Create beautiful time-lapse and special FX shots with our new ultra-portable professional system. For DSLR and digital cinema cameras.
Stretch Goal #2: $100,000 - LCD Front Panel with SD card slot and D-pad
Stretch Goal #1 was easily reached at $55,000. Cool camBLOCK LED flashlights will ship with every system! Stretch Goal #2 is more ambitious:
Right now, the camBLOCK Adventure has LED lights to indicate Power, WiFi connectivity, and status. If we can reach this goal, we'll have the funds to develop and include an LCD screen directly on the camBLOCK Adventure. In addition to having the screen display your shot status, You can program A->B moves on the device by setting start position, end position, duration, interval and shutter speed. This can be handy if you're in extreme conditions that that are too cold or wet for your ipad and still need to pull off a shot. The SD card slot can be used to save moves, update firmware, or other exciting options.
Thank you to our backers!
We are very pleased at the response our Kickstarter has gained. We know that there are hundreds of filmmakers who have wanted our systems over the years, and now camBLOCK Adventure is within reach for most of them. If you want our new system at a substantial discount then now is the time to order by becoming a backer.
Thank you for your support and input over the years, we are excited about this next leap for camBLOCK and are excited about enabling more filmmakers than ever before through camBLOCK Adventure.
Stewart and the camBLOCK team :)
For the past five years, camBLOCK has built portable motion control systems for film and television production. Our motion control systems have taken motion time-lapse and real-time special effects technology out of dedicated studios, and brought it to some of the most remote locations on the planet. Professional filmmakers shooting for BBC, Discovery, National Geographic, TNT, NFL Films, IMAX productions and more, have used camBLOCK to achieve awe inspiring motion time-lapse and real-time special effect shots.
We are filmmakers ourselves, and build the tools we want to work with. Our mix of engineering skills and film production experience gives us unique insight into the world of production technology. Our systems aren't made just to work in the lab, they are made to face real world filming challenges.
Based on our experiences and user feedback, we are now creating our next generation motion control system aptly named the camBLOCK Adventure. It is designed to shrink our technology into an ultra-portable form factor that is even more rugged and easy to use, while keeping the advanced features that professionals rely on. And perhaps most importantly, we are making our technology available at price that will allow even more filmmakers to own our systems.
- 3 Axis motion control - Pan, Tilt and Dolly
- Cameras weighing up to approx. 10lbs supported. For DSLRs, digital cinema cameras, etc.
- Track length: extendable from about 2 feet to 10 feet. Package comes with 5 lengths of track that are 23.75" each, (10 tubes total)
- Additional track will be available up to 20 feet max.
- Wireless control via IOS app
- Integrated camera shutter trigger - cables available for most major DSLR
(*At the conclusion of our campaign, we'll email you to find out which camera trigger cable you'll need.)
- Keyframe based timeline familiar to editors and effects artists. The Keyframe interface allows for the creation of complex and smooth movements, scalable to any speed (up to the maximum speed of our motor/gear-train)
- Save and open moves for use at later times. Recreate shots in multiple locations. Create multiple pass visual effects. Even multispeed compositing.
- Special timelapse modes to calculate for all timelapse variables. Even multiply your productivity with the Multi-Timelapse interleave capability, shooting many sequences simultaneously.
- Revolutionary Exposure mapping for day-to-night transitions.
- Single, compact unit
- Unique, patent pending tilt mechanism allowing up to 180 °of tilt without bulky side structure.
- CNC milled of 6061 aluminum and hard anodized
- High quality gears & motors with no backlash
- Weather resistant design
After we deliver rewards to all our backers, we'll begin production and sale of these add-ons via our website.
- lensBLOCK lens movers for Focus/Zoom/Iris of your camera that will connect to the built-in expansion port
- Vertical Dolly Kit - counter-weight pulley system to take strain off motors when setting up the dolly vertically or at a high incline.
- Additional track, expandable to 20 feet
- LCD Front Panel with SD card slot and D-pad - will be included if stretch goal #2 is met, but will be offered separately otherwise.
