I was hooked when I first saw the Rutger Hauer ‘Guinness’ commercial in the early 1990s done at ‘Telecine Cell’, when I was starting out as a runner at Central Television, in Birmingham. Anyone who remembers the charm and genius of that spot may feel the same way – but it simply blew me away and I was totally hooked.
For my sins, I went down to London almost immediately and found a job in a Motion Control Studio and was still there ten years later. As you can see my love affair with Motion Control has not been without a long period of courtship over the years.
The Milo is now a far more versatile and dependable beast and with the evolution of The Bolt High-Speed Rig, over the last three years, we are seeing some amazing high-speed camera sequences that have completely re-energized this tool.
Things have definitely moved on over the last twenty years and for the better. Nobody wants to be doing repeat passes and matte runs at 2.00am on a Friday night – Saturday morning. Although the overtime is nice, most of us now have better things to be doing (like sleeping personally speaking).
Fortunately, modern target tracking software and compositing have come a long way, opening the door for Motion Control to become a far more creative tool. The Milo (MRMC’s Oscar-winning rig) is a versatile and dependable beast and with the evolution of The Bolt High-Speed Rig, over the last three years, we are seeing some amazing high-speed camera sequences that have completely revolutionised this creative tool. Essentially for me, is the ironic fact that these robotic systems have become more adaptable and are actually a very cost-effective solution.
Simply put, when a producer at a large agency needs you to undertake ten product pack shots in a day – producing a sequence starting on a beautifully lit bottle label to reveal a whole product range in a room set, in a limited screen time of 100 frames (and on a 90mm macro lens) – there is probably still no solution available, in camera, to achieve this cost effectively and without descending into madness
– However, armed with Motion Control and a good operator I would say “Just Bring It!”
And let’s throw in that beautifully placed droplet of water running down the bottle at the start of this sequence just for good measure to impress the client – because we can! Also, because maybe I am a little OCD like that – although who wouldn’t be OCD having worked in a Motion Control Studio for ten years …
Mark Emberton is a highly acclaimed director of photography working with premium consumer food, drinks brands and products such as Heineken, Welch’s, Jordans, Lancombe, Chivas Regal, Huawei, No.7, Carling… to name but a few. For more information regarding Mark Emberton, please visit: http://www.markemberton.com/reels.html
What happens when you take half a ton of suspended water, 2,048 nozzle switches (that are millisecond accurate), a motion control rig, motion capture and large flash bulbs? The first 3D animation made entirely from water droplets!
The video was directed by Cole Paviour and produced by Unit 9 for Gatorade’s new ‘Active Water’ commercial. The vision was to capture real water droplets and simulate them in different sporting ways. This involved creating a stop-motion 3D liquid printer that took motion capture data of a person and printed it life-size frame by frame. Machine Shop built the 3D water rig and athletes were used with motion capture to simulate real-life movement.
With the water drops falling, flash lighting was then required to illuminate and “suspend” the water droplets in mid-air. Finally, our Milo motion control rig provided both the means of adding camera movement around the water animation as well as synchronising all the different elements (water, flash, camera) using our Flair software. All this had to be done with millimetre and microsecond accuracy for every single frame.
The result is a beautiful one of a kind piece, which has already won a Golden Lion at Cannes. Click below for BTS.
For more information on the Milo motion control rig, click here
IBC Show is now over and we wanted to thank everyone who attended our booth. By far this was the busiest IBC event for us to date, and it was a pleasure meeting everyone there. We had visitors queuing up to put their mobile phones onto the Bolt High-Speed Cinebot, in order to get their very own high-speed ‘selfie’ video! It was fantastic watching the Bolt do it’s high-speed move, while people jumped and played around creating fun and interesting videos.
If you didn’t manage to get to the show this year, not to worry, our friends at Stiller Studios put this excellent video collection together – enjoy!
RoboKam Studio Robotics software (for info on RoboKam contact us)
We also showcased a sneak peek at the ultra-compact CC-50 Micro Head; the robotic unit integrates with the Blackmagic 4k studio camera – the world’s smallest ultra HD live studio camera. More information coming soon!
If you have any questions or would like more information about any of our products, get in touch
THE MRMC AND CAMEROBOT STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP HERALDS A NEW ERA IN BROADCAST ROBOTICS AND STUDIO MOTION CONTROL
Experts in camera robotics, Mark Roberts Motion Control Ltd [MRMC] has consolidated the highly respected German Camerobot robotic high-speed systems into the MRMC product portfolio of motion control and high-speed camera robotics. MRMC is now the worldwide ‘one-stop-shop’ for film, broadcast and studio motion control, automation and robotic products and applications.
MRMC is now the worldwide ‘one-stop-shop’ for film, broadcast and studio motion control, automation and robotic products and applications.
MRMC will work closely with Camerobot application software partners, Robotic Technology Leaders GmbH (rtLeaders), who will be providing service and support to all existing Camerobot customers, as well as developing exciting application software for motion control broadcast robotics with MRMC. Henceforth, MRMC will take control and responsibility for Camerobot customer sales, technical and aftersales support for all new systems.
