Category Archives: time-based media

A catch-all for projects that involve manipulating perception of time: slow motion, time lapse, slit-scan and long exposure.

More fun with Triggertrap

I’ve added a couple of timelapses to Youtube this week, both made with Triggertrap here in Edinburgh.

The first is a capture of Bruce Munro’s Field of Light installation currently at St Andrew square. This was my first experiment with the ‘bulb ramping’ approach, of extending the shutter speed as the timelapse progresses to compensate for falling light as the sun sets. It’s a bit rough around the edges due to some technical limitations and having to guess at appropriate settings, but works reasonably well at compressing the hour around sunset into a minute. You can see Field of Light until April 27th.

The second is a collection of timelapses from the construction of a giant mathematical sculpture. Innovative Learning Week at the University of Edinburgh gives students and staff alike a chance to branch out from their usual lecture schedule and try something different, and this event organised by Julia Collins from the School of Mathematics was a UK first. Involving a team of 20 people, nearly 11,000 pieces of zometool, over six hours of construction time and several extra large pizzas, we were able to built a ‘giant 4D buckyball’, or more formally, a cantitruncated 600 cell. You should be able to go and see this at Summerhall until we need the pieces for something else – probably the Edinburgh Science Festival around Easter – and I’ll try to write more about the mathematics over on Modulo Errors in due course.

(For both videos, you may be better off viewing in full HD.)

Space-time manipulation (with buses)

I’ve been continuing my adventures in image manipulation with Matlab, taking the opportunity to play with a technique I’ve been interested in for a long time – ‘slit scan’ or ‘strip’ photography. A very brief (but rather maths-y) explanation of what’s going on in the clip above would be the following:

Let a video be defined by T frames each of dimension X-by-Y. Then the pixel value to be displayed at location x,y at time t is simply V(x,y,t) for some 3-dimensional array V; so the kth frame corresponds to the 2-d image Fk given by the plane T=k. But we may consider other planes to generate frames; by fixing a horizontal position X=k individual frames are images given by (t,y)=V(k,y,t) and iterating through these gives a new video V’(x,y,t)=V(t,y,x).

If that tells you everything you need to know, you can look at a couple more examples here and (more abstractly) here. Otherwise, read on for a fuller explanation!

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Having finally dragged myself into the smartphone age I was at last able to get set up with the mobile version of TriggerTrap, a timelapse gizmo created by some friends of mine. I already had a starting project in mind, to capture the antics of my Roomba.

Having recently returned to Edinburgh for an MSc, I find myself studying Matlab for the first time in a decade. I always feel that the best way to familiarise yourself with a programming language is to have a goal in mind, and I remembered from a JMM talk that Matlab can be used for image processing. So whilst I’d normally reach for python to tackle an unfamiliar task, on this occasion I took the rather circuitous route of Matlab, processing and some video-editing tools.

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Bath Upchuck 2011

Trunk of Goodies.

The third Bath Upchuck juggling convention was (due to the magic of February’s 28 days) exactly a month ago today, and I’m still wading through the footage… This year I was a bit more organised on the day, and claimed one of the squash courts as a slow motion film studio for a couple of hours. You can view the highlights above – as well as some stills from wandering with the dSLR – but I promised to compile reels for each individual performer, and those are taking time. Still, I managed to post a video each evening of last week, and should be able to do the same for the next, so keep checking the dedicated playlist. In a departure from my usual methods, I also shot some timelapse:

Tokudane Toko Doga

I was contacted at the start of the month by a director from NHK’s Tokudane Toko Doga which – as best I can tell – is a ten minute weekly broadcast on interesting youtube videos. Glide had caught their attention, and last week I had the slightly surreal experience of an interview over skype, via an interpreter. The clip above is today’s show, and a few of my slow motion projects appear, between 03:30 and 05:16. Since I don’t speak Japanese I don’t have much idea what’s going on; my first soundbite was in response to the question “What did you feel when you first saw the video?”, and the second is me butchering the name of the show :) There’s also an entry on their blog, but I can’t read that either!