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Unusual customer request

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Casey Petersen
Unusual customer request
on Apr 26, 2011 at 5:30:30 pm

I got an unusual request from a customer...well, it's unusual to me.

I have a Canon 7D, and the customer was wondering if I could get a shot like they see on Mythbusters...the video will be a product test where a projectile, like a log, will be shot (from a cannon-type-device) into a fence-like product (without going into too much information), and they want a high speed closeup shot of the log hitting the fence.

I know on Mythbusters, they are using a special camera that will shoot at a very high frame rate (not sure what, though). I'm wondering if using the 60p mode on the 7D work well enough, since there probably isn't a budget to rent one of those high speed cameras (or is there a way to rent one cheaply?).

Also, I'm wondering if there is a recommendation for camera settings, such as shutter speed, that might make this shot work better.

Thanks!
Casey


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Jason Jenkins
Re: Unusual customer request
on Apr 26, 2011 at 6:01:41 pm

Chances are the projectile is going to be moving so fast that you will need way more than 60 fps to capture it.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!


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Brent Dunn
Re: Unusual customer request
on Apr 26, 2011 at 6:13:52 pm

It's not going to be anything the high speed cameras. 60fps is the fastest you'll get.

You could try a test shoot on something and export each frame into photoshop, re import those stills and increase the length of each still as you drop them onto the timeline. This is a shot in the dark.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Daniel Hughes
Re: Unusual customer request
on Apr 26, 2011 at 6:57:45 pm

Depending on the velocity of the projectile, 60p might provide enough movement information to attempt frame motion interpolation...

Daniel Hughes
Amateur Writer, Director,
Director of Photography
United Kingdom


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Anders Larsen
Re: Unusual customer request
on Apr 26, 2011 at 8:42:40 pm

60fps will not get you Mythbusters-like shots.
But if there is a limited budget your client will have to understand that you can't shoot on a 300.000$ Phantom cam.
Try doing some test to see if what you can get from your 7d is good enough.
Use a fast lens, like a 1.4 aperture or so, that will allow you to shoot with a high shutter speed, which aids the illusion of frozen time.
See if you can find something that resembles the actual shot, but doesn't cost anything. Perhaps you can shoot ice cubes at a tiled wall to get impact and shattering - be creative.
When you have some test footage, slow it down further with software (optical flow in Motion, TimeWarp in AE, or get Twixtor) show the footage to your client and see if they like it.
In any case I'm sure everyone here would love to see your result.
Good luck, I'm sure it will be lots of fun to do.


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: Unusual customer request
on Apr 26, 2011 at 10:20:34 pm

Try selling them on renting a Phantom or other high-speed camera. They shoot a broad variety of frame rates, but take some getting used to.

You can fake and tweak footage a la Twixtor, but it won't work well when there's only a few frames of action and 60fps just won't give you the look you want. You need a specialty camera.

Short exercise: How fast does the object travel when it reaches the target? You're gonna need to know that, then the relative size of the area you want to shoot. Get the velocity down to # feet per second. Example: a ball moving at 30MPH equals about 20 ft/sec. If you are shooting a space 2'x2', the object will pass by in about 1/10 of a second. At 60fps, you'll get about 6 frames. If you wanted a nice 5 second slo mo clip, you'd have to shoot at 1500fps (150 frames / (0.1 sec) = 1500 frames/sec). Now, you can shoot at something like 1000 fps and use FCP to make up the missing frames which would work - you can make up a few frames between existing frames, but not hundreds. Maybe someday you'll be able to, but for now, nope.

Long story short: you 'll need to rent a high-speed camera to do what you want. It won't be cheap and if you've never shot with a high-speed camera, it will take some getting used to - you'll start using formulas like the crude ones above.

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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Casey Petersen
Re: Unusual customer request
on Apr 26, 2011 at 10:32:06 pm

Thanks for your input!

I really doubt this customer would be interested in paying for an expensive camera rental, just to get this one shot. I think the best option for me is to do the best I can with what I have, and perhaps try to get the message across through creative editing instead of raw camera power.

Thanks!
Casey



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Noah Kadner
Re: Unusual customer request
on Apr 27, 2011 at 4:52:35 am

Yeah it's champagne dreams and caviar wishes- try to sell them on something their budget actually allows. Get creative- make something up.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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Peter Burger
Re: Unusual customer request
on Apr 27, 2011 at 9:19:06 am

If you need HD, you'd probably have to rent some high speed cam. But there are some cameras out there, like the Casio EXILIM high speed cameras that can shoot up to 1200 fps. But they shoot in anything but standard frame sizes.

Other option: Some Sony HDV cameras (I know the V1 has that feature) have a high-speed option. They shoot with about 200 fps. Problem: Recording time for each clip is limited to 3, 6 or 12 seconds and picture quality is... well... not that good (low-res blown up to hdv-res and quite a lot of artifacts...)

hth


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Noah Kadner
Re: Unusual customer request
on Apr 27, 2011 at 3:08:56 pm

The Phantom is also limited to very short bursts of recording time per take. You'd be surprised what you can accomplish in a matter of seconds.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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Steven Falconer
Re: Unusual customer request
on May 2, 2011 at 2:02:41 am

there are high frane rates nd high shutter speeds avalable on HDSLR's but you seem to wat the very hghest end footage at the very lowst end cost.

That's difficult (as if you didn't know), as was mentioned before....

Look into renting a phantom seems to be your best bet for quality.
if the producers can't/won't pay for a proper high speed camera then they can't/won't afford the show.

sounds prettty harsh but high prices and low budgets are pretty harsh you, the customers (& all of us and our customers) have to deal with it.

If the customers/prodcers can't/won't spring fromr a helecopter they done't get get helecopter shots from you.

pretty simple, you can say sad but true, it's unfortunate etc, blah, blah, blah, etc. but no money: no helecopter, no on location, no team of A list stars.

They acan asks for Peter Jackson to direct, 48 fps 3d, only accadamy award winning actors & actresses, and a superbowl premere combined with being played in theaters before every movie shown anywhere in the world. AND they can ask for for free .... that doesn't mean you can (or should) gve it to them


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