Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Cameras, Lenses and Shooting gear => Topic started by: teddillard on December 03, 2016, 06:43:39 am

Title: the x-y Easel is going legit
Post by: teddillard on December 03, 2016, 06:43:39 am
Push came to shove and I've gone legit with the x-y Easel I've been talking about over here: http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=83550.0  Since that thread started in 2013 and was 4 pages (and the project started in 2011), I figured it'd make sense to start something fresh here, especially since I've used it now for several years.

(https://xyeasel.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/main.jpg?w=614&h=917)

I am hand-building these things in several different configurations.  I can do it in the natural wood finish, or the ebony, manual movements or motorized, and the motorized has a hand-held keyfob control, or a programmable computer wireless control.  I've now sold a few of them, and I use mine daily, so I'm confident the thing works and works well, and I can give some good advice and coaching on its use with almost any camera platform. 

I've updated the site with the current information and some new videos, here: https://xyeasel.wordpress.com/

Still, after all these years on here haven't figured out how to embed videos, but here's the intro explanation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhInug51L7U

I know a few of the guys who are using them are on LL, (or "LuLa" as you kids call it these days  8) ) and maybe we can get some discussion going...

I can't seem to leave the design alone, and currently the computer interface is sort of in "beta" mode - it's Windows only, but if you're handy with Arduino and USB relays I figure you can drive it with whatever you want.

If you're interested, contact me and we can figure out what suits you best. 

Cheers! 
Title: Re: the x-y Easel is going legit
Post by: BobDavid on December 04, 2016, 04:27:12 pm
I used to use this program back in the day. It worked like a charm. http://www.rmimaging.com/equalight.html
Title: Re: the x-y Easel is going legit
Post by: teddillard on December 04, 2016, 04:39:48 pm
Yup - using it too.  EquaLight (and Robin Myers) rocks. 
Title: Re: the x-y Easel is going legit: We launched a IndieGoGo!
Post by: teddillard on May 29, 2017, 10:25:44 am
Well, a lot has happened.  I've had a significant amount of interest in the easels, and also had the chance to do almost daily testing and refinement of the design.  I've sold the easel to a major player in the art world, which I'm under an NDA about for now, but I should be able to divulge that soon.  More things in the mix, but here's the big news - I've decided to try to kick this up a notch by doing an IndieGoGo campaign. 

Check it out: https://igg.me/at/x-yEasel/x/16734192

I've got a few very specific goals.  I want to be able to develop the new model faster, the one that uses linear bearings and a ballscrew drive - basically CNC router technology.  I want to get a software guy on to writing a better control program for both Windows and Apple - also an app for the phones.  I want to start the patent process beyond what I've already done, and I want to bring a couple of people in on it, with more than just my garage shop to build them in.  I could plod along as I have so far, but with some funding I could get stuff to the table a heck of a lot faster and better.

Thanks to all who've supported this project on LL, and especially the guys who've followed, contributed and even ordered the thing.  Honestly, based on my own work with it alone I think this easel will contribute a lot to the quality and efficiency of large-scale artwork capture, and it has, for sure, been a community effort. 

Stay tuned, and fingers crossed, I hope we can get this ball really rolling! 
Title: Re: the x-y Easel is going legit
Post by: teddillard on June 05, 2017, 05:44:05 am
Well, the cool thing about crowdfunding is you get a pretty clear feel for the response of the market, right?   :o

Ah well, I just delivered an easel last night, and have another one due by the end of the month with the new design - rails and drive mechanism from the CNC router world. Guess I'll just plod along at my usual (glacial) pace.   ::)

Title: Re: the x-y Easel is going legit
Post by: teddillard on June 18, 2017, 05:47:24 am
Well, I can officially spill the beans now:  Sotheby’s, (yes, THAT Sotheby’s, the world renowned art auction company in NYC) selected the x-y Easel for their fairly groundbreaking research lab, led by none other than Jamie Martin – one of the leading art analysis experts in the world. Read more about Jamie and his work here: http://www.sothebys.com/en/specialists/james-martin/bio.html
Title: Re: the x-y Easel is going legit
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 18, 2017, 05:58:34 am
Well, I can officially spill the beans now:  Sotheby’s, (yes, THAT Sotheby’s, the world renowned art auction company in NYC) selected the x-y Easel for their fairly groundbreaking research lab, led by none other than Jamie Martin – one of the leading art analysis experts in the world. Read more about Jamie and his work here: http://www.sothebys.com/en/specialists/james-martin/bio.html

We’re continuing to collaborate with Jamie and Sotheby’s on more custom design x-y equipment for their unique conservation science work as well!

