When a NASA Space Shuttle lifts off, there’s always high definition cameras carefully placed around the launch site, documenting the launch in high-definition photographs and slow motion videos. Back in April we featured a slow motion video of the Apollo 11 launch in 1969, and now here’s another neat super slow-mo documentary of more recent launches (i.e. 2005). If you have 45 minutes to spare, this video is sure to amaze and educate you.
By the way… during the launch, the shuttle burns 1,000 gallons of liquid propellants and 20,000 pounds of solid fuel every second.
Graeme Taylor took his Casio High Speed EXILIM EX-FH20 camera and shot some 210fps footage out the window, resulting in some pretty beautiful slow-motion footage. On his blog Taylor writes,
In all my slow-motion work so far, I’ve used a static camera to capture a high-speed event. But, I wondered, what would happen if the camera was the fast-moving object? For instance, if you use a 210fps camera at 35mph, on playback at 30fps it’ll seem to the observer that they’re moving at walking pace- but everything observed will be operating at 1/7th speed.
What I’d hoped to do was film the people on a railway platform from a train as it blasted past, but since the places they don’t stop at tend not to be listed in the timetables, this would be hard to co-ordinate. I figured that being at the very front of a fast train as it approached a stop would suffice; although the ‘frozen in time’ effect is less pronounced towards the end of the video, the platforms at non-stops tended to be mostly empty, so there’d be less to capture anyway. Helpfully, people don’t seem to move too much as their train arrives!
Now someone needs to take this idea to the next level with a Phantom camera and a bullet train.
Another entry for our list of “random things made awesome by slow motion”: here’s a video of a steel ball being dropped into fine sand heated to about 500° C, at which point it takes on strange liquid properties. Be sure to also check out the water drop at 2000 fps video we posted in the beginning of the year if you haven’t seen it.
Here’s something to add to your list of “random but awesome things to shoot if you ever get your hands on a Phantom camera”: popcorn popping. The exploding kernel above was shot at 6200 frames per second with a Phantom v12 and played back at 25fps.
Here’s another beautiful example of what Twixtor, the $300 frame-rate conversion software, can do for footage captured with ordinary cameras. This one was shot with the entry level Canon 550D (i.e. T2i), a Canon 18-55mm kit lens, and a Sigma 70-300. Though motion approximation can present issues such as warping, this kind of software is a good alternative for people who want slow motion but can’t afford to rent ($2,500/day) or buy ($118,000) a Phantom camera.
More Super Slow Motion [Water] – 550D (via f stoppers)
Dentsu London, the same ad agency that recently experimented with iPad light-painting, was recently hired by Canon to create a commercial for the Canon Pixma line of printers. They decided to create super close-up and super slow-mo shots of paint dancing by using sound, and created a rig that spins around the paint super fast to create a sense of motion as they shoot at 5000 fps. As you’ll see from the video, this is a great idea for still photos as well.
The resulting commercial can be seen at the end of the video. It’s stunning.
Who needs an uber-expensive Phantom camera or fancy slow-mo software when you can fake the effect with dance? This doesn’t have anything to do with photo gear or software, but we found it interesting since we’ve been sharing a lot of slow motion work lately. These are music videos for songs from retired MMA-fighter Genki Sudo‘s album “World Order”. The name of the dance group is “World Order” as well. Read more…
Here’s a suggestion for how to create some instant awesomeness if you ever find yourself with a Phantom camera at your disposal: record some footage of stuff being violently destroyed, and then play it back in reverse.
Finn O’Hara created the above video for Best Made, a company that makes axes. It was filmed with a Phantom HD Gold camera, and is a preview for a series of short films showing Best Made axes splitting wood (sadly, the actual videos are in forward motion).
If you don’t have the $2,500 needed to rent a Phantom camera for a day but would like to have super slow motion in your videos, you can fake the effect using special software designed for the task. The above video by Oton Bačar was recorded on a Canon 7D at 60 frames per second, but was slowed down to mimic 1000fps in After Effects with Twixtor, a plugin that allows you to speed up or slow down footage smoothly. It uses warping and interpolation to provide smooth results, avoiding the choppiness that you see when you play normal video back in “slow motion”.
Too bad Twixtor is still pretty pricey — a license will set you back a few hundred bucks. Does anyone know of any cheaper alternatives?
You know all those eye-popping slow motion videos we feature occasionally on PetaPixel? Many (if not most) of them were filmed with the Phantom HD Gold camera. This camera is capable of shooting thousands of frames per second, and costs a staggering $2,500 to rent for a single day.
Luckily for us there’s people like Tom Guilmette, who had the opportunity to play around with one of these cameras, creating the short video blog above walking us through how the camera works.