Update from NAB
State of Development
Our original camBLOCK has been in use for about 5 years, and that's given us a lot of headway in designing the camBLOCK Adventure. The adventure is currently in prototyping stage - We've iterated several CAD designs and are currently testing our 3D printed prototype. Much of the electronics for the Adventure are already in use on the original camBLOCK and are in the process of being integrated into our prototype. Once we've fully tested the printed prototype, we'll begin the production design CNC milled from aluminum. Wireless protocol and app development have begun and the iOS app currently has basic functionality.
iOS App & CAD drawings
History - Stewart Mayer, Inventor
Stewart Mayer is a filmmaker, turned inventor, turned entrepreneur. After studying engineering and film in college, Stewart began his career as a full-time cinematographer filming nationally syndicated documentaries and television programs. As his vision for making dynamic images advanced, he discovered that the technology he was searching for wasn’t available on a small scale. So, he created his own. Designing special cameras, developing mechanical systems, writing custom software and fabricating all of the parts, Stewart created a motion control time lapse and real time system that made it possible to bring big budget movie effects to the small screen.
It didn’t take long for Stewart’s invention to start getting noticed in the filmmaking community. Producers, directors, and photographers all wanted the portable, versatile, affordable motion control system. And so, in 2008, Stewart turned his prototype into a full-fledged business – camBLOCK. Coincidentally, that’s the last time Stewart has had a legitimate vacation.
Stewart has personally put camBLOCK to use around the world on dozens of projects, including the Emmy Award-winning National Geographic series "Great Migrations"; in the Arctic for the CBC Award-winning "Polar Bears: A Summer Odyssey"; and as the stop motion director of photography for the 2012 Academy Award-winning animated short "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore."
In just five years, camBLOCK has been used across the globe by top filmmakers for the BBC, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, TNT – and even 3D Imax.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
MATERIALS & DESIGN
Over the past 5 years we have undergone extensive prototyping and testing and our original systems have been successfully used by filmmakers in some of the harshest climates on the planet.
• Relationships have already been established with vendors for components
• Parts are manufactured in-house by skilled technicians on our two CNC machines
Kickstarter funds will allow us to finish our design more rapidly and allow our team to focus our efforts on production. If delays are encountered we will communicate to our backers right away.
The only additional items you'll need to provide are an ipad for control, a battery, and your camera.
We plan to retail the camBLOCK Adventure at $8,990.
Yes. We're launching with the iPad app first because it'll be easier to bring to the market quickly, but to be honest - our whole team uses android phones and want to use them to control the system. Our programmer writes for both iOS and Android, so we'll be developing the android side as soon as possible.
When doing the kickstarter we were a little concerned about how it would be perceived. In the end we decide to just move forward with it because I'd much rather have our new product funded by the people that use it than by a third party who would want control and/or drive up prices.
CamBLOCK is an extremely small company, and the reason we've been successful is because we deliver a solid product and we work tirelessly to make our customers happy. We do this because we love what we do, and every system we sell basically pays for it's self. It took me years to develop the camBLOCK system, the development was funded by my own freelance cameraman jobs and credit cards. Now we have the camblock construction pipeline working well, but this new product is a new animal, and having the kickstarter funds all at one time will let us develop the Adventure in months instead of years.
CamBLOCK has been fully adopted by the high end natural history shooters over the past several years. BBC/Discovery series like Wild Planet, Wild Arabia, Africa 3D all use our system. So does NFL Films, TNT Sports, dozens of small production companies, and three 3D Imax productions. We are partly responsible for the explosion of timelapse shown on television, and we've seen demand grow. For every system we sell, we have many more requests for a smaller and less expensive system, so Adventure is the answer to that request.
We have gotten a very positive response so far with our Kickstarter campaign, and I hope it continues. We are a little strange for a kickstarter, since we are selling a relatively expensive product, but we hope it works out. And, the kickstarter process gives us a direct dialoge with our customers and has actually changed the product design already. We've decided to make the dolly axis detachable so it can be be used in a vertical rig configuration in the future, and a few other minor changes like integrated camera power ports. We are pouring all our experience of the last 5 years into this system, to make the most bullet proof portable motion control system possible... at a price a typical DSLR professional can afford.