Congratulations Ted, it shows that your solution is really appreciated by those who know ..., and it never hurts to have good references.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: the x-y Easel is going legit
Post by: teddillard on June 20, 2017, 06:06:05 am
Thanks for the continued support and encouragement, Bart! 

9 days left to the IndieGogo campaign - it's pretty clear I'm not going to meet the target, but unlike Kickstarter, I'll be able to use whatever is pledged. My first priority is to start the actual patent process (rather than the provisional "patent pending" designation) and to look at some new software solutions.  All it takes is time and money, right? 

If the spirit moves you, please take a minute to make a contribution! 

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-x-y-easel/x/16734192#/
Title: Re: the x-y Easel is going legit
Post by: teddillard on July 04, 2017, 08:12:19 am
I finally got the new design finished and put some better photos together: https://xyeasel.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/the-x-y-servo/

(https://xyeasel.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/img_4023_1-copy.jpg?w=614&h=819)

The biggest change is the linear bearing and ball-screw drive, which gives you rock-solid, silky smooth movement.  This is from CNC router stuff, and is pretty much where I've wanted to take it since day 1.  The other change is in the frame - to handle the additional weight and stresses of the bearing rails I built the frame out of 5/8" baltic birch channels - really light, but very strong and rigid.  I've been considering an aluminum frame, but honestly, I still like the look and feel of wood. 

This is shipping out to my client tomorrow...  I'm really going to hate to see it go! 
Title: Re: the x-y Easel is going legit
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on July 04, 2017, 09:03:37 am
I finally got the new design finished and put some better photos together: https://xyeasel.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/the-x-y-servo/

(https://xyeasel.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/img_4023_1-copy.jpg?w=614&h=819)

The biggest change is the linear bearing and ball-screw drive, which gives you rock-solid, silky smooth movement.  This is from CNC router stuff, and is pretty much where I've wanted to take it since day 1.  The other change is in the frame - to handle the additional weight and stresses of the bearing rails I built the frame out of 5/8" baltic birch channels - really light, but very strong and rigid.  I've been considering an aluminum frame, but honestly, I still like the look and feel of wood. 

This is shipping out to my client tomorrow...  I'm really going to hate to see it go!

Hi Ted,

It's looking very cool. I was wondering about the choice for relatively soft birch wood. Is it laminated multiplex for strength and stiffness?

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: the x-y Easel is going legit
Post by: teddillard on July 04, 2017, 09:30:12 am
Baltic birch has very high marks for strength and rigidity as well as (and most especially, in this case) dimensional stability.  This piece here talks a little about it: http://www.woodworkerssource.com/blog/woodworking-101/tips-tricks/your-ultimate-guide-to-baltic-birch-plywood-why-its-better-when-to-use-it/

...it's also really light, which is good, because this thing weighs in at nearly 100 lbs, what with the rails and screw and all.   :o
Title: Re: the x-y Easel is going legit
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on July 04, 2017, 09:54:55 am
Baltic birch has very high marks for strength and rigidity as well as (and most especially, in this case) dimensional stability.  This piece here talks a little about it: http://www.woodworkerssource.com/blog/woodworking-101/tips-tricks/your-ultimate-guide-to-baltic-birch-plywood-why-its-better-when-to-use-it/

...it's also really light, which is good, because this thing weighs in at nearly 100 lbs, what with the rails and screw and all.   :o

Thanks for the added info.

Yes, plywood can be made strong due to the cross-banded lamination of many thin layers.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: the x-y Easel is going legit
Post by: teddillard on July 05, 2017, 03:15:30 pm
Damn.  Shipped it today, and it was almost painful. Guess I better get going and build one of these for myself!   ;D

Title: Re: the x-y Easel is going legit
Post by: teddillard on July 18, 2017, 05:41:01 am
The wall-mount easel is prototyped, and I've got it in my studio.  This is interesting. 

(https://scontent.fbed1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/19990352_10214239368157644_4581400285127667122_n.jpg?oh=6595f3d2f66ad42ba57e96bcee0abb9d&oe=5A0EF308)

I've been resisting this because the track limits the horizontal movement, but the truth is, I've never used more than 8' of track in the two years or so I've used the easels.  The cool part is the easel is far more compact, a lot lighter, and much easier to build.  It's also a lot easier to align and all that, which makes perfect sense.  I'm liking this design in spite of myself. 

Right now it's literally put together with spare parts, so I'll be ordering the good stuff and re-fitting it as I go, as well as, no doubt, making changes to the details...  but the basic concept?  I'm diggin' it. 
Title: Re: the x-y Easel is going legit
Post by: teddillard on August 14, 2017, 06:51:01 am
I've been thinkin'. 

Yeah, I know.  Danger, Will Robinson. 

