2-axis Motion Timelapse Photography

[Milapse] picked up a motorized telescope base a few years ago. He’s using it to add motion to time-lapse photography. The base provides two-axis rotation controlled with a handheld keypad. Custom firmware and a bit of software allow for computer control. [Milapse] is pretty well-known in the time-lapse photography circles of the Inter-web. He’s posted a ten minute video explaining his setup and programming work for the hardware.

His use of a quality camera produces some nice video.However cost at $200 for the base, if you just want to play around with the concept you might want to stick to a webcam and LEGO setup.

[Thanks Jack]

6 thoughts on “2-axis Motion Timelapse Photography

  1. Don’t want to be mean but man that video is unwatchable, the guy is so dull and slow it’s just not bearable to sit through it without some training by watching c-span or something.
    And yeah meade stuff isn’t ‘low-cost’ as he claims, although the systems that support smooth 3-axis motion are all overpriced as hell so I guess it’s competitive.

  2. Very cool!!

    Looks like I’ll scrap my plans of an arduino (yes, i said the a-word) controlled 1-axis camera base! This is probably designed and built better than anything I could do with a laser cutter, and the software should definitely be written better than I could have done.

    Thanks for the updates guys, have fun at CES

  3. If you root around in Vimeo, you can see some truly inspiring panning time-lapse videos, particularly of night skies. Many of the experimenters combine motion control dollies with telescope drives. Sadly Vimeo itself has become an unweildy mess when trying to find much, but this is a good example:


  4. Aren’t those telescope platforms rather slow though? (might not matter for time-lapse) and set up to adjust for the offset of the earth axis, which with a normal camera is a bit awkward, or can they be used in simple linear mode too?

  5. Whatnot, It’s an alt-az (=pan-tilt) mount which means that it is not tilted to be parallel to Earth’s axis. In ordinary star tracking mode, it pans and tilts simultaneously to track the slow motion of stars as they rise and set.

    It also has the ability to quickly swing around to look at the next thing you want to see, which it does at up to 8 degrees per second.

  6. @Mike – don’t scrap those plans! If you take a look around the openmoco site, you’ll notice that we’ve been doing a lot for the arduino. Soon, we’ll be posting a DIY 2-axis design that can be laser cut, and largely blows away the Meade head, for not much more money.


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