There's been some discussion on a DIY, have-it-at-home camera stand. Here are a couple of cool ideas, ranging from the super easy to the more involved.
But even better, please visit our full page of DIY animation camera stands HERE. (the link is also at the top of our page.)
This wood and c-clamp version, the simplest of all, could be a way to go for those that don't want to get too involved or spend a lot of money.
This stand is a bit more complex, but still easy to make. Think of using plastic PVC tubing as well, like Joel's plastic PVC multiplane stand!
J. E. Nystrom at ANIMATO has a long history of building his own animaiton stands, and they become very complex later on. However, here's an early version that doesn't look too hard at all, but would possibly involve a bit of welding. This one is different from the first two because it allows the camera height to be adjusted, which is a pretty valuable asset.
Here's a flexible web-cam stand, but limited in the weight it can carry, which is 8oz.
Daniel Caylor, an animation student, posted info from an animation book from the 1970's showing a hand-made super full-sized animation stand, like a mini-oxberry without the bells and whistles. He includes all the pages with detailed instructions. (shouting out a big thanks for posting the info!)
And then here's a video from someone that actually built it! There's the wood and plumbing pipe rostrum style animation system without the actual camera in place. This one looks like it would be a fun project!
And here's a heavy duty version, better suited to a 35mm camera, possibly. But, if you made the legs this short, you'd have to be working on your knees, or always bent over in some way, which isn't much fun at all.
So, if after all of these options, you still would rather just buy one, here are a couple of inexpensive alternatives.
The basic camera rostrum shown below is called a "copy stand"and is traditionally used for still photography, copying books, small objects, flat artwork, etc..
This one is from B&H Photo (NY), and only costs about $30.00 (not including shipping.) The down side would be that the column is round, which allows the camera mount to spin around sideways. And the movement up or down would really be limited to happening between shots as opposed to during a shot, because there's no controlled cranking system.
You could purchase this column alone, and make your own base. This is a big step up because it has a rectangular (no mount spin) and scaled column with a mount, camera fastener, geared hand crank, and is only about $340.00
These inexpensive lights and stand arms (essential) are the cheapest available that I could find, and look like they'd do the trick. A big plus is that they can use basic bulbs that you can get at a local store. Downside is that you would need some diffusion gels or tuff-spun to help break up the hot spots, since they don't have lenses and spot/flood controls. The image below shows how those arms and lights are attached to the base.
WARNING! The regular old clamp light may look like a real bargain... and it almost is, but these are notorious for the lamp shades falling off and the clamp being loose and slippery. But if this is all you can afford, then go for it because it's better than nothing! You can find these for $4-8.00 each at a local hardware store.
The next stage up would be this "Bencher" version, seen below, which has the square, scaled column, as well as built in lights. This clocks in at about $1,960.00.
Compare this heavy-duty, motorized table, registered scale column, motorized system at $4,640.00