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 Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly apprecia 
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Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:41 am
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Post Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly apprecia
Hello, my name is Chris Rothera, I’m an Industrial Design Engineer studying at Nottingham University. One of my passions is film and photography and for the next several Months I am dedicating myself to trying to design and build a new product for time lapse film and photography and I would really love your help in doing so. The product I wish to produce is one aimed more towards an amateur, or indie market, more affordable than products in the current market that offers repeatable, automated motion, in slide, panning and tilting, to bring the hard to get, dynamic shots that we all love.
In trying to bring this product to a reality, I really need your help and advice. Please share with me your experiences of using equipment in the past, where you feel equipment needs improving, or perhaps what is missing from current time-lapse equipment? Maybe past products are difficult to use, difficult to set up perhaps?
Your insight into time-lapse filming is a huge step towards producing a product that fits your needs and addresses current issues; if you have two minutes to reply, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you for your time :D


Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:15 am
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
I think you will find this a challenge...
The cheapest 3-axis system that looks ok so far is the Cinetics Axis 360 for $1,200.

I think it's really hard for one person to create... you would be much better off with a team.

The main thing I think everyone is looking for is reliability, stability, ease of use, weight and cost.
Of course, any product will be a compromise on those things.

Rods/Rails:
Rods are annoying to constantly screw and unscrew together, but if you don't have rods, the other options are rails.
Rails are heavier and more stiff. Pain in the ass to carry around, even more of a PITA if you have sections of rails.

Electronics:
Good luck. You're going to need to make sure you have something to run all your firmware on (speaking of which, you're going to write all of this?!) and then have an enclosure and deal with stepper motors and the drivers (which can run quite hot, so you're going to need to think about that as well).

Overall:
Basically, I want something that is light weight, that I don't have to dick around with for setting up.
I want to take it out of the case (which should be manageable) and be able to set it up on tripods immediately.
Then turn it on and be good to go.

I don't think it's really physically possible because of the requirements of the system to be stable and smooth.
For that stability you can't have joints. If you do have joints they need to be super smooth and strong.
Those sure as hell will not be cheap to manufacture.

Then for space and packability, obviously taking the dolly off the rail/rods helps a lot. But this means you need to set it up.
Not to mention having to deal with the belts.

Currently I have to lug around my stage-zero type system with two tripods and an Emotimo (faster to set up but damned heavy and bulky).
I don't know how much this weighs, but it feels like at least 50 pounds. I use a ski bag and a portable roller cart/dolly.

OR I can use my Shark S1 Slider but have to set it up and constantly screw and unscrew rods together, not to mention it's more fragile.

Not to burst your bubble / discourage you but designing and building this system is actually pretty danged hard.
And if you want to make it "affordable" too? I hope you can, but I don't hold out a lot of hope for that.

I have always been a fan (and customer) of the Dynamic Perception stuff. Another good design to look at is the Kessler second shooter.
There are a lot of good ideas in that system too - I like the quick changeable gearing, I like the all in one-ness of it. It seems less of a hassle to set up compared to the DP stuff (sorry DP!). The only thing that sucks is there's no external intervalometer input, and the it's missing some timelapse functions.

I wanted to get a newer system, but everything costs too much right now (not to mention my crap exchange rate all of a sudden).


Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:43 am
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
Thats funny i studied industrial design many years ago it was all magic markers and talcum powder then . Do you still do marker drawings or is it all CAD these days ?.
As for rigs you have a impressive wish list but all this comes at a price unfortunately. If you are truly after a cost effective solution i would forgo the repeat ability issue. Its not really a issue for standard timelapse more for special effects or animation ( as is my case) .
I build rigs and its not cheap parts alone comes in over £1000 maybe if these things were mass produced then the price could be reduced but is their really that big a market ? Dont do a slider theirs far to many as it is.
Cameras are also getting much smaller and drones come with very good gimbals these days maybe that may be worth looking at . Sure the drone market is going to be a bigger market than time lapse . Well thats what the news keeps saying so it must be true :D
D1


Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:47 am
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
I posted this up on my website a while back for this purpose. I have always been big on the DIY aspect and love helping people design systems. This may or may not be of help, but it does go through a lot of different design considerations and might be worth the read.

http://thechronosproject.com/time-lapse ... esign-101/

Ignore what everyone else does, build from the ground up with things that make sense to you. Dont try to build a better Chronos lite, Stage Zero, Axis 360, eMotimo, Genie, Radian, Astro, or any of that.

