Ive been reading on peoples sites and some places in the forum about people tearing there hair out about tracking shots. Im sure somebody already thought of this but has anybody thought of using a lego train track for a easy smooth tracking shot? Just a thought, sounds like it would work really good. The hardest part would be movie the camera at the right increments for each frame but im sure it wouldnt be a problem to set up markers on a piece of paper or something. Just an idea i guess.
This is what I did for the 360 degree rotation in “Animation Class”. Disadvantage of train track: the distance between the wheels is about 2mm less than the distance between the tracks. This allows the cam to shake too much.
It’s more the tedium that makes you tear your hair out. To get a smooth track in Out of Time, I had to move the camera 1mm per frame. I also had to work out start and end positions for the moving characters, because minifigs move faster than 1mm per frame (half a stud per frame using hali’s method). On top of that, you have to make sure the set is lit consistently, and that you don’t have any gaps in the background where the “real world” shows through.
The most important thing is to plan it all out before you start.
i tried putting a camera on the train for bullet time, it doesn’t work too well… the camera always falls off, usually the train will go over the wire knocking it of the track, and you will need to get a circular backround in, but with out being able to see the tracks of the train, it would just be easier to move the set, or camera little by little, for bullet time any way!
I have found that the best lego piece you can use to perform tracking shots is the helicopter landing skid piece:
This is because you can slide the skid across the top of studs on a baseplate, but in increments much less than that of a stud.
Some of my students gave me the idea last year, I have used it ever since!
If you are a bit worried about lateral movement (a couple of mm if you are not careful) you can place bricks or plates either side of the skid path, this helps heaps.
I use something similar, but it’s just a camera platform made from standard plates on top of two strips of tiles. A row of bricks either side keeps the platform from moving laterally.
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