Shooting “bullet time” usually requires expensive gear. But if you’re on a really low budget, you can fake this effect without spending a dime. All you need is the camera you already have, and a little help from the people you’re filming.
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Recently, we stumbled upon a video that was too good not to share. Made by Luca Amhofer, the video shows a 360-degree rig he made himself for shooting videos. The rig enables a filmmaker to place the subject in the center and rotate the camera around it. And unlike most creations of this kind, this one is inexpensive, yet still efficient.
We got in touch with Luca, and he was kind enough to share some details of his build with us. There are also some BTS images and the video, where you can get acquainted with the process. There’s also the final result, so you get to see what he achieved using this simple and cheap DIY solution.
We’ve posted about the Chronos high speed camera a couple of times before. We mentioned how it smashed through its kickstarter goal in less than 24 hours. There’s still three weeks left of the campaign, but several units have been sent out for testing and review. One of those is Ben Krasnow, of YouTube’s Applied Science channel.
In a video uploaded to the channel a few days ago, the Chronos is mounted to a DIY motion control rig that pivots around a central point. This creates for an amazing slow motion bullet time style effect.
Ever since DSLRs became cheap enough we’ve been seeing our share of time slice (AKA Bullet Time) projects. And cheap gopros enable even less of an entrance barrier into the time slice world. But some projects are just pure fun and are worth sharing.
DP Mitch Martinez uses an array of 48 Canon DSLR cameras to create a full 360° circle around a model. This enables a single shot to capture the model from all angles, and to compose a bullet-time like short video.
The Matrix wowed us with its special effects and sent filmmakers scurrying to replicate the iconic “bullet time” effect in their own scenes. And, as time has gone on, we have seen more and more “off-Hollywood” creators piecing together their own bullet time sequences, particularly for extreme sports. Shots like this require multiple (read: many) cameras and, even when using a GoPro array, are cost-inhibitive to most.
Now, thanks to a research team at Columbia University, this technology may be coming to the masses, using (you guessed it) an iPhone.
Sometimes you have such a clear vision of the photo you want to take, anything less is unacceptable. Such is the case when Christian Van Hanja began work on a project that would consume over five years of his life. Hanja had a very specific idea in mind that revolved around a top BMX rider and included bullet time, hyper slow motion, and ultra high definition. You can never be too ambitious.
In the beginning, Hanja and his team pulled together all the gear they owned between them and started testing. After a year of shooting, the team decided their combined 17 cameras just wasn’t enough. Hanja boosted his camera count to 50 DSLRs, but he was still unhappy with the results,”...it was not even close to what I had in my mind when it comes to BMX filming.” Twenty-five additional DSLR’s later (we’re up to 75 now in case you lost count) and Hanja finally had the camera array he needed to see his vision come to life.[Read More…]
Remember how revolutionary that bullet shot in the matrix was? It was also a few dozens cameras, a full-scale Chroma room and a budget that would probably be enough for a mid-sized indie film. But the effect is totally worth it.
Orcavue took that ceiling fan concept and made it into a product. I guess I can only describe their rig as an upside down biggish ceiling fan with a camera on its arm.
The arm on the Orcavue revolves at 1-2 revolutions per second, and combined with a high FPS camera – say a 120FPS, $500 GoPro – it can create some cool bullet time effects. The team recommends slowing the camera even further in post (say using Twixtor) to get a really slow shot.
We have covered quite a bit of bullet time rigs but even the really high-end ones usually use an array of GoPros which are not the cheapest way to get a good bullet time shot but is it manageable.
A collaboration between Swiss TV station and Swiss Canon upped the game by making a bullet time rig with 50 Canon EOS 1DX DSLRs (yes that’s a 5 followed by a zero). A single one of those bodies is about $6,800 so it totals up to roughly $340,000. Oh yea, they needed lenses too. Weapon of choice was Canon’s top notch 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM. Those roughly cost $2,100 a lens. So we are looking at an additional $105,000 of lenses, bringing the total (with some memory cards, cables and 50 bubble levels) to just about half a million Dollar’s worth of gear.
When you want to create an awesome car chase and don’t have the budget for it, you can always scale it down, and use RC cars. Of course, that does not mean that budget is frugal, it simply means that some stuff can not be done full scale.
The Subaru team created this incredible SUBARU “WRX STI vs StickBomb” sequence, which features a remote controlled Subaru WRX STI going through a miniature racing track battling a wave of Stick bombs. Some of the high moments of the clip feature a bullet time sequence made with an array of over 25 gopros, while the rest of the footage was shot on some highend cameras, cranes, and stabilizers.[Read More…]
We have shared many bullet time tutorials over the years, from high end, through crowd sourced to pinhole driven. This time I am happy to share a build made solely on Raspberry Pi and the Raspberry Pi camera module.