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Paul Trillo and Microsoft link 50 Lumia 1020s to create bullet effect

119

Filmmaker Paul Trillo and Microsoft, who previously collaborated on the NY 41x41 project, have teamed up again to work on another smartphone-based visual project. Trillo and his team built  an apparatus which they call the "Lumia Arc of Wonder". It consists of 50 Nokia Lumia 1020 smartphones fixed to a custom-built metal arc on casters, some networking equipment and external power sources. 

The whole rack is controlled via a custom-designed app running on a Microsoft Surface tablet. When the 1020 cameras are triggered they simultaneously capture the same scene from 50 different perspectives, creating the "bullet" or "freeze time" effect that was first explored in the Matrix movies. 

The Lumia Arc of Wonder on a New York City street

To create the final version of the above video, 30,000 photographs were taken in the streets of New York City. Then the sets of 50 images had to be sequenced together, slowed down and stabilized.

Trillo says it was his intention to do street photography in a new and exciting way, and it's probably fair to say he has achieved this. The Lumia Arc of Wonder might be a little more conspicuous and less pocketable than your average smartphone or compact camera, but the semi-circle "time freeze" is quite spectacular. Watch the video below to for some insight as to how the project was carried out. 

Source: Nokia


 

Comments

Total comments: 119
12
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (1 month ago)

I wonder how those doing the stunt feels now. I assume they thought they were doing something cool. And then ... it was boring. Did they see that coming? Did they see that when they saw the result? Or did they still believe it was cool?

I also wonder when I see such projects - how much did they plan what to do - and how much did just happen? Moreover, I wonder how much they do understand how this kind of techniques work.

To really get this working you need to be able to pre-visualise what will happen. What happens when you tilt the cameras and move them in an arc? Is that something interesting?

Moreover - what was the initial expectations regarding syncing mobile phones? What did they believe was possible? This may determine if you shall make this experiment in the first place.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (2 months ago)

I was actually excited about about this and watched the whole thing waiting for the bullet time effect. Where is it?

1 upvote
Tom Steele
By Tom Steele (1 month ago)

Yeah, the author and/or photographer don't understand bullet time. Bullet time isn't just a bunch of cameras, it is a bunch of cameras from very different PLANES that create the ability to rotate a video scene on axis by 90, 180, 270 or even 360 degrees and anything in-between.

This is poorly written at best and disingenuous at worst.

1 upvote
bwana4swahili
By bwana4swahili (2 months ago)

Why!?

0 upvotes
tomwin
By tomwin (2 months ago)

seems like a meaningless stunt for stunt's sake

1 upvote
thorn-
By thorn- (2 months ago)

Perhaps the headline should read "attempt to create bullet time effect" - because they didn't.

Comment edited 15 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
Roadrunner123
By Roadrunner123 (2 months ago)

Words fail me:(

0 upvotes
AndreyT
By AndreyT (2 months ago)

Why is the motion of the subjects in the video so "twitchy"? It looks as if the frames were improperly sequenced, i.e. frames taken later were sequenced earlier in the final video. Why did they do that?

0 upvotes
Svetoslav Popov
By Svetoslav Popov (2 months ago)

This is really pointless, because it doesn't have anything that warrant the use of this technique. On quick glance, everything could've been made with normal filming tech. Exept the skateboarder and the doves. But the pans are so fast that you can't really see the parallax changing in the motion freeze. A waste of resources.

[EDIT] Note to myself: pigeons =|= doves, duhh...

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
WayneHuangPhoto
By WayneHuangPhoto (2 months ago)

How about experimenting with something that's never been done before, as a point and purpose in itself? I am sure the people who came up with this concept are self-critical and intelligent enough to see that there is room for improvement.

0 upvotes
Tom Steele
By Tom Steele (1 month ago)

Wayne Huang,

I don't think you understand the complaint. If someone wants to do this to learn, then go for it. But don't mislabel it as something it is not, and then proudly state that you have COPIED (note, no new idea in the concept, just an attempt to do it in a different way) another method of photography when you really haven't.

