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blindgeekuk
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Post Nerf Footage  Reply with quote
Footage of Nerf wars has been on my mind a lot recently, and FDT raised a point on mondays dsicord chat about how Drone racing has become a thing, and how it's players are referred to athletes in the big name footage on Sky... And his idea that BritNerf could be the tipping edge towards a well filmed Nerf league.

First of all... I don't like PoV footage of Nerf wars...

Its a bold statement, but let me explain my reasons. First of all, is the motion sickness inducing bouncing around, which I know can be addressed with a decent gimbal rig, but still, its an instant off putting barrier to watching further. Then theres the resticted view, you are only seeing one players frantic moving around view of a multi faceted game.

But for me, the big turn off to PoV footage is the lack of context. I am seeing one players view of a whole game, with no idea what team they are on, who else is on there team, what the game type is, what the objective is, what the playing field is.

But, I hear people cry, it's what tbr and justajolt do for Grim Up Nerf. Yeah, and I enjoy those, because i'm often seeing two viewpoints that I didn't see as a marshal, and I know the playspace and the players...

And there are other good examples of PoV. Bay Area Nerf has done videos on its game type rules, and has done aerial footage of its school play area, and this gives context to its PoV footage. Bristol Blast 4, had footage from two players of the same game type, and its a chapel we've seen a few times now, and has a similar enough layout to Farsley and Tong that I can understand how players are moving around the space.

But, as a prime example of PoV I don't like... Bristol Blast 3. It was jsut footage of fields to me, with no idea of the boundary or who players were, made worse when so many people were wearing similar tac gear...

So, what are the options?

I like what we did in the early days of GuN, with multiple cameras in good places where we knew action was going to happen.

The problem was the angles were never perfect, we never had enough cameras, and the amount of effort it took to go through lots of footage to find usable clips, especially on an under spec'ed laptop meant it wasn't the best. And as we grew, and more time was spent marshaling, and the venue increased in size, it became something we couldn't do.

But...

Imagine a 7 minute clip, starting with a sped up walk through of the venue, with a voiceover of the rules, and a quick shot of each time, with pertinent info (support role, team leader, medic etc), followed by multi angle and PoV footage of a short Team Deathmatch game...

Thats the kind of thing I want to see.

But I'm ambitious and a web developer, so lets throw that core video onto youtube, with a link to our own BritNerf Foam Slinger League site... And on here, we have a proper venue video, detailing the layout, choke points, showing what the footage from those choke points looks like, and a fancy xray cut away effect.

Imagine a tab per team, player bios, loadouts, experience, kill/death ratios

And then imagine that multi angle video, embedded along side that xray map, and the map showing each players position as they move around the map, and them flashing when hit...

Now imagine being able to click on that flashing player and the video switching to a 3D camera on that player, and then being able to spin that view around, so that you can see how they got shot as they rounded the corner.

Is it doable? Sure with a lot of money...

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Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:25 am View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Boff
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Post Reply with quote
You had me until 3D camera. Smile

However, you're correct: better war footage is needed to promote the hobby. ON identified it as one of the weaker areas of the British community. Yes, we have a lot of enthusiastic players and loads of events running now but we need to up the footage game. I also don't watch POV footage without context as a rule. Jangular from BURN is the sort of level we want to be aiming for.

I would actually suggest a better pooling of the resources that we have. We all bring plenty of cameras to events. We've all got them on smart phones and obviously GoPros. More efficient use of that would preclude the need for investment in large numbers of new cameras. Hardened fixed position cameras is something that can be looked into simply enough, I'll have a think about it. I wouldn't want to set up my DSLR in video mode on a tripod but I can envisage my wide lens being mounted to a wall in a printed box with some sort of mechanism easily enough. Then people just need to turn on the cameras before the game starts and hand the footage into a central video editor between rounds.

With the venue map idea, if people put together one map and publish it then it can be used for dozens of other purposes. It's not just a case of using it for video overlays, it can be used for event planning too.

I'll have a think, I'm sure we can put together more ideas going forward.

