Dynamic Perception motion-control systems – great for timelapses

by planetmitch1 Comment

Several times we've seen Dynamic Perception (@DynPerception) photographic motion-control rigs being used in timelapses lately so we thought we'd do a little digging. Some months ago, we became aware of Dynamic Perception thru the timelapse of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland (see this post) which now has well over 2 million views by the way. It turns out that Jay Burlage (@MILapse) and his partner Chris Church are the brains behind Dynamic Perception.

We've also been chatting with Andrew Walker (@drew599) from 599productions about his amazing timelapse where he's used the Dynamic Perception rig (see below) (see also Andrew's other timelapse we highlighted a bit ago: “Another stunning Canon EOS 5D Mark II timelapse“).

Redrock Micro

I talked with Jay at length yesterday about this whole project and it is quite the story – a bit like my planet5D story too. Jay started doing timelapes in 2003 and found out (like many of you out there) that it can be quite fun and produce some cool results (timelapses are very popular when I post them). After a while, he met Tom Lowe and they got the forums set up over at Tom's site, timescapes.org and their memberships continue to grow. And, after the downturn in the economy, Jay's using his passion to work with Chris on this new startup company to bring y'all great products for this growing market.

I asked Jay if he thought timelapses are just a fad (tho I know people have been doing them since the invention of the camera, they just seem very popular now) – little did I know it is still growing like wildfire – and maybe that's because there's now some affordable equipment (like the Canon HDSLRs and the new Dynamic Perception rigs). When Dynamic Perception announced their first product (the Stage 0) would be available for pre-order, they sold out in the first week. They didn't want to over sell and hurt expectations so they limited the first run and they were very surprised to sell out so quickly. And, they've got quite a plan for more products. The Stage 0 is aimed at the very beginner (hence the “0” ha – I wondered about that) and there will be more advanced products coming down the line. One thing that is really quite nice is that they're using open source software so that anyone can contribute new features as time goes on.

And, have you seen the opening credits for the new TV show “Detroit 1-8-7” (IMDB)? There are several timelapses in there and Jay and NBC Saturday Night Live DP Alex Buono (see the story about SNL) created those! We plan to have both Jay and Alex on an upcoming planet5D Live interview.

Andrew sent us this info (as well as the images):

Using the Dynamic Perception Moco rig for the past couple weeks during its beta testing period has been very interesting and exciting. I primarily use the Canon 5D Mark II as a timelapse camera shooting hundreds of full res RAW stills and then assembling them into a Quicktime movie using After Effects. For the longest time my shots have always been static ones where the camera doesn't move, which has been fine. But now with the introduction of the Dynamic Perception Moco rig it has added a whole new dimension to shots that would have otherwise not have been quite as exciting or even possible. Plus the system is light enough that one person can carry it around fully built with some carbon fiber sticks supporting it. This makes “run and gun” type motion control timelapse possible.

Timelapse shot with the 5D2 and the Dynamic Perception Moco Rig by Andrew Walker

Timelapse shot with the 5D2 and the Dynamic Perception Moco Rig by Andrew Walker

The other thing that makes this moco rig so amazing is its flexibility. Dynamic Perception gives you the choice to buy a 4′ and 6′ system. But the beauty of it is that if you want a 10′ or 12′ system you can do that as well. All you have to do it order a longer piece of 80/20 extruded aluminum, which is very cheap. Plus a timing belt the same length of the track that is going to be used. Another feature that I love is that you can have the rig positioned at really an angle. So you can have shots that start off high and then move down to the floor or vice versa. The system allows you to really use your imagination in getting shots.

Timelapse shot with the 5D2 and the Dynamic Perception Moco Rig by Andrew Walker

Timelapse shot with the 5D2 and the Dynamic Perception Moco Rig by Andrew Walker


Here is Andrew's timelapse reel that uses the Dynamic Perception rig in all but the first two shots.

Timelapse Part 8 – Traveling Without Moving from 599 Productions on Vimeo.

This timelapse was shot using the Canon 5D Mark 2 and the Dynamic Perception Dolly rig that I have been beta testing for the past couple weeks. I'm really enjoying the system as its light enough for one person to carry around and setup. This was also the first time I have used any type of motion in any of my timelapse shots.

The lenses used were the Canon 24mm f1.4L II, Sigma 20mm f1.8, Zeiss 35mm f2, Zeiss 50mm f1.4 and the Zeiss 85mm f1.4

The track that was used is “528491” from the “Inception” soundtrack.

And, following that up, here are the other two samples that used the Dynamic Perception rigs we'd like to show you:

Iceland, Eyjafjallaj̦kull РMay 1st and 2nd, 2010 from Sean Stiegemeier on Vimeo.

So I saw all of these mediocre pictures of that volcano in Iceland nobody can pronounce the name of, so I figured I should go and do better. But the flights to get over took forever as expected (somewhat). 4 days after leaving I finally made it, but the weather was terrible for another 4. Just before leaving it got pretty good for about a day and a half and this is what I managed to get.

Wish I had more time. I missed all the cool Lightning and the Lava of the first eruption. But I figure this will just be a trial run for another day.

I am of course accepting sponsors to send me back there for more please…!! haha

Music: Jónsi – Kolniður (jonsi.com)
Canon EOS 5D Mark II
HUGE thanks for the Motorized Dolly via Dynamic Perception

© Sean Stiegemeier

Dynamic Perception Timelapse Dolly Stage Zero Tour (part 1) from MILapse on Vimeo.

The Dynamic Perception Stage Zero Dolly Kit is now available for pre-order

Follow us! www.twitter.com/DynPerception & www.facebook.com/DynPerception

Dynamic Perception's mission is to provide low-cost and easy-to-use photographic motion control systems.

Sean Stiegemeier used our prototype v2.1 to produce his stunning footage of the Iceland volcano ( see above! ) and the results speak for themselves!! We have made significant improvements in v2.2 which is our pre-production model. The final product will have even more improvements!

Horizontal, inverted, diagonal, upside-down, and even sideways the setup possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Quick release and ability to use as a slider to preview and adjust your track position before starting your timelapse move. Easy to use and VERY flexible motor controller (see links to ‘tours' above ). Available in 4′ or 6′ lengths.

The bottom line? Entire six foot rig (you supply the sticks and camera head), motor and controller for: $795 (four foot rig $745)

Soundbed:”human imagination” by maxx

And here's part 2 about the controller:

Dynamic Perception MX2 Dolly Controller Tour (part 2) from MILapse on Vimeo.

Our thanks to Jay and Andrew for supplying all this info! So, what do you think? Are you doing timelapses? Sound off in the comments!

Blogger's disclaimer: we have no economic relationship with Dynamic Perception tho we are talking about testing out one of their rigs.

(Photo credit: snap from the video)

Zeiss Cinema Lenses


Leave a Comment