Using A Motorized Yoyo As A Panning Slider

Using A Motorized Yoyo As A Panning Slider

I just love it when people use ordinary stuff to create new gear. Take a Yoyo for example. It’s built to roll and collect wire, reminds you of something? It reminded Marc Cocchio of a basic slider. And indeed a slider was build from a yoyo. Here are Marc’s rough guidelines on how to make a similar device.

(Of course, if Yoyo seems absurd to you, you can always go for a pen or a BBQ Rotisserie.

As a maker, Marc used all kinds of scrap that was lying around and a bit of trial and error, so the tutorial below is set so you can build a similar (yet not an exact copy) of the slider.

The non-cheap portion of this project is the camera, remote and tripod. It’s important to have a tripod with an “arm” that can rotate such as my Giottos MT8361. Manfrotto makes a few cool ones, too. [Read more...]

Build A Jib From 5 Pieces of Scrap

Build A Jib From 5 Pieces of Scrap

If you are doing any videography, a jib (or a crane) is probably the third piece of gear you will buy (after a camera and a slider).

Jibs can bring huge production value to your videos. See this tutorial by J. P. Morgan for example. Alas they don’t come cheap. A small starters jib will set you back about $270 and a production monster like this one will be about a left kidney.

I just wish someone will have plans for a small and affordable crane. Lucky me you. Videographer Dan Colvin from Unitips has a tutorial just like this. [Read more...]

How To Build A Slider From A Drawer Rail

When you are looking at your typical slider one of first things you’ll check is how smooth it is. Interestedly enough this is also one of the first things you check when you are in the market for a drawer system.

This coincidence did not slip Aron Anderson who used a drawer rail to build a small slider. It fascinates me how creative photographers and videographers come up with clever ways to overcome budget issues.

The slider has a range of about 22 inches and if you can find rails for deeper drawer, range will naturally increase. Aron says that this specific rail was $22 at Home depot but they come smaller and bigger in a whole range of sizes.

Slip and Slide The iPhone slider on trinityfxmg

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How To Build A Beautiful Camera Stabilizer

A few day ago we featured the EZ-Steady as a smart camera stabilizer. If you follow the blog, you know that there are plenty of DIY versions for similar stabilizers, none of which are as beautiful though, as the DIY Camera Stabilizer from Pixel Artwork.

The instructions come in Japanese, but Sergey Brin was kind enough to translate, see the first page here and the second one here.

There is also a video if you find Google transaction to lack some <cough, cough> clarity.

Thanks for the tip, Lance. [Read more...]

The EZ-Steady Is One Smooth Camera Stabilizer

It is no secret that I am a big fan of photography makers and tinkers. I am one myself with a few (smallish) inventions of my own. It is also no secret that Kickstarter is a great place for photo-tinkers. This is why I love sharing photography related projects on Kickstarter.

My latest favorite is the EZ-Steady. A small but clever DSRL Video Stabilizer.

The EZ-Steady has both a clever mounting stage for smart camera mounting, and an easy to level set of balances.

It also enables camera pointing with one hand (or actually one finger).

The project is already about 400% funded in less than a week, and a pledge of $225 will get you one too.

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Use An Electrical Drill For Smooth Dolly Sliding

Use An Electrical Drill For Smooth Dolly SlidingIf you are doing any video production, one of the first tools you’ll probably end up building/buying is a slider/dolly combo.

A slider gives you the ability to smoothly move the camera sideways during a shot and it adds a great deal of value to any video production.

If you are building a slider getting a one of the cheap sliders the “Industry standard” super cool (yet no so cheap) kessler pocket dolly, this tip will make your life easier.

You can use a drill as a dolly motor which will give it a constant and smooth movement. [Read more...]

Using Postit Notes For Rack Focusing

Using Postit Notes For Rack FocusingIf you shoot any dSLR video, you probably already know that some scenes reacquire shifting focus between several planes. This is a great way to tell a story.

For example, think about a shot where you see a person eating at the front of the frame, then, the focus changes and you see a sign that says “Dont feed the monkeys” or “No people allowed behind this line” or any other thing that adds to the story.

Here is the thing, though, it is not trivial to shift the focus between those two planes without a focus rack or a follow focus. Those usually come with a marking wheel where you can mark each plane of focus and easily return to it while shooting. That’s the up side, there are about 600 downsides if you are not shooting video regularly.

Michael The Mentor came up with a poorman’s solution to focus racking using arrow post its. [Read more...]

Make a PVC Table Dolly for Under $20 [video]

Make a PVC Table Dolly for Under $20 A while back we posted a tutorial on how to make a PVC video dolly. This dolly works great for in house on floors or tables or any other smooth surface.

The guys at Fugal Film Maker (kinda like DIYP, only for video) made a video version of constructing a very similar dolly, so if you had any questions about what goes in where or how to use the skateboard wheels your questions will be answered.

The video is a bit old, but still worth a watch if you just started videography and looking for inexpensive hacks. [Read more...]

Build An Amazing Super Versatile DIY Time Lapse Dolly

I was literally screaming with joy when Derek Mellott (you know Derek, he likes Barbeque and time lapse movies) showed me his latest Time Lapse Slider Dolly. Then, I literally fell from my chair when he suggested to share the build with DIYP readers.

Now, every once in a while we have a “dare” tutorial, one that will kill an entire month of weekends (and then some). Those are not for the faint of heart, but the results and satisfaction from completing one of those projects in unbelievable. (see the battlefield pinhole camera for example). It is the same with this project – it is not an easy task, it takes woodmenship, electronics know-how, and plenty of time, but the results are stunning.

(But hey, you know what, even if you just pick up one of the ideas in this post, it would rock. For example, building the collapsible rails idea to be used with the cheapo motor slider puller)

The movie comes first – this should get you motivated – then the instructions. Embrace yourselves.


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