A stop-motion night sky.
Bot & Dolly was hired to shoot a phone commercial that required “night sky” background elements. Inspired by astrophotography, we set out to create a practical starfield in which we could shoot these sequences with varying degrees of physical realism.
The starfield miniature used in this shot was a perforated hemisphere, three feet in diameter, painted matte-black and backlit.
We used our standard motion control platform at the time, a six-axis industrial robot paired with a Maya-based animation pipeline.
My contributions, and the novel technical elements for us on this project, were integration with the industry-standard DragonFrame stop-motion animation software (via its API), and shutter control of a Canon 5D (via its API and a microcontroller-triggered relay).
A simple configuration file allowed the photographer to modify exposure settings, ramp times, rotation speed, and other parameters of the shot.