How to create an epic orbiting 360° timelapse rig using PVC pipe and an egg timer
Perhaps you’ve already used an egg timer to add some motion to your timelapse videos. But have you tried turning it into an orbiting 360° timelapse rig? With a PVC pipe and a few more simple and cheap “ingredients,” you can raise your timelapse videos to a whole new level. In this video, Dave Knop a.k.a. Knoptop will show you how.
The rig is designed to hang from the ceiling and it’s really easy to make and to mount. Dave originally saw it on Peter Sripol’s YouTube channel, but he uses a 3D-printed version. Dave simplified the build for all of us who don’t have a 3D printer and went with some more basic elements:
- A roller skate wheel
- An egg timer
- PVC pipes
- A rubber band
- Hot glue and some bolts
Dave has an already made rig and he didn’t disassemble it to show you how to make it. However, it seems easy enough to make that you can figure it out from the video, and there’s also this sketch:
Keep in mind that this rig can’t carry a lot of weight. Therefore, it will work best with a small action camera or a smartphone set to timelapse mode. Make sure to balance it properly, and before you start shooting allow it to rotate once completely so that you can be sure it’s balanced properly.
This rig is cheap, easy to build and easy to mount. The downside is that it only rotates in one direction if you use an egg timer. However, there are some ways to fix that. In a comment on Dave’s video, Miharix proposes two possible solutions:
Make the gap bigger and use belt drive instead of friction drive? So for changing direction just turn the belt from 0 to 8 configuration.
Or make some mount on the pipe, so you can [quickly] reposition egg timer from mount on the top one direction) to bottom mount (back direction).
I believe that you can also upgrade and improve the rig with your own ideas, but even this basic version is pretty awesome and it can make your timelapse video more dynamic and interesting.
Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.