Recreating the ‘Bullet Time’ Effect from The Matrix with 1 GoPro

May 18th, 2013
Recreating the 'Bullet Time' Effect from The Matrix with 1 GoPro

You certainly remember 1999’s iconic feature film “The Matrix” which has certainly had a profound impact on a lot of science fiction films in the decade that followed and on me personally. Apart from its content it established a number of styles that were unknown in filmmaking before, among them what became known as the “Bullet Time effect”.

From "The Matrix", courtesy of Warner Bros.

From “The Matrix”, courtesy of Warner Bros.

Bullet Time describes something that is seemingly frozen in time, like a still frame, but the camera is dollying/flying around it at the same time. Basically an impossible shot to shoot with one camera, that’s why they used MANY cameras and triggered them at the same time. A computer interpolated the in-between-frames. In 1999, that was a big deal, in 2013, you can do it yourself with countless of VFX tutorials for it online, here’s one.

The downside: you STILL need many cameras. That’s where it becomes tricky for most people.

Not so for NASA engineer Mark Rober – he built a DIY bullet time rig with ONE GoPro camera. Of course it’s not as perfect as the big Hollywood solutions, nor as versatile, but it is indeed big fun: he uses a ceiling fan motor to rotate the camera extremely fast around a static platform, with a neutrally lit background. The effect: it looks like the object (and whatever you do with it) is spinning super fast. Add the GoPro Hero 3‘s slow motion ability of up to 120fps in 720p, and I am sure you can get even more impressive results.

Check it out:

Now, why has nobody built this with a DSLR yet??

 

via Mike John / LOOP & laughingsquid.com

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Member
January 21st, 2015

I have written about this a bit on my site. Check out the early example by Tim Macmillan – he used actual film!!!
http://www.artworknotavailable.com/timeslice/

THomas Koch
Guest
May 28th, 2013

In Dorkman vs Ryan, they do this great rig, that does this, but on a much larger scale. Also, a year or more ago.

Check it out.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RATMJ8JH1qo

Their behind the scenes show the rig in action.

Yoav Yerushalmi
Member
May 23rd, 2013

So, one of the worst films ever made (even for Uwe Boll), but they had already set up something like this for an actual film camera… they had a fast rotating platform one which a camera was spun around the actors REALLY fast… (and a film camera weighs a CRAPTON more).

you can semi-catch some glimpses of the effect in the trailer.. I couldn’t find a clip that shows the actual scenes, but whenever there’s a shootout, the camera spins like crazy..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaF3dN_fVfY

Thomas Koch
Guest
May 22nd, 2013

I want to see him do the matrix effect around two people hanging from wires with one go pro. Otherwise, it’s a completely different thing.

Should be, how to shoot slow motion around a very small circle.

ZeteN
ZeteN
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May 20th, 2013
Fabian Wenninger
Member
May 20th, 2013

wicked!

ignacio enzon
ignacio enzon
Guest
May 20th, 2013

A little research would go a long way. “Bullet Time” has been known and used in the film industry since at least the 1980″s. Its the public at large that did not know about it

Jori
Jori
Guest
May 18th, 2013

Cool idea, but I really can’t see that having anything to do with bullet time…

Aaron Parys
Guest
May 18th, 2013

Thank you that was Awesome!! excellent idea!

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