Moving Picture, Motion Control

This is an unfinished draft for a book I wrote back in 1999 on the topic of motion control. Over the next couple of days I will publish it in four parts, just as it was written and with lots of gaps in the text (I told you it was unfinished). Following is the original introduction to the book.

Introduction by the author

When people first heard that I was writing a book about motion control, they tought I was writing a history book on visual effects.

Instead, I have tried to compile the common knowledge about motion control into a book. With information taken from manuals, specifications and interviews. My goal has been to get the knowledge about motion control that exist but never been written down before into one book.

To my knowledge, there have been no attempts to do anything like it before. Mostly because motion control has had the reputation of being expensive, slow and difficult. And therefore has lived an obscure life and often seen as the holy grail of many effect companies. To learn motion control has been a school of life.

But there are at least one regular education program that incorporates motion control into its curriculum. At CalArts Experimental Animation are two motion control rigs is being used by students. One of them has belonged to Image G and was previously used for miniature work on the television show Star Trek: Next Generation.

I want to thank Tom Barron, who let me in under his roof like the Swedish spy I am, and taught me motion control.

So let’s roll the camera!

Anders Dahnielson
Studio City, April 1999

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