The Shootools AutoPan is a clever product from Shootools that adds a motorized second axis to any linear slider (or crane). A simple device that has it's own built in rechargeable battery and can quickly be setup and programmed to repeat keyframe positions.
My video only shows the basic use of the Shootools AutoPan, as their Wireless App is not yet available. Once it becomes available you'll be able to remotely control and configure the AutoPan and perform more advanced Timelapse movements. There is even a Table Top that can be added on the AutoPan transforming it into a Motorized Rotating Product Table.
Now as I have mentioned in my video, there is noise when the AutoPan is tracking. So for audio sensitive projects like 'sit down interviews' this is probably not ideal. But for certain types of projects focused mainly on imagery such as Products, Food, Car Shows, Weddings details, Real Estate, Architecture, and Music Videos, I can really see the Shootools AutoPan adding a lot of benefit simplifying tracking and that unique parallax effect. These types of moves on a slider certainly add a bit more production value to your final project.
A basic overview of the Dynamic Perception 3-Axis Motion Control Bundle consisting of the Stage One Plus Motorized Slider, Sapphire Pro Motorized Pan / Tilt Head, and the NMX Motion Controller. This bundle allows you to program a full 3-Axis Motion Control system through a simple iOS App (NMX Motion), or you can even add-on an optional accessory to control the NMX Controller through a Playstation Remote.
Once you enter a few bits of information for a Timelapse setup, the NMX Motion App will automatically calculate how many images will be captured, how long the Timelapse will take, and how long your final timelapse video clip will be (based on project timeline FPS). I think the stand out feature for the Stage One Plus slider is the ability to combine rails (easily) for just about any length you can imagine. The Sapphire Pro Motorized Pan Tilt head is one of the smallest 2-Axis Motion control systems which can be beneficial when packing and traveling.
If you don't mind carrying a hex tool to loosen the rail clamps (tripod supports), you can break the entire system down to as little as 21" inches, which will allow you to fit it into common Carry-On Sized Luggage if you choose to fly or pack it into a smaller BackPack. If you want more information about Dynamic Perception equipment, check out the website at http://dynamicperception.com (link).
I've reviewed the iFootage Shark Slider combined with the S1A1 Motion Control in the past (video review seen here). This time we're adding on the X2 Head that allows for Pan and Tilt of the camera. With this, you have a fully motorized advanced 3-Axis Motion Control System that allows for accurate movements and positioning for Time Lapse and also incredibly silent for real time video use. Here's a quick video on how to use this system for that popular Parallax Tracking effect often used on B-cam setups during interviews.
The X2 Motion Pan/Tilt Head can also be used without the Shark Slider. So if you want a simple 2-Axis Motion Control Timelapse system, just throw it directly onto a tripod. Or use it at the end of a jib as a wireless motorized PT Head.
I personally have only dabbled in some of what this entire system offers, and it is capable of far more advanced functions that what I have shown. It's not the cheapest motion control system avialable, but it's incredibly accurate if you need to repeat shots, highly programmable, and best of all incredibly silent (important for those interviews). You can find more information about iFootage Motion Control Equipment over at CamotionLLC.com (found here).
If you're looking for a super lightweight affordable motorized Time Lapse slider, here's an interesting Motorized 2-Axis Auto Panning Slider that was sent over from DigiSlider. The Auto-panning addition allows the slider to keep a subject in the center of your frame while in motion. Here's a video overview and a short Time Lapse sample towards the end of the video.
Unlike a basic motorized slider that has moves constantly, the DigiSlider Controller can be setup for true shoot-move-shoot settings. This allows you to work with long exposures as you can configure the slider to wait to move until your camera is done firing - preventing blurry images.
It's also possible to use the DigiSlider 2-Axis as a real time Auto Panning (parallax) video slider, and you can dial in different speed settings. But keep in mind that there is audible noise from the motor so it may not work well for interview settings or where audio is critical.
The design of the Auto Panning option is clever as it doesn't require a motor like other 2 or 3 Axis Motorized Sliders. This makes it very fast and simple to setup, but this design is also limited how far you can Pan the camera inwards to keep a subject in frame. Your subject cannot be too close for Auto Panning to work effectively (angle would be too great).
