SHDC#15 – It’s Bullet Time!

SHDC#15 happened on August 15th; great weather, great food and new faces! Just what we want.

I had got hold of a new toy that morning (video camera), so it was pretty obvious to me what I’d be doing. My experience with video cameras to this point has been limited to my Nokia phone and an 8mm when I was little. So, lots to learn (like how to record something). However, that didn’t deter me from setting nice big hairy goals for my first filming attempt, which I decided had to include rigs. Maybe unwise, but much more fun.

The shot I wanted was something like bullet-time – with my slight budget difference, pseudo-bullet-time would be fine. After spending a lot of time thinking what could allow a smooth pan-around, Dan came up with the idea of a bike wheel. So put it on the outside of the frame, tape on a mini-tripod, and you get:

The idea in my head was a USB cable flying in to a computer having been thrown (rather than shot!); I wanted to have this as part of an over-the-top demo video of how to set up mbed (more on mbed soon; release is close!). Of course, getting the right shot is all about the right props; check out my USB-cable-on-a-skewer!

The main idea was to fly the cable in to the centre, stop it and then do a camera 180, then carry it on flying. It has to be 1 shot, three movements, but feel like bullet-time! To give you an idea of what it looks like, here is a video of some of the early test shots to see if the concept would work. Whilst they are not very careful shots, you can get the idea.

From then on, there was lots of experimenting with rigs to fly the cable (a dismantled vegetable trolley) and get the computer setup (on kitchenware on a chair). But it was worth it – I got the (slightly ropey) shot I was after – you’ll see the results soon!

I didn’t pay much attention to what everyone else was up to, but we did get in to a conversation about tandems, and then rolf saying he’d been on a 10 person tandem, then trying to google it, and finding this…

Maybe Cambridge needs one?

The BBQ was rolled out, so there was good food on tap. And whilst a lot of the regulars couldn’t make it this time, there was a bunch of newbies, and that means lots of cake! The idea of making cake a newbie requirement was genius. The home made apple cake deserves a particular mention, and was still warm when it arrived. Thanks to all who came and consumed!

FYI: We’re also exploring getting a proper hackspace/hackerspace type venue. Jonny and I have been keeping our eye on one for a while, and we’ll see if we can progress it for next time. More news when we know it, but we think it’d be great for Cambridge to have a proper hackspace. We’ll make it happen!

Interested in joining us at the next SHDC? Then see for voting on when we should have the next one. For those that use twitter, use to keep note of any updates and plans.

See you next time!

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