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Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:44 am View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Franksie
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Post Reply with quote
As an ex "Fly boy" as Old Noob would put it I'm very interested in camera drones and I'd love to get involved with providing this sort of footage to wars.  Less interested in the actual video editing but would gladly sit out a few rounds to be the eye in the sky
Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:28 am View user's profile Send private message
blindgeekuk
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Post Reply with quote
Boff wrote:
You had me until 3D camera. Smile

My original draft took a potshot at you over that aspect. Smile
Despite my eyesight and being unable to see in 3d, I think it's an interesting concept that will take a few years to mature to a point where its cost effective and accessible, and I certainly see it as an additional option, rather than a replacement to standard footage.

The pooling resources idea is good, but ideally, you'd need a fast device on site to pull the footage off between rounds, so that you can structure the folders right, and get cards back into peoples devices.

I'd like to revisit the multi angle idea at the GuN anniversary game in Jan, as we should have a smaller number of players, and more time. I'll post a map up in advance of that, so we can plot where best to deploy the cameras

And as for the fly boy, give my drone a go next time you're up... I can't fly the thing, but you might have more success

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tbr
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Post Reply with quote
I'm also not the biggest fan of POV footage of Nerf wars, even though I'm usually recording it at a war Smile That's why when I put something together it's more short 5 second(ish) clips of things happening that give you a 'feel' of whats going on rather than a full match... as I personally don't want to watch a full match/game myself, but then I don't think I've ever really watched a good video of one.

Also I have
* GoPro Session
* ION Action Cam
* Panasonic Lumix
* Nikon COOLPIX P500 (I think)
* And an iPhone 5s

And a Tripod, but what I don't have is a computer so I can't help out with any editing. I do all my video editing on my phone.


Last edited by tbr on Wed Nov 23, 2016 12:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:42 am View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Welsh Mullet
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Post Reply with quote
If I can find a camera that is small and cheap and not too terrible, I could try and mount 2 of them on my head eye distance apart and do the editing into a 3D video afterwards? Or do you mean like a Google Maps style clip of the whole map?

The player location on the map could be done post processing, but it would take a lot of time. You could possibly do it with accelerometer data...
Wed Nov 23, 2016 12:33 pm View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
blindgeekuk
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Post Reply with quote
I agree, it would be a lot of post-processing work, at the moment, maybe less once tech improves?, and I certainly don't have a pc rig capable of doing it.

But as a community, we should be looking at ways to stay ahead of the curve - we've got the best modders, we've got the best groups, we've got the best players, so lets have the best footage

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Boff
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Post Reply with quote
Each group having a designated video editor would be great. I think Bristol Blast already do that? Maybe? Not sure what Statler and Waldorf are planning on that front. Very Happy

As for the cards thing, I always have two so I can copy stuff to disk while still using the other one or in case one of them fails. As for folders, just get a white board and write the game type on it quickly. I use that technique when filming here in the office so I don't have to sit there and flick through footage as I'm editing it.

I suspect I'll end up printing a bunch of mounts for GoPros and similar to sit on the edge of picture frames or on cable trunking cases in a non-invasive fashion. GoPros would be a start and then things like smart phones and such can be done once I get the technology right and proven. If they're above head height then it mitigates the risk of damage during play and stray darts become the only risk. Sadly mounting the full weight of the DSLR might pose a problem... Very Happy

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Wed Nov 23, 2016 12:57 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Welsh Mullet
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Post Reply with quote
Location on a map, provided you have a map, could possibly be done now with smart phones and bluetooth beacons at known points on the map, letting you triangulate. It looks like you could possibly build a beacon for about 5 a pop, but I've no idea how many you would need per area, with each player always needing 3 connected to get a perfect position, but you could guess with two and a last known...

It would probably be a hell of a battery drain for the length that games are. It's the sort of thing one might give to a student as a final year project though, I'll see if I can submit it to my old university Razz
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OldNoob
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Post Reply with quote
I agree, PoV footage doesn't interest me much either, as you can see from my Youtube!
Boff- I love the fact the first thing you thought of when you want to protect your camera was a 3d printed box.
How's this for an interim solution so that we can start changing the shape of game footage whilst maintaining individuals editing styles and identities.
* Everyone uses as many cameras as they are happy with, in whatever locations or mounts they want to play with.
* Upon returning home, with aching legs and bulging memory cards, take the footage off the devices, labelling it with abbreviated GAME TYPE,  ROUND NUMBER, YOUR INITIAL
* Upload this set of footage to a file sharing site chosen by the community, into a FOLDER labelled GAME NAME AND DATE.
* No need to keep hard copy unless you want to.
* Keen editors and players without cameras (groups choice on who has access) can then download the footage to create their own videos however they like. As long as it's all NON COMMERCIAL and video consents are clear then everything can go out.
* At the end of the month the EVENT makes a post on the UK Nerf blog, with a video selection and write up, plus link to their web pages.

