2000 pictures compose this piece- that is, 2000 perfect different water drops into which we mapped an animation. Droplets that behave and look strangely similar at the stage of less entropy, and become more disorderly as they splash.

The final result of the piece you have seen has absolutely no CGI, and was shot in stopmotion so as to be able to project inside the waterdrop the logo formation, previously animated in 3D and then printed in paper and placed behind the water drop falling. There were 320 frames printed and replaced frame by frame in the animation, and over 2000 frames compose the final shot- this meaning that the drop you see is never the same, there are 2000 different drops in the piece. In order to be able to photograph each one in exactly the right place as to be able to see a fluid fall, we created an Arduino-based system in which, after having the drop cross a laser pointer, we would have the absolute precision of when to trigger the flashes and camera to see the drop in the right position. We worked very hard to synch this mechanism to our Motion Control system, and the final piece is the result of a 3-week testing process in which we shot about 45 splashing tests with over 20000 pictures taken, before we produced the final shot.

Step 1: Detecting the Water Drop: Laser Beam-photodiode

There are several ways to detect a droplet by using sensors: infrared barriers, laser beams… In this case, we chose a laser pointer to which we added a switch to make it easier to turn on/off.

We also investigated the fastest electronic component that measures interruption of a laser beam. Among a choice of photoresistors, phototransistors and other components capable of measuring light variations, we ended up using a photodiode. After some testing, we added some resistances in parallel so as it wouldn’t be so sensitive and would only be affected by interruptions of the laser beam, and not ambiance light for example. This tiny circuit is enough to allow the photodiode to work as a digital switch putting out 5v when the laser hits the photoreceptor, and 0 when a water drop interrupts the laser beam. We also placed a cinefoil (a black matte aluminium sheet used in photography) pierced with a needle was placed in front of the laser pointer so as to make it even more precise to the dripping.
Fantastic animation.
You are jaw-droppingly awesome. But you probably already knew that. <br>
Fantastic, very impressive

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