Poor mans motion control rig, anyone?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by HunterGather, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. HunterGather macrumors member

    Oct 18, 2008
    Does anyone have any creative ways for using a machine of some sort to achieve a motion control rig for a camera?
    I want to try some rotoscoping and such with the camera actually moving, so I need to have the camera be able to always move at the same precise speed and angle for X amount of times and then composite/cut out/rotoscope/etc.

    Nothing crazy. I'm fine with a 360 degree turn or a long straight line.
  2. hsilver macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2002
    New York
  3. Nostromo macrumors 65816


    Dec 26, 2009
    Deep Space
    Googling will get our eyes ogling at a large number of results in all varieties and flavors.
  4. HunterGather thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 18, 2008
  5. Dale Campbell macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2009
    Here is an egg timer rig I made for a DSLR. It is easier and less precarious with a point and shoot type camera.


    That gives you a 360 in about an hour.

    To do a straight line you need some kind of track and some kind of motor.
    Dirt cheap way is to get a BBQ rotisserie motor (search ebay) something like a tile cutter or rolling paper guillotine and a piece of string.
    Fasten the camera to the moving bit of whatever you are using tie the string to it, fasten the motor at the other end and tie the string to that then set it running.

    Same principal works with a ladder and skateboard wheel type setup which gives you a longer run.
  6. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Googling for "poor man's motion control" suggests some interesting ideas. Here's a trick involving shooting on a much larger plate and digitally cropping/zooming:


    When I think of controlled and accurate linear or rotational movement, I think of stepper motors and servos. There are a lot of DIY folks building robotics and CNC machines. You don't need to build either, but some of the mechanisms may be of interest. For example, a stepper motor driving a threaded rod could provide controlled and repeatable linear movement to a platform mounted on nuts, and at varying speeds. You could easily control it using free CNC machine software.
  7. HunterGather thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 18, 2008
    Thanks for the input, guys.

    That cropping idea may work in some cases, but i'd need to try it out to see if its too tedious or not.

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