The above format should do everything that's needed, just like how we push mod development forward, there is a place for everyone in the process.
This way you can release stuff to your youtube or event facebook immediately, as you do now, with the added bonus of a blog post at the end. UK Nerf becomes more active (see I remember you all wanting to contribute to it) and we increase the reach of our game footage and advertising beyond individual sites.

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Boff whats the damage? I have spent over 3 times my Nerf budget this month already. Part of me is trying to be a responsible parent/husband/house owner. The other half is just says 'Ahhhh, Screw it!'.
Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:13 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
old_man_nerf
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Post Reply with quote
I'm currently work with blue tooth beacons as a means of identifying interior locations and i'm not sure they are currently in a state where they could be used to track individuals moving at pace through a relatively small venue.

One day maybe.... Just not today.
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Boff
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Post Reply with quote
ON, that sounds like a good starter plan. Though I'd still prefer physical transfer of footage between players to prevent difficulties with bandwidth and inconsistent internet connections creating even more hold ups to video editors. Downloading video footage is a huge undertaking and will take literally days for those not on business grade fibre. Sending memory cards back to people would a far easier way to do it. All ours are labelled anyway to distinguish personal from business. All it takes is a sharpie.

And of course I reached for a printed box! Very Happy I'm building one for our Pixel C tablet to act as a point of sale stand for next year's trade events so it's not too difficult to resize that technology to function as a phone holder. I'll have a dig around for other cameras but I'm already plotting how to set things up in the chapel for BB5. Smile

Bluetooth wouldn't be the technology I'd use to track individuals. I'll have a think to see if there is something that would do it. I seem to recall there was a company that did this for something similar that popped up on Reddit ages ago. I'll go and see if I can find their website again.

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Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:31 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Andrew_Aitchison
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Post Reply with quote
Sounds Great! I can make some simple cases for go pros you can mount to walls so that you can place them where you like.
Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:03 pm View user's profile Send private message
Treezy
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Just to chime in on this, I've got a background in mountainbike and BMX dirtjump and racing, and over the years have seen a massive surge in PoV videos. One of the thing that has become quite apparent early on is that racing/dirtjump edits made entirely of PoV suck. The watcher doesn't get any idea of scale, or the surroundings; particularly as many of the smaller cameras like GoPro have wide angle lenses, that mess with perspectives.

Likewise, when drone cameras first started being used to film the footage looked rubbish because from a total top-down viewpoint you don't get any idea of the changes in terrain - which sucks on feature-filled tracks. Overhead shots are great for capturing an overview, but not great for much else.

However, edits that feature a bit of PoV really do work (in my opinion), as they lend additional perspective. Likewise, drone shots that aren't just overhead shots really help to add to edits.

While I'm still fairly new to Nerf, and Nerf wars, I can see where you're all coming from: having watched a few Nerf wars on YouTube, edits that are just PoV are boring; especially if they're just one player.

However, I think PoV footage could work very well in a final edit, particularly if you can show the same piece of action from different perspectives: like a killing shot from the firer, the person hit, and then from a third person. Similarly, drones could be used for pan shots etc. to give a feel of scale.

One thing I would add about PoV is that head cams seem to give the steadiest footage, because your head naturally stays still as your body moves around it. Attaching it to torso or blaster just gives me a headache watching the footage. Having said that, having a GoPro mounted on a blaster facing the Nerfer's face could really capture the frantic, fast-paced action of a Nerf war; just as long as it's not just that angle.

