, if you're shooting in low mode, you got to have a very difficult time trying to see that monitor. This is why you can use an external monitor. You can buy an extra screen that attaches onto the side of the gimbal, and you can just run a HDMI cable from the camera into the monitor. You just have this monitor mounted on a gimbal and you can see whatever you're doing at anytime you'd like. Alternatively though, if you didn't want the wires to get in the way, you can use a wireless monitoring system and this is typically what I go for. Wireless monitoring can be fairly affordable, or it can be very expensive. That goes all the way up from budget film-making to Hollywood-level film-making. The top-level you have Teradek. This is a Teradek system, which is anywhere between 4-8000 pounds or dollars. But on the lower end of that option you have Hollyland. Hollyland are making some really awesome, good-quality wireless monitoring kits. This, for example, is the Hollyland Mars x, and this goes for around $200 or pounds. Then you've got this option here, which is the Hollyland Mars 400 S PRO, and this goes for around six or 700. Regardless of which option you go for, the slightly more expensive or the really cheap option, essentially, these are going to take an image from your camera and transfer that wirelessly to a monitor. You just plug this into the camera using a HDMI cable. You plug the HDMI into the side of the monitor. Then if you're on a digital SLR or a mirrorless camera, then you might have to get a micro HDMI cable. You can see that's a mini HDMI on this one, so it wouldn't work on this camera. But you just plug this into there, you mount this onto the camera and then that's going to send the transmission to a monitor. Now the Mars X can send your image to a phone or a tablet. You could send this to your iPhone, your iPad, your Android phone, Samsung phone, whatever you have, this can send to a phone or an iPad or a tablet of some sorts. Whereas this option comes with a transmitter and a receiver. You can add the transmitter onto your camera and that will wirelessly send the image to this receiver. Then this receiver has a HDMI out, so you can plug this into a TV or a monitor. This means you can have a monitor mounted onto the side of your gimbal or alternatively, you still have the option with this to send the image to a phone or a iPad. If you just want to monitor, you just add it onto your phone. You can mount your phone onto the side of the gimbal, and you've got that wireless monitoring setup. Of course though, if you had somebody that was pulling focus for you with this, they would need to see the image. This is where you can use the full 100 S PRO to wirelessly send the image from your camera to an external monitor or a TV that the focus puller has, and they can see the image rights in front of them and pull focus wirelessly. They've got wireless control of the focus and then they can actually see what they're pulling focus on. Alternatively though, if you just wanted your client to see the footage that you'll filming, and this is something that I always do whenever I'm on shoots, I give the client a monitor, so they can see exactly what's I'm filming. This really does help the collaboration and the film-making process because any imperfections or anything the client isn't happy with, they can instantly see it, jump in, and make an adjustment. If you just wanted to hand the monitor and show the client what you're filming using either the Mars X or the 400 S PRO is a really good low-cost option. Of course, there are other wireless monitors for around similar money, but I only have experience with the Hollyland products and they've been really good. Just to sum up this entire episode, you can either trust the monitor on the camera, you can mount an external monitor down here using a HDMI cable, or you could go wireless and have a wireless monitor on the gimbal or completely take the monitor off and give this to a client or somebody that is pulling your focus for you. It's really important that you have a very clear view of the monitor because if you can't see what you're filming, well, it's not going to look great. Make sure you can perfectly see your monitor when you're operating your gimbal and if you have to add on another monitor onto the gimbal, then I would really recommend it. 8. Top Tips when using a Gimbal: Now that we've covered everything on how to use a gimbal and why you would use a gimbal, we now need to cover some important tips. There were four top tips that I want to cover because I feel like these are really important, and if I don't say then unfortunately you might fall into one of these when you're out on shoot. The first one is make sure you have spare batteries or a battery charger with you because unfortunately, unlike steady cams, gimbals require batteries. If you've run out of batteries halfway through a video shoot, it means you no longer get your really smooth, really lovely gimbal shots. Make sure you have plenty of backup batteries. Or if you can't swap out the batteries, if it's an internal battery built into the gimbal, then make sure you have a battery pack or a charger that you can use to power the gimbal. You don't want to be caught in a situation where you need a certain shots, but you can't because the batteries in the gimbal have run out of juice. Make sure you're always carrying spare batteries with you when you're operating your gimbal. The next step is to allow time to rebalance your gimbal. Every time you change something on your camera, so you zoom in the lens or you add an accessory on or, you add a filter, you're going to have to rebalance your gimbal. If you're not allowing time in the schedule to rebalance your gimbal, you got to be stressed. Unfortunately, it's going to be a really stressful situation as the client is sitting there waiting for you to film. Make sure you add in little breaks throughout the day to make sure that you've got enough time to rebalance if you feel like you have to. I've been in that position before where a client sitting in there, they're looking at their watch, they're tapping their foot, they're waiting to film, but you're there just rebalancing up all of these axes. Just make sure that you've got that time and you won't ever find yourself in that stressful situation because if you don't rebalance and you make