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How Fast Should You Move In A Video Walk-Through?

May 24th, 2011

Charles Mackenzie-Hill of CMH Properties in Marbella, Spain asked us for some feedback on a recent walk-through video that he shot with his Glidecam HD-4000. Charles has also posted a abbreviated version of this video on flickr in the PFRE Video For Real Estate forum.

My feedback to Charles is as follows:

  1. There are a couple of parts of the walk through, particularly between rooms, where the camera movement feels a little too fast for my taste.
  2. At the same time many other parts of the video feel just right.
  3. The variation in speed stands out. For me, it’s not a huge issue but it stands out because it is different than most walk-through videos I’ve seen.
  4. For me the large black border around the video is more distracting than the variation in walk-through speed. This black border makes for a lot of wasted space.
  5. In the introduction the audio quality needs some work. A wireless Lavalier Microphone recording an independent audio audio track that can be synced with the video in post would remedy this.

In the area of walk-through videos, I have to agree with the comment on the flickr version that Fred Light has pretty much set the standard for how to do walk-through property videos. Fred has been doing walk-throughs for a long time and had a bunch of practice. Despite a few distractions, on balance I think this is a very respectable walk-through video. Doing this type of video with a Glidecam takes a lot of practice!

What do others think? Charles would like a variety of feedback.

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9 Responses to “How Fast Should You Move In A Video Walk-Through?”

  • i have the same issue – a little slower than you normally walk is best I find – also try and keep all sections the same speed. if you film one section at a slow trot and another at a snails pace it makes it hard to watch

    but practice practice practice is the key !

  • I agree…. looks great except for some of those super fast movements. The key is absolutely moving at a consistent, slower than normal pace. And trust me, its a killer for your arm!

    The past couple of months have been off the charts for me as I have been shooting between 5-7 houses every single day, so I’ve been on a constant rush to move from one shoot to another and find myself rushing a bit myself just to keep my schedule, and it’s not good. Don’t forget, buyers are looking at EVERYTHING when they watch these videos… they’re looking to see where closets are, bathrooms, how one room leads to the next – just as they would be on a personal showing. You have to give them the time to absorb everything “around them” as you’re walking through. But it’s easy to want to speed things up. There’s a guy in Atlanta who speeds up everything in between rooms at probably triple the speed to get past what is perceived as boring parts, but I find them very, very difficult to watch. Makes me dizzy. It’s an interest effect once, maybe twice, but after that I need medication…..

    The audio in the beginning definitely needs help. I actually did a waterfront home just a couple of days ago. I shot the agent right on the water’s edge with a 5D and a Zoom H4N that I was holding in my hand, that had a dead kitten on it.

    I synced the audio in post with Plural Eyes and threw in some stock ocean wave sounds that I recorded a few years ago as clean ocean background and it sounds PERFECT. It was easy and it was fast and the only equipment was the Zoom, which I held in my left hand.

    70% of a good video is good audio. People will put up with mediocre video if the audio is pristine, but not the other way around. It’s a worthwhile investment to get good quality audio equipment.

  • Larry. Thank you very much for posting for me. Really appreciate it.

    The Cooler : Thanks for the feedback. Your right, more practice will improve. Its good that everyone seems to be in agreement. I had small doubts due too the fact everyone I meet seems be in such a rush. So assumed, quick and to the point was better. Had forgotten though, that we are ultimately shooting for the buyer who will, as Fed light points out want to absorb as much as possible.

    Fred Light : Was hoping you would jump in. Great admirer of your work. Incredible work flow you have. Okay will get working on slower movements. The 5D2 with the 16-35mm lens on the Glidecame does way a ton, So will have to get fitter also. I take it that slowing down in post isn’t really an option?

    Audio is the next thing on the list to solve. Allan Mackenzie posted a useful breakdown on how to use audio over in PFRE video for Real Estate forum, so will be checking that out also. Plural Eyes I take it is a Plug in?

    Thanks everyone

  • What camera/lens were you using on the glide cam?

    I agree that it was a little to fast and the audio up front is a problem. Fred’s comment on audio is dead on.

  • @Greg- Just above Charles said he was using a 5DMkII w 16-35mm.

  • Greg Utton . I think HD-4000 is probably over kill for this setup for RE. a 2000 maybe ok. Its just very heavy as is, so you have about then minutes before the arm starts to go. A vest is an option but as Fred mentioned above , just find they get in the way.

  • Excellent effort – I agree on slowing down a bit, and that (paradoxically) the audio is SOOOooo important in a good video. I also felt your lens was set a bit too wide – a little narrower angle would help prevent the disturbing motion effects [I’m sure someone has a name for what I’m talking about] that can happen when you turn and pass close by things (see 0:47 to 0:55). Thanks for sharing!

  • I noticed a jerking motion especially while panning during the walkthrough parts, like the camera cant quite keep up with the frame rates. I have the same issue with my t2i I set all the manual stuff and kill the automatic, I thought perhaps it was my class6 card. Has anybody else remedied/noticed this? Sometimes it makes the video unwatchable, but it is minor in yours.

  • HDShowings. I found the jerking happens on fast pans, really noticeable when I whip pan on the glider. Really slow seems to be the answer on my 5D2 with a RAW card UDMA 300X 8GB.

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