Building an Animation Rostrum – part 3

Building an Animation Rostrum

Part Three
By Brian Clare


In part one of this series I covered the woodwork for the base and table. Now we look at a way of adding a controllable movement to this.

The mechanism consists of threaded rods running through nuts that are secured to the rostrum base and the moving table top. If you can’t get the threaded rod or other metal parts locally then Filmcrnft can give you an address (SAE with all enquiries please).

North/South, East/West mechanism.

2 threaded rods 38” x 3/8 whitworth.
2 car window winder handles.
2 mild steel bars 1½” x square section to fit winder handles.
4 acrylic tubing with 3/8” clearance hole x 1½” long.
1 mild steel plate 4” x 2” x 1/8”
2 wall bracket shelf tracks at 27”.
2 wall bracket shelf tracks at 36”.
3 mild steel flats 6” x 1½” x 1/8”.
1 mild steel flat 5” x 1½” x 1/8”.
2 pipe clamps to fit over acrylic tube.
6 ¾” whit nuts.
1 flat washer to fit rod.
Plus wood screws to fit items.

The car window winder handles should be the type with a centre screw fitting and not the spring clip retaining type. They take a square rod and not the spied type.

The wall bracket shelf tracks can be bought in handy lengths so there is no waste at all. Second hand ones would be O.K. as long as there is no distortion or bent bits whatsoever, this is most important to get a good sliding action.

When you have the parts assembled lubricate the runners and threaded rods with a compound called ‘Coppaslip’. This is used extensively in the motor trade and is obtainable from Motor Factors. It is not a grease and not messy or dirty and is a very good lubricant.

And now for the last part which is the pantograph table. This is fitted to the side of the rostrum with shelf brackets. It has a field guide on it which ties up with the picture area on the platen. A pointer moves across it as the table top is tracked so that accurate moves can be made.

The pantograph

2 8” shelf brackets.
1 mild steel flat 2” x 1” x 1/8”
1 threaded rod 12” x ¼”
4 nuts to fit above rod.
1 metal rod 4½” X 1/8”
1 set screw bolt 1½” x ¼”
5 nuts to fit above bolt.
1 piece of plywood 14” x 11” x ½”
1 field guide.

When you have the pantograph table in position, put the rostrum compound in it’s central position and tape the field guide to the pantograph table so that the pointer indicates the centre. Any moves made will be the mirror image of what the camera sees. Try it for your self.

Tell I think that just about covers all. I do realise how condensed these instructions are, but if you follow them carefully you should have no problems. And before you know it you will have a super rostrum that will do most anything.

The only addition I would recommend, if the purse would stretch to it after this lot, is a frame counter. I got one from Cresta Electronics that does the job very well.

If you do embark on this rostrum and find there is something you don’t understand you can write to me, via Filmcraft, and I will do my best to put you on the right road. You may even find some short cuts that I have missed in which case they could be published in the letters page of the Newsletter.

And I would like to say thank you to Eastman Kodak for this Rostrum design. It is published in their book The World of Animation and is worth getting if you are building this rostrum as it shows each stage with photographs. What I have done is replace the plastic parts with similar bits made of metal.

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