People came here expecting to see a cheaper and clever way to so bullet time based on the headlines and teases. But when we saw the video it wasn't what we were promised at all.

0 upvotes
andix
By andix (2 months ago)

Once is artistic expression.
Twice is artistic experimenting.
Three times is vomiting.

6 upvotes
JohnEwing
By JohnEwing (2 months ago)

This way to the cookie-tossing tournament.

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
spitfire31
By spitfire31 (2 months ago)

What's the point?

6 upvotes
solsang
By solsang (2 months ago)

This really demonstrates how bad the cameras are at taking a shot at the same time as they should, great demonstration of the bad quality and unreliability of these phones.

6 upvotes
JordanAT
By JordanAT (2 months ago)

More like the inability to control the phone shutters in real time to an accuracy on the millisecond level. The sync issues really are annoying in the video, imho, and it makes it look very amateurish. Not indicative of the money spent on the setup.

1 upvote
Andkar 666
By Andkar 666 (2 months ago)

FAKE at 0.48 there is doves put in in aftereffects, not real footage. Easy to spot, no movements in air, but for the ones walking on the street.

1 upvote
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (2 months ago)

well, that the slight subject movement is due to bad syncing of the phone is one theory, another is that it's been done deliberately to create a specific effect. In that case it would also be possible to not apply it to certain areas of the frame, for example the doves.

0 upvotes
Jonathan Brady
By Jonathan Brady (2 months ago)

nauseating.... WAY more so than fisheye.

3 upvotes
simon62
By simon62 (2 months ago)

What a waist !

0 upvotes
mgblack74
By mgblack74 (2 months ago)

Waste.

1 upvote
Svetoslav Popov
By Svetoslav Popov (2 months ago)

Yeah, sooo fat, it's disgusting really.... SCNR :-P

0 upvotes
simon62
By simon62 (2 months ago)

Oops ! Ineed to refresh my English...

0 upvotes
Ron A 19
By Ron A 19 (2 months ago)

So dizzy!

3 upvotes
Chet Meyerson
By Chet Meyerson (2 months ago)

Pointless! Absolutely no value on any front, photographically or otherwise. 10 seconds was too long to watch!!

4 upvotes
ricklacey
By ricklacey (2 months ago)

I watched the video. Now I don't feel good.

5 upvotes
Vergilius
By Vergilius (2 months ago)

I had to stop after about 10 seconds. I got nauseated faster than I did watching "Cloverfield" or riding one of those roller coasters that does loops and twists. Interesting effect, though, and I'm sure that they had fun doing it.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
badi
By badi (2 months ago)

I can have fun watching a movie or at the beach... but that doesn't make sense to be on the front page of any news website... i can tell about that on my blog if i really want people to know about it, and that's it.

0 upvotes
cactusgeorge
By cactusgeorge (2 months ago)

> 30,000 photographs were taken.
After seeing the result, that's 28,000 photographs too many.

1 upvote
badi
By badi (2 months ago)

:)) rather 29,999 too many

2 upvotes
Felix E Klee
By Felix E Klee (2 months ago)

Last year I've discussed something like this with a film maker. The goal is to create an animated object movie (inverse panorama). There would be an array of cameras arranged in a circle, pointing inwards; And it would be low budget, using cell phone camera components. HD video doesn't demand high resolution. Creating the array out of expensive Lumias seems a waste, unless - like in this case - it's for advertising the product.

2 upvotes
Sir Corey of Deane
By Sir Corey of Deane (2 months ago)

What a useless exercise! :(

3 upvotes
Michael Piziak
By Michael Piziak (2 months ago)

I watch this a couple times. It does have a dizziness affect

Comment edited 50 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (2 months ago)

The jitter of moving subjects in several of them shows the triggering wasn't really simultaneous. Could be the non-real time OS as another poster mentioned.

