This week’s shot is another test of combining timelapse feature in 3 axis gimbal and motorized slider. Also, I have never shoot melting ice and I wanted to do this 🙂 It needed a lot of preparation and finally it doesn’t look like I imagined. That’s something you’ll always be struggling as a filmmaker – most of the times things look better in your head than on a footage 😉 Check out the shot below and read what it takes to prepare such motion controlled shot.

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

Setting up a motion controlled shot is different from a classic, stationary timelapse. First of all – how do I know how much time it takes to melt that ice? In a static shot, I can just set some interval that’s safe (by safe I mean the interval, that gives me enough pictures). Then you can speed up the clip. With motion control I want the movement to stop when the ice is completely melted. I just made such hearts before and timed the process. It took almost 4h to melt the ice. With that knowledge I could calculate the interval and the number of pictures for the assumed duration of the shot.

Making the hearts wasn’t that easy either. When you make ice in your fridge you get it blurry, unlike things that you see on pictures or films. I wanted to make crystal-clear ice. You can of course find everything on the Internet, however not everything is true 😉 My first try was a regular freezing with filtered and two times boiled water. According to some random internet specialists it should work and of course it didn’t. I made a deeper research for that and it turned out to be more complicated.

You have to make the freezing directional to get rid of everything, that makes your ice cloudy. Briefly explaining the process – I made a styrofoam box to isolate my mold – so the cold air from the freezer enters only from the top of the box. The second thing is that your form should be hung above the bottom with holes in it. Also – make it leakproof. That’s something you learn when you flood the kitchen 😉

Shooting that was the same as last week’s shot – I had to combine the gimbal and slider movement. How to do that you can read in the article Gimbal on a Slider – Motion Control Holy GrailI used vintage, M42, manual lens to avoid aperture flicker – Pentacon 30mm f/3.5. It was mounted on the Canon 550D. As always I used my Easystab gimbal and JMR System slider. I shoot at night to completely eliminate daylight and light the scene with one Yongnuo 300 LED light.

Definitely it’s not the best solution for that kind of precise shots. It’s better for landscapes and other wide shots. One advice I can give you is either to match the ramping in both devices or completely turn it off 😉 

Maybe you also have tried something interesting with your gimbal? Feel free to share it on my Facebook group: . Also don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter 😉



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