I thought I might once again tap into the wealth of knowledge on this forum.
This is a long one, so I apologize in advance!
I have been doing camera moves manually with a 410jr mounted on a linear motion guide (non-driven slider) and am having some issues;
I come from a live action background, so I have a huge liking for highly complex as well as very subtle camera moves to emphasise story points. I am finding it very difficult to achieve satisfying results using my current set up and think that I will have to inevitably move to motion control.
Now, before anyone suggests that I go out and spend $25,000 on an ARC MoCo (I wish!!!!), I really can't spend much more than $2000 USD.
I do have a simple engineering workshop available for use, but my skill-set in mechanical engineering is very limited. My skill-set in electrical engineering is virtually non-existent.
So this leaves me with few options. I think buying something, which I know for certain will work and do what I want would be the ideal option.
I've been researching and it seems that the eMotimo TB-3 would be the most sensible choice of head, although it only offers 3 axis - so that would be an issue if I ever needed to add a focus option.
http://ditogear.com have some really nice heads, but again, 4 times the price of the TB-3
As far as dollies go, the only affordable option seems to be the Dynamic Perception Stage Zero 6ft kit as a sort of "plug and play" with the TB-3.
Other options include: http://ditogear.com/products/omnislider-animators-edition/
Which would be great, as it would leave me an additional 7 channels of moco for upgrade purposes. However, I am not sure if it is possible to simultaneously run two different USB moco drivers through Dragonframe?
And then there are the Kessler cinesliders, which with an added servo would perform a similar task.
And lastly, linear actuators off of ebay with low-backlash ballscrews. The only problem with this is that I would have no way of knowing the quality of the product before arrival due to lack of reviews etc.
All points to consider.
I'm looking at purchasing within the next 2-3 months.
Does anybody have any further thoughts/experiences?
Basically thats what I've got in mind for the pan/tilt right now, and looking into a new dolly/slider and Jib, or simply upgrading the one I've got. Hoping to set it up for both live action and StopMo, on a stage and out on location. So it needs to be somewhat modular and self-contained in the end, so not (solely)controlled by a computer.
I liked your phase explanation, so here is mine;
1. Manual stopmotion rig; Geared tripod head, mounted to Jib(rigged with automotive jack), on Machinist's rotary table and linear slide. Current arrangement is set up for manual moments. Turning the wheels incrementally of the geared head and cross slide allow for an animate-able camera.
2. Live action remote rig; DC motors, Dynamic Perceptions AT-2 controller, and potentially; This servo recorder, (with speed controllers) The second step will be setting up the hardware for motorizing it, I'm looking into offset gear motors, DC motors, and gearboxes. I'm planning to work out/test 2 axis at a time in realtime, and possibly set it to record/playback up to 4 axis with the servo recorders.
3. MoCoBus Rig; stepper motors, nanoMoCo, upgrade device Once the mechanical parts are working for live action, I'll be looking into swapping the DC motors for steppers driven by nanoMoCo. The whole system chain (MoCoBus) will feed into a computer, (potentially a netbook) for movement recording/edit/playback, StopMo, etc. (Software Workflow)The upgrade device will also allow me to drive the steppers and record the Joystick's movements into the MoCoBus chain.
I'm not much of an engineer, more of a hardware-hacker and I'm basically teaching myself this as I go along, which is partly why I'm working it out in parts. I've also not got access to a proper machine shop, so I'll either be at the mercy of my friends, looking into buying a mini mill, or attempting it with hand tools >./p>
I figure its going to be slow going, but should certainly be possible.