Focus on doing what you think is the correct way to go about it.

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Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:25 pm
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
Jack Ripper (whose name is Chris) gives good advice. Go with something that feels right to you and do it your way. You might discover stuff nobody has figured out before. Motion control for advanced amateurs and indie filmmakers is a very new arena and designs have come a long way since Timescapes has been around. Some of the founding members made dollies using aluminum ladders as track when you couldn't buy a camera dolly for less than $3000.

There are a ton of sliders now. Try to think of something that is going to be easier to pack or assemble if you make another slider design.

Pan-tilt heads are surprisingly difficult to make. In most cases, you need some gear reduction. The necessary play between sets of gear teeth (backlash) becomes a real problem. In the pan direction, the wind can move the camera within the range of the backlash creating annoying wiggles that ruin your shot. In the tilt direction it causes a bump as an unbalanced load moves past the tipping point. This usually happens as the head tilts past the vertical, which most shots do not do. Solutions range from using plastic gears and mashing them together so the teeth deform instead of having a gap, using a little brake which keeps the wind from blowing the head and having enough motor torque to overwhelm the brake.

Expensive heads use strain wave gearing like Harmonic Drives. Those gear reducers are designed to have almost no backlash at all but they frequently cost as much as your entire budget just for one. You'd need two for a pan-tilt head. And thats why these things get so darned expensive. If you wanted to do something that would really impress people with some experience building this stuff, you might have a go at designing some sort of new gear reduction that doesn't have much, or any backlash. Something that could be produced easily at relatively low cost. If you did that, there would be lots of applications in industrial robots, milling machines and other equipment requiring precision movement. Its not as sexy or fun as having your own slide, pan, tilt rig to play with on Spring break, but you'd have something with a lot of applications and very little competition.


Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:52 am
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
As you have already discovered, coming up with something original is not going to be simple!

Since you are studying industrial design you presumably don't just want to use off-the-shelf components. Here are some off-the-wall ideas for you to consider or bin as you wish:

One issue that you may be able to look at is bearing design. Commercial bearings are inevitably designed to run at much higher speeds than are needed for a timelapse rig. Speed here is of little concern compared to minimising play. Can you design/manufacture an inexpensive, low speed bearing that is very stable? How about low speed, zero backlash gears which use materials that deliberately deform slightly when meshed? The tooth profile would need to be designed to suit. They'd get too hot at high speed but might work for our needs. Come up with a whole new timing belt standard geared (sorry, couldn't resist it) to allowing high ratios in minimal space. Basically, one that can run round weeny little pulleys.

OK, back in my box.

Kit


Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:15 pm
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
I tend to find that what would actually be REALLY useful is a solid lightweight mini-system that can remain assembled and mount on a single tripod.
Say a slider approx 750mm long with panning only.
Potentially add something like a Manfrotto magic arm down to one of the tripod legs from the end of the slider for extra stability.
Probably about 70% of my slider shots are done with something like this now, only my current system still needs assembly every time.

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Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:41 am
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
750mm travel and mounting only in the middle is not stable at all.
even if your camera is something like sony a6000 or so.

you alway have to have 2 supportpoints for real travel more than 300mm

greets


Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:07 am
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
Depends on the size of the tripod / weight of the slider / size of camera / wind levels. I currently have a lightweight slider about 750mm long that I use regularly with a very good Gitzo tripod and my 5D. 80% of the time it is fine on its own, other times I'll use the tripod on one end then use a Manfrotto magic arm to support the other end clamped down to one of the tripod legs. The few times it is too windy then I'll go for 2 tripods.
My longer slider is definitely 2 tripods always.

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Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:14 pm
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
Antz wrote:
I tend to find that what would actually be REALLY useful is a solid lightweight mini-system that can remain assembled and mount on a single tripod.
Say a slider approx 750mm long with panning only.
Potentially add something like a Manfrotto magic arm down to one of the tripod legs from the end of the slider for extra stability.
Probably about 70% of my slider shots are done with something like this now, only my current system still needs assembly every time.



