GoPro cameras are great for time-lapse photography by themselves, but if you add an automatic panning mechanism like what’s featured here, your ‘lapses can turn out even better. All you will need to make this GoPro egg timer fixture is:
- This egg timer (seen below) from Amazon
- A 2 inch PVC pipe plug (Hardware store)
- A 1/4 – 20 bolt 1/2 inch long and the corresponding nut (Hardware store)
- 1/4 inch drill bit and drill
- Super Glue; I used a brand called Gorilla Glue
- If you don’t have one, you’ll also need a tripod mount for your GoPro (Amazon)
To make this panning fixture, drill a hole in roughly the middle of the PVC plug, then pass the bolt into the concave side. Screw the bolt on as the other side as tightly as possible, and optionally add some super glue on the bolt to keep it locked in place. Glue the plug to the top of the egg timer linked above, and let it dry. You now have a panning fixture to make time lapse photos with your GoPro camera; no 3D printer required!
This design should be functional, but what I eventually made, described (with resulting ‘lapse videos) after the “read more” looks a lot better in my opinion. The only catch isthat you’ll need access to a lathe and some other tools. Read on to see an animated GIF of everything going together as well as some ‘lapses taken with this setup:
As seen in the animated GIF, the advanced GoPro Egg timer will take a little more work. In addition to the components listed above, you’ll need the following:
- Bed liner available From Amazon or Hardware/Automotive Store
- Drill and tap for 1/4 – 20 threads. This set looks cheap, but would probably get the job done.
- Lathe. I’m not even going to pretend you should buy one just for this project. If you don’t have one, I’d either ask for help or just skip this step.
Hopefully the GIF gives you a nice overview. With the lathe, remove the wrench flats then cut the plug roughly in half. Drill and tap a hole for a 1/4 – 20 screw, then spray paint the bed liner on. Screw the nut down as tightly on bolt for a spacer, then tighten the assembled part in the tapped hole. Optionally lock the threads down with glue. Glue the blackened PVC plug onto the egg timer, and you’ve got a panning time-lapse fixture!
Here’s two videos of what can be done with this panning fixture and a GoPro:
There’s a good chance you won’t have access to all of these “advanced” tools, but most of the steps can be applied individually. As alluded to, you don’t really HAVE to cut off the flat edges with a lathe!
And finally, here’s a better picture of this GoPro egg timer hanging from my Garage door opener.
If you think this is too much work, here’s a “Camalapse” model that you can just buy. If cost is the deciding factor, as of this writing, the Camalapse is about $30, and you can make the DIY PVC version for around $10. Alternatively, for something that’s potentially more work, you can always 3D print an egg timer adapter.