360 Stabilizer - Kraken36 v1.1 Adapter for DJI Osmo Mobile

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kraken36v11_web edge

Finished Kraken36 v1.1 Adapter for Samsung Gear 360 + DJI Osmo Mobile.

UPDATE: Wanna shoot super smooth 360 VR videos with your Samsung Gear 360 & DJI Osmo Mobile? I decided to sell my blueprints to DIY people who want to build their own Kraken36 adapter. Check out the link on Sellfy: https://sellfy.com/p/lqYJ

360 Stabilizer - DJI Osmo Mobile Prototype Adapter for 360

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Here is my finished 360 Stabilizer - DJI Osmo Mobile prototype adapter "Kraken36v1" for the Samsung Gear 360. I've made it from plywood and used screws + nuts as counterweights.

UPDATE: Wanna shoot super smooth 360 VR videos with your Samsung Gear 360 & DJI Osmo Mobile? I decided to sell my blueprints to DIY people who want to build their own Kraken36 adapter. Check out the link on Sellfy: https://sellfy.com/p/lqYJ

360 Stabilizer = DJI Osmo Mobile + Samsung Gear 360

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osmo_mobile_360_little_planet edge

I’ve succeeded to built my own special adapter for the DJI Osmo Mobile gimbal. It was a lil bit tricky because the Osmo Mobile motors are weak. But I did it and now I can shoot gimbal stabilized footage with the Samsung Gear 360 camera. The test footage was only stabilized with the Osmo Mobile - no post stabilization was used!

UPDATE: Wanna shoot super smooth 360 VR videos with your Samsung Gear 360 & DJI Osmo Mobile? I decided to sell my blueprints to DIY people who want to build their own Kraken36 adapter. Check out the link on Sellfy: https://sellfy.com/p/lqYJ

Pizza cardboard viewfinder for BMCC / BMPC4K


Yesterday we shot outside in sunny daylight with the BMPC4K and of course I couldn’t see anything on the touchscreen. (And no there was no budget for a SDI viewfinder). Therefore I’ve quickly built a super duper viewfinder from a pizza cardboard. It looks really shitty but it works great! It is collapsible and has also a Swing-Away technology to easily access the touch screen :-)

Heres the link to my PDF tutorial and DXF file if you want to build one too:
PDF BMCC / BMPC4K pizza cardboard viewfinder
CAD DXF file

Built myself some professional DIY KinoFlo's


In the last few days I've built myself a couple of 4ft 4Bank professional DIY KinoFlo's for an upcoming shoot. I improved the original design by integrating the fixture inside an ultralight Flightcase. This makes them very portable an no bags are needed anymore. Here are a couple of snapshots I took with my phone.


Motion Controlled Dolly + CODE


I’ve got a couple of requests to upload the Arduino Code for my Motion Controlled Dolly again. Since I’ve updated my homepage, some of the old Blog links and resources do not work anymore. Therefore I repost the whole thing again:

Here is the final code for my Motion Controlled Dolly (based on Arduino and Easydriver) with super smooth acceleration and deceleration ramp: You can download it here: Arduino Sketch ver.03 (you’ll also need to download the „Accel-Stepper library“ v1.5 from Mike McCauley) A big thank you goes to the programmer Brian Schmalz from www.schmalzhaus.com

The motor I’ve used is a hybrid stepper motor from Trinamic that is optimized for micro stepping. The code works out of the box with this motor: QSH4218-51-049 (I’ve got it from www.reichelt.de for EUR 29,- ) If you use a different motor you might have to ... Read More...

Code For Motion Controlled Dolly

Finally, the code for the Motion Controlled Dolly (based on Arduino and Easydriver) is finished. It has now a super smooth acceleration and deceleration ramp.
A big thank you goes to Brian Schmalz from www.schmalzhaus.com


You can download it here: Arduino Sketch ver.03
The schematics can be found in my old blog post here

Im using a modern hybrid stepper motor from Trinamic that is optimized for micro stepping. I’ve bought it for 29,- EUR from www.reichelt.de. The code works out of the box with this motor: QSH4218-51-049 If you use a completely different motor you might have to change some values in the code. In worst case the motor will stall and you will not get a smooth motion.

DIY Portable Camera Crane


Inspired by Martin Roberts I’ve built my own version of a portable camera crane using a leg from an old tripod (SLIK 88N) that fits in a small leisure bag. The setup is really quick and easy, done in under one minute. It’s stiff enough to support a camera up to 1200 grams. For the center pivot Im using a swivel caster with ball bearing to get smooth motion. You can get them at any home depot. The cost for the parts were around 30 EUR. (I had already two old tripods sitting around in the garage.) The crane has a range of 1.40m (total length=2.10m). With the tripod fully extended I can go as high as 2.80m and in most situations this will be more than enough.


DIY Lens Align Clone

Due to some backfocusing of my camera & lens combination I’ve decided to microadjust my AF lenses and searched for a good and fast solution. After trying different focus charts without success, found in various „DIY AF Microadjustment tutorials“ I’ve realized that it can’t work if your cameras CMOS sensor is not exactly parallel to the focus chart. Doing it by hand is nearly impossible to achieve constant results (at least for me).


