Archive for Dolly

DIY MicroTrack Results

Posted in DSLR Video with tags , , , , on February 20, 2010 by evanbutson

OK, so after a bit more tinkering and adding a few little bits to the MicroTrack, namely a nice thick plate for the tripod head to mount on to stop flexing, and a few little rubber screws to help keep the guide rollers straight, I was ready to shoot a few tests. Unfortunately REAL work got in the way (as a totally random aside, I had NO idea how few working 1 inch VTR’s are left in existence, not long ago they were THE format for broadcast, an now, there are only a handful of companies in all of Australia that can handle the format, got me thinking, with all these new CODECS and disc and tapeless formats tat keep coming out, how are we going to be in another 20 years when we try and play this stuff, I can see me trying to boot up my antiquated Windows 7 machine whilst my virtual crystal based Apple iBrain floats nearby looking on in amazement) and so I haven’t had a chance to pop anything up to Vimeo. Anyway, here we go. Once again, the Pug who once he gets what he wants, in this case an open door, will sit for hours (thanks God). This shots are pretty rough as I was trying to find the limits of the system, and so didn’t really take into account exposure or framing too much either (hence why the exposure is all over the place). One thing I have learnt is, its amazing how even the steadiest hand has a lot of little micro-tremors. I will definitely be installing some kind of belt drive onto this system, as when I tried to do ultra slow moves on a very tight subject, you can really see the slight variations in speed as I move the carriage with my hand. When I get a chance I am going to shoot some 720/50p material on this system with the 7D and see how much the slow mo smooths over the little hand tremors. In the meantime though, I have to say I am pretty happy, and now just cant wait to do a job that needs it
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Update: It seems the Vimeo playback is stuttering a bit for some people. This is not the track, it is a playback problem, I am looking into it.

My take on the skateboard dolly

Posted in DSLR Video with tags , , , on November 3, 2009 by evanbutson


So, for those of you who don’t live in Melbourne, Australia, we take our sport rather seriously, a little too seriously in fact. so much so that we have a horse race, called the Melbourne Cup, apparently it is so important that we get a holiday to watch it (they call it the race that stops a nation). Well, seeing as the race goes for all of about 2 minutes to run, I figured I needed something to fill the rest of the day. So I decided to put the finishing touches on my skateboard dolly. I’m not going to do a step by step of how I built it, there are plenty of those on the web already. I did however put my own stamp on things based on my experience with using dollys similar to these in the past. The Major design change was I made it entirely out of aluminum. most skateboard dollys I see are made by bolting the wheels onto aluminum brackets and then bolting them onto large pieces of ply. well they are heavy and when using a dolly this is a good thing, but when carrying a dolly around shoots it is a pain in the rear end. To that end I decided to replicate the Wolly Dolly as much as possible, this little dolly is significantly lighter than a normal skateboard dolly, as well as it disassembles for easy transport. After looking at it for a while I decided that making it disassemble would add too much fabrication, more than I really wanted to do, so I went the either route with pre-cut pieces of aluminum and plastic joiners. Another difference, all be it small, was I added three plastic end caps, this is where the tripod feet will sit, the Wlly Dolly has three small holes but I have always had trouble with the tripod spikes jumping out of the holes, I figure the large caps should provide a nice seat for the sticks. And finally I am trying out using aluminum tubing instead of the normal PVC tubing. This is still in the planning stages, but what I want to do is sort of replicate what you get with the support skeleton of a tent, those little rods attached together with a bungy running down the centre,

tent pole assembly

I figure if I can get 4 or 5 pieces of aluminum with a bungy running down the centre I can disassemble them pretty easily but when put together the bungy will hold them together, preventing gaps. I will let you know how I go but in the meantime, here are some photos.