Steve here checking in - this week we've got a fun time lapse video and some detailed information about the design of the new slider system that's on Kickstarter. We've gotten a lot of questions about how the slider is set-up so we wrote a Tech Tip below to get into some of the finer points of how it works. Keep an eye out next week for a video showing the latest prototype as well!
This amazing video was done by some backers of the original Radian Kickstarter and really shows what you can do with a little creativity. We smile every time we watch this and hope it inspires you to come up with some out-there projects for Radian as well. Enjoy!
Hey there! This week I’ll dive into some of the details of the Radian linear adaptor system, with a focus on our design philosophy. We’ve made some big improvements to the system since we shot and launched the Kickstarter video, so there’s some neat stuff in here you won’t have seen before!
First and foremost, we decided that the Radian linear adaptor needs to be easy to transport, quick to set-up, and easy to adjust. These ideals guided our design process and we are excited about where the prototypes are today.
To make this system easy to transport, we are using milled aluminum parts to ensure the entire accessory kit weighs well under a pound, while still being rock solid. The adaptor design requires only one low-profile part to be permanently attached to your slider so that it does not get in the way when packing in your standard carrying case. Lastly, we’ve pushed the design to aggressively reduce the packed size of the kit, so that it can be easily put away into a side pocket of your bag or pack. The below image shows the Rhino slider with the quick release plate attached to the carriage.
We’re using a straightforward system of thumbscrews to attach all non-permanent parts to your slider, making setup quick and even doable with gloves. We are also ensuring that all thumbscrews will be “captured” by the parts that they sit in, so that they don’t go running away when you break down your kit. We really think we’ve hit the mark on speed- setting up the slider on my desk takes under a minute, so it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the time you’ll spend adjusting for that perfect shot!
The biggest improvement that we’ve made recently in the design is our clutch mechanism, which allows you to quickly release belt drive tension so that you can move your camera along your slider manually. We’ve had multiple iterations on this design and while the prototype shown here needs some aesthetic improvements, it functions beautifully. Just pull on the ring (we’re looking at other attachments for this) to pull the locking mechanism back, and then you can engage or release the belt as needed to make those final adjustments to perfect your shot. As shown below, the clutch has released tension on the belt.
We started out with some very different designs for the Radian slider adaptor and while we were able to get most of them to take smooth footage, the real crux of the issue was usability and stability. One of the biggest design decisions we had to make was whether to put Radian between your slider’s carriage and your camera or someplace else. From playing with it though, we realized that while this system looks nice, it lifts your camera significantly relative to your slider, which makes it much more prone to wind and any small vibrations. After seeing this, we decided we wanted to avoid lifting your camera relative to the carriage.
After making a handful of different prototypes, we settled on the current system, in which Radian attaches to your slider’s carriage and drives along a belt attached the slider’s end brackets. This was driven by the desire to be able to accommodate sliders of pretty much any length and to avoid needing to carry 6’ long wires to connect to your camera. Using a belt also allows you to get smooth, consistent motion without having to put your system under significant tension. This allows for much easier adjustment and set-up.
After seeing how useful it was to move your camera along the slider while setting up your shot, we realized we needed a quick and dependable way to release belt tension. This inspired the design of the clutch mechanism mentioned above. The pictures shown are from our 3rd generation and we’re in the process of building up some Gen 4 prototypes, which should be 95% of what will show up in the final product!