... is the automatic compensation of the natural arc of the arm.

At the push of a button Louma 2 creates a two dimensional plane in virtual space (like a large imaginary sheet of glass). We call this planing. This is a new and exciting function of the telescopic crane adding a new tool to the grip and camera operators` box of tricks.

The arm automatically extends or retracts keeping the camera along the line of the plane regardless of horizontal or vertical movement. The distance along the plane on which the camera travels is only restricted by the physical length of the telescopic arm.

During a simple shot of a straight camera move, the manual operation of the telescope is not required. However, there is always a human element to any shot and a correction to the path of the camera (to follow an actors` walk for example) may be required.

When planing, the telescope hand control is used to move the line of the plane. This means that the camera is not restricted to a two dimensional move when planing - the camera can be moved by the telescope control as normal and then the camera will follow the straight line of the plane when the arm is swung.

Maybe a little confusing at first (!) - but think of the camera along a straight line of 50` of track and then being able to move the track 10` left or right -  at any point during the shot.

Louma 2 - Planing Area Graphic

In real time during the shot, the plane can be `moved` with the telescope control. This allows for shots to be achieved where only one part of the shot requires straight line compensation or where an artiste is not exactly on his/her mark. 

Additionally, the angle of the plane can be adjusted at the push of a button to suit the shot - either horizonatly or vertically.

There are now 4 ways to set the directional line of the plane (which is vertical by default)

1. SINGLE POINT – Where the line is 90° perpendicular to the front of the arm.

2. SINGLE POINT – Where the line is 90° perpendicular to the front of the dolly.

2. TWO POINT – Where the line is created passing through two camera positions.

3. SINGLE POINT + CAMERA (Point & Plane)– Where the line is created in the direction in which the remote head is facing.

Benefits of using the planing function:

  • Co-ordination between telescope control and movement of the arm is immediate and very accurate
  • Less rehearsal time is required to perfect a potentially tricky camera movement
  • Less likelihood of unusable takes
  • Accurate vertical camera movement made easy
  • The positioning of the crane base is no longer of high important to achieve a straight camera move
  • Maximises studio space in which to track the camera
  • Time saved without laying tracks

While in Planing mode, the regular automatic functions such as Smartpan, Smart Tilt  and automatic roll can be added to the movement of the arm as required. In the video below, the telscope control is redundant - the length of the arm changes automaticaly with the crane movement by the grip.

In the planing example at the top of the page, the camera descends down the stairs and passes through the dining room. In planing, the line of the camera is kept straight regardless of the vertical angle of the arm as the camera sweeps down the stairs. If the artistes were to veer off of the centre line of the room, the line of the plane can be adjusted in real time using the telescope control.

When considering where to place the crane base to achieve a particular shot, it is of little or no importance when planing. The plane can be set to any angle in relation to the shot. The only rule that applies is that the camera movement required must be within reach of the telescopic arm.