If you've ever tried to use a standard tripod to create a perfect, 90° overhead shot for photography, filmmaking, or animation, you know how frustrating it can be.
Even with a boom arm, the tripod legs always end up in the image, the camera becomes topheavy and gets dangerously close to tipping over, and it's impossible to change the height of the shot beyond the zoom of the lens.
A downshoot animation stand will for tabletop stuff, but what if you want to take your camera into the field: your workshop, garage or backyard, or wherever you can get the best light?
Then you need to make one of Josh's overhead camera setups. It's a super simple technique using an aluminum tube and simple hardware from the home center. Stacks of washers serve as the counterweight, perfectly balancing the camera, and allowing you to move the whole setup up and down, like a crane, and get the exact composition you're going for.
Very creative, simple solution. I'm picking up the materials for this the next time I head to the hardware store. You should, too.
Check out the whole process in the video below.