66% or better

Bullet time with a ceiling fan

freaking awesome

Bullet time has been around since at least the first Matrix movie (actually there was a Gap ad before that), and despite it being an oft-used cinematic technique, it still hasn’t gotten old. [Jeremiah] wanted to tap into the awesomeness of bullet time, and managed to come up with a great camera rig using only a GoPro and a ceiling fan.

The build really relies on only two components: a GoPro camera and a ceiling fan. In [Jeremiah]‘s videos, a ceiling fan is mounted between two trees on a sturdy piece of lumber. The GoPro is suspended from one of the fan blades with the help of a piece of wood, a hinge, and a short bit of cable. After [Jeremiah] wired up the fan to a dimmer switch he could control the speed of the fan and Bob’s your uncle.

This isn’t the first time a GoPro has been used for a bullet time rig. In fact, our buddy [Caleb] did a similar build by spinning the camera around on a lazy suzan. Gotta love the high frame rate available on the GoPro, huh?

Vidias after the break.

Comments

  1. twchambers says:

    Looks nice. Has anyone attempted a multi camera bullet time setup?
    I had a play around with my single gopro and some frame interpolation software (slowmovideo.gronjow.net) to see what you could stretch the maximum camera separation to, while still getting a nice result.
    I figured you could then use two gopros for video at each end of the rig and then multiple cheap stills cameras triggered simultaneously in between.
    Results http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKTyqQY0Q_Q and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3HTK1h4pCQ.
    Sorry for crappy ‘test scene’ and no real world examples!

  2. MRE says:

    must
    Buy
    gopro

  3. saw0 says:
    • kit scuzz says:

      One of the problems with the number of people on this planet and the size of the internet is that a simple idea like this is frequently thought of by multiple people.

      Also, as an article older than the one you cited, check out hackaday (shouldn’t be hard, you’re already here!): http://hackaday.com/2013/03/20/bullet-time-with-a-single-gopro/

      I try and give people the benefit of the doubt when I see that they’re actually executing on ideas, especially because I whine about patent law so much. I don’t think this guy stole from petapixel, but you never know, I could be wrong!

      • kit scuzz says:

        And reading closer I actually see that the hackaday article I linked to is in the description too!

      • Blue Footed Booby says:

        Yeah, I figure if two people can independently invent calculus at approximately the same time, any silly little hack someone can come up with will happen numerous even excluding copycats. You either give up on the idea of doing anything completely, 100% never been done before or you go insane/kill yourself.

    • Andrew says:

      He does actually give credit:

      “A friend sent me a video by Mark Rober who came up with the idea of using a ceiling fan as the spinning rig, and a GoPro 3 for the high speed camera (which shoots up to 240fps). I decided to implement this idea, but instead of mounting the fan upside-down, mount it the correct way so I could film larger subject matters.”

      • kit scuzz says:

        And I’m totally wrong too! Yay!

        Though “stole” is not the right verb since he gave credit (and really, “plagerized” would have probably been more appropriate than stole anyway)

        Pedantic man: awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

        • smee says:

          By ‘away’ do you mean ending to be, steadily continuing to be, or moving to another location?

          It is the Schrodinger’s cat of state semantics.

          Pedantic man: My God, It has gone recursive!

    • Dissy says:

      Sorry you can’t post that link, it’s already been posted by someone else before :P

  4. ino says:

    Once again, it’s not bullet time ! It’s a pan in slow-mo.

  5. soopergooman says:

    I have the exact same Plaid Shirt. Cool video too.

  6. Travis Pulley says:

    Actually there was bullet time in a MBM video before the gap ad before the matrix. http://youtu.be/qgsdquC8YUM

  7. M says:

    Would it be possible to improve matters by adding another cam on the oposite blade, and lacing the two vids together?

  8. Dave says:

    Pan in slow motion.. No bullet time.

  9. Bobi says:

    Awesome video! Just wanted to ask, which lens you have mounted onto your GoPro. Where did you buy it?
    It eliminates the fish-eye-look of the cam, right?

  10. GaryG says:

    Nah, not bullet time as it’s commonly perceived. If it was then the camera would be spinning around with the firework frozen in time.

    Also goes back much further than the late 90s, Tim MacMillan is generally credited with inventing ‘time slice’ photography in the early 80s:

    http://vimeo.com/6165108

  11. This made me build my own rig and here is how it ended up:

  12. postglory says:

    Has anyone seen the true original bullet time videos? I think it may have been Michel Gondry but I could be wrong, what he used was a roll of 35mm photographic film unrolled and placed in a ring with holes drilled in, like lots of pin hole cameras in a circle pointing inwards, he set it to trigger when something entered the ring. I can remember one of the shots where he threw his Jack Russel dog through so it just hung in the air and like the camera orbited the dog, This was back in the late 80′s early 90′s. Does anyone have a link maybe

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