Tag Archives: motion control
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
John Redfern of Redfern Animation specialises in a unique combination of antique timepieces and film-making, to produce some of the most mesmerizing and beautiful footage of watches and clocks you have ever seen. With a client base ranging from museums to collectors and watch manufacturers, John has honed his skills for over 40 years to work with some of the finest and most interesting clocks in the world.
Several years ago John came to MRMC so that they could supply him with the tools needed to take his macro film-making to the next level. As John says:
“Using RED cameras and a 9-axis motion control system built using the technology and components from two of the cinema industry leaders: Ronford Baker Ltd for the slides and Mark Roberts Motion Control Ltd for the rotation and overall control system (An SFH-30 was used as a model mover, along with some MRMC lens motors).
We can track in, pan and rotate to fill a cinema screen with an area of less than 10mm wide. All repeatable for multiple overlay takes.”
This allows him to create shots where the viewer can really see the action inside a watch, while marvelling at the incredible attention to detail and engineering on a miniature scale.
SFH-30: THE CREATIVE'S MINI HEAD
The SFH-30 is precise enough to be completely pixel accurate with HD cameras yet compact and lightweight for ease of use and transportation to any location. It is a fast-moving head but also easily capable of macro filming. Its robust design accommodates a wide range of cameras and lenses with a maximum payload of over 13kg
Brain Candy Films were tasked by creative agency Tinker Taylor to create an epic film for the police to be shown in cinemas nationwide. The filmmakers decided to put the viewer right in the heart of the action, giving them a first hand insight into the demanding and diverse role of modern-day policing. They wanted to give the audience a unique view into the extraordinary job that police officers do and they chose a rather extraordinary way to do it.
The film shows four frozen moments in time. Each moment is seen as a single, continuous shot that allows the viewer to take in every glorious detail, taking you on a journey through a singular, explosive moment. This approach allowed the filmmakers to put the viewer right in the middle of the action, highlighting the cohesive efforts of the police and all the officers involved at one crucial moment in time. They achieved this effect with the help of motion control
Motion control was used in three of the scenes to move through the frozen action in a smooth, fluid path, making it possible to drip feed information to the viewer and allowing each scene to slowly unravel until the big picture comes into focus. The films use cinematic visuals to grab the audience’s attention but they feel grounded in realism with meticulous production design. Everything from the props, to the costumes and the lighting gives the feeling that you’re witnessing a real moment in time. Careful and precise art-direction and seamless CGI effects give complete authenticity to the scenes.
One of Brain Candy’s main aims with the film was to capture a much in camera as possible and rely on CGI as little as possible. The level of precision that motion control provides meant that they could fill the frame with real details and just use CGI to supplement what was already there, with a few exceptions! CGI was superbly handled by Manchester based Flipbook Studios and the fact that they were able to do multiple passes meant that they had clean plates, which dramatically reduced the VFX workload.
Three of the four scenes were shot on Alexa using motion control rigs supplied by Mark Roberts Motion Control, with the fourth scene being shot on steadicam with the RED Dragon. Cinematographer James Stoneley chose to use a combination of the Talos and Titan motion control rigs on the shoot, as each of the scenes had its own unique challenges. The reason the filmmakers chose to use motion control is that it allowed the camera to follow a perfectly orchestrated, pre-determined path through the action. They were able to cover huge areas, change camera level & repeat the move perfectly – making tweaks every pass until happy.
The mighty Titan was used in two of the four scenes, the Raid and the Riot, where the filmmakers needed the full 9 metre extension to cover a lot of ground. The Titan is unrivalled in its size and this made it possible to convey a sense of scale in the scenarios that was imperative to create the sense of a cohesive effort between the police and the community. For example, in the Raid scene the camera booms out of the back of a van, passes along a street, around a corner, down an alleyway and up passed a team of armed police officers on a fire escape, before descending back to ground level to land on a person being arrested. All in one shot. There is simply no other tool that would have been able to achieve this.
James Stoneley, cinematographer and Creative Director at Brain Candy Films, commented on a particularly tricky scene:
"I have worked with the Talos before so it was an obvious choice for the House scene. The scene was shot on set but space was still a consideration because of how we chose to film it. In order to make it feel like we’re really stuck in the corridor with the officers in the midst of the commotion, we wanted the camera to physically be inside the walls of the set and we also wanted to be able to look back at the end of the scene and see the corridor walls. This meant building a set with a “floating” wall that could be swung in and out of the set, allowing the Talos and camera to pass through the corridor where the wall ends up. This took some careful choreography from our stage hands!"
The four individual films are playing in cinemas across the country in over 800 feature presentations.