I found only two commercial products. The Spyder LensCal and the LensAlign PRO. After reading some bad reviews about the Spyder LensCal and setting it up with it’s included bubble wouldn’t be accurate enough I’ve decided to take a look at the more professional LensAlign PRO that works by using the parallax principle. But for $180 I find it highly overpriced.

They now have also the LensAlign MkII for $80 but because I need it within 24 hours before my shoot I searched on and found a „DIY LensAlign Clone tutorial“. Based on that info I’ve built my own DIY LensAlign out of a white Forex Foam PVC sheet from homedepo that can be stored flat folded like the original one. It’s highly accurate and it will do the job. After some work in Illustrator I’ve printed the ruler and the focus chart on labels and fixed it to the parts. The center hole of the chart is covered by a piece of black tape.

For non-DIY’ers get the cheaper LensAlign MkII for $80 it’s really worth it! Take a look at the videos of the LensAlign Pro to see how the unit works: LensAlignPro_HowTo


Arduino MocoSlider TimeLapse Unit

Just finished my new Motion Control Unit for the circular and linear tracking dolly. I’ve did the holes, buttons and engraving with my little cnc machine. The electronics fit perfectly in the case and everything is tidied up. A big thanks goes to Duncan Frazier for the arduino code. It contains a TimeLapse & Slider mode. The 9 pin SUB-D jack connects to the stepper motor of my dolly and the mini jack goes through an adapter cable to the Canon camera. Now I have to adjust the code for my stepper motor to work properly.


My DIY Fig Rig

Just like to show you my well balaced diy fig rig. Actually I’ve used the same parts and just modified my existing diy shoulder rig (took off the shoulder support and turned the grips 180°).


On the rods I can add my lightweight accessories like a Rode Mic and the Zoom H4 audio recorder. Using a Follow Focus would also be cool but it can’t be operated by the same person who is holding the fig rig.

Maybe a small servomotor (from model airplane) and a potentiometer that can be controlled with the thumb could work.

Skater Dolly + Arduino QUICKTEST

Here is a quick test with the Skater Dolly in action.

diy skater dolly motion control QUICKTEST from Daniel on Vimeo.

Arduino + EasyDriver + Stepper Motor
coding by Brian Schmalz www.schmalzhaus.com

The speed ramping is not included yet and therefore the skater is stopping abruptly and shakes a little bit. But the other functions are working great.

Motor unit for skater dolly

Finally the house moving is complete and I had some time to continue the work on my “Motion Controlled Dolly”. I’ve designed a quick plate that sticks directly on top of the metal screws of the skater dolly. One little (but very strong) neodymium magnet holds the whole plate with stepper motor to the metal screw. On the motor side there is no magnet because this would affect the motor itself. I’ve also intentionally left out the grey plastic wheel on the stepper motor for you to see how the unit looks like when it’s assembled. The whole motor unit can be fixed and removed in 2 seconds from the dolly.


Now it’s time to power up this thing and do some tests.
Unfortunately Brian didn’t had time to finish the code yet, therefore the acceleration and deceleration ramp is not included. Hopefully he will have more time this year.

Arduino + EasyDriver = Motion Controlled Dolly

A couple of weeks ago I’ve decided to motorize my homemade SkaterDolly but I didn’t know how until I came across the Arduino microcontroller. It’s a great little microcontroller which can do when programmed correctly various useful tasks. It has been already used by the OpenMoco community with amazing results for motion control based time-lapse photography. Check it out it’s awesome!

Myself Im absolutely no programming guy at all therefore I asked for help in a couple of forums until I’ve met Brian Schmalz the designer of the EasyDriver stepper motor driver board. He was willing to do the programming for my retro “EasyDriver Handbox” cable remote control. He’s still working on the programming and I hope he finish it soon :-)

In the meantime, here are some pics of my homemade EasyDriver Handbox remote control + schematic.


This remote control allows me to move the SkaterDolly with the camera back and forth adjusting max speed and ramp for smooth camera motion. Also it makes it possible to save 2 positions and move back and forth between these saved positions. Furthermore by selecting a very low speed Im able to do time-lapse photography too with the SkaterDolly or any other dolly with a stepper motor connected to it. My whole project is Open Source and the code will be available for download here in this blog and on Brian’s page.

Simple Schematic:


My homemade skater dolly

My homemade skater dolly (thanks to DP Bill Hawkins for the inspiration)

The body and wheel cages were cnc-milled from thick plywood to allow mounting of heavy 35mm rigs. For the wheel holders and washers I used POM as material. I designed the scale in Illustrator and printed it on glossy paper. Afterwards they were fixed with screws to each acrylic disc...


My homemade rig for my Canon 1D Mark IV

Finally done my new camera rig!

I finished today my homemade camera rig - yeeessss!
Made from standard parts found in a bike shop and at the metal store. I’ve got the shoulder pad and the small rail (for holding a 7” TFT) from a very old video camera.
The design is easy and straight forward. It allows me to add several parts to the hand grips like a RODE Mic and a Zoom H4 audio recorder. At the end of the shoulder mount I will fix a rechargeable battery that acts as a counter balance and that will power the 7” TFT.
This design can of course also be used with the Canon 5D Mark II, 7D or 500D that have the movie function integrated. Feel free to use this design. If you have any questions let me know.