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Old February 10th, 2006, 07:32 AM   #1
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DIY timeslice effect - MATRIX

Ok, I want to build that rig, I have budget of 50K-70K to do so. But am not sure which way to go. If any of you have suggestions, I would appreciate your contributions very much.

I know basic principle about it. I know that I have to syncronize cameras to shoot simulatneously and so on, but have lots of uncertainties like.

Which camera to use for example, is the biggest question. (I want to go DIGITAL way)

So please share any ideas you might have.
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Old February 10th, 2006, 09:21 AM   #2
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Just in theory for $50k one could buy something like 60 DSLRs with kit lenses.
Maybe Canon`s Rebel XT (350D) and shoot those in raw, 5 frames in ca 1,5 sec.

Raw files from those cameras have quite good dynamic range for that price.
White balance is also fully adjustable in post plus aperture is adjustable +/- 3 full stops.
RAW workflow in RawShooter for example is quite easy, cheap and fast.
One can even pan and zoom those shots as 8MP images are quite bigger than HD.

Imagine maybe only 180 degrees of movement with 60 adjustable cameras on ball heads assisting two main cameras directed in opposite directions of subject movement and all that on a moving platform - oh my what kind on freezed twists and spirals one can do :)... Output from such a rig could pay for itself quite quick I assume.

Some additional ultra slo-mo morph in Shake 4 and you`re done by my quess.
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Old February 10th, 2006, 09:34 AM   #3
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Freeze

Check this out:

http://www.whites.com/heads_cranes/big_freeze.asp
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Old February 10th, 2006, 10:13 AM   #4
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there are 2 things, that I know of, that cameras should have:

1) external triger
2) manual focus and iris

what else is important? What cameras will you recommend? with the lowest price of course.

have anyone experimented with it?
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Old February 10th, 2006, 10:18 AM   #5
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just go with Canon Digital Rebels - if you buy 60 you'll probably get a volume discount.
you'll need to connect them all to trigger them and they use a 2.5mm stereo jack type connector which you'll need to figure out how to make an adapter that can go to all the cameras.
After that, I think buying a railing or something you can mount them all to along with a cheap ball head for each camera should work well.
Stick with the kit lens which ships with them and you should have a great rig.
As previously mentioned, you can rent the whole rig if you want to save money.
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Old February 10th, 2006, 10:50 AM   #6
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Thanks Andrew,

So you recommend rebel xt? I will check it.


Ok, also there is another problem I thought of, the sleeping mode that all of the cameras go to if you leave them untouched for some time. If I can not turn the sleep mode off, then I will end up, having the first camera being off, untill I even turn on rest of the 60 cameras on. Unless I hire 60 people :*)

So what do you know about that?

Thanks for contibutions. After the rig is ready I will share the experience.
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Old February 10th, 2006, 11:06 AM   #7
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also, what do you think about nikon d50?

it is cheaper than canon rebel. But maybe it has some disadvantage? do you know? does it have manual aperture and focus? and external triger?
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Old February 10th, 2006, 11:18 AM   #8
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The Nikon D50 is another excellent camera. I'm just not as familiar with it as I am witht eh Rebel XT. The D50 along with any Digital SLR camera will have manual aperture and focus.

Now, on the Rebel, you can disable it from shutting off after a certain amount of time so it will always be on. I don't know about the D50 and I don't know if the D50 has the connection for remote triggering, so you may want to look into those things before deciding. It should be on Nikon's site - I'm kind of in a rush now, otherwise I'd check the site and look for that info, but it shouldn't be hard to find.
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Old February 10th, 2006, 12:51 PM   #9
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I created a very low-budget version of this effect for a client a few years back. Not nearly as polished as the kind of thing you see from the guys at timeslice.com, but it was effective for this application.

The production was a martial arts training DVD teaching wood breaking techniques and we used the effect to "freeze" the instant when the wood snapped into the air. We used video cameras so the "sync" was done later in post. With your budget, you could probably purchase a number of very good DV cameras for this use. Color correction and stabilization is MUCH easier these days since there are a number of software tools available specifically for these tasks.

Anyway, here's a write up on how we managed to pull this off a few years ago on an almost non-existant budget:
http://www.jushhome.com/nick/Tutorial/freezetime.asp
(this article has now also been published in the O'Reilly Press book "Digital Video Hacks")

The article only links to a 21Meg WMV example, so here's a 9 meg QT example file as an alternate:
http://www.jushhome.com/nick/media/nbbfdemo.mov

Hope this helps.
Good luck!
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Old February 10th, 2006, 05:37 PM   #10
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The other important thing to remember is that when this effect was done for matrix they needed to use pretty complex morphing technology to smooth out the movement in post. Even if you had 60 cameras at 30 fps you would be limited to a 2 second move, trust me it is going to require some post work. The other option you have is depending on your subject matter is doing it all within 3d. Obviously if you need this effect done repeatedly or in dynamic settings (ie someone splashing through water) this would be cost prohibitive. If you only need the effect done once or twice with only a character or two being the only 'dynamic' things in the scene, duplicating them in 3d and doing the camera move might be the way to go. Like any type of special effect, the specifics of your rig, and ultimatly the solution to getting the shot that you need solely depend on the specifics of the shots that you have to get.
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Old February 14th, 2006, 07:49 AM   #11
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BTW: Here's a great article and podcast interview about how Mark Ruff achieves this effect with near realtime results using arrays of Canon 10D cameras, each linked to their own macmini:
http://www.fxguide.com/article323.html

Mark's site is http://www.ruffy.com
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Old February 15th, 2006, 04:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Jushchyshyn
BTW: Here's a great article and podcast interview about how Mark Ruff achieves this effect with near realtime results using arrays of Canon 10D cameras, each linked to their own macmini:
http://www.fxguide.com/article323.html

Mark's site is http://www.ruffy.com

Great link, thanks you Nick.
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Old February 15th, 2006, 08:14 PM   #13
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I was going to say do it in 3d, but Rob beat me to it. for 50K you can get some serious 3d artists.

Anhar
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Old March 28th, 2006, 06:48 AM   #14
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So, here is an update, for anybody who is interested, I finally got my budget and now I am in process of order. I decided to go with canon 350D as you recomended. I hope everything will be fine. Now I am trying to solve the problem with how to mount the cameras to the rig. I mean, I need some heads, designed for this camera or can I make them myself? any suggestions? what will be the best way to go?

And, thanks for the help again.
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Old March 28th, 2006, 08:44 AM   #15
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Just found this thread. Levan. To get smooth movement from one to another, without morphing, you could try slowing the shutter, and overlapping integration, so it would appear to be smoothly going from one frame to another.

Have fun, look forward to seeing the result.


Re-edit:

Do it in 3D, that gives me an idea. If you can scan the objects into a 3D model, then you can do it (but scanning and motion capture might be costly) and you can also motion capture movement of each object or all together (and video) and apply it to the captured model with artists filling in the details.

But an interesting one is that 2D pictures contain 3D detail, I understand that Intel now has software to make 3D models from 2D pictures, which might help filling in the rotation in between frames, even reducing the amount of cameras (but reducing cameras, eventually it has to reduce quality).


Wayne.
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