10 Special Cinematic Gimbal Moves

On this video, Parker Walbeck and Landon Bytheway from fulltimefilmmaker take a look at 10 unique cinematic gimbal moves that can spice up your videos.

We recently posted another video by Walbeck and Bytheway looking at eight seamless transitions and how to apply them in Premiere however all of those were actually shot using a gimbal and some are similar to what we have here so in a way both tutorials are related and both are well worth watching.

So let’s dive into the 10 different gimbal moves:

  1. Fly-through – push in or pull out with an added element of passing through an object. This is best done with a wide-angle lens (the example, in this case, is passing through a car window but you can be very creative here). Just remember to put your gimbal in flashlight mode so the gimbal stays horizontal in all times.
  2. Tilt/Pan/Parallax – This move combines two moves at the same time – tilt down and pan while walking in an opposite direction to the pan (it is also recommended to lowering the strength of the motors). This is a pretty complex – you will need a number of takes and try to do this slowly.
  3. 3D Orbit – for this cool looking move you will need space to move the gimbal all-around your subject (the example was shooting Walbeck’s feet in a sort of almost 360 but you need the feet to be in the air to pass below). You will need to keep the subject at the same distance. Here you will also want to use an ultra-wide lens (it is also worth reducing the motor power here as well).
  4. Jib/Crane – here the camera moves from a high place to a lower one – using an extension for your gimbal is a good idea and so is focusing on a close target first before you move to your main target as you go down with the gimbal.
  5. Low Parallax – Here you start from a low angle and lock the tilt so only the pan moves and you again use a closer subject to the camera to sell the move as you track your subject. Keep your knees bent and circle your subject as you move with a wide-angle lens.
  6. Dolly Tilt – here you do a push in or pull out with a move either up or down at the start or end of the clip.
  7. Vertical Pivot – Here you will need a somewhat longer lens (Bytheway used a 50mm f/1.4) and you start a little above your subject and you move forward and at the same time keep your subject at the same place in the frame (by moving to tilt the camera upwards as you get closer). This isn’t easy to achieve and will probably require quite a few takes.
  8. FPV – On this shot, you will use 3d roll 360 or FPV mode on your gimbal to achieve a look as if the camera is flying through the scene. A fast lens with a nice background blur. just move with the gimbal towards your subject and make long slow movest with the gimbal so it will look as if it is flying in the air.
  9. Upright Barrel Roll – for this you will put your gimbal into barrel roll mode and set the speed of the motors to high. Your subject needs to roll (or spin) and you can use the joystick to move in the same direction.
  10. Shallow Pull – Finally the 10’th move is not complicated but pretty complex to perform. You will manually set your focus on your subject and then move towards the subject where the pick of the action happens and the subject is precisely in focus.

You can watch more HDSLR and video techniques on our dedicated HDSLR channel here on LensVid. You can check out more of Walbeck videos – here on LensVid as well.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of LensVid.com. He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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