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Gimbal on a Slider – Motion Control Holy Grail [7th of 52 Timelapse Project]

3 axis motion control timelapse shots can be really beautiful, however not everyone can afford expensive dedicated gear. This week I decided to combine motorized slider movement with a 3 axis gimbal with a timelapse feature. Detailed tutorial about shooting timelapse shots with a gimbal you can find in this article: 3 Axis Gimbal – Timelapse Feature [VIDEO TUTORIAL].

This is a shot from my 52 Timelapse Project. You can check out the details of the project or full list of the shots.

It was my first test of combining these two techniques. I messed up a lot of things, but it was a great lesson, especially that I’m planning something more complicated (I mentioned it last week, but it’s still not ready ;)). The idea here is simple: you setup a timelapse on a gimbal and on a slider independently matching the duration of the movement. It would be probably better (it depends on your shutter speed, too) to use constant movement on the slider to eliminate the vibration on the gimbal. Unfortunately my slider doesn’t have this slow video mode, so I used move-shoot-move function. Because of that the final footage requires stabilization in post, but it wasn’t bad 😉 For sure I should use slower speed for the ‘move’ in the slider.

In move-shoot-move mode you should connect the camera to the slider’s controller, so it releases the shutter when it’s not moving. Setting up the shot looks like this for me (it would depend on how your slider works):

  1. Move slider to final position
  2. Move camera (gimbal) to the final position
  3. Setup the timelapse on the slider controller and move to the starting position
  4. Choose the right profile in the gimbal
  5. Activate timelapse motion feature in the gimbal
  6. Move the camera (gimbal) to the starting position
  7. Start the slider movement, which also releases the camera

I’d like to mention one thing here: of course it would be better to use dedicated 3 axis timelapse slider. There are always some comments like “I do the same on my Genie” – so, good for you 😉 But not everyone has that gear. This technique is rather for guys, who already have a slider and a gimbal and who are looking for a different usage of that 🙂

Definitely I’ll be testing this combination more in the future. If you have some footage shot like this – please show me that in the comments or on my Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/timelapse.hyperlapse/

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