DSLR Camera Slider

Share your Shapeoko created projects!
MeanderBolt
Posts: 560
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:45 pm
Location: Georgia
Contact:

DSLR Camera Slider

Post by MeanderBolt » Sun Apr 12, 2015 4:22 am

This project has come a long way. The first few pictures just do not do it justice, so I am going to place a photo of the current status at the head of the thread to provide an immediate before and after thing. The project was originally just the end plates, but once you see this stuff coming together, it really does take on a feel of LEGOs for adults.
Pan-Tilt-w-Steppers-Belts.jpg
Pan-Tilt-w-Steppers-Belts.jpg (201.29 KiB) Viewed 1796 times
Original Post:
This project is the 2 end plates for a DSLR video slider. The trolly (the actual slider part) was built a couple of years ago, and has worked great.
The idea behind it was to be able to use it on just about anything. In the end, it works best on rails as most surfaces have some sort of texture which translates into the video (high frequency vibration). I originally made a track for it with some thin aluminum from the Home Depot. While this proved to be useful, it produced very bouncy video as the camera weighed too much for the thin aluminum tubes. I have been thinking through how I wanted to upgrade it since the first bad bouncy shot came rolling into my edit suite. Now, the shots were actually nice, but the bounce needed to be fixed (stabilized) in post, which equates to a lot of time spent fixing something that could be done at the camera.

I visited the local Metal Supermarket, and shopped their "Drops"room. I picked up some really nice heavy duty 1/8 in. thick 1 in. square tubes of 6061 aluminum. They are well over 8 feet and super rigid. So then came the design for the end plates.

The endplates are cut from a 1/2 in. slab of 6061. I had to cut them one at a time as I was trying to conserve on how much of the stock piece I had, and stacked these inside each other. Once both were cleaned up, I clamped them together and milled out the screw holes. Each piece has 6 holes which have been tapped and ready for M5 screws.
The screws are there for holding the rods to the end plates, leveling adjustments (under the end tabs I put holes on both sides so that I could have adjustment screws (to keep things stable to whatever surface it is sitting on), and In the center, I have made a cutout ready for adding motor/ accessory plates to both end. Something which will be added tomorrow (because it's been a long day) is a 1/4 20 tapped hole to take tripod heads so this may be mounted... wherever. While ChiliPeppr quoted that this was going to take 2 hrs 45 min each, I was relieved that each took about 2 hours. But that was still a lot of baby sitting with several close calls.

The trolly will be getting an update soon as well. The current plate was sized for the narrower rails, so I will be routing a 1/4 in. 6061 bed. This will have several tapped holes in it for locking the camera in place as well as adding holders for the growing mass of silliness that seems to be sprouting out of cameras these days. It will also have a pocket in place for mounting some atachments for motors or belt lock.

Image
Edited:for content (was written really late and there were all sorts of nonsense in there)
Last edited by MeanderBolt on Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Shapeoko 2 # 3569 - DW660
Current tool chain > Draftsight > CamBam > ChiliPeppr
Build log

bharbour
Posts: 413
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:40 pm
Location: Mobile, AL
Contact:

Re: DSLR Camera Slider

Post by bharbour » Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:37 pm

Nice! And very brave cutting that thick of a piece of aluminum on a Shapeoko.
No longer have a Shapeoko, but use a machine of my own design...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFY4gC9TqD0
http://deltaguitarworks.tumblr.com

megeshg
Posts: 91
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:08 pm

Re: DSLR Camera Slider

Post by megeshg » Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:12 am

cutting parameters for the 6061 alu?

MeanderBolt
Posts: 560
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:45 pm
Location: Georgia
Contact:

Re: DSLR Camera Slider

Post by MeanderBolt » Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:00 pm

Right... good question... I have my progression of aluminum on my build log if you want to sift through that one.
But for this project...
500mm -w- .2mm passes. I am using the 660 which only has one speed (30,000) with a single flute endmill purchased from Drillman1 on eBay.
Shapeoko 2 # 3569 - DW660
Current tool chain > Draftsight > CamBam > ChiliPeppr
Build log

Damin69
Posts: 331
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2014 3:00 pm
Location: Muscoda, WI

Re: DSLR Camera Slider

Post by Damin69 » Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:20 am

I am working on my camera slider also. It will be arduino driven based off of an open build 20x60 Extrusion that I had 1 meter long. I am trying to find places to get programming for the Arduino with a Sainsmart LCD with push buttons.
Shapeoko 2 #6971
Upgrades
Makita 0701, Nema23s, ACME Z Axis, Nema 23 Belt drive
Expanded to 1000 x 1800
Electronics upgrade C-10 BOB, SainSmart ST-M5045 drivers, Mach3
Damin69's Build Log

MeanderBolt
Posts: 560
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:45 pm
Location: Georgia
Contact:

