While this short movie looks like was taken inside a single drop of water, it was actually taken with 2,000 distinct drops each carefully shot in a slightly different location with a slightly different background.
Physalia Studio created Entropy – this stop motion – high speed hybrid as a logo animation for IdN magazine. It shows a droplet falling while a card is placed behind it and lit. 320 different cards were rendered and then printed. and as the drop fell to create the animation. This is how you do it for one drop. Imagine 2,000.
There were quite a bit of technical challenges to solve – here is a brief overview of some of the more interesting ones. The complete list, along with pictures, code and more pictures can be found on Physalia’s blog. First here is a quick behind the scene (please blink at 1:18 to keep it SFW)
Challenge 1 – Detection And Triggering
Detection of the drop and following triggering has to be 100% precise as each two subsequent drops should look very similar for the animation to work.
Detection was done with a laser gate, and triggering of the strobes and camera was done with a programmed arduino. circuit diagrams and more pics over at Physalia.
Challenge 2 – Following The Drop
Along with keeping track of the drop, focusing had to change, so two motors were programmed, one for motion control and one for follow focus
Challenge 3 – Drop Initiation
Each drop was initiated by hitting the space bar on a connected computer. For some reason the arduino failed to connect with the computer and a more elegant solution was used – a servo presser..
For more images, arduino geekery and a super detailed technical breakdown, head over to Physalia’s blog