I've made a system that can accurately move a digital camera along a predetermined path, creating great time lapse and movie recordings. Although the concept isn't new, the approach is. And this was to include all of these features in one compact module whilst keeping the rails as a simple passive component. This in turns makes the system more easy to transport and set up while allowing it to be as versatile as most others. This system can run at speeds suitable for both movie recording and time lapse photography, giving pan motion and/or slide motion shooting, both with one of the rails from the "SmartRail"-system or on a regular tripod.
This project is also featured in the Arduino Blog, see the link bellow:
The photographing community have seen a lot of systems to assist in the creation of time lapse and movie recordings, but all of them share the same problems. They are big, they are expensive, and they demand a special motorized rail system.
So I set out to create an unique and versatile pan and slide camera system. A rugged system with independence and compactness that could be fitted to any kind of rail. It can be short, long or even concave, whichever is needed but most importantly, a rail that is easy to make. Or if only the pan motion feature is needed, it can easily be mounted on a tripod with its Quick-mounts that fits all standard cameras and tripods.
This system was in the beginning only meant to be used for time laps photography, but it was soon extended for use in movie recordings as well. This is selected via knobs on the front panel that controls settings as run speed, direction, locking or disabling of the steppers. And all of this information is then fed to the operator by the OLED displays easy-to-use graphic interface, which also includes hints for camera setup. The module is powered by a regular li-ion battery accessible from the outside, and charging can be done just like a phone, with its built-in USB charger.
This "Thing" is mainly meant as an inspiration for those wanting to design and build there own camera pan and slide system. This is because many of the components that I've used is not readily available, but with that said, all of the component that I designed and printed can be downloaded and so also a model of the aluminum chassis.
The Arduino code that I developed for the ATmega2560 processor that controls the module can be found under "Files" and it requires the following Arduino libraries: Adafruit_SH1106, Adafruit_GFX and AccelStepper.
Some of the components used are: A IIC controlled 1.3" OLED display, two A4988 drivers with low profile 3D printer steppers, a 18650 Li-ion battery with holder and USB-charging circuit, two binary coded hexadecimal rotary switches, a Meduino Mega2560 R3 Pro Mini, etc.
Feel free to post you prints!