CENTER PARCS - How do they do that?

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branny
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Joined: Nov 6 2001

I've seen a few clips on Tv, notably Centre Parcs, where the camera swings around the subjects, I am mesmerised trying to work out the method.
I've no doubt someone has worked it all out, if so, ease my aching mind and let me know please.

Do not follow, I may not lead. Do not lead . . . I may not follow.

sgarratt
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Joined: Jan 3 2001

I haven't seen the specifics for this ad but I saw an article about the same sort of thing in a film and it was shot with loads of still cameras arranged around the subject in a circle.

mbridge
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Joined: Apr 11 2001

Branny

This ad was discussed quite awhile ago in the chatter form (IIRC) have a search. It was as sgarratt explained using thre "bullet time" technique that they used in the Matrix. Lots of still camera all synched to go off at the same time or very quickly after each other. The first time I can recall this effect being created was in a Smirnoff ad, that had a couple being chased by a group of badies on trains, jeeps etc.

HTH
Martin

Julian
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Joined: Aug 24 2000

Mbridge is right about this being discussed before, but I cant find the thread. I don’t think it exists anymore.

It wasn’t done with the ‘bullet time’ (matrix) system though. That approach would have been very difficult with the squirrel and swan. And there was an issue about seeing the cameras on the other side of the subject.

I think we established that it was done with good old fashioned CGI.

Julian

Julian
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Joined: Aug 24 2000

Branny,

I just found the link to the thead:
http://www.dvdoctor.net/cgi-bin/ubb/Forum2/HTML/000142.html

It seems I may have been wrong and it may well have been done the 'Matrex' way.

Julian

PS. This is what happens when they start re-running adds.

Alan Roberts
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Joined: May 3 1999

No, it's not CGI, it's lots of cameras. They're often arranged in a semicircle, and they don't have to be tilted up much to miss each other. There's lots of use of this technique these days, sometimes firing all the cameras at the same time, sometimes slewing them so that the action continues through the exposures. In "The Matrix" they used both techniques, and more often placed the cmameras along what you might call a trajectory rather than simply surrounding the action.

The technique is also used with movie film and video cameras quite a lot. It costs a bit, but you get shots that you can't get any other way.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

branny
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Joined: Nov 6 2001

Thanks guys,
I knew someone would have the clues. I had already thought along the lines of a circle of cams but then thought software simulation may have been utilised to establish the other swung round views

Do not follow, I may not lead. Do not lead . . . I may not follow.

Alan Roberts at work
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Joined: May 6 1999

The latest series of ads is a bit of a giveaway, because they're doing it on the cheap now. Fewer cameras, fewer pointsof view. Each one is sharp so the action stumbles along. If you use lots of cameras you get much more smooth motion. One major failing of the technique is that the point of view moves but the exposures are static, so they' each look like a static photo, there's no camera integration along the motion track. Take lots of points of view and you can get away with it, but too few and it looks like a series iof stills, which is what it is.

Next time you see those ads, be really critical, have a close look at exactly what's going on, and you'll see what I mean.

WebbIT
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Joined: Oct 22 2002

for one of the scenes in the matrix they used about 120 still cameras and 2 motion,
the cameras seemed to be less that half a foot apart aswell

wish I had their budget!!!

Kris

Snake Plissken
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Joined: Sep 17 2000

Alan's right again. It does look jumpy, with no motion blur. I'd have thought there'd be a software way to make it look better, maybe blending frames to simulate motion blur or creating tweeny frames to make the motion smoother?

Bob Barker Again
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Joined: Jul 30 2001

Branny

Have you seen pipslab website

not exactly center parcs but interesting.
www.pipslab.nl/graf/

BBA

Alan Roberts at work
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Joined: May 6 1999

It takes some nifty software to sort that out. Once you've taken the samples (i.e. the pictures) you've no access to the original data (the scene). It's standard sampling theory, which tells you that you have to have lots of samples if there's lots going on, the faster the action the more samples you need. With limited samples, you only get snapshots of what's going on and it's hard to do much with them. You can't just cross fade between them because they're still sharp images.

The really bright software looks in one image for a shape that's nearly the same as and in nearkly the same place as an object in the neighbouring images. It then works out where it must have gone through to get there, and what shape change it must have had, then draws new "in-between" frames. Done perfectly, it's superb but hugely expensive because of the hours of computer grunt it takes. Done not quite so well, it looks awful, it's better not to try than to do it wrong, because the failings stand up and bite you.

We're in to big boys toys territory now, not for the fainthearted.

compre55ion
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Joined: Feb 10 2003

Got Premiere or Vegas? Have a look there: http://www.creativecow.net/index.php?forumid=1
You don't need a hundread cameras... just a panoramic picture, a few shots of the subject and a free plugin...

compre55ion
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Joined: Feb 10 2003

Oh, the link doesn't work well. Go to the "tutorials" section at www.creativecow.net and look for "bullet time effect with Premiere tutorial.

Alan Roberts at work
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Joined: May 6 1999

Ermmm, that's not really the same idea.

Using a panoramic still and panning around it keeps the camera view point fixed (I've done it many times). Using an array of cameras keeps the image fixed and views it from many viewpoints. That's quite a different way to do it.

Snake Plissken
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Joined: Sep 17 2000

slightly off topic - does anyone know of free software that can take a stitched flat panorama and contort it into a spherical map?

Alan Roberts at work
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Joined: May 6 1999

IIRC Cool 3D can do tricks like that.

cstv
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Joined: Jul 26 2002

Alan, the AfterEffects/Combustion/Discrete/FCP plugin; Retimer SD from RealViz. Might to a fair job of 'tweening (inbetweening) the frames in a Bullet Time(TM) sequence. I've seen it used for slo-mo before and it worked brilitantly.

mark