As for the final edits, I like the idea of having names/tags displayed on screen when showing their relevant PoV (like the first person camera views in Aliens - it really worked with just quick FP shots interspersed with standard third person views). I love the idea of a quick game map overview. For outdoor games an overhead drone shot will work wonders, as you could highlight specific features on the map; like bases, respawn points, objectives etc. Likewise, a PoV walkthrough of indoor areas that focusses on key areas, and then is sped up while walking down corridors, could look really professional.

By the sound of it though, you're gunna need 2-3 camera operators who are mobile, a drone operator, and then loads of headcams for the players.

However, if you're doing a fort-style zombie horde game, having all the defenders with headcams, and a couple of other fixed cameras looking at the fort, that could give some good footage if the horde is a suitable size (also means you won't need loads of mobile camera operators).

Either way, I'm excited by the idea of this.

One last thing to add, from my experience of bike edits. Some of the best edits I've seen have been from people that aren't actually involved heavily with the bike scene: they've been folks interested in cameras/filming, who've just wanted to shoot something.

For example, the guys at Blackwater Productions came and shot this sweet edit at my local riding spot. They just let us get on with our normal riding, filed around us, and put together the footage for us:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mvw2r5W12UM

Similarly, Skyhook TV shot a load of great drone footage from the K-Hole Jam, then gave the footage to Getabmx.co.uk to use for their edits:
https://vimeo.com/136907109

So yeah, maybe looking at a third party film/production group who would use the day to shoot footage for a project/experiment/experience, and let them put together an edit, could be an option. Plus you could always tempt them to get involved if you loan out a few blasters and a load of darts...
Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:32 pm View user's profile Send private message
Boff
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Post Reply with quote
Andrew_Aitchison wrote:
Sounds Great! I can make some simple cases for go pros you can mount to walls so that you can place them where you like.


Mounting to walls is the easy bit. Mounting in a way that doesn't piss off the owners of the building by leaving marks from pins or suction cups is the tricky part. Razz My current thinking is a G-clamp style system that will fit around the edge of notice boards and trunking to spread the pressure of the fixing force out. Then use an articulated arm ala CCTV to fix to the back of the camera mount itself. That should then give you access to the rear of the camera device so you can set it up and start recording. You'd also have some degree of movement on it so you can then point the camera where it needs to go. It should also be feasible to fit them to pipes and other stuff. If you can make them nice and low profile then eye height might even be possible.

Treezy, thanks for the input. Lots of food for thought there. I've always preferred head cams to blaster and body cameras. I used a helmet camera at Green Cloaks for a year and it got some of the best footage possible. However, without broader context the POV footage on its own was useless. I think for the majority of wars, a few static, fixed cameras located somewhere out of the way should be possible instead of needing mobile camera people.

It shouldn't take too much adaptation to give the film editors among us the footage they need. Very Happy

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MarcusH
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Post Reply with quote
Thought i'd drop in with my photography background with a few ideas and things.

I've used all manner of clamps, tripods and things with GoPros and the like. Stuff like Gorillapods would be a possible option but the GoPro specific one runs at about 35 ish (Ouch!!!!) . Others have covered stuff like clamps, suction cups and that ilk .

I did have a chinese knockoff Jaws clamp for my GoPro but that lasted about 6 weeks before deciding to Nope out on me and break.

I probably have a spare official GoPro housing that if required could be used for measurements for cases etc, only issue there is the buttons for start and stop being located on the top of the cases usually

Marcus

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Minky
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Post Reply with quote
This is a great thread with an obvious amount of interest and one thing that is consistently coming up is 'context'.  
There's loads of cool ideas about giving that through camerawork and post-prodution magic but when we're all slinging small,  fast moving projectiles at each other there's only so much you can do and the post-war work for someone would be immense.
Not saying that we shouldn't be striving for that level but I think there's something really basic that seems to be missed by even the best Nerf channels.. A good you tube video imparts info and/or tells a story,  as far as most war footage goes the most story you get is is the title of the clip.  So,  narration.  Tell the viewer what is happening,  tell them the story,  give them the info of why you did something the way you did, why the equipment you're using is good for what you just did,  etc.
.. And also fill every moment of the video with the story rather than screaming flywheels and barely audible 'I got you'/' you got me' comments.

