Mind Bending Clip Shot With 75 Camera Bullet Time Array Showcases Equally Mind Bending BMX Tricks

Mar 22, 2015

Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller is a photographer and content strategist based in Hawi, Hawaii. Her work has been shared by top publications like The New York Times, Adobe, and others.

Mind Bending Clip Shot With 75 Camera Bullet Time Array Showcases Equally Mind Bending BMX Tricks

Mar 22, 2015

Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller is a photographer and content strategist based in Hawi, Hawaii. Her work has been shared by top publications like The New York Times, Adobe, and others.

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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.

bmx3

“This is the first BMX clip ever filmed combining : 4K Ultra high definition, PHANTOM Ultra slow motion and a 75 dslr CamArray.”

And, because he is more than deserving of a mention here, the BMX riders name is Viki Gomez, a legend among BMX riders.

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Take a look at Hanja and his crew’s gorgeous camera work above if you haven’t already. You’ll first be treated to some sweet behind the scenes footage, where you can get a get a good look at Hanja’s studio setup and take a moment to gawk at all those cameras!

[ via Meltyxtrm.fr ]

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Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller is a photographer and content strategist based in Hawi, Hawaii. Her work has been shared by top publications like The New York Times, Adobe, and others.

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9 responses to “Mind Bending Clip Shot With 75 Camera Bullet Time Array Showcases Equally Mind Bending BMX Tricks”

  1. volen Avatar
    volen

    Spectacular waste of time. Choosing total darkness as a backgroud ruined all the concept of using the whole battery of cameras. I’ve seen much more interesting action clips made with waaay fewer cameras. You cannot see the efect he wanted.

    1. aleunge Avatar
      aleunge

      Agreed. And a terrible choice for subject too. With the performer on a BMX rotating/spinning around and that black background and grey ground, you can’t even tell when it’s using the bullet time effect vs. the Red slow mo kicking in.

      This needed less tech and more direction.

  2. Paul Broadhurst Avatar
    Paul Broadhurst

    Why does the final version have so much frame interpolation? Looks like it’s twixtor or similar. Seems strange to put in such a huge investment if you’re just going to fake half of it anyway.

  3. Vlad M. Avatar
    Vlad M.

    Not sure, I feel I am missing something here although I guess I have to think about it. What I am certain of though is the background music here – excellent cover of “Hurt” by Johnny Cash.

  4. Rich Avatar
    Rich

    The footage shot using the robotic arm can be appreciated due to its fluid movements. However the camera array shots were pretty much pointless. It was hard to distinguish the difference between the array shots and the guy just spinning on his bike

  5. Christian Van Hanja Avatar
    Christian Van Hanja

    First of all, thank you for the kind words, and even if the response was really overwhelming here is a few technical answer that will address some grief seen here :

    the movie is about the pinacle moment of a trick when you ride a BMX, not a “how-to bullet time…tutorial ” the effect is just here to be able to follow the rider as he rotate in the trick, to get a better understanding of the trick itself.

    it is not produced or endorsed by any big budget company, we did this as a bet in our own development studio that is “only” 9mx14m witch is not that big when you need to fit & 12m camera rig + 20 Kw of light and a 1600 pound robot.

    The black background is also helping to focus on the rider because you have less distraction from a foreground, background movement to translate the camera movement. but also because it is very close to the aesthetics of my usual photographer work.

    then if you know you are going to do some interpolation and if you know a little bit about parallax error, then you know it is impossible to rebuilt missing background on interpolated frames unless you do one pass for each element and then multi-layer-key everything with CGI.

    Filming outside was not an option in November in Paris – France first because the weather is just too impredictable and I only had ONE chance to put it all together, secondly because I would have needed around 300Kw of hi end flicker free HMI to get the needed 1/2000 F8 at 100iso, and also because you need tri-phase 32A-380v to power the robot, and finally a crew of 20 Gaffer, to just make all of this work.

    True enough, on some clip we had to do interpolation because if you know your math : 6 second of video at 25fps is 150 frame, and we “only” have 75 cameras… and 3 second of bullet is too slow to really appreciate some of the movement. I thought it would be acceptable enough not to bother average viewer. sorry if you think it is a fail, after all what is an extra 75 camera worth? around 75K? Pffff…. I know I’m a cheap monkey!

    We are not a Hollywood film company with a team of 70 CGI and VFX, just a bunch of passionated people working in the industry who thought it would be cool to film a different concept in an area that is never going to get this kind of set unless for a junk food or a bank commercial ad… and I couldn’t afford more than 1 day of filming, sorry about this once again.

    should I have waited another year or two, to be able to “maybe” do it with more camera?

    maybe, I dont know… this is your call, I wanted to remain the first to do it because i had this idea since day one we started playing with this 5 years ago… and maybe if I had waited more I wouldn’t have just not done it…

    I hope anyway that at lot of people still can just enjoy and have fun watching one of the greatest rider of all the time performing one of the hardest combo of trick possibly packed in a single run completely pulled. In Bmx you just dont assemble some footage to built a run, the run as to be pulled by the rider from the beginning to the end if you use even one clip. we did something like 21 take to get the run pulled, and this was more important to me than knowing if interpolation will make some interpolation jitter.

    please dont be those guys who slept alone all their life because Angelina Jolie wasn’t at the club, and just have fun on the party with any cute girl that is ok and get laid !… Y.O.L.O

    Peace !

  6. Dave Creaney Avatar
    Dave Creaney

    Leonid Furmansky

  7. Jordan Christopher Avatar
    Jordan Christopher

    I’m wondering if the context is lost if you’re not a fan if bmx videos.

  8. Ryan McKalip Avatar
    Ryan McKalip

    Kadence Reddoch