Complex camera rig controlled with Blender 3D


This is a pretty intricate camera mount. Not only does it provide pan and tilt as the subtitles state, but it moves along a track and offers zoom and focus controls. Its great, but you’ll need an equally complex set of controls to do anything meaningful with it. That’s where the real hack comes into play. The entire system is controlled by its virtual model in Blender 3D.

You probably already know that Blender 3D is an open source 3-dimensional modeling suite. It’s got a mountain of features, which include a framework for animating virtual objects. The camera rig was replicated inside of the software, and includes a skeleton that moves just like the real thing. You can make an animation of how the camera should move, then export and play back those motions on the physical hardware.

Now if you need help making 3D models of your hardware perhaps you should try scanning them.


  1. Geebles says:

    Something like this would make it really easy to overlay 3D objects onto a real camera feed! I assume in professional levels they use a computer controlled camera so that the 3D artists have some data of approximate camera position at each frame? This could make mocking up some augmented reality/visual effects pretty easy :)

    • Kramon says:

      this technology was crated in first star wars movie :P basicly computer record camera movments so.. they can repeat each move many times.. and make after his composition..

  2. fartface says:

    What this really needs is the reverse. Encoders on all axis and when I record a scene it records 120fps all sensors to feed to the Blender 3D camera so that my 3DFX fits perfectly within the scene.

  3. oodain says:

    very cool project,
    especially the timelapse, looks amazing.

  4. This is brilliant!

  5. Luke says:

    There’s another project people might be interested in called Firefly, which integrates into Grasshopper and in turn into Rhino. It’s capable of this kind of thing and much more, but it’s not open-source.

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