DIY Plywood Camera Dolly Looks Professional

Plywood Camera Dolly

While [Ted] was poking around the ‘net, he came across a neat little product called a camera dolly. These are used to add an artistic flair to filming. They are similar to a camera slider but can roll around on the floor or a table and do not need to follow a track. [Ted] wanted a camera dolly but the cost of a professional product seemed too expensive for what he’d actually be getting, so he set off to make his own.

[Ted] first designed the dolly in a CAD software and printed out templates for the parts. Those templates were then transferred to plywood and cut out with a jig saw. Three inline skate wheels support the frame and allow the unit to roll around. Mounted in the center of the frame is a pan and tilt camera mount.

The extraordinary part of the build is that the angle of each wheel can be adjusted independently.  This allows the dolly to do anything from rolling in a straight line to gradually traveling around a curve or even just spinning the camera in place. Each wheel mount has degree indications so that they can be adjusted very precisely as well as be returned to a previously recorded position.

19 thoughts on “DIY Plywood Camera Dolly Looks Professional

  1. Amazing how the source link has 10 mentions of the word “skater” while the HaD Post works completely without that word. Skate in one sentense, but not in the meaning of the project.

    To make it short: You are talking about a Dolly while these are Skates. A Dolly is the whole thing with rails and all.

    1. A dolly is a mobile platform for a camera. This is a skate dolly, or what ever you want to sub-classify it as. There are many kinds of dollys, and brands; Fischer, Chapman, Panther, American….and on and on.

      Track is track and it is only sometimes used. There are plenty of dolly moves that you cant do with track.

  2. ” These are used to add an artistic flare to filming.”
    Uh, no. Shooting into the sun adds flare. Vaseline on a lens adds flare. And, J.J. Abrams notwithstanding, it is not “artistic.”
    Dollies and skaters might add a bit of *flair* to filming, however.

  3. The artistic use of dolly and such has been superseded by the digicam with a caffeinated cameraman. Virtually all network stuff is shot this way now. On a big screen it looks awful. Our screens are big now. Please stop this holeywood! This technique used to be special effects for, earthquake! Do you really want one that bad?
    A good idea for closeup and small stuff. You could gear all three wheels together for tracking, their steering that is.
    Quality castors and some deck mass could do as well.

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