Mark Rober, the ultra famous YouTuber scientist, used our Matrix Bullet Time rig, as an example of the real Matrix rig with a screen shot of our Matrix recreation (at 28 seconds in on our video player above)… of course because ours looks better than the original Time Slice rig 🙂
Mark creates a 21 camera GoPro rig, to capture sharks in a frozen moment whilst in a feeding frenzy… I think this is one job we are pleased we didnt help with! All the cameras are positioned around a bar with what looks like counterbalance/floats on either end. We cant see any control devices to activate the GoPro cameras, so I can only assume they were set to record video and then the frames were taken out later on and stitched together.
One effect you can see is the twixter effect, where it gives the parallax problem. As the camera pans around you can see like a blur/stretch effect, thats where they have tried to smooth out the footage by creating more frames. This is rarely done well, and is good for a play bit of fun on YouTube, but not on a production Bullet Time job.
This is because as the foreground uncovers the background, the software that creates the new frame has no idea what is about to pop out, so it sort of blurs and stretches the foreground. You can see this if you watch Marks hand at 43 seconds on our video above, also where their hands overlap on the same frames. You can also see this on the sharks nose at 1min 36 secs and 2mins 05 secs around the sharks fins. This is why we use so many cameras, the more you pack them much closer together the smoother the transition is, with no interpolation software like Twixter needed.
Also these frames will align up ok as the movement is slow around those particular chosen shots. If they used a faster moving shark shot, you would see the time differences between each camera, making the people or sharks to be in a slightly different place per frame. An object moving at 30mph moves 13mm per millisecond. There is 42ms between each frame at 24fps. So the object could be quarter of a meter in the wrong place if the frame is out by half a frame. This is why you rarely see or use video cameras for bullet time shots, its almost impossible to sync the frames up, for the accuracy needed… even with gen locking the cameras.
But this is really impressive work, and huge amounts of post work must have been done for this… and we wouldn’t want to be swimming about those sharks with all that fish soup in there either!
Below is our bullet time rig that he shows on his video. You can see how we made it and the TV show it was on below.