In recent years Camerobot and MRMC have both successfully installed camera robotic solutions based on Stäubli industrial robots. MRMC and Camerobot have extensive understanding and experience working with large broadcast companies such as Globo, Sky, NDR, SMG (to name but a few). The amalgamation of MRMC and Camerobot technology, products, application software, experience and technical knowledge heralds exciting prospects for the broadcast, studio and television sectors.
Assaff Rawner, CEO at MRMC comments:
“MRMC from a business and growth perspective are celebrating the integration of respected Camerobot products and applications into the MRMC catalogue, but more importantly we are delighted for the broadcast industry who will benefit significantly from the integration of two great names in studio and broadcast motion control.”
“MRMC has experienced year-on-year growth across our product catalogue, offering studio and broadcast solutions from simple pan tilt head units to large scale robotic arms, all with full VR/AR custom made with studio automation options.”
Mark Roberts Motion Control Ltd (MRMC) based in Surrey (UK), is the world leader in high-end camera robotics, automation, motion control camera hardware and application software for film, video, broadcasting and product photography for over 50 years. In 2016, MRMC was acquired by Nikon Corporation.
STEVE BOLAND, BROADCAST DIRECTOR @ MRMC, PROVIDES THE BENEFIT OF HIS EXPERIENCE, INSIGHT AND OPINION, DISCUSSING THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS AND TRENDS IN AUTOMATION AND ROBOTICS… AND WHAT TO EXPECT FROM MRMC AT IBC2017
Q: What are the key opportunities for your customers in the current market environment? A: Steve Boland:
Choice! MRMC is about image acquisition for broadcast, film and media production and there has never been more choice for imaging tools as there are today. Designing sophisticated camera moves has largely been the domain of specialist solutions operating on high budget productions. Whether shooting for live or post produced applications, MRMC provide solutions for the broadest possible spectrum of imaging technologies.
Q: So what are the major technology drivers for the business going forward? A: Steve Boland:
The media production industry is driven by highly skilled and dedicated people working as a collective whole. The synergy between the tasks and communication of the team is key to a successful production. Our technology drivers are measured by this synergy. If we are attempting to simplify or automate a task, is the solution as good or better than current methods?
Q: How will MRMC at IBC shed light on these developments? A: Steve Boland:
IBC brings together a broad range of MRMC robotics, including High-Speed Solutions and versatile Multi-Axis Arms, to compact Pan and Tilt Systems. These systems can provide an extraordinary level of creative acquisition options and our focus is to show the simplicity of how these solutions can fit in a modern production environment.
Q: Why should delegates visit the MRMC stand at IBC? A: Steve Boland:
To get ‘hands-on’ and have fun. MHC is our new control interface that brings a new level of simplicity and customisable ‘skins’ based on the user’s production environment. To date we have created skins for tennis, basketball, darts, studios and can design any number of skins based on the requirements of our customers. Our stand at IBC offers delegates the chance to play and explore robotics and MHC skins as extensions of their imaginations. Visitors can meet Bolt, the world’s fastest Cinebot and drive a StudioBot. New at IBC and can be seen on the MRMC stand is the Whisper Head PTZ and Robotic Pod.
Q: Do you think the IBC event has come at a good time for the electronic media industry? Why? A: Steve Boland:
IBC is always a good annual evaluation platform for the industry. Whether it comes at a good or bad time is a matter of perspective. The level of exhibitors and visitors will continue to act as a barometer for the health of the industry.
Q: What do you think are the key developments in, or threats to the market sector at the current time?
A: Steve Boland:
From an image acquisition perspective, there is a new focus on operations that are formulaic and repetitive and those that require a greater level of creative input. As with many other industries, automation is key topic as the cost and efficiency benefits can be substantial. However, it is easy to envisage how problems can arise when the idea of automation is so compelling and the transition from a non-automated to an automated model is seen as a one-step process. From a robotics manufacturer’s business view the prospect of fully automated environments would appear as a persuasive driver. The reality is that we are in the business of facilitating compelling camera moves and whether that is following a football player for 90 minutes or capturing the impact of a bullet through a high-speed move, the result has to look natural and organic. Automation is not a one step process nor a term for shortcut cost savings, but thinking about a future creative industry where certain tasks will be automated, gives rise to transitional technologies that augment the best of human productivity.
Q: Why should delegates visit the MRMC stand at IBC? A: Steve Boland:
Our mission at IBC is to showcase some of the transitional technologies that help facilitate a reduction in the timescale between the creative idea and the executed product. Simplifying controls for specific tasks is one of the key features of our new robotic software ‘MHC’. MHC allows the end-user to define the interface that is right for their application. This can be a tailored design for the unique task of a specific camera position and in a particular multi-camera environment. Through such fit-for-purpose user interfaces, the single task is elevated to a uniquely focussed task so the best possible tools are provided for that role. Delegates can explore these interfaces and bring their own ideas for camera positions to life via MHC.