Speed Up Filming With This Jawdropping 8-Axis Camera Crane

These days, it can feel like a project doesn’t exist unless you’ve posted a video on the Internet about it. [mingul] was in the process of producing his own videos, but found having to repeatedly move and set up the camera tiring. Naturally, a completely overkill eight-axis motion control robot was the solution. Video embedded below the break.

The scale of the build is something to behold. With 4.5 m travel on the X-axis, 6.5 m on the Y, and 2.1 m on the Z, it’s capable of traversing the full length of [mingul]’s workshop. Tilt, pan, and roll axes all feature 540 degrees of rotation, and there’s motors to control zoom and focus on the camera, too. Through software like Dragonframe, it’s possible to program complicated camera moves, and techniques like the classic dolly zoom are a cinch with such a versatile rig. It’s also possible to control the movement in real-time with a wireless Xbox controller.

[mingul] reports the build took a full three months of CNC machining, 3D printing and assembly. It’s a big step above a simple motorized camera slider, but we all have to start somewhere.

[Thanks to Tom Lynch for the tip!]

30 thoughts on “Speed Up Filming With This Jawdropping 8-Axis Camera Crane

    1. you can! Start saving now. By the looks of it, I bet he only spent $5000, if my guestimates are right for 8020 extrusions and those motor controllers – this is NOT including the camera.

      I’m serious though, I built my own 5×5 CNC machine and spent about $2500.

      1. Quick update – I’m on it. Will be making several cnc machines once my new home is finished. Having own basement/garage is a requisite though. But still, not everyone is in a position to do it.

    2. It’s your life. Most people who say they’d wish they’d have the time deliberately make choices which prohibit them. If you’re willing to make choices, you can do amazing things. It doesn’t just happen to you, though.

  1. Awesome. I mean AWESOME! I have 35+ yrs in feature film, animation and VFX, so I feel I can honestly say, best bit if fun I’ve seen in a very, long time. Hell, I want two, no fixes necessary. ;)

  2. Apple: Our new selfie automation face detection filter yadda yadda…

    Mingul: Hold my sake.

    The irony being that aye want to look at none of him and all of the project – which won’t be seen bcz this was made to look at him. (-_ლ)

  3. This is an amazing set of fabrication and electronics hacks to get this project over the finish line. I estimate over $60k to get something like this built in terms of labor, materials, and engineering knowledge. Which is probably why you don’t see setups like this very often. It’s much cheaper to just get a camera person and rent a crane.

  4. Holy Mother of God! That’s bloody amazing!

    He needs to be a judge in the next HaD challenge. That’s an absolutely superb work. Multi-disciplinary and very well executed. Give that man a proverbial coconut.

  5. This was very cool. In the future it would be cool to see some motion tracking, so the camera can automatically follow hands/body around the shop. No need to program complex paths, just let it follow the man’s movements.

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