Temptations of the Dark Side-Please Read!!!

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction Stories--Classic JC Board (Reply-Only)' started by JediStryker, Mar 26, 1999.

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  1. Asyr Handor Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1999
    star 4
  2. Son of the Suns Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 6, 1999
    star 6
    Another "uppers" for this one.
  3. Mark CK Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 1999
    star 4
    Wow, this post actually has my original ID on the first page...ah, memories.
  4. T-Bone Kenobi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 9, 2000
    star 1
    To the top with you old friend!
  5. Bossk 3:16 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2000
    I guess I have to check in here to officially announce my collector status.
    I'll give the quick scoop on why I'm here though. I used to collect all of the Kenner line back in the day (still have most of them in AWFUL condition), but haven't (sorry I mean HADN'T) bought any new figs in over 15 years.

    But I graduated college a week or two ago, and as a joke, my brother bought me the Cantina cinema scene and a commtech Greedo. I laughed, opened them, and set them down on my computer. But they looked so lonely sitting there by themselves.......

    One week later, POTF2s: Hoth Chewie, removable helmet Vader, Ponda Baba, Solo, Jabba, the Bantha and Stormtrooper had all joined in on the fun. It looks like the party is just starting......
  6. Smithlord Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2000
    Count me in. I'm in California, any body else from CA.

    [This message has been edited by Smithlord (edited 05-12-2000).]
  7. Fungi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 1999
    star 3
    Meesa here today, but not for another two weeks, I'll miss you all, sob sob
  8. XXDARKJEDIXX Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 1999
    XXDARKJEDIXX checking in from California. What part of CA are you from Smithlord?
  9. lokmer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2000
    star 4
    A while ago there was a lot of talk here about how to pull off a Frozen World effect (You know, like those scenes in Matrix and Lost in space where everyone stops in mid-air and the camera dances around them). Someone had the idea of doing it with a bunch of disposable cameras, but no one could figure out how to get all the cameras to fire simultaneously. I made a comment about trying to design an electric trigger, but quickly gave up on it when I realized the electrical/mechanical interface would be more trouble and expense than it was worth.

    Today something occured to me, and after making a few rough sketches I'm pretty sure it will work. I'm going to try to put together a working prototype in the next couple weeks as my school schedule allows, but I wanted to run it by you guys to get your opinions. The design can be summed up in one word:

    Pneumatics.

    Here's what you do. First, you'll need a piston, something that resembles a ball-pumping needle. Wideish, not sharp, with a flat head that is appreciably wider than the body. You need a rubber grommit that fits snugly around the needle, a small spring of the sort that you find in a retractable ball-point (that's a biro for all you UKers out there) to fit between the head of the needle and the rubber grommit, some silicone lubricant to insure that the piston slides easily, and some heavy, small gague vacuum tubing (I think a high-pressure rubber vaccum hose from a car engine will work here).

    You put together the piston assembly and glue it/secure it into the end of the tubing (I'm not sure quite what will be the best way to do this yet), and secure it into the top of a metal switch box ($2 a piece at Radio shack, you'll need to cut a hole in the front of them for the viewfinder/lens) inside which your disposable camera is already secured, positioning the piston assembly directly above (but not quite resting on) the camrea's PHD (Push Here, Dummy) button. Mount the metal boxes (which can be painted Neon green for keying out in Post-production if you're doing a 360degree shot) on Tripods or on any other solid mount, offsetting each by only two or three degrees. Run the vaccum hoses from each box to a central junction, and then hook the central junction up to an air compressor or a bug sprayer (the latter is only recommended if you're using a small number of cameras).

    We want the pistons to strike the camera triggers with at least two-four pounds of pressure, so adjust the pressure on your air compressor accordingly (if you're using a bug sprayer, just pump the sucker up as much as you possibly can). Now, when you squeeze the trigger, every camera should fire withing microseconds of eachother (the ones that are farther away from the air source will fire a tiny bit slower, but this problem can be completely eliminated if you make each vaccum hose exactly the same length and then coil up the excess hose for the cameras that are closest to the air compressor.

    What do you guys think?
    -Lokmer


    then run the vaccum tubing to your air compressor/bug sprayer, where it meets up in a multiple junction with all your other firing assemblies that are constucted the same way.
  10. Saeed Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2000
    star 3
    Lokmer, "..." (I'm speechless)

    I've often noticed your pearls of wisdom, generously shared amongst the rest of us on this forum, and have to say your technical prowess is second to none.

    The FX technique you describe sounds extremely innovative, but practically very challenging. Good luck in your efforts - let us know how they go.

    If anyone can pull it off, you can.

    "You da maan!!!"
  11. lokmer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2000
    star 4
    Thank you very much. I'm hoping to build a prototype this afternoon and draw up schematics, which I should have available sometime in the near future. Right now the major technical challenge is distributing the air pressure from one hose over multiple air lines, but I have a couple ideas on how to do that.
    Have a good one!
    -Lokmer
  12. SPphoenix Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2000
    Umh... a suggestion...
    I'm not into this stuff but reading about your very original idea a question came to me.
    Would it be easy to use liquid (water) instead of air in that design?
    Since water cannot be compressed the whole design would be more accurate in terms of synchronized triggering.
    Just an idea?
  13. lokmer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2000
    star 4
    Well, you may be right. Still, I'm going to try it with pneumatics first, then if that doesn't work, I'll use hydraulics. The reason is, if the air leaks I'm not going to damage the equipment. I'll keep you posted, though.
    -Lokmer
  14. Saeed Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2000
    star 3
    I don't want to put you off or anything, but are you not a little concerned that all you will end up with (even if - and when - you do succeed) is a series of snapshots? I mean, the guy on the Matrix DVD said that even with their setup, it was a case of what you see is NOT what you get. They apparently had to use computer technology to interpolate inbetween the keyframes.