Re: DSLR Camera Slider

Post by MeanderBolt » Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:58 am

Damin69 wrote:I am trying to find places to get programming for the Arduino with a Sainsmart LCD with push buttons.
In another thread, I was looking at the possibility of using GRBL for the slider as it already has acceleration and exact positioning sorted out. With XY and Z being used for Slider, Pan, and Tilt. If I used TinyG or similar, you get an extra axis, therefore you could also have focus. You could preset the move by setting an initial point, then move to another point and add that point, it would be stacking G-Code lines and in a sense figuring out the tweening between the points. So say you send the slider down the track. About mid way you want to start a pan. You set another point. You continue down the track to the end and move the pan to where you want to go and set the last point. Send the trolly back to the start and set it to run. All the lines are sent, therefore the trolly will not slow down till the end of the track, but the pan will start midway through. I see this being very doable. (heh, Sure I say that now 8-) ).
Shapeoko 2 # 3569 - DW660
Current tool chain > Draftsight > CamBam > ChiliPeppr
Build log

Damin69
Posts: 331
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2014 3:00 pm
Location: Muscoda, WI

Re: DSLR Camera Slider

Post by Damin69 » Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:02 am

MeanderBolt wrote:
Damin69 wrote:I am trying to find places to get programming for the Arduino with a Sainsmart LCD with push buttons.
In another thread, I was looking at the possibility of using GRBL for the slider as it already has acceleration and exact positioning sorted out. With XY and Z being used for Slider, Pan, and Tilt. If I used TinyG or similar, you get an extra axis, therefore you could also have focus. You could preset the move by setting an initial point, then move to another point and add that point, it would be stacking G-Code lines and in a sense figuring out the tweening between the points. So say you send the slider down the track. About mid way you want to start a pan. You set another point. You continue down the track to the end and move the pan to where you want to go and set the last point. Send the trolly back to the start and set it to run. All the lines are sent, therefore the trolly will not slow down till the end of the track, but the pan will start midway through. I see this being very doable. (heh, Sure I say that now 8-) ).
I think I am maybe being optimistic But I really want to be able to set the arduino to do the actaul time lapse. Setting it to actually trigger the camera also. I have seen it being done. Just have to work out the required programming and pins to use.
Shapeoko 2 #6971
Upgrades
Makita 0701, Nema23s, ACME Z Axis, Nema 23 Belt drive
Expanded to 1000 x 1800
Electronics upgrade C-10 BOB, SainSmart ST-M5045 drivers, Mach3
Damin69's Build Log

MeanderBolt
Posts: 560
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:45 pm
Location: Georgia
Contact:

Re: DSLR Camera Slider

Post by MeanderBolt » Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:49 am

No, that's actually quite easy. Just be sure that you are not sending 5V to your camera. Do some sort of a transistor in between, or better yet, optically isolate it.
My scheme is to use 2 Arduinos. One for interface and LCD (4Bit set up), and the second for GRBL. The interface Arduino will send the GCode as well. I have had a lot of time to watch the GCode fly by the past couple of weeks. It just seems that if it is taking it across USB, then it should take it as pure serial. Once the Grbl Arduino is finished with said move, it would send back the positioning n such to the Interface Arduino. The thing sort of has been swirling through my head for several weeks as to how I might pull this off.

I am planning a purchase of another GRBL shield and already have an LCD system with buttons I designed for a drop photography system I built a few years ago which I will repurpose for this. It's all theory for now though.
Shapeoko 2 # 3569 - DW660
Current tool chain > Draftsight > CamBam > ChiliPeppr
Build log

MeanderBolt
Posts: 560
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:45 pm
Location: Georgia
Contact:

Re: DSLR Camera Slider

Post by MeanderBolt » Mon May 18, 2015 1:28 am

It's alive... ALIVE. This is an update to my camera slider I have been working on. This is a major step to this thing being a fully functioning death star. The end goal will be something I can do moving time lapses as well as super smooth slow dolly shots with panning, tilting, and focus pull. So... yeah, this is just the first step, but it was a seriously exciting moment when it started to actually move.
Shapeoko 2 # 3569 - DW660
Current tool chain > Draftsight > CamBam > ChiliPeppr
Build log

MeanderBolt
Posts: 560
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:45 pm
Location: Georgia
Contact:

Re: DSLR Camera Slider

Post by MeanderBolt » Mon May 18, 2015 1:35 am

Had to put up a pretty shot being that the video quality was bollocks.
2015-04-27 21.02.33-small.jpg
2015-04-27 21.02.33-small.jpg (304.59 KiB) Viewed 2151 times
Shapeoko 2 # 3569 - DW660
Current tool chain > Draftsight > CamBam > ChiliPeppr
Build log

Post Reply