I can build you a 750mm Chronos Lite rail

;)

Im actually building a 17 inch rail for myself.
The Biolapse stuff normally requires 6 inches and under of travel. a 1000mm rail just gets in the way. ;)

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Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:42 pm
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
Bit of a one way discussion this our originator seems to have dropped out !
I did mention drone gimbals i was wondering if anybody's got their hands on one ? Their speed, position, smoothness seems quite amazing . Their doesn't seem to be a gearbox but i cant be sure they are described as brushless Dc motors . I am assuming their must be a encoder on the motor of some kind to achieve such amazing position control at those speeds you would expect a lot of over run.
They only cost about £40 too ok not for big cameras but GoPro getting better every year and i have mentioned before you can get a kit to convert GoPros to C mount lenses.

D1


Thu Feb 05, 2015 11:47 am
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
I have a couple of gimbals I use with gopros, as well as a DJI with the H3 gimbal.
I had not thought of trying to repurpose one of these as a motion control head, there are definitely some possibilities there.

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Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:18 pm
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
Let us know how you go prob the best way to make a truly portable system . Was watching a documentary on filming the early attempts on climbing Everest 1923 onwards i think . Its still on the I player http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... of-everest .
With these type of scenarios you have to make one of two choices 1 beautiful optics and image quality but bulky heavy packages or 2 small lightweight Gopro type tech that doesn't interfere to much with the actual task in hand .
If i was climbing Everest which is extremely unlikely these days as i find it difficult running for a bus! . i would go light weight and get that shot nobody else stands a chance of getting with ya classic 5d full motion control package even if the image quality is not perfect .
I don't really do timelaspe anymore but designing a tiny package would be a interesting challenge i did get it down to ruck sack size when i was lapsing but it was still heavy and i couldn't carry all the stuff i normally like to have wet gear bit of food etc .
D1


Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:16 pm
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
I may be totally wrong about this, but I'd assume the drone camera gimbal doesn't have a traditional encoder on the motors. There is probably an RC gyro moving little RC servos. Thats not to say that you couldn't make a mini MOCO rig with them. Small is going to be the way of the future with cameras shrinking the way they are.


Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:38 am
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
Most stabilising gimbals use an IMU mounted on the camera platform, which is kept horizontal using brushless motors controlled with a closed feedback loop control system, not suitable for timelapse.

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Sat Feb 07, 2015 7:41 am
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
wsp35 wrote:
Most stabilising gimbals use an IMU mounted on the camera platform, which is kept horizontal using brushless motors controlled with a closed feedback loop control system, not suitable for timelapse.

I don't really understand if it can move a camera why cant it do timelapse . I appreciate it is using servo tech but surely that should make it a lot more adaptable to different control methods rather than using the gimbal control set up .
I was more interested in the fact they don't appear to have a gear box yet they have sufficient torque to pan tilt roll a small camera . They also hold position and some claim a accuracy of .02 deg http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/WALKERA-G-3S- ... 58ba55a2e8 . Have noticed the price range varies from £30 to about £1500 that's quite a difference . If the cheaper ones can be adapted and i am just talking mechanics here not control system. Then you get a small system with zero backlash if indeed they don't have a gearbox for a decent price . Suppose if you have a drone you can use it on that by changing control system . i am avoiding drones had a bad experience with a model plane once never did find it :D
[flickr]ImageWK-G-3S_03 by DISPLACEMENT101, on Flickr[/flickr]
D1


Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:36 am
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
Ps How nice is this one
[flickr]ImageHTB1UWAOGXXXXXc8XVXXq6xXFXXXf by DISPLACEMENT101, on Flickr[/flickr]
[flickr]ImageHTB1enscGXXXXXcPXFXXq6xXFXXX4 by DISPLACEMENT101, on Flickr[/flickr]


Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:48 am
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
DISPLACEMENT 1 wrote:
wsp35 wrote:
Most stabilising gimbals use an IMU mounted on the camera platform, which is kept horizontal using brushless motors controlled with a closed feedback loop control system, not suitable for timelapse.

