I was wondering if anyone has built or knows how to build a winder rig or knows of a cheap alternative. I'm talking about the kind seen at 5:14 in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prCNOn6Vm2w to support the puppet and create the illusion of walking without walking.....if you see what I mean. It would be super useful for me in a couple of shots I have coming up in my film.

Thanks a lot!
Marnik

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Do a search for Lab Jack. They're good for that. But you probably need to carefully check each frame using the framegrabber to make sure it isn't jiggling side to side as it goes up and down - some of them have a tendency to do that. 

I use a tripod with a centre crank. With cheaper ones, you do have to watch out that they don't wiggle sideways. You usually turn a knob on one side to loosen it so it can crank up and down, and when you tighten it again to hold it, it presses against one side of the tube in the middle, so it pushes it to the side a little. You need it to push it back the same amount as it did on the previous frame.
Another way for small up and down movements is to use a cam - a disc with the hole off to one side, not in the centre. You can turn the disc the same amount each frame, and it can push something up, ease off, ease in and go down, without having to calculate any of that. I used it for a rocking boat. For straight up and down movement you need a pushrod - a rod or dowel that can slide up and down in a vertical hole in a block of wood or metal. The cam would rotate underneath, the puppet could be attached to the top. Hard to explain without making it or drawing it.

Like this:

Thanks for your suggestions guys. In the end I decided to try and produce my own version of the one shown in the video, as you can see quite a lot of detail (that's what I call good behind the scenes footage!). Here it is, it works really well and will be very useful. I am going to replace the ball and socket joint (from a helping-hand thing) with one bought from stopmotionshop.com, as it is currently quite wobbly!

Nice job! Are those Lego gears? That's a great idea - so cool that they make those, and so affordable! 

Simon - that drawing of the cam system is perfect, even includes the follower!
But Lego gears are a good way to go. I used them on my track unit when I wanted to slow down the movement for a long slow tracking shot. A bit of slack in the gears, but as long as you turn it one full rotation in the right direction to take up the slack before you begin the shot, they work well.
Your gear system looks a lot like the cam system I pictured, with a flat base and 2 vertical bits of wood to support the axle.

They're not lego, but similar I imagine as they were the cheapest ones I could find on ebay.

Hi guys! Second part of 3D printed Winder rig finished, inspired by Laika's model! One more axis todo ! Looks like it's working really well!!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BFawN5Xw1tN/

That's cool!  I cheated on my 3D printed design, and used a bunch of actual hardware for the parts I didn't trust with plastic.  Have you gotten to animate anything with it yet?

Just found these. Not sure if anyone has made a better version but these look pretty awesome!

http://quantumcatwinders.com/product/dual-winder-kit/

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