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Old February 1st, 2004, 12:55 PM   #1
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Timelapse with movement

I've been working on a timelapse project (self-inflicted) for about a year and I'm getting to the point where I want to have some slow camera movements or tracking during the timelapse sequences. I've looked into the possibility of using a telescope clock drive, but so far, they are too slow. I guess this basically falls into the "motion control" area but was hoping that I could build something that might get me close to this. Has anybody in here made homemade dolly track and then figured out a cheap way of moving the camera along the track in VERY slow, precise movements?

Dave
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Old February 1st, 2004, 08:00 PM   #2
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Depending on the amount of control you need, you can always get yourself a surplus gearhead motor that will chug along at less than one rpm. Then you can determing how fast the dolly would move when it is pulled by a cable wrapped around a capstain driven by the motor.

Depends on how far and fast you want to go. And how repeatable the results have to be.

Another way would be to use a stepper motor to drive the capstain. Then you could control it from a computer.

Notice I say Capstain because if you allow the cable/wire/rope/string to wrap around a drum, the diameter of the drum will effectively change as you wrap more material on it. And if you don't wind the material on smoothly, a criss-cross wrap will give you uneven movement.

A hefty clock motor would probably move a small dolly with a light camera.
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Old February 8th, 2004, 03:04 AM   #3
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I was about to share the same exact question. I've been looking into Google, and haven't found anything that is 'turnkey' and inexpensive. There are products out there but they are large, expensive, and probably difficult to set up.
I've been trying to think of a solution that is inexpensive. Maybe Mike is onto something, either way I'm not nearly mechanically inclined enough to rig something like that myself. But it's definitely something worth looking into, and I hope more can share good info on this matter.
Motion controlled time lapse is an outstanding cutting edge technique and can be seen quite breathetakingly in the later half of the indie film "Baraka".
The main thing about motion controlled solutions is that if you're in the field trying to photograph clouds than you need a certain amount of real luck to get the clouds to wait around long enough for you to setup.
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Old February 16th, 2004, 05:07 PM   #4
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Pan and Tilt Time Lapse

A good friend of mine built a great system but it cost him about 100K to build the prototype. He is planning on selling a version of it for about 20-25K

It is worth the money and uses a Nikon Digital Camera and Lenses.
Also he has the ability to zoom at the same time. I will try to post some pix...
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Old February 16th, 2004, 06:37 PM   #5
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You can go buy a motion control system for robotics that will do what you want. Requires a computer to control it and you will have to mechanically hook stuff up. Still it is as close to turn-key as you are likely to get for a reasonable amount of money.
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Old February 17th, 2004, 08:04 PM   #6
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Are you looking only for linear movement or also rotational movement? Also, how many dimensions would be involved (i.e. linear in one dimension vs. linear 2-d, etc.)
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Old February 17th, 2004, 08:25 PM   #7
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Hi Jim,
I wanted fairly basic movements (for now!) which would be linear (down the dolly track) and maybe a slow panning action too. There wouldn't be any need for tilts right now.

dave
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Old February 19th, 2004, 06:36 AM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Dave Morrison : Hi Jim,
I wanted fairly basic movements (for now!) which would be linear (down the dolly track) and maybe a slow panning action too. There wouldn't be any need for tilts right now.

dave -->>>

Stepper motors, as mentioned before - http://www.cs.uiowa.edu/~jones/step/

You were on target with the telescope control, only need to change the speed of rotation, either by gear ratio or electronically depending on design. Also, research 'barn door drive' for rotational motion.

Some ideas:

Use threaded rod instead of pulleys

Use levers instead of pulleys

No motors - use weight assisted by friction to control rate of descent vertically or along inclined plane.

Hourglass - use weight resting on tube filled with sand, control rate of descent by size of hole. Capture sand in bag for reuse. This could be pretty quiet, if noise is a factor.

Inclined hourglass
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Old February 19th, 2004, 07:42 PM   #9
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TimeLapse Digital

Here is the link to my friends rig I had mentioned a few posts up, also a video.

http://www.dvxuser.com/cgi-bin/DVX/YaBB.cgi?board=Offtopic;action=display;num=1077225015
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