MRMC Guide to Motion Control Filmmaking

Dominik Orpel, high-speed filmmaking specialist and general manager at tech company TILT, provides his insider knowledge on all you need to know about motion control.

A robotic rig moves the camera with outstanding accuracy and reproducibility, improving the quality and creative possibilities of tabletop productions and other cinema applications. Motion control's popularity is growing as more filmmakers see its amazing aesthetic possibilities.

It's especially useful for capturing previously inaccessible action sequences. Motion control is also becoming popular in tabletop productions. The availability of motion control equipment and initiatives drive increasingly daring and inventive applications. Smaller systems, like as Bolt, allow for work in a variety of places, while Glambots, or high-speed cine bots, add opulence to event footage.

Camera tracking with motion control software is more effective than optical tracking in virtual production, when high-speed cameras and quick motions are employed. The creative directors and operators who embrace motion control, in the end, define cinema technology. We have a garage full of brave trendsetters at TILT!

Discover all you need to know about the benefits and uses of motion control in tabletop and live action filmmaking with this tutorial.

What is Motion Control?

Cinebots like Bolt offer tremendous speed and precision in tabletop productions, delivering aesthetically spectacular pictures that catch the action in fractions of a second. Motion control in live-action enables for multi-pass repeats of situations needing sophisticated post-production or character multiplications. Dynamic robotic motions are frequently employed to increase the suspense of action situations.

What are the Benefits of Motion Control?

When compared to standard camera dollies or cranes, motion control systems have a number of advantages. These benefits include smooth, precise, and repetitive motions that enable for exact framing and continuity. Motion control allows for more intricate and dynamic photos with bespoke trajectories, broadening creative possibilities. The synchronization and triggering of camera movements with other components like as lighting and practical FX improves the visual impression. Automation and programming reduce human error while increasing efficiency. Motion control allows for the seamless integration of live-action film with visual effects. It is also excellent at capturing high-speed, time-lapse, and stop-motion sequences.

We can detect falling items, watch liquid movement, and create the illusion of objects pausing in flight. Stunning effects are accomplished by deploying two robots on one set, one moving the camera and the other as a model-mover moving the item in front of the camera simultaneously, swiftly, and with superhuman accuracy.

How Does Motion Control Work?

It is dependent on specialized software operators who program the rig's motions. This technique necessitates a high level of specialization and expertise with the specific system. We have the pleasure of working with professionals that are regarded as among the finest and quickest in Europe at TILT. The operator directs the motions of the robot and synchronizes any triggered consequences. Rehearsals are frequently held the day before the real shoot, with the express purpose of performing the shots on the shooting day. The crew maintains excellent framing and precision in triggering effects during rehearsals.

What Equipment Do I Need for Motion Control?

The Bolt Robot Arm is the go-to piece of equipment in tabletop motion control installations. It's known for being the quickest motion control rig on the market, enabling for exceptionally rapid and precise high-speed motions. The Bolt on Track technique is commonly used in live-action filming. This setup combines precision with tremendous track speed. It's worth mentioning that Bolt isn't employed in isolation; it also activates a variety of mechanical special effects, making it a multipurpose instrument. Filmmakers may shoot stunning footage at speeds of up to 1000 frames per second with a moving camera by combining Bolt with high-speed recording utilizing a Phantom camera. Only the filmmakers' imaginations restrict the applicability.

What Else Should I Know?

Each project brings its own set of obstacles, which we find both intriguing and entertaining to handle. Location is a key obstacle. For one of our McDonald's campaigns, for example, we shot intricate scenarios with Bolt JR inside a bus and a tram while traveling throughout the city. Almost any location may be used for motion control as long as the doors are wider than the robot. At TILT, we frequently travel with our robots, allowing us to operate in numerous locations around Poland and Europe. We've previously finished projects in Croatia and Austria, broadening our reach and adaptability. When dealing with high-speed robots, safety is always a top consideration. To guarantee a seamless and safe production process, we keep focus and stick to established procedures.

Read the full article from Little Black Book Online HERE

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