A Simple But Elegant Time-Lapse Camera Slider

Time-lapse photography is always a fun way to show off the build process of a project – but sometimes it can get a bit boring and repetitive. To add a new dynamic, why not try a moving time-lapse? It’s not actually that hard to build a time-lapse slider rig. And you can do it with, or without a microcontroller.

[Charlie] built this slider rig out of square aluminum tube stock which is cheap and easy to work with. It’s also a great candidate for using pop-rivets which can speed up the assembly considerably. The camera bogey uses aluminum angle stock with skateboard bearings to ride along the track. Altogether the rig is four feet long and about 6″ wide.

To pull the camera back and forth, [Charlie] has a 0.5RPM geared motor from Servo-City which results in a travel time of about 5400 seconds (90 minutes). While there aren’t any demo videos of the rig in action, we imagine it’d produce some pretty clean motion. And thanks to its rigid construction, the camera can be pulled upside down, on angles, and even vertically.

9 thoughts on “A Simple But Elegant Time-Lapse Camera Slider

  1. Is it light enough to be positioned at any angle off the tripod? I really like that it just bolts on to it. Would it be too heavy with a counter-weight to roughly balance the slider rig?

    It would be cool if it could be supported off just one tripod.

    1. No not a single tripod,,if you looked at my web page you can see the dolly has wheels on it to go under the tracks to stop any tip over,,plus there’s quick releases on both ends so you can adjust tripods to whatever angle you want to shoot at,,both ends have cross pieces on with leveling bolts,,I also have a Flow-Mow panner that I will put on and have a two camera motion time-lapse device,,do a search on the Flow-Mow and it will handle a DSLR weight with no problems,,http://justphotos.zenfolio.com/p692829501#h126d4314 this is a first time used demo with just a 90 degree pan,,when you do the math it rotates at 20 sec. per degree,,

  2. It is an older B&D workmate,,picked it up at a flea market about 15 or so years ago,,this is my don’t touch anything work room,,the B&D and vise are my only sturdy do everything on,,living in an APT there’s not much room so have to share it as a junk and DIY room,,many projects have been made on that workmate,,that wooden legged tripod on the right and beside it is that DIY camera jib that sits on the very large milled aluminum head,,a bit much to lug around but solid for photography and TL panning.

  3. A few words of wizdom on cost,,even though Servo City has much more than anyone could need for a project like mine,,their shipping cost is still 36 dollars,,sooooo,,measure 10 times and cut once,,not so easy for a DIYer when you need a little this or little that you forgot to order,,or your design changed a bit,,

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