I don't really understand if it can move a camera why cant it do timelapse . I appreciate it is using servo tech but surely that should make it a lot more adaptable to different control methods rather than using the gimbal control set up .
I was more interested in the fact they don't appear to have a gear box yet they have sufficient torque to pan tilt roll a small camera . They also hold position and some claim a accuracy of .02 deg http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/WALKERA-G-3S- ... 58ba55a2e8 . Have noticed the price range varies from £30 to about £1500 that's quite a difference . If the cheaper ones can be adapted and i am just talking mechanics here not control system. Then you get a small system with zero backlash if indeed they don't have a gearbox for a decent price . Suppose if you have a drone you can use it on that by changing control system . i am avoiding drones had a bad experience with a model plane once never did find it :D
[flickr]ImageWK-G-3S_03 by DISPLACEMENT101, on Flickr[/flickr]
D1



AFAIK most gimbals aren't using servos, they generally don't have encoders. Brushless motors only become servos when they have an encoder attached. I would doubt the claimed accuracy of that ebay listing, whilst some IMUs can achieve accuracies close to that level (in specific axes only http://aerocomputers.com/products/inert ... ment-unit/ high end aero IMU) even really high end IMUs suffer from long term drift, which is no good for timelapse. From wikipedia:

"Because the guidance system is continually adding detected changes to its previously-calculated positions , any errors in measurement, however small, are accumulated from point to point. This leads to 'drift', or an ever-increasing difference between where the system thinks it is located, and the actual location."

Although this is referring to a guidance system application it is relevant to time-lapse.

If we are talking about brush-less motors with encoders (servos) then the problem becomes finding high enough accuracy encoders. I took a look around and have contacted some companies but couldn't find any encoders that could do enough counts to remove the need for a planetary gearbox. Some do exist, but are very expensive: see renishaw.

You can use encoders with geared motors (ditogear/cinedrive/camblock) but the top speed is too slow (only 360 degrees in a couple of seconds) so it cant be used to cancel out quick hand movement. This is equivalent to saturation of the output in a control system.

I think it may be possible to achieve both gimbal and timelapse in the same rig but it would have to include the absolute best (most expensive) tech from motors/control/sensing and still would probably be a compromise in quality compared to what already exists.

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Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:08 am
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
AFAIK whats that mean then ? Well i have deduced their is no gearbox and they have quite a bit of torgue so thats two points in their favor . They also come with a hollow shaft which is plus point 3 .
[flickr]Image$_57 by DISPLACEMENT101, on Flickr[/flickr]
And their quite cheap £25/£30 point 4.
You sound like you know a lot more about this than me. Just come across then and its dead time on a Sat afternoon so not had much time to look into them . You say they suffer from position drift over what time period and how much . Remember my original premise in this discussion is a functional item that is very small not a perfect one . Lets say you have a interval of 5secs between shots and your drift is constant would this actually effect the end result ? I don't think so i will do a bit more digging think i have found a controller that allows step direction but could be wrong .
Oh dear got myself distracted really busy doing other things at mo :(


Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:41 am
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
AFAIK = As far as I know

From what I have seen gimbals require much better balancing that Time-lapse rigs to allow the motors to stabilised properly as the ungeared motors still have relatively low torque. If you think about it they don't really need much torque because their goal is to allow the camera to remain in the same place. If the system was turned off, the motors were frictionless and the camera was perfectly balanced the camera would actually stay in the same orientation as you move the handles, so all the motors are doing is overcoming friction within the system and doing some light steering.

It is possible that random accumulated errors could cancel, but at the same time why not just use an optical encoder in time-lapse mode and the IMU in gimbal mode. There are encoders available that can do 0.02 degree resolution (v expensive though). I have asked a couple of control engineers before about the possibility of actually achieving positional accuracy with a super high resolution encoder on these low cost direct drive motors. The general consensus seemed to be that issues with minimum motor speeds, high inertia, and slip/stick friction would prevent control that would be accurate enough for direct drive time-lapse. (These issues would also exist if using an IMU).

Just a little searching I found this:

http://www.cobham.com/media/1128257/SPS ... asheet.pdf

Pretty much a commercially available version of what we are talking about, so looks like it is possible with high end equipment. Would be great if it could be made affordable, but last time I looked I couldn't find any encoders accurate enough at a price I could afford, to give it a try. At the moment it seems for the price of the encoders you could just buy a ditogear omni head and a movi.

Steve

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Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:20 am
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
AFIAK glad we sorted that one out bit behind the times on stuff like that !


