Friday, July 15, 2005
The shot I'm setting up for this weekend involves a camera move. As the character walks towards us, the camera tracks back, rising up while tilting down to end up in an overhead view. Motion control would be great for this, but most independent filmmakers (myself included) cannot afford one of these specialized rigs. Luckily there are other ways to make the camera move in stopmotion. Through the use of geared movers and tracks, the animator can incrementally move the camera in almost any way a motion control rig can. I like to call it "Handmo", and I've put together a pretty decent system for use on my film. It started with a simply constructed stopmotion dolly which was built by Brady Whitcomb. Brady has plans for this online, and will even build one for you at a very reasonable price. I then added some more movement to this with a counterweighted offset arm to allow moves over sets, and a vertical lifting device used in lab work. The camera mounts to a small gear head made by Bogen that allows incremental pans and tilts. Below is a photo that I took about a year ago when I had the rig all set up for a few shots.