an adjustment, you'll just go to end up fighting the gimbal and you're got to get really shaky, wobbly footage and it just won't look good. Add in that time and you won't be in that situation. Next up, get a good gimbal. It's really tempting to go ahead and spend money on one of these really cheap knockoff brands because it's really affordable. But I promise you, you get what you pay for when it comes to gimbals. Spend at least a few 100 pounds or dollars on a gimbal. But if you can, then spend money on a pretty decent one. If you can afford 4, 5, $600 or pounds, honestly, it's so much better doing that upfront rather than buying a cheap one now and an expensive one later. If you invest in good equipment now, that equipment will last you and it will work and do exactly what you need it to do. Don't cheap out when it comes to buying a gimbal. Make sure you spend a decent amounts of money on a pretty good gimbal. My last tip is to practice. Using a gimbal is exactly like any other skill. You can't just pick up a gimbal and go start shooting really awesome footage because if you do just grab your camera, throw it onto the gimbal, you've never had any time with it before, you just go ahead and go start filming the client projects, chances are you're going to run into complications. You wouldn't know how to use it. You'll figure out problems as you're filming and these can't be ironed out on the day of production. Spend some time, put the hours in before you get onto a paid video shoot to make sure you know how the gimbal works, what its imperfections are, what you can do, what you can't do, what types of mood you can get, and how far you can push that gimbal. I'd say put at least a few hours in, but if you can put as many hours in as possible before you take that onto your shoots. Unfortunately, I learned this the really difficult way before. Back when DJI launched its first ever gimbal, the DJI Ronin 1, I bought this and without even practicing, I just took it to a video shoot and unfortunately, it didn't work on the shoots. I didn't balance it up profit out in a calibrated, something didn't go right. But the gimbal just started spinning and I couldn't stop it from spinning without powering it off and every time I powered it on, it just started spinning and I didn't know what to do. I looked really amateur in front of the clients and I couldn't use the gimbal for the entire shoot. When I got at home, I figured out it was just a calibration issue and all I had to do was just put a few minutes of practice or a few hours of practice in before the shoot, and I would've avoided that problem. Practicing is really important. Make sure you spend some time with the gimbal beforehand. Now my last tip to you is don't overuse your gimbal. Believe me, it's very tempting. You see this really awesome footage that you can capture with a gimbal. You can sweep around somebody, you can travel, you can do whatever you want with a gimbal, but the problem is a lot of filmmakers and lots of video creators overshoot with a gimbal. There is a time and a place for a gimbal. A gimbal is exactly the same as a tripod, a slider, a camera crane, or a camera jib. It's a tool to serve a specific need, so whenever you're filming any projects, just ask yourself the question, what is the best tool for this job? If you're shooting a conversation and it's just a basic two shots, you don't need to shoot on a gimbal. It's going to be awkward holding the gambling in that position, the focus is going to be more difficult. You're best off just putting the camera onto a tripod or going for a shoulder setup. Now, if you were doing a really cool tracking shot backwards, of course you wouldn't go handheld, you wouldn't go tripod, you'd go for the gimbal. Then of course, if you wanted a really nice booming jib type shot, rather than trying to do this on the gimbal and getting a half decent results, you'd to go for a jib, put it onto the camera jib, and you'll get that really nice, high production, really awesome shot. Just ask yourself before every single shot, do I need this on a gimbal or what is the best tool for the shot? Now saying that if you do find yourself on a video shoot, it's very high pace. You're having to film a lot in a short amount of time, then it can take quite a little bit of time swapping over from your gimbal to a tripod or gimbal to shoulder sets or gimbal to crane. If you do find yourself in that environment, then do allow yourself the extra flexibility to use the gimbal. But if you can avoid it, I would definitely recommend using a different tool for different shots if it's needed. Believe me, I've been in those positions where I've had to get all different types of shots and I've had to shoot shots which should have been on the shoulder or on a tripod, on a gimbal and I find myself suffering because I've had to hold this gimbal for 8, 9, 10 hours without any real break. Every shot was a gimbal shot, and honestly it just leaves you feeling fatigued and the end product is just not as good as it could've been. Always think what is the best tool for this job and don't always assume that the gimbal is your first and only tool that you have. 9. Outro: There you go. That is it for the gimbal course. At this moment in time, you should be pretty comfortable setting up, balancing, and calibrating your gimbal, and then going out and filming a variety of amazing shots using your gimbal. Much honors to you now is to go ahead and film a short sequence or a short video demonstrating a few different types of skills and camera maneuvers using your gimbal. If you wanted to do a nice tracking shots, or a jib shot, or an orbit, it's completely up to you, but just film a short sequence demonstrating your gimbal skills. Please upload that to the Student's Project section because I would love to see your work. If you do, I promise I will share my thoughts and opinions on your work. If there's anything I can suggest to improve, then I will give you that suggestion and that advice as well. With that said and done, thank you ever so much for watching this course. If you do want to learn more about film-making and photography, then please do check out my profile because I have loads more courses available to you. If not though, then don't worry, I really appreciate your support. But hopefully, I will see you on the next course. See you there.