Found a few videos on the really cheap gimbals . They don't seem that bad and you can pan tilt roll etc . Wsp is right keeping level in gimbal mode requires less torque because your not fighting the natural balance point . But as the video shows with a small camera you cant get away with movements beyond the balance point .
The easiest control method seems to be PWM . One of the early rigs i ever built was PWM controlled driving normal RC servos . I used a Parallax basic stamp and very simple code . Not perfect and the servos had in built gearing so the resolution was acceptable . Not sure if this will be the case with these direct drive motors.
Still for £30 it might be worth a punt if you after a really small pan tilt head for your GoPro . View it as one step up from the egg timer . As i say i don't do this stuff anymore but been a interesting discussion .
Cheers D1


Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:31 pm
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
wow, those do look good. I don't see any drift in the short time its on. Might be a problem on a long timelapse. I'm thinking it could be a nice hyperlapse stabilizer where you just walk around with it.


Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:49 am
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
Yes my thoughts too ! It would make a good product if you could make a unit that was a drone gimbal / hand held stabilizer combined with a timelapse giga pan head . Imagine if you were climbing a mounting you could do a hyperlapse on approach. A bit of drone work when you make base then mount it on your helmet for stabilized shots as you climb . Then when ya get to top you do a bit of timelpase and giga pan stuff all with one unit . :D
D1


Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:14 am
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
Hi everyone, thank you for all of your input so far, this is very exciting! I’m getting a huge number of ideas and possible directions from you and I have been locked away in the design studios for the past couple weeks, which is why I have been radio silent, sorry. Yes I completely agree, ‘Scotchtape’ that attempting to incorporate 3 axis of motion into a devise designed for an amateur to intermediate market is a tad too ambitious, so I’m looking into other areas to improve upon, though I’m not ruling the possibility out until I’ve done a few more weeks of research. I have a few contacts in the electrical engineering department who can help with programming and advice, if it becomes necessary.

It seems a lot of people have issue with portability, weight and set up/assembly of their rigs, so I was thinking of designing a modular track that comes in sections, whether they be straight, curved or have inclines, and it is the track itself that dictates the movement of the camera, so the camera will turn with the track, removing the need for an additional motor system. The track sections themselves would have no electronic parts; the camera dolly would house the motor/ control the speed and would simply be dropped on top of the track. Would a system like this be appealing to a photographer?

Use throughout the shot has been on my mind a lot as well, how stable are your current devices once set up? Does the wind ever ruin a shot that therefore needs re-setting? Where would you say that you take time-lapse photography in general? It would be a nice direction to design towards a device specialised to be transported and set up by the side of a mountain say, or within general rough terrain.

The gearing backlash is an interesting insight, how visible is this backlash in the final video? It’s interesting; I too own a Phantom drone with the Zenmuse H3-3D gimbal It is an interesting direction to see whether it could be re-purposed for time-lapse photography, though I’d imagine it would be quite a drag on battery life, especially over a possible 6 hour shoot.

An initial area I looked into, for technology options were the camera rigs used to film live sports events; 2 controlled ropes that connect to each of the four corners of the roof of the stadium that intersect in the centre which connects to the camera, (think live overview at football matches). Whether or not that technology could be scaled down for controlled camera motion, Wind would be the issue though I feel…

Thank you all for the ideas and input, it is greatly appreciated, and extremely helpful for me to gather true user feedback from you. :D


Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:33 am
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
Here are a couple of interesting designs on Kickstarter right now.

This is a much bigger gimbal than was discussed here. Looks like it works well and can handle my full frame camera.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/37 ... f=category

Then there is this dolly/pan/tilt thing. It uses your phone as its controller. Everything is wireless and each motor module has its own built-in battery. People who don't buy, complain about all the mad-scientist wires on my rigs. There are separate batteries, a controller, motor drivers and the motors themselves, all connected by wires. I'm not a big fan of internal batteries because they limit runtime and can be a problem when they need replacement. This does have the advantage of having no wires to connect at all. You charge everything before going to shoot, then setup involves only mechanical connections with no cables or wires of any kind.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ax ... f=category

Just some more ideas to consider. If you make control wireless, then the built-in battery makes sense. Add some sort of quick release for each module so setup is as fast and simple as possible.


Fri Feb 13, 2015 6:24 am
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
Hi all,

I have been working and researching alongside my professors and recently been doing some conceptualizing. I've attached a link to four of my most CAD rendered concepts that I would love some feedback on, on benefits and disadvantages of the concepts, and what you think could or simply wouldn't work in your opinions; if you could spare a few minutes of your time to give them a glance that would be much appreciated!

