Frozen Pi — An Affordable Bullet Time Recorder


What happens when you strap 48 Raspberry Pi cameras together with nearly half a kilometer of network cables? You get your own bullet time capture rig.

Originally inspired by the unique film effect of the  Matrix and an old BBC documentary called Supernatural: The Unseen Powers of Animals, the owner of PiFace decided to try re-creating the bullet time effect himself.

To create the rig they’ve taken 48 Raspberry Pis, each with a PiFace controller board and the standard camera. The controller board allows the Raspberry Pi to be used without a keyboard or mouse, so all the network cables have to do is send a simple code to each pi in order to take the pictures. A simple laser cut wood profile is used to snap them all together into a giant ring.

While 48 Raspberry Pis is a lot, they think this is a reasonable project for a classroom environment — besides, how cool would it be to go to school and film your own bullet time stunts?

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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.

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Bullet time with a single GoPro

Earlier this week I saw a video that was showing how some guys made some really cool bullet time effects with 15 tiny rugged awesome cameras called “GoPros”(that wasn’t a paid endorsement, they’re awesome).  For those unfamiliar, the bullet time effect gained popularity from the first matrix movie. The footage slowed down to slow motion while [Neo] dodged some bullets, but the camera was still able to move around. To do this, they built a massive circular rig and mounted tons of cameras all around. Using these multiple angles, they were able to stitch together the scene in slow motion and “move” the camera.

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Tesla coil bullet-time photography


One thing we can all probably agree on is that Tesla coils are one part high-voltage electricity and two parts pure awesome. [Rob Flickenger] thinks so too, and he built a pretty nice one in his workshop some time ago. He took a bunch of pictures showing off the coil’s capabilities, but he thought that one photo taken from a single angle didn’t do much to relay just how fantastic it is to watch a Tesla coil in action.

Taking a cue from the Matrix movies, he bought a stack of Canon point and shoot cameras and constructed a bullet time rig in his workshop. In order to get the pictures just right, he flashed each camera with a customized version of the CHDK firmware that allowed him to trigger all ten shutters with a single button press. A few scripts help facilitate collecting all of the images for processing, after which he identifies the good shots and stitches them together. You can see the awesome results in the video below.

[via LaughingSquid]

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