Digital cinema

My story telling is all about the moving image. Moving images come in different forms, but for me it's about the big screen. The cinema. The films, the animations, the onscreen adventures. The kids stuff!

Now, I have a fairly good understanding of how special effects are made, it's what I studied. I have a bunch of skills and knowledge around character animation, cameras and lenses, motion capture, compositing and so on. If you've browsed my site, you may have noticed I have a bunch of software and hardware projects in development. These are all designed to help me with producing moving images. More specifically, live action character animation, motion capture and compositing. You can find some of these projects in the explore page, they include ProxyMan, The Dark Room and Hyperion.

But the software is only part of the problem. I also need a camera capable of delivering images to me at the specs I want to work with. Specs will differ depending on your needs, and for me, I wanted a minimum of 4k resolution (mostly for tracking precision), global shutter (again for tracking precision) and something that had a lens mount where I could change lenses. A camera with interchangeable lenses.

There were a couple of other preferred attributes as well, but the main target was to get as close to my preferred specs that supported camera tracking and live action motion capture productions as I could.

I initially bought a camera that I thought would be a place to start. If nothing else, I could at least get some images and practice editing. However, I soon realised that the camera just wasn't up to the task. So I had my sites set on getting another one, which I've just recently acquired (after a long wait!). I'll keep the original camera,to use for behind-the-scenes stuff. And to document this journey. But my new camera will take place on the main rail system. This rail system has custom made parts, including some 3D printed bits, machined parts, and some custom programmed hardware that's underway.

My main camera is now a RED Komodo. This isn't a hobby camera. So I have a big hill to climb to make this worth it. But, I've worked hard to save my pennies, and I'm pursuing something I enjoy. I think there can be a happy future with this if I can make it all work. As a side note, The Dark Room can now read RED raw camera images. So the connection between my film camera and the 3D application is now there.

The matte box and lens in front of the Komodo rig.

It's taken me a long time to get to here, and plenty of hurdles still remain. I can't wait to get some images out of this camera and my custom programmed pipeline. Think there's a lot to look forward to here.

Project post history:

Sunrise over Hobart from film camera (latest)
Hobart fireworks caught on film camera
Learning from machining mistakes
First programmed hardware started