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.
I still remember my first impression when I saw the bullet time effect in Matrix. And it’s still awesome to this day. Of course, it’s a Hollywood movie, and not all of us have the budget to create it like they do. A creative Russian director Max Ksjonda created this effect for a music video and posted the BTS video of how he did it. It doesn’t require an array of cameras and a huge budget. All you need is a single camera, a green screen, and some stands and ropes.
When we featured Imagination we were intrigued by the bullet time sequences that the short movie featured. I asked Marc Donahue from PermaGrin how those shots were accomplished and luckily for us, Marc shared this info.
The magic behind those timeslice sequences was a combination of using 20 Gopros mounted on a curved rail, some special triggering cable from Cam-do and levitation post production techniques
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…]