Open Source Cinematic Motion Control
Open Source Cinematic Motion Control
We are finalizing our open hardware MoCo Rig as well as launching an online community for people to learn and share ideas.
We are finalizing our open hardware MoCo Rig as well as launching an online community for people to learn and share ideas. Read more
WHY OPEN SOURCE?
Over the past 3 years we’ve been busy working on the future of cinematic motion control (MoCo). Although motion control is nothing new, it has been a closely guarded Hollywood secret, that only the big studios with their deep pocket books could afford - that is until now. At Motion Sickness we’re designing a low cost, open-source MoCo Rig, made with off-the-shelf components that you can easily get on the internet. We believe in giving the diy filmmaker the same tools to share his or her vision, as a Hollywood insider. We believe open source is the future of not only MoCo but the way we innovate and share all ideas. It’s time to give the art back to the people. It's time to change the game.
MoCo is nothing new. In fact, Star Wars was the first film to use it. Since then motion control equipment for film has stayed extremely expensive. Over the past couple years a flood of “toy” MoCo systems have hit the market. These units are aimed mainly towards the time-lapse market and are very proprietary - meaning a focus motor from “company A” won’t work with the software from “company B”. We find this unacceptable so we are building a robust motion control rig based on open standards - the same standards found in robotics and industrial automation.
Online Makerspace and Forum
We’re launching an online DIY community site where artists and industry people can connect, troubleshoot, and share ideas. We were shocked to discover that there are no communities for motion control on the web. With your help MotionSick.org will be the place to explore the cinematic ideas of the future.
6-Axis Open Source MoCo Rig
Our MoCo Rig gives you pixel perfect, precision control of the motion picture camera. The compact system offers live-action, time-lapse and stop-motion. It has control over the camera shutter and 8 axis including Dolly, Pan, Tilt, Zoom, Focus & Iris. The extra channels can be used for roll (future upgrade) or turntables. All axis are precisely controlled by Mantis II or Dragonframe.
Motion Sickness is a hardware company. We rely on proprietary software to run our Rig. Mantis II from BFG Motion Control is going to be the recommended software. There are also multiple Dragonframe options for stop motion animators including a low cost Arduino option - which is great for students or young people.
Creating moves in Mantis II or Dragonframe is very similar. Simply set your motor positions in a timeline with keyframes. You can easily delete or move keyframes to adjusted position or acceleration of the motors. It feels very similar to keyframe editing in Adobe After Effects or Final Cut. Once you've setup the move, just press play.
Nodal Pan/Tilt Head - Our modified Servocity PT-2100 is an amazing piece of hardware. It's extremely rigid, lightweight, zero backlash, and uses industry standard components like 1/4-20 screws and XL timing belts. Timing pulleys are also interchangeable so gearing ratios can be changed from high speed to high torque without changing motors. It has hollow pivot points which allow the control wires to be channeled internally. This means it can do multiple rotations in either direction without the wires getting tangled. It's also large enough to hold a RED aligned at the nodal point.
Dolly and Track: Made from industry standard 15mm rods and clamps. The width is highly adjustable making it fit on all kinds of different tracks.
Lens Control - Although we'll have cheaper DIY options, Berkey System's lens motor will be the standard issue motor. Low price, low profile and high torque, it also uses industry standard 32 pitch (0.8 mod) gearing. We prefer gears over belts because belt systems apply a lateral force to the lens. Over time this can cause damage.
Stepper Motors - High precision, high torque stepper motors. Just like CNC routers and 3D printers, we use off the shelf automation components. This means endless options for future upgrades and customization.
Harmonic Drives: Zero backlash, compact, light weight. These are the most high-tech reduction gears on the market. These attach directly to the stepper motor's output shaft to greatly improve torque and precision.
- Digital micro-stepping drives w/ sensorless stall detection
- Low-profile, locking interconnects
- Emergency kill botton
- Near silent air cooling
- More than enough power for a MoCo crane when it becomes available.
Wireless XBOX™ Controller: Full control of the MoCo Rig. For programming and running moves, or performing manual moves. This feature is exclusive to Mantis II.
Open Source Design: All plans, including CAD files, wiring diagrams, parts and price lists will be available for free @ MotionSick.org. We will be relying heavily on our users, to help us improve our MoCo Rig, and think of new and innovative ways to use it.
Tried and tested on time sensitive projects. Pictured below was a stop-motion animation for Microsoft. The camera needed to fly over a table and move around focusing on different products. The rails were supported on both end with tripods and the pan/tilt head was underslung. This was our first real endurance test as the system was left powered on for 5 days.
ESTIMATED PRICING FOR COMPONENTS
- Mantis II + 8-axis Motion Controller from BFG Motion Control, Imported from Australia - AUD $1250
- Dragonframe + 16-axis Motion Controller - USD $2100
- Dragonframe + Arduino - USD $250
- Pan/Tilt (steppers only) - $1100
- Pan/Tilt (with harmonic drives) - $2300
- Lens Motors - $350 each
- Dolly (15mm adjustable) - $500
- 7ft. Track - $200
- 8-axis Motor Drive - $700-$1100
- Cables - $120
WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING?
By Kickstarting this project you’re giving us the funds to finalize our prototype and launch MotionSick.org. Specifically we are working on the dolly track, electronics housing and website/forum.
- Dolly and Track: The biggest task will be finalizing the track system. A large portion of the funds will go to building and testing the track systems. We definitely aren't starting from scratch though. We've been researching for months and have components already lined up.
- Electronics Housing: We are finalizing electronics, wiring and interconnects.
- MotionSick.org: Setting up the website/forum and adding content to all categories. Most of the design and content work has already been done but we need the funds to turn that into a fully working website. We like building robots a lot more than webpages so we will be paying for the initial site to be set up.
Risks and challenges
We have been working on this for 3 years now with no funding. Most of the risks have already been taken. Because our system uses of the shelf components we only need to have a few motor mounts machined from aluminum - and we already have the CAD files for those.
We also have been talking to local machine shops. We have plenty of options and don't foresee any roadblocks.
We are quite confident that out final prototype will be the production version. we have been making upgrades and modifications to the current system for over a year now. We've had no glitches, malfunctions or breakdowns. We don't want our users to waste any time debugging there machine on set, that's why we aren't offering any for sale yet. We are so close!!!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)