Tag Archives: Nikon
We had the pleasure of supporting a fantastic new project to create the World’s First 24-hour Gigapixel panorama of the London skyline.
The contact lens provider, Lenstore, teamed up with VR & 360 production company Visualise, who, using the incredible Nikon D850 and our motion control robotic Ulti-head, captured the amazing timelapse from the top of Canary Wharf!
The technical aspects of this project were immense. Pinpoint accuracy was required to stitch the thousands of detailed photos together; without the absolute precision of the repeat passes, the images wouldn’t have seamlessly blended together – which is why the robotic Ulti-Head was ideal for the task!
Similarly, Nikon’s D850 was needed to ensure the highest degree of image sharpness, and its whopping 45.7 megapixels means that you can zoom into any part of the photo and pick up details nearly 5 miles away!
Each Panorama is made up of 260 individual photos and is 155 degrees wide (183,944 x 40,060 pixels) – which equates to the capturing of over 7 billion pixels per hour!
The results are incredible – the World’s First 24 Hour Gigalapse panorama!
The project was shot by Henry Stuart from Visualise, he had the following to say:
“Shooting gigapixel photos is hard – we have been shooting them for the Olympics, the World Cup, for events and places all around the globe. Each panorama is so large it needs specially built computers to process it. In this case we had to build a special server system and network all of the work stations in our studio to the content so that we could stitch five of the photos at a time. Lucky it was the winter as the heat generated was keeping our whole block warm.
So what makes this different is really its ambition – you would never think that this many gigapixels could be shot at this resolution in one day. On any other panoramic head you would not have the same alignment of pixels, they would all have some give or movement in one direction or another.
There was a team of two of us, taking shifts through the day/night. It was incredibly cold and windy. Each hour we made the trip to the corner of the roof, checked the light, adjusted our settings and set off the camera remotely. Then rushed back inside to warm up again. We were in a building control room, sandwiched between all their electrics and air conditioning controls.
To capture a photo like this you need a really capable camera – we used the Nikon D850. It has this beautiful big sensor and captures a huge range of light and dark (large dynamic range). This is so important when shooting panoramas where one part of the image is bright, such as towards the sun, and another is dark such as over the Thames. We shot everything on the camera’s ‘RAW’ setting, which keeps loads of extra information in the shots that you would usually lose.
The robotic head we used to take the images is from the world of film production, it’s technically a custom modified Mark Roberts Motion Control – Ulti-Head. This head was programmed to take the 260 photos of each photo to pixel precision, meaning each time the panorama is created, even 24 hrs later, the pixels have not moved and everything lines up.”
We had a fantastic time at the NAB Show this year – It was by far our busiest show to date! Teaming up with Nikon Inc., we had the opportunity to have a much larger stand and therefore demonstrate a wider range of robotic solutions. We also launched two new broadcast solutions – Polycam Chat and Polycam Player – automated tracking solutions for broadcast and stadium environments.
Out newest motion control rig, the Bolt Jr. also had its first showing at the NAB Show; both the Bolt and Bolt Jr., were on track, programmed to do one of the most incredible robotic synchronised dances we’ve ever done – watch the video below!
There was also a range of robotic heads, including the Robotic Pod and AFC-100. Additionally, we showed the Studiobot, a multi-axis robotic camera arm, integrated with BlackTrax automated tracking for in-studio applications.
Our dancing Bolt in the main Lobby also attracted large crowds, with nearly 1,500 people dancing and interacting with the high-speed arm and sharing their videos. Watch the highlights below!
This year’s CES show in Las Vegas saw the latest technology from around the world – with all the big brands demonstrating their latest products and solutions. But the big theme for CES seemed very much in the realm of robotics! We were the central feature for the Nikon stand, who were releasing the AF-S Nikkor 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR super-telephoto. Both The Bolt and new Bolt Jr brought crowds of people in, keen to get their own personal ‘Robot Video!’ recorded on the cinebots.
It was a complex robotic move, requiring some very clever programming. Motion Control Operator Julian Hermansen put the move together in 3ds Max, and talks a little about how he did it:
“Both the Bolt and Bolt Jr. were rigged and set up in a scene in 3ds Max. All geometry and measures were precisely matched to the real setup along with the framing of the cameras.
The 3d rigs consisted of several different rigs blended during the animation to allow for a combination of movements that would otherwise not be possible – for example, mixing forward kinematics and inverse kinematics and combining target tracking of the camera head with freely animated rotation movements of the head.”
Watch the short highlights video here:
For more information about the Bolt and Bolt Jr. click here
A great video made a few years back by Nikon Ambassador John Wright for Nikon featuring the StudioBot with a Nikon D810 recently won Best Advertising Award at the 2016 BAFTA Qualifying.
The video features the StudioBot and ex Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt performing a kind of ‘dance off’ together. The production was shot entirely on a Nikon D810 and demonstrates the level of creative control available using both Nikon and MRMC’s robotic solutions. The StudioBot controlled through Flair software is animated to dance with Kimberly. No CGI was used in the making of this production and all camera positions where robotic or static.
Behind the Scenes – Making of Robo-Trumble
You can also see behind the scenes video which delves into the different aspects, including: the thought process; humanising the robot; and of course demonstrating the quality and precision of the equipment used.
For more information and to see other films visit The Aesthetica Short Film Festival website here