Dino’s 2 Axis Camera Dolly

[Dino], who has become a regular face here on hackaday, sent us one of his weekly projects that we thought was pretty cool. He wanted to shoot some video of photographs to commemorate his late mother. The goal was to achieve the “Ken Burns Effect“, but in hardware instead of just doing it in software.  To do this, he built a 2 axis rig, very similar to many home made CNC machines we’ve seen. He used drawer rails and rollers and an old scanner for the parts.  We admit, at first glance we weren’t too impressed with the resulting effect. It is a bit shaky as he moves the camera and the zooms and slides don’t have that perfect smoothness that we have come to expect from modern video effects.  However, after a few minutes, it seemed so organic and pleasant that it won us over. This obviously isn’t what you would use for every project. This project, however, seems to fit perfectly.

If you still don’t like the effect, you could certainly find uses for this rig aside from video. You could use it (with backlight) for batch converting slides or other images to digital. It would work perfect as a 2 axis paper cutter. What other uses can you come up with for a 2 axis un-motorized frame?

You can watch the construction video after the break, and the result video on [Dino’s] page.


6 thoughts on “Dino’s 2 Axis Camera Dolly

  1. yah i was going to say scan all photos use pc software.

    I spent a month scanning in my father in laws photos for his 60th bday. made like a 1 hour video of all his photos from birth to today.

    I will never do that again!

    p.s. i used sony vegas video for that.

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