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Time-lapse footage of a build is interesting but the fixed viewpoint restricts how much detail gets seen. When you watch someone work on a project, you rarely stay in one spot - you move around to get a variety of angles on the scene. We don't all have a tireless videographer around to simulate this, but with a few inexpensive components you can make an orbiting time lapse rig that generates compelling build videos like the one below (this is fellow AiR Alex Reed crafting some shoes).

I was intrigued to see Frank Howarth made a similar rig recently - while he hadn't published his video when I first put this together, he has been a real inspiration to how I document my work visually. His rig is much more elaborate than mine - go check it out.

Step 1: Design

Design is a little more complex than for the normal panning design because the rig needs to be hung and it has to be strong enough to support the camera, the rotating boom and the counterweight. I decided to go with off-the-shelf components: a length of 3/4" PVC pipe, a pipe clamp, a selfie stick and a time lapse tripod head. Because there are steel beams around at the Pier I used magnets to attach the tripod head upside down. You will also need a bolt with 1/4"-20 thread for suspending the rig from cords.

Not interested in forking out $100 for the tripod head? You might be tempted to make one with a hose timer instead. However, I tried exactly that, and it failed: the clockwork mechanism is just not strong enough to run under this sort of load, and it stops often and needs to be nudged back into life. It might work if you have a lighter phone/camera than mine.

<p>This would work well for 3D capturing too. <a href="https://remake.autodesk.com/about" target="_blank">https://remake.autodesk.com/about</a></p>
<p>Agreed. I was just in the shop making a mount to make a 3-camera scanning rig! 3 circles at 3 different heights to get 180 photos from all angles in 5 minutes. Stay tuned.</p>
An alternative to the ground clamp that is a little cheaper is a &quot;mineralac&quot; or stand-off type clamp. These can be found for under $1, but it would require the use of a nut, which means it wouldn't work quite as well as the original.
<p>Yep, that would work too.</p>
<p>Very cool! I'd been wanting to do one with the kitchen timer, but found out how weak they were, like you mentioned. </p>
<p>Thanks. Yeah, the timer was a disappointment, but then I was asking a lot of it.</p>
<p>Nicely done, Scott. </p><p>I love the beauty or Frank's rig, but I have to say yours wins out in terms of simplicity. This is a smart, approachable, and easy-to-duplicate setup. </p>
<p>Thanks Sam. Yep, Frank doesn't do things by halves.</p>

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Bio: Analog maker dabbling in digital manufacture
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