Tom’s Telepropter for iPad & similar Tablets

23rd Dec 2013

Updated 28th Dec 2014 :

See Product Improvements¬†@ bottom ūüôā

My first Video Blog  ( http://youtu.be/zlZjuWDLtFE ) was well received but in shooting it, the value of having a teleprompter was glaring because I was not fully engaged with the camera and my audience as I tried to read my fluttering notes.

Googling finds several DIY ideas the best of those, in my opinion, is found here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIbiS3QNsdo .
Sorry but I don’t have the gentleman’s name to assign credit !

My camera is small and light enough  ( Canon HR 200 HD )  that I thought I would mount it to the prompter and thus be able to mount both the prompter and the camera as a single unit on my studio tripod.

Video link to Vinvin 121 original posting
: http://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=WKkhy6BNXV4

Here is a list of changes or improvements from the one referenced above:

  • 1 – I started by following the video instruction to build the assembly based on two 8″ x 10″ cheap picture frames ($10) joined in a similar way.
  • 2 – The backing panels were glued together to form a more substantial ¬†mounting platform and glued in place after I was satisfied that all was working to plan.
  • 3 – The side supports which I made from black foam core, to the full size of the 8″ side of the frame so as to block as much side light as possible. These stand up inside the frame supported by four small foam core blocks. Note :the angle of the mirror is NOT necessarily 45 degrees – I found that 60degrees was required to give me a full view of the iPad screen when the camera is set to provide a suitable subject framing with a camera to subject distance of 5 ft.
  • 4 – Using Window Film (see separate notes below)
  • 5 – Camera mount this should work for most small lightweight units but I would not suggest it suitable for DSLR’s. ¬†Using common 1/2″ PVC pipe fittings I made up a 90 degree PVC assembly to position¬†my camera immediately behind and at about halfway up the glass. (see pictures)
  • Lastly I made a black drape which is attached to the top of the the frame with light velcro to exclude light from the camera¬†side.
It might be worth considering a larger frame size such as 11″ x 14″ since looking into the tilted 8″ glass only gives you approx 6″ view of the iPad
If you do not have a lavalier mic you will need to get one since you have now placed your camera mic behind the glass and under the drape making it quite useless.
Window Tinting Materials
I have friend who installs window tint film so I was able to obtain a variety of scraps to try. Silver proved best suited to this application. Now I had never applied this material be my friend gave my instruction on “How to ” :
  1. Wash and ensure the glass is perfectly clean & do not dry
  2. The film has a clear protector on one side . This can be easily separated with masking tape and discarded.
  3. After carefully aligning and applying ,using a credit card wrapped in kitchen towel as squeegee, working from the center firmly force all the water and bubbles out from under the film.
  4. Install the glass film side towards the iPad
Teleprompter Software for Apple iPad iTouch & iPhone

I tried several offerings and found after trying first the free ones that all  had sort comings which caused my to purchase the highly praised  Teleprompt+  and also to download the free sister program to enable my iTouch as a controller for the iPad.

The most serious limitation with the others was nor being able to import text files from emails and other external sources.

Tripod Mounting

Under the Hood

 

Inside Front

Working View

 

 

 

 

 

No Drape = poor reflection

The Drape or Hood is necessary

 

 

Side Panel Support Profile

 

Set to GO!

 

All components stow inside the unit

Product Improvements :

When I set out to shoot my 2014 Christmas Video blog using my  teleprompter on location I encountered a couple of issues. These were quickly and easily remedied as you will see.
Shooting out doors always adds complexity and on this day it began to rain.
1 – During the set up rain spots got onto the camera side of the glass ūüôĀ .
2 – I had no convenient adjustment of the mirror angle hence the prompt text was partially obscured ūüôĀ
3 – Setting the camera alignment meant lifting the blackout cloth which caused unwanted reflecions from above:(
Not much to be done about ! except to  include an umbrella in my Camera gear bag and a fine cotton cleaning cloth:)
On retuning home somewhat dejected I made a a pair of St.Steel wire supports for the black out cloth and mounted these to the outside of the lid/mirror frame. This works great !

Cathedral Grove Set Location

 

Wire sopports and mirror adjustment

 

Shooting position

Next drill a small hole near the rim of a the lid from a pharmacy pot and screw mounted this to the outside of the mirror frame so that when rotated it opens the mirror frame wider = steeper angle ūüôā
I also added a couple weights near the rear corners of the cloth to ensure it hangs nicely ūüôā
Best wishes to you all for 2015
Tomt

 

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