Live Ramping Tutorial

Live Ramping Tutorial


Live Ramping is the process of making on the fly adjustments to the distance moved by the Stepper motor between each interval on Chronos 2.0. Traditionally timelapse motion control is all planned out in advance and programmed as a routine then executed, Live Ramping is something you sort of make up as you go along. This gives a higher level of control than any other system, and gives you the freedom and flexibility to adapt to changing environments. An analogy would be playing an MP3 of a piano, vs playing the piano. There is a little bit of a learning curve, and it will take a little bit of practice to master, but with some practice you will be able to perform movement control that used to be limited to high end $5000 systems that required the use of computers and a lot of extra gear, and better yet, you can adapt your motion to changes in the environment. The live display with real time movement make it very easy to run multiple Chronocontrollers at the same time to control linear, pan, tilt, lens control, etc.



  1. Move the Mode dial to INT and select the interval between frames.

  2. Move the MODE dial to RAMP (RA on the display)

  3. Move the Adjust dial untill you see “LCON” (live control”.

  4. Press the SET button.

  5. Move the mode dial to MGO and pick a direction. (for this tutorial press OUT ->)


Live ramping is now active and ready to be used. The camera should start triggering at the proper interval.


(If daisy chaining several controllers together for multi axis control, or if you are synching to another device such as a bulb ramper, intervalomter, or another timelapse system set to SGO instead of MGO)


Using Live Ramping


So Live ramping is active, the camera is taking pictures at regular intervals. Now what?


The display will have one of two dots lit. The dot that is lit indicates the direction of movement.

Left dot – Counter clockwise. (Moving out, away from motor)

Right dot – Clockwise. (Moving in towards motor)


So for this tutorial you should have pressed OUT, and the right dot is lit. Move the adjust dial slowly clockwise untill you see “20” This means that 20 steps are added every interval in the OUT( -> clockwise) direction. Let it sit there for 4-5 intervals. As the motor moves it displays the number of steps it is taking. Each time it moves you will see it increase by 20 steps. Each time the step count is increased it will increase speed in the resulting video because it moves farther and farther between frames.


Now move clockwise to 80, and you will see the step count increment up 80 steps every interval.


Let it sit for a couple intervals, then rotate the adjust dial counter clockwise until you reach 0. You will notice that when the motor moves it will not longer increase the steps and simply moves the same number of steps every interval, it is not at a steady speed.


So lets start slowing it down, rotate the adjust dial counterclockwise until it dips into the negatives, lets go to -40.  Let it run for a few intervals and you will see the number off steps decreasing by 40 with every shot.


By moving to -80 you decrease the speed even faster. This time let it run at -80 and watch the steps decrease by 80 every shot, let it run until it hit ZERO, you will see the DOT changes from the RIGHT to the LEFT. This means it just switched directions, let it run 3-4 more frames and you will see it is increasing movement in the opposite direction by 80 steps each time.


Now move the dial clockwise, you will see the negative numbers on the left side are now positive, and the other side shows negative numbers. Keep moving clockwise untill the number decreases down and turns into negative numbers, you are now subtracting steps from the movement.


The Adjust dial basically just adds or removes steps, once it goes to zero the direction is changed and the Adjust dial flips. This is a very simple way of adding smooth ramped movements.


You are coaxing the motor to move in the same direction that you have moved the dial, so if you want to increase speed move the dial in the direction the motor is moving. To decrease speed move it in the opposite direction that the motor is moving. To hold at a constant speed set it at the 12 o’clock position.


Moving OUT -> Clockwise Step Adjustment

-200 -120 -80 -40 -20 -10 -5 -3 -1 0  1  3  5  10  20  40  80  120  200


Moving IN <- Counter clockwise Step Adjustment

200  120  80  40  20  10  5  3  1  0 -1 -3 -5 -10 -20 -40 -80 -120 -200


That sums up the Live Ramping. It is very simple and very effective. This will allow levels of control that you will not get with any other system. You can use this with single axis, multiple axis, object tracking, you can run a mix of pre-run routines such as a ramped linear movement with liveramping on a focus controller or a pan and tilt. The possibilities are almost endless. No longer do people need to be stuck with the same linear dolly movement, now you easily tailor the movement with a high degree of control to the enviornment.

The Chronos Project | Time Lapse Motion Control