There's a recess in the body to plug the battery into. We're planning on using standard camcorder batteries, like the Sony BP-U60. We like this battery because of it's size and higher voltage than most other small camcorder batteries. We're not planning to DSLR batteries, because they don't deliver enough power. In addition, we're planning to have a 4-pin power port to recieve external power.
Wifi transmitter will be hidden in the head to be weatherproof along with the rest of the electronics
The iOS is in development, but we do have basic communication and control. Check it out here: https://vimeo.com/63853401
Yes - The camBLOCK Adventure will have an accessory port for the lens controller to plug into, and we're planning to have the lens mover available by Fall 2013. We make lens controllers for our original Modular system, but will need to change the design to work with the adventure.
Yes, the Adventure can be underslung, like our camBLOCK Modular system. This allows you to to get great low-angle shots, just above the ground.
Our unique new tilt linkage mechanism has just under 180° of travel. This allows the camera to be unobstructed on all sides, lets the weight distribution be completely symmetrical, and is more compact that the typical "L" shape of most heads. An angle plate could be used to increase the tilt angle, but we haven't tried this yet.
Yes - Originally this wasn't in the plan, but our third full system backer requested it, so we're going to make it happen. It'll will be an additional accessory, but we're designing the system to work with it.
We haven't determined pricing yet - On our camBLOCK Modular system the Vertical kit costs $1050 and the lens controller costs $1950, we'd like to bring these prices lower for the Adventure. We'll update as soon as we determine the costs of development.
Thanks! Just changed the main page to 8 feet - We haven't finalized the track length yet as we are waiting to pick out the casing and back packs. We want to make sure it can all fit in the same case. Currently we have 32" tubes, but they are a little too long for backpacking, and the whole goal of Adventure is to realize the one-man-motion-control-system-hiked-to-a-mountaintop dream. Granted, you'll need to be in shape, but I think it is totally doable :)
Our existing screw-together tubes work really well and have very smooth seems, so we will keep that style of connector.
The most likely length we would probably want to use is just under 24". The material is expensive (aircraft tubing) and comes in 12ft lengths, so if we account for the machining loss of the ends, we could get 6 tubes 23-3/4" long out of one piece of stock, without any material loss.
We're estimating it'll weight about 12lbs without the track - we'll update as soon we get some engineering figures out of our CAD system.
We'll have a case with custom foam available, and will provide it at cost from our manufacturer (plus shipping). We haven't determined which cases we'll go with yet, so if you know of a great case or backpack that's portable, let us know!
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camBLOCK CNC milled paper weight, cheese plate, t-shirt, and 20 cable ties.Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
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Two Day Timelapse Workshop - Fall 2013 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Hosted by cinematographer and inventer of camBLOCK, Stewart Mayer. Travel and Lodging not included.Estimated delivery:
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camBLOCK AVENTURE: You'll receive the 2-axis only (Pan/Tilt) Motion Control System. Based on feedback, we've modified our design to be able to offer our system without the dolly mechanism and track - but upgradeable in the future. Reward includes the camera trigger and iPad app.Estimated delivery:Add $45 USD to ship outside the US
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Early Bird: Get your camBLOCK Adventure first! Includes the camBLOCK Adventure 3-axis motion control unit, camera trigger cable, IOS app and 8 feet of dolly track with spreaders.Estimated delivery:Add $50 USD to ship outside the US
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camBLOCK ADVENTURE: You'll receive the 3-Axis Motion Control System (Pan/Tilt/Dolly). Reward also includes the camera trigger cable, iPad App, and 8 feet of Dolly track.Estimated delivery:Add $100 USD to ship outside the US
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camBLOCK ADVENTURE: You'll receive the 3-Axis Motion Control System (Pan/Tilt/Dolly). Reward also includes the camera trigger cable, iPad App, and 8 feet of Dolly track.Estimated delivery:Add $50 USD to ship outside the US
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PARTY TIME: Come to a private dinner with the team, get an invitation for you and a friend to come to our launch party, and a signed camBLOCK Adventure package with your name CNC milled into the machine!Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)