I'm wondering if there's interest in plans/building instructions for this thing.  I know a lot of you guys are DIYers, and though it's taken me several years to put something together that works, I'd be willing to share what I've learned for a modest fee. 

What say you? 
Title: Re: the x-y Easel is going legit
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on August 14, 2017, 10:52:42 am
I've been thinkin'. 

Yeah, I know.  Danger, Will Robinson. 

I'm wondering if there's interest in plans/building instructions for this thing.  I know a lot of you guys are DIYers, and though it's taken me several years to put something together that works, I'd be willing to share what I've learned for a modest fee. 

What say you?

Hi Ted,

That's most generous, and I for one would not object to such plans/building instructions.

Since local situations might require adapting a bit, that's what we DIYers do. If the concept is sound (which I'm confident about that it is), then adapting should be relatively straightforward.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: the x-y Easel is going legit
Post by: MattBurt on August 14, 2017, 01:06:13 pm
Wow, that's cool. Looks like a great device and congratulations on the big client!
I'd certainly consider one if I was doing this kind of work much.
Title: Re: the x-y Easel is going legit
Post by: teddillard on October 28, 2018, 10:35:07 am
OK guys, I finally went and done it.  I've put together a PDF with assembly instructions, a parts list, and links to SketchUp files for the easel. 

Yup, at $250 it's a lot of money for a 20 page document, but it spells out exactly how to do it, the parts list reflects years of trial and error, and the SketchUp files give you pretty much exactly how to put the assembly together. The very first prototype was built over 9 years ago, and there were something like 6 versions until I got it right.  Also included is a section explaining the process and workflow I use.

PLUS, shoot me a message here with your contact information (mostly just your email) and I'll give you free updates as we refine the book.  For example, I'll be documenting a new build coming up in the next month, and will update the PDF with photographs from start to finish. 

http://www.lulu.com/shop/ted-dillard/the-x-y-easel-design-construction-use/ebook/product-23852613.html

Enjoy, and thanks for all the support!

 
Title: Re: the x-y Easel is going legit
Post by: teddillard on December 02, 2018, 06:18:25 pm
I'm updating the build instructions with some photos and changes to the design, so I took it down for the moment.  I should have it back up by the end of this week.  Here's the build I just installed: http://www.atelierprint.org/2018/08/09/the-essential-tools-the-x-y-easel/

(https://i0.wp.com/www.atelierprint.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/IMG_1082.jpg?w=2280)
Title: Re: the x-y Easel is going legit
Post by: teddillard on April 02, 2019, 06:08:07 am
Update: Sorry, haven't had time to update the PDF.  I'll post here when it's available. 
Title: Re: the x-y Easel is going legit
Post by: arobinson7547 on May 06, 2019, 10:00:27 am
For at least, 'one' of the loyal followers of the X-Y Easel [and the Science behind it], any ETA on this update?

I have to say, I have read and re-read every word of the two X-Y Easel Threads and I must say, this is an absolutely Brilliant idea. I can tell (read) that many don't get it; and I understand — it can be hard to 'unlearn' what you already know. Fortunately, I was already 'out side of the box' I can see the intent and benefits, of which there are many, very clearly.

My only concern is that I hope the original intent of this Project does not get overshadowed by the fanfare and bling of all the technology. (I saw one of your earlier builds in a Movie on the official website and in a still picture. It was quite a modest build BUT it was, Simple, Light enough to be in the field, Yet, strong enough to withstand knocks and dings that accompany mobile equipment, unintimidating, totally unobtrusive to the Artwork it was holding, it could muscle up a little over 60 inches with ease; but at the same time it had a very small footprint.

One of my favorite builds it the one with the 80/20 extruded aluminum. Pop the sucker in the car, and 'go to' the Artwork and Capture it 'the way the Artist saw it'.

I would then take some of my Profits and 'treat myself' to the Wow factor of those silky smooth and quite Linear Bearings and Rails.

There is one other thing I noticed about my favorite build; the top and bottom supporting hardware left the edges of the Painting clean with nothing in the Cameras way. You get a nice straight line and no chance of any over cast shadow (like that downward lip of the classic easel clamps)

What I would like to see in a future build.

An option to pull the canvas apart from the back (stretching it). This would benefit large Canvases that could sag under a little pleasure or ones that may already sag a bit.

And anything (if it doesn't already exist) that helps to resist repositioning when you accidently dump against the Canvas. I'm think spikes.  (I'm just realizing this one isn't quite as necessary with the automated x-y movement. That bumping only happens when you have to 'manually' move a Canvas. You get to the top row, bump the Canvas, throwing it out of the plane that you carefully set with the Zip-Align (a never new how far off I was until I got this thing)

Anyway, this X-Y Easel has the benefits of a MUCH more expensive solution, without the cost. Can't argue with that and wouldn't want to.