Overall, I think it would have been better with more interesting subject matter and slower animation.

3 upvotes
MisterPootieCat
By MisterPootieCat (2 months ago)

Almost tossed my lunch, can't believe the entire video was shot this way. It was old for me after about 10 seconds.

10 upvotes
gigitalnegative
By gigitalnegative (2 months ago)

feeling very headache just 10sec ,would rather they do in photo shot.

2 upvotes
AbeSnider
By AbeSnider (2 months ago)

I almost never get motion sick but I couldn't do more than about 25 seconds.

5 upvotes
Karl Summers
By Karl Summers (2 months ago)

Technology from the 90's...nice!

5 upvotes
jaygeephoto
By jaygeephoto (2 months ago)

Terrific! A truly nauseating perspective here on Earth for a fraction of the cost of actual going into outer space.

9 upvotes
drh681
By drh681 (2 months ago)

It seems like a camera tied to a bicycle wheel...

Kind of cool and disorienting.

It looks like the rig allows for varying the orientation of the cameras, so you don't really need to have that rolling appearance.
I wonder if you could set the arc with the ends up?
Or even rig a complete circle!

2 upvotes
Farmer in the Dell
By Farmer in the Dell (2 months ago)

made me dizzy-- could only watch about 20 seconds

6 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (2 months ago)

So what's different from just tilting a high-res photo? Chain camera is cool if you know how to use it and clearly they don't.

1 upvote
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (2 months ago)

the difference is the slightly different perspective you get from each of the 50 cameras...you can't get the same effect from a single image, no matter how many pixels it has...

1 upvote
nosnoop
By nosnoop (2 months ago)

But it is not very obvious! And that's the failure of this exercise. There is not much "wow" factor. If you put a rotating single image side by side with this, many uninitiated would not be able to tell the difference. It may even look better without those awkward jittery effect. OTOH, if you wrap the cameras AROUND the subject, the effect is much more stunning. Sure, we have seen it before, but it can still wow many people.

2 upvotes
Turbguy1
By Turbguy1 (2 months ago)

Makes my head spin...

2 upvotes
VadymA
By VadymA (2 months ago)

Hmm, I am getting practically the same effect by taking a video with just one phone while moving the arm holding the phone in a wide arch over my head from one side to another. Sure I am not "freezing" the moment but comparing cost and efforts I don't see their point really.

2 upvotes
ric63
By ric63 (2 months ago)

I agree

I don't see the point of it.
Interesting yes, that's about it for me.

0 upvotes
jimjim2111
By jimjim2111 (2 months ago)

ric, maybe you are asking too much of this interesting pr project, if you recognise it is interesting but don't think you see the point of it!

0 upvotes
ric63
By ric63 (2 months ago)

hi Jim,
Agreed :-)

1 upvote
3DSimmon
By 3DSimmon (2 months ago)

Pretty cool, although I would have slowed it down to about 60% in mid rotation.

2 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (2 months ago)

tsk tsk

A horizontal array would have been more digestible to viewers.

The current array just looks like cut out layers being tossed around....

Nice project.

.

1 upvote
stevevelvia50
By stevevelvia50 (2 months ago)

I think it is always good to try new approaches to creative innovation. This particular project doesn't work for me, however I applaud the amount of time and energy going into the project. I think that people with a mainly technical background are not always so inclined to be innately creative in tradition of fine art. Unfortunately we are seeing a lot of "wow" look at what can be done with technology rather than stepping back and accessing whether or not the resulting "artwork" is really successful. In this case it is all about the technology, not personal creativity. We realize that an inexpensive camera in the hand of a creative personality is all that is needed! Remember Robert frank?

4 upvotes
deep7
By deep7 (2 months ago)

Interesting use of technology but most of the subject matter is pretty dull, especially for this sort of technique. The flying birds and skateboarder are good though. You really need to suspend some sort of animation, otherwise it just looks like you've used software to spin a photo. Nice that all those phones and the Surface could communicate.