    Then again, I suppose as long you have PLENTY of cameras, spaced pretty close to the one next to it....

    BTW we in the UK are well aware of the term ball point pen. Biro is simply a brand name.

    [This message has been edited by Saeed (edited 05-19-2000).]
  15. lokmer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2000
    star 4
    Oh...sorry about the language FauxPas.

    Yes, I am aware that all I'll get is a series of snapshots. However, I've discovered (doing some test work in Jedi Knight using screen shots) that as long as the cameras all share a focal point (i.e. they're all pointed at the same thing) and the offset is no more than 3 or 4 degrees, then you can put them in order and get a mostly convincing film. For even more convincing footage (and to give the camera that "floaty" effect), you do 10-20 frame morphs between each frame (when working at 30fps). It works very very nicely. And, if you do the math, the Matrix guys used 160 cameras for a 360 degree pan, which gives you one camera every 2.25 degrees. If you're doing a more limited effect like I'm planning on (It's going to be a 45 degree pan), you figure out the number of cameras you need by this formula: Angle/arc=cameras.

    Anyhoo, back to the vacuum tubing!
    -Lokmer
  16. SPphoenix Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2000
    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Geneva,Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>For even more convincing footage (and to give the camera that "floaty" effect), you do 10-20 frame morphs between each frame (when working at 30fps).

    What exactly do you mean by 'frame morphs'?
    Adding more in-between frames maybe?
    How are you planning to do that?
    (Are you planning to do that or it wont be necessary in you setup?)

    I really want to see how this shot will turn out to be.
    Sorry for the 'interogation'...i just got curious because the thought of home made bullet-time photography has crossed my mind too...a couple of times.

  17. lokmer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2000
    star 4
    Sorry, it was my punctuarion. The moprhs would need to be 10-20 frames long, depending on the amount of time you want the camera to spend in transition between frames. You can (I think, but I haven't tested this yet) achieve a similar effect using the interpolate and time stretch features conjunctively in Axogon. I'm not sure which will look better. For my setup, I won't need to do this, as the cameras will be well within the 3 degree tolerance, but I may do it anyway just to get more milage out of the effect. I'll try it both ways (with morph and/or interpolation and without) to find out which looks better, and be sure to let you know.
    And don't worry about the interrogation. The reason I posted the concept was because I wanted feedback on potential problems with the design. I've just gone out and bought the parts I need, and I'm going to try to put them together tonight. Meantime, I'll work on another test reel using Jedi Knight to give you an idea of how the morph/interpolate will look.

    -Lokmer
  18. SPphoenix Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2000

    I can't wait man...
    Keep up the good work.

    BTW have you seen the matrix roof top sequence before to CG background and computer manipulation?
    I've found it on the official site of the movie (VisualFX-Bullet time walkthrough-Videos).
    It gives you an idea about the whole setup.

  19. Saeed Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2000
    star 3
    Just out of curiosity, what do you plan to film for your test? You'll probably only get one shot at it, too. Man in long black coat facing powerful fan, or perhaps a homage to early pioneers of cinema, with horses walking shot in black and white...?
  20. lokmer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2000
    star 4
    Well, for the interpolation test I'm just gonna load up Jedi Knight (the video game), pick a level, and strafe around a central landmark taking screenshots.

    As far as my test footage to make sure the cameras are all firing properly, I'm probably just gonna toss a baseball infront of the camera setup.

    For the effect in the film, there is a scene where my nemisis, Abby...Someone, is rushing me. I have a big gun that fires slowly, he has a little one that fires quickly. He is going to jump off the ground and vault/flip over my shoulders, land behind me, and attempt to shoot me in the back. The frozen world effect will be a 30 degree diagonal pan as he is at the apex of his vault.
    -Lokmer
  21. Saeed Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2000
    star 3
    I've said it before, and I'll say it again...

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Geneva,Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Saeed:
    Lokmer, "..." (I'm speechless)

    If anyone can pull it off, you can.

    "You da maan!!!"

    - A good compliment is worth repeating...

  22. stormtripper2000 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 1999
    star 2
    Hey, where is everybody? it seems like a lot of the "regulars" have disappeared. Is collecting that bad right now?
  23. darthe2 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2000
    star 1
    Sorry I'm late but interactive Yoda has me on a tough training schedule.
  24. B'omarr Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2000
    star 6
    Everyone is on vacation. Me, I've got two weeks coming up soon....and I was in Chicago just two weeks ago.

    You know what they say "no work and all play is really nice."
  25. skawookiee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2000
    star 4
    Hey. I'm Matt, and I usually post in the Lit forum, but I lurk here quite often.
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