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Occasionally people will ask about the status of Lucidity.

Well fear not, I haven’t given up on it. I want things to look great and that means waiting until I have the props and tools I need before I can move to the next phase.

One of those major parts came this Christmas when my dad got me my own DSLR Camera!

I’ll do a review of this awesome thing once I get more familiar with it, but for now I want to talk about the first part I built.

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As soon as I got my hands on the camera I did some test shots using a giant robot toy, and right away I realized I wasn’t going to be able to get the smooth panning shots I would need without a camera slider.

Getting a professional one isn’t that difficult, they can run less then 100 bucks on amazon, but they are made for static field use and I needed something more versatile for all the shots a space battle require.

Making one is a good choice. Film Riot did this a few years back that’s worth looking at.

This was easy and cost effective, but had the same limitations as the pro one and I want to be able to track much longer, and that’s when I found this video.

There are a lot of advantages to this design, the skateboard or roller skate wheels will make a smooth pan even if the track isn’t perfect, the PVC is cheap and easy to build for custom shots that can be repeated as often as I need to for composite shots, so I made one very similar.

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The major difference of mine is that I want the ability to use curved track so I got some other wheels from lowes and removed the axle and rubber.

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My way of bolting them bent the metal a little but not enough to impact performance. This gives each wheel-set the ability to move on its own, but there’s still an advantage to straight most of the time so I locked them down for now.

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You’ll also see that I added a quick release plate for the camera. Rotating the DSLR around a single bolt made me nervous, now I can make adjustments before I even attach it.

For times when I need more pitch and yaw control I added some divots in the wood. With an elastic strap I had sitting around for stability was able to use it with the tripod.

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The next thing I needed was to track at a steady, but really slow and repeatable rate, so I added an old motor for a rotary BBQ grill.

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This works for now, but I’ll need to upgrade it with a cordless drill motor I have once I figure out how to control its speed remotely.

Some twine might not look nice but it is strong for its size and spools better then string or fishing line.

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With all that done I was ready for a test I attached it to a keyboard stand and ran a bunch of different passes of my robot.

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The keyboard stand is a real blessing because I can get it closer to the object and have it sit more stable even when it’s at an angle like here.

And the result of the test? It works great!

This would normally be the place where I show the test video, but I don’t have it handy right now. I am still experimenting with Fstop and frame rate anyway so I’ll wait to share a video after I run another test this weekend, expect a new post for that.

Just know that this Camera Slider really works great, I would recommend this design if you plan to build one yourself.

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I have a lot of options for how to use it in the future that the expensive pro version can’t come close to, and look at all the parts I have left!

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