Bullet-Time Unicycling

Hi everyone,

Been a while since I posted on the forums.
I’m studying media at college and I’ve just completed a multi-camera unit. I didn’t want to make a TV show like everyone else, so I had a go at making bullet time.
I only had 20 cameras, so it’s not exactly upto The Matrix standards. I gave it the best I had though. Riding by Matt Champion, big ups!
If you’re interested about how I made it, you can read all about it on my blog.
Check it out.



That’s neat ! Very well done Edd

That was awesome! I wish I “only” had 20 cameras.

Have you found the Exposure Index for each camera? It would be a pain in post to adjust all of them to matching exposures, which you probably would have to do anyways. But that strobe effect is a bit annoying and I’m wondering if it could be reduced a bit.

Super cool though. An amazing effect. Nice work.

I say I had 20 cameras, I had to borrow them.
Yeah, I did set all the cameras to identical exposure settings and picture styles. I don’t know why the strobing is there, unless I just missed a couple out. Keeping track of everything 20 times was difficult.
I was going to try and correct that in post, but the process was so long I ran out of time.

Question: Is this the same principle used on commercials or the Matrix movies, where something stops in midair and someone is able to walk around or through it, then it starts moving again? thanks

Yes. It is the name of the effect used in the Matrix movies.

You’re lucky it wasn’t worse than it was then. Exposure Index is the tested (by you) ISO or ASA rating of your digital or film camera respectively. Unfortunately with manufacturing, not all cameras of the same model will have the same exact sensitivities to light.

So even if you lined up 20 of the top model of digital camera, put them all on the same exposure setting, used the same lens on each one with the same focal length and the same ISO… they would all be different to some degree. Some might match close enough to evade the human eye, but some will be noticeably off.

Testing 20 cameras, if digital, wouldn’t be too difficult. You would need to make sure they were all labeled with their new tested EI afterwards, but it would take some time for sure. If you planned to do a lot of work like this, it would be worth it to reduce the time spent in post adjusting it.

If you’re interested in testing them, it’s a simply controlled shoot with a whibal card or a middle gray card. Then in post reading it and adjusting accordingly until you find the cameras true EI. For instance, when my main camera is set to 200 ISO, it’s actually a third step below that. So if I adjust my camera or light meter accordingly, I will get proper exposures.

If you’re the type of person who is a perfectionist… you will notice MUCH more than just a third of a stop off. In which case you WILL need to adjust them in post. This means you could have 2 cameras both with tested EIs, shot at the same exposure, and you would STILL notice a difference. Because even after testing it may be off by 1/5th of a stop, or a 1/10th!