Game Footage-Usefull Tool?

I was wondering how many teams tape their matches thursday(and possibly friday) and actually sit down as a drive team and watch the footage to help driving, like a football team might. Our team tapes all of our matches but its mostly for memory videos/promotional material,. Just wanted some feed back on if anyone does this and how helpful, and any tips on doing so

My team(s) haven’t really done that. Feedback on driving performance is usually done immediately after the match for 10 to 20 minutes in the pits, where our “strategy council” and the drive team meet and talk about what went well and what didn’t at the match. Thursday isn’t really too serious for us (especially because the robot isn’t always “working” then), Friday nights are reserved for alliance selection discussion, and after that the event’s over so it’ll be on webcast (if, like me, you watch the same match over and over and over again and carefully analyze everything you did wrong and could do better. grr why do empty cell hiders hide the cells)

For after the event I usually wish there was video footage…

Extremely useful. We would try to do it whenever we could. In finals we would record every match, and play it back to the drivers immediately after they got off the field.

I agree with sanddrag that it is in fact EXTREMELY useful, however the times we have implemented it have been a little bit different. I like to look at the footage during lunch and at night after the day of competition. It helps you take a look at not only how your team was performing but how other teams were playing you. You do not need a professional videographer just someone who you can trust to get a decent shot of the whole field.


Sometimes this is harder than it sounds. We don’t have any footage of our robot scoring at the San Diego Regional because every time we lined up a dump the student with the camera started jumping and cheering :smiley:

I have used our archived footage of the official feed on Friday night to both review our performance and to take a look at other robots we will be facing on Saturday. This year I am hoping to get a separate video of our matches for this purpose.

Its helpful to have a good view of the field to get a different perspective on how the game was played. If you have a tape of your game, watching it can help you figure out if anything went wrong and if you missed anything that you should’ve gone for. Its a reliable supplement to any strategy review you have of the match.

Well, we do already have a great videographer, as can be seeing by watching Team 241:The Movie RIGHT HERE AT //Shameless Plug for team youtube and my film making skills

Team 987 tapes and reviews each match immediately after each match and we have found the process to be a huge help for our drivers and coach…

Last season, we would review our footage after the day ended. Five members sitting around a screen and discussing the action that took place. Our footage was shot with a tripod from the stands, covering about 95% of the field. It is much easier to explain to a driver with footage than it is to say “remember when team x’s robot was behind you.”

Reviewing the footage after a match would probably be more useful, but our logistics weren’t that great with a skeleton crew. Although taking a day’s footage and reviewing it as a whole would provide better prospective for a driver. If a driver is told not to do ‘x’ action, the driver might consciously think not to do ‘x’ and forget to do ‘y’ action.


It helps to have the camera on a tripod-you avoid some of the problems with the videographer cheering and jumping around when your team scores. We have one camera with a fixed field of view of the entire field so we can see what everyone is doing and normally have a second camera focusing on our robot only.

Man, I’m now tempted to bring a camera to 2010 regionals and tape the matches (I’m not allowed to coach anymore, see). Taping for scouting is hard unless you have a good way to index the data quickly (e.g. DV camera hooked up to a computer taping, computer storing video and during reset files named and organized by qualification match and team).

This way I can still get my anger out on the drivers :stuck_out_tongue:

I can say that filming would be very helpful. Unfortunately my team did not always use this technique, but I know from football, it is helpful. In a game, I wouldn’t remember half the plays we went through, but by using film we could go over everything with visual proof and reminders. Driving a FIRST robot is just as stressful, if not more so, than playing football (woot). Theres so much going on, driver’s can never remember everything, which is understandable.
However, Filming will only be benificial if you capitalize on it. just filming will do nothing, you must have a review team to go over the good, bad, and ugly, and figure out what worked and what didn’t. These people would be responsible for presenting to the drivers various strategies. Since only one person is required to film (I’d recomend a tripod), the others on this team can try a method my team used. We had scouts in the stands with scouting sheets, gathering data on each robot on the field (how much they scored, how much they were scored upon, special game peices, ect). We used one person per robot, so 6 scouts. We did this for every round; a daunting prospect, but very helpful. The benifit of these was we could bring up our next round apponents before a match and know what we were going up agains, and how to counter strenghts and capitalize on weaknesses. I think this combined with film, as well as USING the two to strategize with drivers, would be invaluable.
After the robot is built, it’s performance is all based on skill of drivers and strength of strategy. (With the most important aspect, of course, being Gracious Professionalism!!!)

Between regionals we regularly sit down as a drive team and watch not only our matches, but matches of our opponents and teams we have on our ‘watch list’. We critique each other and focus on what we need to improve on in practice before our next competition.

Yes, absolutely. Not only is it useful for reflecting on your own performance, but when it comes time to analyze the performance of others this is invaluable as well.

The most important thing to make this footage useful, in my opinion, is to develop an effective system of recording matches, such that retrieving the correct information is trivial.

For the past two years for us, this has consisted of recording raw DV footage straight to a laptop via Firewire (using an application called “WinDV” on Windows XP), and labeling them as matches end (it saved us from many instances of “well, the match was supposed to have started around this time…”). The raw DV footage for an entire 60 or so matches at a regional typically consumes around 100GB for interlaced footage (the only mode that was available on our old camera), and 15-20MB per match when encoded as described in this thread. Further reductions were had by cropping the footage during the step right before encoding (which, conveniently, also allowed me to view the “official” footage right alongside mine perfectly on my laptop display).

This was actually the first year that 1714 didnt take video of the matches and watch it right after. Im not really sure why we didnt do it this year.

Recorded game footage is about 5 steps beyond useful. We try to refer to it as much as we can.

This year in New Jersey, we were allowed to bolt a digital camera to the front of our robot and take video of the match. It was about 10x as effective for impressing sponsors, and I would advise you try it.

Sadly, our team broke up and I have been unable to located the video to show, but it was epic. It showed very good detail of how our robot was on the offence.

In 2006-2007, 1503 occasionally reviewed matches from the day to help scout and even help the drivers strategize. Not sure if the team does that anymore but it was definitely useful to refer to matches for coaching and scouting.

Afterward, I would usually achieve, cut up the matches and post them on SOAP108.

The more efficient way to do this was via a DVD recorder setup at the main feed, it took about 2-3 DVDs/day in good quality.

On our team, we find that reviewing video as an extremely useful tool. A mentor would record every match and keep notes on the things we did right/wrong and we would review it right after the match was over and discuss what we would do to improve our driving after every match. At the end of the day, we have a little drive team meeting and review the highs and lows of our matches as far as a drive team perspective and talk about driving strategies that we could implement to improve on our driving.