Kessler CineDrive Released

Kessler CineDrive

Kessler has announced pre-sale dates for its new CineDrive motion control system.  CineDrive features multi-axis control over camera movements and allows you to fully configure key frames, bezier curves and precision positioning for your time lapses, stop-motion or live action shoots.

The basic kit will be less than $6000 and will include a Kessler CineDrive Brain, two motor bricks plus hardware to configure as a pan/tilt head and a slider motor.  An iOS app for the CineDrive system is in the works for the release (or soon thereafter) and an Android app will be available in the future.

Pre-sale orders will begin at 1 PM ET on Wednesday, August 29. The sale will be limited to 25 orders at a first-come first-served basis to US customers only and with a one CineDrive system per customer limit. A second batch of CineDrive systems should be available in 1-3 months.

More details available on the Kessler CineDrive website.

Guy Walks Across America Stop Motion and Time Lapse

Check out this awesome stop motion and time lapse video of a guy walking across America.  It’s worth the two minutes.

You can see the route on Google Maps here. It is made up of over 2000 individual stills, and was shot with a 5D Mark II and 24-70mm lens over the course of 14 days.

The behind the scenes video is below (also worth the time). [Read more...]

Nikon D5000 Interval Shooting Mode

The Nikon D5000 offers a very cool interval shooting mode that offers endless creative possibilities.  Several other Nikon DSLRs feature an interval shooting mode as well (do all of them?).  I have had the pleasure of using a variety of Nikon DSLR models; however, the interval shooting mode is one thing I had never taken the time to dig into.

Now that I have toyed with it a bit, I have to say that I really like the potential that it offers. Leave it to me to wait to use a Nikon DSLR with 720p HD video capabilities to jump into the stop-motion movie creation.

So, here’s the rundown on how I created the above movie using still images via the Nikon D5000 Interval Shooting Mode…

I set the Nikon D5000 on a tripod in the backseat/floorboard of my car.  I criss-crossed the rear seatbelts through the back leg of the tripod in order to stabilize it a bit.

I then set the D5000 to capture 999 frames (the max setting) at 1 sec intervals in Shutter Priority Mode of 0.8 sec each.  I used JPEG Medium file sizes to conserve card space and because I knew that I would not need the extra resolution from JPEG Large-sized files for a video.  Oh, and all the images were ISO 6400.

After getting everything set up, I ended up making two stops to reset the interval mode and restart shooting.  I ended up with roughly 2100 images, which I edited down to about 1500 or so for the final video.

I dropped the unaltered images into Windows Movie Maker and set the duration of each image to 0.13 seconds for a “fast” look in the final film.  I then dropped in Endless Road by The Coal Men as the soundtrack (it seemed fitting).  Thanks to Dave C. and the guys for allowing me to use it!

The nice thing is that the D5000 did most of the work without much real thought from me other than the initial concept.  This was my first foray into the interval shooting mode, time lapse, stop-motion or whatever you want to call it.  I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more opportunities to use this feature in the future.  Big kudos to Nikon for making it simple and straightforward.  If you want to download the full-res video for personal use and closer inspection, you can get it here. (Right-click and choose Save as…)

If you’re interested in the Nikon D5000, check on prices and availability at B&H Photo.

Experimental Japan Stop Motion Video


Experimental Japan from Dave Lee on Vimeo.

Shot with a Canon 20D, 20mm lens & 50mm lens.

Here’s a cool little stop motion video that reader David Lee sent in.  I asked David to tell us a little more about the project:

The idea was to make an animation set in Asia. The “experimental” side appeared after i started piecing the images together. The Donnie Darko rabbit just fell into place during the edit, especially when i put the track in. The rabbit is a house pet in Kyoto, so it was still fitting for the “Asian” subject.