Also, keep in mind that this slider is setup with a motor and belt drive, so you cannot move it manually by hand. To move the slider it has to be connected to the Controller. Unless of course if you disconnect the belt drive using a basic hex tool, then you can use the slider by hand for times you don't need the motor, and you will still have full access to the Auto Panning feature.
DigiSlider offers a number of different Time Lapse and Motion Control Solutions, and for more information about this product, check out their website http://www.DigiSldier.co.uk (link)
This short video shows a very simple way to motorize a tripod track dolly using friction between two wheels. In the video below i've modded the Cinerails Snaptrack kit.
The main parts are a simple DC motor and Speed Controller from Servo City, and small venom 11V 3S Lipo battery. I mounted the Speed Controller up top so I don't need to bend over to change speed or direction. I mounted the motor just over one of the track wheels, and used washers to get the right amount of spacing.
Unfortunately these were spare parts laying around my house, so I don't have the exact part numbers. While I work on getting that together, here's a few links to get you started. I'm sure If you contact ServoCity.com they can probably help you out with an entire kit.
Here's a look at the new S1A1 (single axis) Motion Control System that can be added to the iFootage Shark Slider and expand it's functionality. With the S1A1 Motion Control add-on you can now wireless control the movements of the Shark Slider and also program the system for advanced Time Lapse functions.
To keep this video somewhat short, I'm not going to show you instructions on how to program the S1A1 unit. Instead i'm just showing you some of the features and how it performs. Check out the video below.
At slow speeds the motor is near silent which means you can use it for live interviews without interfering with audio. If you're looking for that slider shot and work as with a minimal crew, the S1A1 can be programmed to 'loop' and will continuously travel back and forth. If you have specific points along the slider that it needs to travel, you can record your movements and play them back to repeat once, or loop infinitely.
For advanced timelapse the S1A1 can be peformed to do a slow crawl, or move at set intervals and exposure times. A wireless receiver can also be used to trigger your camera's shutter so that it is in sync with the S1A1 System and does not move during your exposure.
The menu is a bit confusing (at least it was for me), but once it's been explained, it's pretty easy to navigate. And because that instructional part of the video could be lengthy, i'll post up a separate video on how to enter those features in to the software. If you'd like to find out more about the Shark Slider and the new S1A1 Motion Control System, please visit Camotionllc.com (click here).
Unlike your basic mechanical egg timer that you would rotate by hand and listen to it tick-tock it's way back to zero, this new Electronic Pan Head is battery operated and can be programmed for different lengths of travel and different speeds. Using a 5 minute setting with a full 360 degree pan may even be fast enough for real time video (not just time-lapsing).
From a simple menu of buttons you can choose how much distance your camera will pan along with the speed in which it will reach the end of it's travel. You can select from 15 degrees - 360 degrees or travel, and then select from 5 minutes to a full 60 minutes of run time. You can even change the direction in which the system pans (clockwise/counter-clockwise). The new Sevenoak TV15 Programmable Pan Head can be found via eBay (click here).
The DigiSlider motorized slider Time Lapse Kit is incredibly easy to setup and operate adding an entirely new dimension to what would normally just be a static sequence of images. With a fast shutter speed you can certainly create moving time lapse from just about any motorized slider, but unlike sliders that have a continuous slow crawl, the DigiSlider Time Lapse Kit can be setup for Shoot-Move-Shoot. Here's a quick demo on how that works.
Timelapse is certainly an art form which requires both patience and capturing something interesting. I know my examples were poor, but you can see excellent examples of what the DigiSlider has done over at the DigiSlider Vimeo Page (Click Here).
The DigiSlider Time Lapse Slider Kit is pretty straight forward. There is no software to program or long menus to sift through. Two basic analog dials and a rocker switch control everything from distance of slider travel to intervals between shutter actuations. The parts are minimal and can be either setup or broken down in about a minute.
The Time Lapse Kit uses a controller for shoot-move-shoot intervals and a slow speed motor. This kit alone does not offer continuous movement for live video capture. If you want to use the slider for continuous movement, they offer a separate controller and a different speed motor. Or check out one of their kits that comes with both functionality.
Of course these kits are only the basic foundation to get you started in motion Time Lapse and you can always upgrade to a more advanced controller and motorized Pan/Tilt head for a full 3 Axis solution. For questions and more information about these products you can contact Digislider at their website (click here).
DigiSlider Motorized Sliders Time Lapse Kit / Continuous Video Slider