4 upvotes
Derek Dean
By Derek Dean (2 months ago)

I like to think I'm pretty open to new stuff, but I just don't get this. Maybe I AM getting old. Oh well.

0 upvotes
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (2 months ago)

nauseating!
like being knocked out in a fight umpteen times :P

I prefer circling a central subject at a given level (angled/inclined is fine, but no spinning the perspective a la cartwheel)

2 upvotes
Karroly
By Karroly (2 months ago)

The synchronization issue shows that the OS of the smartphone is far from being real-time. You press the "trigger"...and do not know when the shutter is released. Throwing a sensor and a lens into a computer (what a smartphone is) to add a camera feature or adding some intelligence into a camera to enhance the shooting experience are two different approaches. I just hope that "traditional" digital cameras will not be stuffed with too much software and apps and not become as "sluggish" (from a photographer point of view) and power-hungry as smartphones...
Here, there are too much software layers between the "trigger" and the shutter, IMHO...

2 upvotes
StevenE
By StevenE (2 months ago)

I didn't like it, just repetitive spinning, make me feel ill.
A guy put a gopro on a ceiling fan outdoors, with fireworks ... that was cool! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvghDGlrbUo

5 upvotes
dr8
By dr8 (2 months ago)

this appears to be another - 'I'm a 'hipster' and look at the new thing/ idea/ product WE have created!' (which means it has been around for years/decades, etc and we just stumbled on it and have used it in a useless/pointless/ yawn, creative way) - or worse, "look how we have "re-imagined" this technique!" Re- imagined, that term should be re-imagined & banned.

3 upvotes
AV Janus
By AV Janus (2 months ago)

I wonder why they haven't curved the arc a bit outward. That would have given it a more around 3d look and perspective.
But its kinda cool, but ultimately pointless...

5 upvotes
chaos215bar2
By chaos215bar2 (2 months ago)

This is neat, but I can't figure one thing out. Did they intentionally vary the exposure and shutter trigger time slightly, or could they not actually figure out how to synchronize the cameras correctly? I don't dislike the effect (it kind of goes with the theme of street photography), but I wouldn't mind if it looked more intentional.

Aside from that, it would be nice if this was a bit more than just a Microsoft / Lumia ad.

2 upvotes
MarcusGR
By MarcusGR (2 months ago)

A very complicated way to obtain a rather miserable result ... connecting a large, horizontal circle of cameras all around an action-scene would have provided a much more interesting result ... OK, it would have been more costly as well. But at least worth the effort !

4 upvotes
Lan
By Lan (2 months ago)

Yes, but then it would look exactly the same as "bullet time" in the Matrix. This was at least different.

I liked the pigeons and the skateboarder shots - the rest were a bit dull. Like bullet time it really needs to capture something in motion.

1 upvote
jaygeephoto
By jaygeephoto (2 months ago)

Hope their professor gave them a decent grade for the effort.

1 upvote
huyzer
By huyzer (2 months ago)

I like that it's an arc. The transition is different. No need to duplicate bullet time exactly.

It is a shame, on the technical side of things, that it wasn't trigger simultaneously (well, at least for a few frames). But I actually might just like it better to see the flapping wings, or step of the person.

0 upvotes
Saffron_Blaze
By Saffron_Blaze (2 months ago)

Look at all the internet geniuses that magically gather here for this post.

1 upvote
Michael Piziak
By Michael Piziak (2 months ago)

Another reason not to buy Microsoft or Nokia products.

4 upvotes
activa
By activa (2 months ago)

I could not see it. Felt tizzy. May be something new but not worth the effort

4 upvotes
Juck
By Juck (2 months ago)

Wows, short but pointless. Particularly enjoyed the homeboy grabbing his crotch.

4 upvotes
Total comments: 119
12
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