The first concept is a simplified redesign of the 'Syrp Genie'. This concept offers the basic functionality of that product: spring loaded extendable cable that can be attached to either end of your camera slider, as well as turn table to spin the camera through 360 degrees. However the programming has been removed to only offer 4 speed options for both linear and rotational motion, i.e: (Very slow, slow, medium, and fast). This makes things considerably cheaper, cutting the cost of this product be a large amount! As for camera attachment, I was playing around with a half sphere, omnidirectional attachment, but that's more for aesthetic reasons haha.

[flickr]https://www.flickr.com/photos/131823875@N07/16763944061/[/flickr]

The second concept uses the belt and pulley system to move the dolly across the slider, which is connected via four ball bearing attachments; ball bearings for that additional smoothness for the shot. The pulley system also means that this concept can be positioned vertically. The electronics, motor, and battery are all contained within the end caps, protected from the elements, also the control dials/buttons similarly will be positioned on the end caps. Tripods are required to position this slider at a height.

[flickr]https://www.flickr.com/photos/131823875@N07/16142811304/in/photostream/[/flickr]

Concept Three is a completely self-contained system; there are four extendable legs that fold into the slider so that it is essentially ‘flat-packed’, two rails on either side as well as a lightweight ‘C’ bar in the centre that protects a single belt, which fixes to a drive pulley and two slave pulleys within the dolly, which positions the dolly along the track. Lengths will be either 1000 mm, 1250 mm or 1500 mm. For this concept would you prefer there to be a spin table on top of the dolly so that the camera has the option to pan, as well as have linear motion?

[flickr]https://www.flickr.com/photos/131823875@N07/16577540408/in/photostream/[/flickr]

Concept four uses modular tracks to dictate motion of the camera; curved tracks for rotational motion, and straight track for the linear motion. The concept uses a motorized dolly, the wheels of which can rotate and be fixed in place, to allow it to move smoothly along a track (V Wheels), and which can also be used on any flat surface, not only the track. This would require a certain amount of set up time, however disassembled, should allow for easier transportation. The connectors that attach to the rails are 3D printed (currently waiting on several prints to start prototyping this model)

[flickr]https://www.flickr.com/photos/131823875@N07/16739236066/in/photostream/[/flickr]

These are all obviously early stage concepts, they need a lot of work, there have not been any prototypes made of any of these yet, however I am close to being able to do so. Please tell me what you think of these, which of these concepts you think are simply terrible or good, or what needs improving. If the systems I am using would work, are these enough to stand out in the current market. Though I can't wait to get to the prototyping phase, a buddy and I are going to go hiking and bring the kit for some over night shots to test them out :D I can’t wait to show you it!

Again, thank you for your time, it is much appreciated, I value your comments, they really help me out.

All the best,
Chris


Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:26 am
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Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:24 pm
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
Coming soon to a theater near you:

Concept 3: Disaster in the making

:)

Your slider is guaranteed to fall over with those legs!


Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:57 am
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Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:41 am
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
Haha, yeah they are crazy narrow there, the legs can be re-designed though, with a spherical joint perhaps so that the legs can spread out rather than be fixed close together. But if the legs are changed, would the system work do you think?


Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:03 am
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Location: UK
Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
ChrisRothera wrote:
Haha, yeah they are crazy narrow there, the legs can be re-designed though, with a spherical joint perhaps so that the legs can spread out rather than be fixed close together. But if the legs are changed, would the system work do you think?


Quote:
I was playing around with a half sphere, omnidirectional attachment, but that's more for aesthetic reasons haha.

Same here but not quite like your design, I want a full 360 rotation + full 180 pan using two motors to position camera / lens anywhere on a hemisphere. Got design in my head and most of the kit but not the time yet.

Legs, I tried four off ball-head mono-pods and a DP Stage Zero track "once" ;) Did not mount camera before setting up slider luckily. Good luck with your endeavours. I like the curve, always wanted to do a 360 degree hug a tree shot with camera not my arms :D

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Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:28 am
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Post Re: Designing New Time-lapse Equipment – advice greatly appr
Funny story Mike, I too tried to make legs for my stage zero dolly with the same four monopod concept. Folded up, it was nice. One neat package easy to move. Upon setting it up, i came to the same conclusion re its dicey stability issues. I also used cheap ballheads, which have the metal neck down to about 1/4 inch after the ball and before the quick release. It also looked like one of those was destined to snap off one day.

I also love the curved track. If you make them, I'll buy one.


Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:50 am
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