How to record a video of your rocket launch

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How to record a video of your rocket launch

Post by bugwubber »

Using your phone to record your rocket launch? Because of the vertical nature of our hobby, you might feel compelled to record videos holding your phone vertically. While this may look fine on your phone, this will result in either tiny letterboxed video, or a sideways rocket launch when you share it over the Internet. Got a GoPro or other HD video camera? Great! Don't turn em sideways either!

Please watch the following PSA on "Just say No to VVS":

Some suggestions:
1. Actually observe the WRA safety guidelines and back 50ft away from your rocket to launch it. Not only is this safer, you'll be better able to record the launch.
2. Record multiple launches. Set up a tripod or some other way to secure your camera so that you can capture the ground to 20-40ft above the rocket without moving the camera. This will look nice in slow motion.
3. Record your launches with the Sun low in the sky. Put your back to the Sun to highlight the rocket. Put the Sun behind the rocket just outside the frame to highlight water spray.
4. ALWAYS keep the Sun out of frame.
5. Use a helper to launch the rocket for you or shoot the video. Just remember helpers don't always shoot the video you want.
6. For IPhone, I've found VideoPix to work really well for extracting highlights, freeze frame pics, and making slow frame rate clips. The app Cute Cut just about replaces desktop functionality for video production.
7. It helps to announce what you are launching, how much water is loaded, at what PSI. Even if you don't publish that, it is great for reference.

I'm sure there are many more tips Anyone got any to add?



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Re: How to record a video of your rocket launch

Post by Asupremeflight »

Make sure to press record. DA!

Videotape everything. You can always edit later.

Don't look through the viewfinder of your camera. Watch the rocket and point the camera where you are looking.

Don't try to zoom in on a rocket. You will lose it and in trying to find it Bugwubber will lose his lunch.

Post all bloopers vids for us to laugh at. ( has anyone seen the video of the kid who made that "Bazooka" and the water blast knocked him over?) Albeit, a learning experience for that kid. I had to watch it at least a hundred times b4 I stopped laughing.

Don't bother posting videos of rockets that spin crazy fast. Again, Bug will lose his lunch.

To reiterate what Bug said do all the videotaping yourself. Because...really... You are the only one who really cares.

On a final note... Practice makes perfect. And...please post more much fun. ( really there should be a room just for those so when I crash a rocket for the 10th time that day I can just pull up that room and feel so much better about my day in knowing that I am not the only one.)

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Re: How to record a video of your rocket launch

Post by U.S. Water Rockets1 »

Great topic!

Yes, the vertical phone camera video is the single most annoying thing you can do. What makes it worse is that when you share the video on youtube, it has to shrink the video to fit it the vertical maximum resolution of their player, which is 1080 pixels, so even 1280x720 rotated has to shrink to 1080x608 to rotate and fit the player. So, you lose pixels in the process, unless you don't rotate it and make everyone tilt their head 90 degrees who view it.

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Nick B
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Re: How to record a video of your rocket launch

Post by Nick B »

We put one camera in a clear plastic rectangular container (a Beanie Baby display container,) and put it at the foot of the rocket, while using a second camera in hand. The videos from the contained camera are pretty cool and show the water blast in your face, the Rainx clears it as fast as it hits, and we have a good video with detailed launch tube, fin and nozzle function, along with most of the flight up till apogee, if the camera is placed right. Since the container has flat sides to shoot through, and is clear and reasonably good optically, the vids are pretty clear. One of our side projects, is a camera on a pole to shoot the first 16/20 feet of launch from above the rocket.

Less MD80 dizzy vids of the ground spinning around.

Nick and Dad B.
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