Brain Candy’s website – braincandyfilms.com
We have a great show this year at NAB! To show off our high-speed Bolt Cinebot we will give visitors their own 'red carpet' experience with the Bolt on Track shooting in slow motion! We will then put together a short video compilation at the end of the show and post it up on our company blog. Keep an eye as you may be famous on the red carpet!
Check out what E-Magazine did with the Bolt (AKA Glambot) at the Golden Globes (link below). This could be you, so do come visit us at stand C10108. To see where we are at NAB click here. For the video and article on E-Magazine, Click here
Get your FREE $150 pass for NAB Show this year! Click the button below and select the 'Exhibits Pass Session 3-Pack'. You'll need to fill out the short form, but you will then receive a free pass to NAB!
We are delivering training for a range of Mark Roberts Motion Control robotics. Join our in-house training, and get hands on tuition and experience using our latest technologies. We deliver beginner, intermediate and advanced robotic courses.
Training dates for 2016 are:
|March||Tuesday 1st||Wednesday 2nd||Thursday 3rd|
|June||Tuesday 28th||Wednesday 29th||Thursday 30th|
|Sept.||Tuesday 6th||Wednesday 7th||Thursday 8th|
|Dec.||Tuesday 6th||Wednesday 7th||Thursday 8th|
For more information on what each level (beginner, intermediate and advanced) cover, click here.
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
At NAB we showed countless demonstrations and met many fantastic people. For us the show is a great opportunity to make new friends, meet old acquaintances and of course showcase all the latest developments we’ve been working on here at Mark Roberts.
In case you missed us there, or perhaps just didn’t get a chance to get out to the event, we’ve put together a final overview of what went down. To get a glimpse of the technology behind our newest camera tracking technology check out the photos below and watch the short video above with our Managing Director Assaff Rawner. The video was generously created by IABM (International Association of Broadcasting Manufacturers).
At MRMC we are proud of our major new product releases and concentrate so hard on them we often forget the significance of our many incremental feature additions and product upgrades that occur on a daily basis but may not be headline news or create a flurry of press releases. Recently we’ve been looking through our work over the past months and realised those small changes amounted to a lot, so we thought we’d list some. If you want more info on any of them just let us know:
- Developments and tests to make the Bolt High Speed rig 20% faster than before.
- Developing and Testing the new Version 6.0 of our Academy award winning motion control software.
- Turntable range increased from small to large, and most with speeds in excess of 100 degrees per second.
- Flair multi-controller created, allowing multiple motion control rigs to be controlled from a central source.
- Orbital XL rig created for super-sized e-commerce photography.
- Head and Flair Ethernet API created allowing any of our products to be controlled directly from 3rd party software.
- Improved or implemented interfacing to a number of 3rd party products, including DMX lighting controls, Dragonframe, 6-degrees-of-freedom joysticks, and various 3D tracking systems.
- Interfacing to Oculus Rift.
- Broadcast vertical columns for on-air moves.
- Etc. etc.
The list is long and lengthy, this is just a snapshot. With 6 full-time developers and several support engineers and freelancers, the development is rapid and ever-changing – so if you don’t immediately see what you need just ask.
Tel: +44 (0)1342 838000 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
MRMC partnered with Century Sage Scientific Group to introduce Polycam and the AFC-100 pan and tilt head to the Chinese market at BIRTV exhibition last month.
As a leading broadcast system integrator, CSS has the reputation, strong client base and technical expertise to showcase and introduce pioneering technology such as Polycam to the broadcast market in China.
A two-camera AFC-100 Polycam SOLO configuration was on display and numerous demonstrations were given to leading TV Stations and Broadcasters throughout the four day exhibit. The Polycam range of Solo, Velocity and Auto offers many benefits for sports and live productions, but the show also generated interest for studio applications. The high speed performance of the compact AFC-100 also attracted attention. With a new version capable of 180° per second, getting closer to high speed sports becomes a safer option without compromising the shots.
Looking forwards – MRMC will be at IBC 2013 where you will find us on stand IBC Hall: 11 Stand G35
You will be able to see Bolt High Speed Cinebot for the first time ever at IBC, along with the newest editions of the Polycam set-up. All are welcome to come see us and talk shop.
For more details about MRMC or our products please contact Mark Roberts Motion Control on: email@example.com +441342 838 000 or look us up on the web: www.mrmoco.com
MRMC will be exhibiting at BIRTV this year as guests of CSS Group. Come to Booth 8A02 and you will be able to see Polycam configuration with 2 AFC-100 Broadcast Heads. Polycam allows the AFC-100 heads to be controlled simultaneously by one joystick operator. As the master camera pans, tilts, zooms and focuses, the 2nd camera will follow the same point of interest from a different perspective.
Please see the below videos for an introduction to Polycam and it's capabilities:
Also please see the AFC-100 Broadcast Head video below:
For more information please contact Mark Roberts Motion Control on:
T: +441342 838 000