Now,  a load of us have probably got incredibly boring or annoying voices but I bet someone hasn't and they could then become a commentator for event multicomera footage.

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NewportNerfer113
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Post Reply with quote
I must be one of the few that really enjoy POV footage.  There's a lot of interesting ideas floating around on this thread that has me thinking about improving the quality of the videos I've been recording.

I've only recorded at 3 wars, and am still getting kit together, different rigs and mounts, etc.  So sharing the load is a must, however, I can speak from experience that splicing 2 or more peoples footage together is a monster of a job, so this isn't always going to be an option if you don't have the time.

Recently, I've been cutting my teeth on video editing (since I started recording at BB2...), and as several have already mentioned, having a decent PC / Laptop to work with is essential, and I don't have a decent one (I have a crappy one that's run on clockwork)... I do have access to a slightly better one, but not all the time so I have to squeeze in as much editing as I can, when I can.  Hence the type of videos that have been created and put on YouTube - although I hope that the quality is improving.  

I've pretty much taken up the role of video editor for BB, but that's because I had an action camera and the time to do it.  I'm not sure how I feel about letting others edit my footage - this, again, might just be me, but I like to relive the experience through the editing and it's a new skill that I'm learning.  This may be me being a control freak, but I would need to edit any video first to cut out anything I'm not happy with.  There is a huge amount of trust involved in letting someone else do the editing, for me at least.  Anyway, in the new year I'm hoping to get some new kit and can get some software I can actual do some heavy lifting with.

I like the map and 3D beacon type idea - although I have no idea what most of you are talking about regarding that and how it all works.  Also, filming / photography / editing are hobbies / skills in their own right - dammit, sounds like I'm moaning... I don't mean to be.  What I'm trying to say is that there is a shit load of stuff to consider whilst filming, and trying to help organise a war on top of doing all that is difficult, and so POV is the most effective way to capture the footage.  Static cameras have there place, but if the lighting is dark, the focus is off, or it gets knocked then you have next to useless footage.

I could go on and on... but I won't, as I don't want to piss on the parade (too much).

Statler out!

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LordSparrow
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Minky wrote:
And also fill every moment of the video with the story rather than screaming flywheels and barely audible 'I got you'/' you got me' comments.


So, kind of make it like a sports commentary?

The X-Ray Map could be made in Sketchup, then giving it the X-Ray filter and either exporting it into an animation program (Like Blender) or the animation recorded using the built in animation tool. All the equipment you'd really need is a laser range finder (Instead of the hassle we call measuring tape) and some paper and a pen to sketch the data. Honestly, even someone with my age could do it. (Mapping, Not animating the players)

About Player Location:
How about we set up a mapping system with a raspberry Pi. Have a servo spinning an ultrasound or laser range finder around and make it take a value, say every 0.5 degrees. When a value changes, it would mean that there is a player (or a Nerf dart, but very unlikely) there. Every refresh we could track the movement of the players (By comparing the values before and after each refresh). This would be tedious manual work, or programming for hardcore tech wizzes. (So not very practical)
Not sure how effective it would be, but then it would be quite easy to transfer the data to the map after filtering out the blank non changing data and potential anomaly because of foam projectile.
Probably very ineffective if not automated.


Because of the costs involved in buying all of the equipment proposed in these posts, would a crowdfunding campaign be a good idea? On just this forum alone there are tens of individuals that would love to support such a project, and with some advertising on other places, we could pull it off.

I really dig the idea though guys, and this community could really gain some extra popularity through it, especially if the end video gets to youtube. In any case I want to help in any way I can.

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Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:16 pm View user's profile Send private message
Minky
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Post Reply with quote
Yes and no.  I think first person narration/explanation would add what's needed to to the typical one camera, first person POV footage that's relatively easy to get and edit.  Whereas for the multicam set up where you can get a real sense of how things are unfolding, like described previously, would want commentary/analysis.

Both would be a little like directors' commentary but in the first instance the voice is talking to the viewer whereas in the 2nd it would be like match of the day bit where they go through the highlights with likely multiple voices (host and the two team captains?)

It's mainly the POV narration thing that I think would be the quick Big win.  The rest of it can follow..  Making the POV stuff different and IMO worth watching could bring world peace.



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