PreambleOk, so usually I'm not in the habit of blogging my over ambitious ideas. They never usually eventuate so I like to keep them in my head. But since I started this blog, I have noticed that all of my tinkering has began to carve it's own path to the one common goal. Building my own motion control rig of coarse! So in this post I will simply layout some of my plans and direction for all of my future tinkering with motion control.
BackgroundI've been wresting with the idea of affordable motion control for years. Ever since I found out that the rig I was designing an interface for costs around 100 grand to buy! I was lucky enough to get to play with and study one of these rigs when I was studying at visual effects at film school. Through some reverse engineering and a lot of late nights I was able to discover all of the formulas that make this rig's movements so dynamic! but more about that in another post. I recreated a virtual version of this rig in a 3D animation program called Maya. I wrote some software (with help) that exported the move data to a file which could later be read by the real rig's software and translated into an actual move. The software has since proven itself as a reliable industry tool used on many TVCs and several short films. Less than a year ago I discovered micro controllers and stepper motors. I quickly realized that I had the basic ingredients and experience to make my own rig with the same six degrees of movement that I had already come accustomed to at film school. So here I am, a Full Time Visual Effects Artist, Married with a 1 year old boy and enough ideas to last several lifetimes. I guess that's why they call it a hobby :)
Software Features- Maya to Motion workflow(already exists) - Ability to program Dual Scale Moves (I have the secret formula :) - Ability to play back the move at any frame rate - Processing timeline GUI with animation curves (Here's a WIP) - Move Data Exporter (not written yet) - Move Data importer and Cache system for playback (not written yet)
Hardware Features- Arduino (1 or many, what ever it takes) - Stepper Drivers (still researching the right one for my needs) - Stepper Motors (synced to the sync pulse of the video/film camera) - Crane on a Dolly with Pan Tilt and Roll head (adjustable nodal point) - Tracks (custom to begin with) - Basic LCD programmable interface for timelapse shoots.
SummarySo these are just some of the Ideas I have kicking around. I must stress, this is a Hobby, not a business(not yet). So I am comfortable sharing this info without commitment. You know how it is no expectations, no let downs :) It works for me! Won't you join me as I push my brain until it hurts. Right that's the last time I ramble on about myself I promise. From now on it will be practical and hopefully helpful posts from me on motion control.