Tag Archives: high speed camera robot
Capturing precise, dynamic action in high-speed with camera movement requires extensive levels of automation. Leaders in visual engineering, RiTE Media Group specialise in combining high-speed filmmaking with ground-breaking robotics, such as MRMC’s Bolt Cinebot, to create breathtaking visuals.
Collaborating with Director and Visual Engineer Steve Giralt, RiTE produced this beautiful short film – ‘Shoemaker’ – a visually arresting examination of the shoemaking process.
Steve Giralt commented “The Shoemaker is the story of the making of a leather shoe in a visually different way. A big part of my visual engineering storytelling process involves breaking down a thing or idea, examining its parts, and capturing the process of putting them back together. For Shoemaker, I examined the process of making a shoe and created a visual interpretation of that process through my eyes and the eye of the camera.“
RiTE also created a revealing behind the scenes video of the shoot, demonstrating the technical expertise and intricate, bespoke engineering solutions required to capture the amazingly detailed footage.
EXPLAINING THE HOW…
Colin Michael, a Visual Engineer at RiTE Media, explains in more detail how some of the shots were achieved here:
The approach is simple. It starts with understanding the shot we are after, breaking it down into its moving parts and working out the physics we need to control. The next step is to design a rig specifically tailored to the particular action to be automated for the shot.
When you’re shooting close up, macro high-speed action, it’s imperative that the camera motion control system and the actions of the subject are totally synchronised. This level of precision is made possible by MRMC’s Flair motion control system.
At RiTE we build our own specialised robots to work in tandem with our MRMC Bolt Cinebot, and the most satisfying part of building one of these bespoke shot-specific rigs is hooking it up to Flair and seeing it come to life. When I’m standing at the controls for the Bolt and our custom automation rigs, I often find myself thinking about how impossible it would be to pull this off by using human hands alone. Human reaction time cannot come close to the precision required to create these automated high-speed shots.
The pencil and Xacto blade shots required a horizontal motion across a surface as well as an additional axis to control pressure. We used a custom rig that I had initially built to pour and spin beverage bottles and added a regulated pneumatic cylinder to control the pen and knife pressure. The rig consists of a slider base driven by a 6-amp stepper motor, an MRMC model mover turntable mounted to that base, a custom 3D printed mount to house a mDrive 23 motor on the rotation platform, which finally drives a long rotating shaft. On the end of the long rotating shaft, we designed and printed a joint assembly that would hold the pencil or knife as well as the small actuator to control the pressure. This assembly was set up in Flair as three auxiliary axes, the actuator was triggered via Flair using MRMC’s trigger box.
THE HOLE PUNCH…
For the hole punch shot, we swapped the pencil & blade portion of the rig with a larger actuator fitted with the hole punch on the end. This allowed us to hover over the leather, punch a hole, move to the next point, punch another, and so on.
Being able to program the camera motion and the movement of the subject within the same interface was crucial to the success of these shots. This allowed us to spend more time focusing on other important details, such as lighting. Another slider was set up with a Hive 100c light mounted to the platform and we used a long actuator to send the light sliding across the background at very high speeds. This was also triggered using MRMC’s trigger box.
To create the hammer shot, we built a custom rig similar to a hold-down clamping actuator. We used Actobotics parts for the frame, a Festo actuator and a custom 3d printed clevis fitted with four shaft idler bearings for super smooth and repeatable hammer strikes.
For the sewing machine footage, we rigged a large Festo actuator to the same surface the machine was bolted down to. This was automated using Flair’s cyclic triggering mode which lets you repeat trigger on-off signals like a metronome, saving a lot of time by not having to manually input each command into a table with corresponding trigger commands. Overall, this project was a huge technical challenge but we’re all proud of the way it turned out!
Director: Steve Giralt | DP: Justin Dombrowski | Visual Engineer: Colin Michael Quinn | Producer: Jacob Kiesgen, Indiana Robbins | Edit: Nadine Mueller | Color: Dario Bigi | Sound Design: Paris Schulman, TJ Dumser, Drew Mullins | Musical Arrangement: Paris Schulman
Our LA sister company, Camera Control Inc., recently filmed the most technically difficult job ever undertaken. The shoot was for OK GO’s ‘One Moment’ music video. The group, famous for their painstakingly rehearsed choreography, pushed the limits of motion control that resulted in a visually stunning single high-speed shot.
The entire video lasts a total of 4.20 seconds! However, once slowed down and played back at 24 frames per second, the viewer is treated to a stunning display of technical wizardry from a wall of exploding paint to guitars being blown out of the air. In total, there are 318 events that had to be triggered!
The director and lead singer of the band said about the shoot:
“We used very precise digital triggers to set off several hundred events in extremely quick succession. The triggers were synchronised to high-speed robotic arms (Bolt on track) which whipped the cameras along the path of the action”
Watch behind the scenes video below to see how technical the shoot was and how precise it all had to be to make it work. This video would have been virtually impossible without the Bolt High-Speed CineBot on track and the software to program exact and repeatable moves.
Full credits and background notes for the video can be found by click here
MrMoco is no stranger to Hollywood productions; with countless credits in many of the top blockbuster movies, including Avengers: Age of Ultron; Jupiter Ascending; Skyfall and Maleficent to name just a few. Now MrMoco’s ever popular Bolt High Speed CineBot finds itself involved in Marvel’s latest production: Antman!
High speed motion control photography was needed to shoot some exciting explosions and fires at high speed but down at the scale of an Ant! Using small lenses to get the camera close to the model sets, the Bolt High Speed CineBot was the ideal tool for these shots – combining its high speed with accuracy, precision and synchronized triggers for firing miniature explosions and fires.
These actions are all tied together through MRMC’s Flair software, which can be used to control the entire move and programmed to fire the triggers at precise points, ensuring reliable, accurate and repeatable movement.
The Bolt worked on several scenes near the climax of the movie, including one clip inside a full size helicopter with the Bolt reaching in through the side and executing the exact move required at high speed with only millimetres to spare!
Another shot involved tracking alongside an architectural model where a CG Antman would be running while triggering numerous explosions to simulate bullets being fired at Antman. Multiple passes of the same move were done to maximise the number of explosions and craters created for Antman to dodge, and to pepper the buildings with pockmarks and fire. Multiple passes with different focuses on some of the sets also allowed CG artists to build up an infinite depth of field to blend in with the explosion passes.
Rocket Inc. are making waves in the Far East with their latest showing at InterBee in the Makuhari Messe exhibition centre near Tokyo, Japan. The film & TV rental company had on display the Bolt High Speed CineBot, which generated a lot of interest at the show. The high-speed rig was setup on a track giving viewers a full demonstration of its speed and accuracy up and down the track. Fascinatingly, Rocket Inc., claim they are the only company in the world who have a team of grips made up entirely of women! Sounds like a great team!! www.rocketjapan.com
See a few photos of the Bolt and some of the Rocket Inc. team below:
Freestyle Games has created the latest instalment of the music video game, Guitar Hero. The upcoming game dubbed Guitar Hero Live reboots the franchise since its first inception back in 2010. The game simulates a real-world concert setting from the perspective of the guitarist. Its soundtrack spans across a diverse range, and includes music from The Black Keys, Blitz Kids, Ed Sheeran, Fall Out Boy, Green Day and many more.
Member of the Band – Bolt on Track
Using live action video from real rock band performers in front of live crowds proved a challenging task, and in this style was something that had never been done before. Using the Bolt to capture live footage, our high-speed CineBot weaved its way around the stage as the bands performed and caught all the necessary actions of the performance. As one performer comments, ‘you just have to act as if its your band member!’.
Due to obvious logistical reasons, it was impossible to replicate a 100,000 strong crowd, so the Oscar-winning VFX house Framestore who'd previously done work on Gravity, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Edge of Tomorrow were brought in to help create the full festival effect.
Check out pictures and a behind the scenes video below.
For more information on the Bolt click here
To see a full article on making click here
Our latest behind the scenes video is an urban sports video short, showcasing the Bolt on track. Shooting both street basketball & football using Love High Speed's Phantom 4K Flex, the film directed by Nick Sawyer demonstrates the versatility and creative potential of the Bolt on Track.
There were two shoots, one for Basketball and one for Football. Nick Sawyer, a seasoned director, wanted to challenge the Bolt on Track. Each shoot was designed to provide a unique challenge and test the Bolt's capabilities for speed, movement and to precisely catch specific moments. The Bolt running on track aced these challenges, and you can see some of the behind the scenes photos below, along with the full behind the scenes video.
Stills from the Basketball
Stills from the Football
Watch the full behind the scenes video below:
The MrMoco team took the Bolt rig to Madrid earlier in the year for Honda's latest Civic Commercial. Produced by RSA films and directed by Johnny Hardstaff the commercial showed Honda’s attention to detail to create that perfect feeling when driving. Shooting a mixture of frame rates on a Phantom flex it appears as though the car is suspended in its surroundings allowing Honda's engineers to manipulate the environment to create the maximum feeling of joy.
The commercial was shot over various locations around Madrid – including a 15ft high platform in a forest and also on a motorway flyover. The MrMoco team often film in sunny Spain – at the beginning of June the crew travelled to Barcelona with a Milo to shoot in Espanyol's Stadium, and only a few weeks back, were shooting again in Barcelona with the Bolt running on 30 metres of track laid in a field! More on that shoot coming soon.
Another dimension of movement for the already highly versatile Bolt, you can now run the Cinebot on a track. The operator has the ability to run the Bolt along a track and follow any object, person or landscape, giving much more flexibility in terms of visual creativity. With rapid acceleration, the Bolt on Track can reach its top speed of over 4 metres per second in… one second! Additionally, through MRMCs Flair software, you have programmable acceleration profiles so you can repeatably reach or maintain the desired speeds with pinpoint accuracy. For more information download the spec. sheet here: Bolt on Track Spec Sheet
Watch the short video here: