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How to Enter the Ghetto Matrix (DIY Bullet Time)

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The following is a tutorial on how to build your own cheap, portable and hood-style bullet time camera rig on the cheap and the fly. This rig was designed by the Graffiti Research Lab and director Dan the Man to use in a hip-hop music video for underground rappers Styles P, AZ and the legendary Large Professor (spinning below). Just another chapter in the GRL's continuing mission to make open source the sixth element of hip-hop.

Peep the vid at the resolution of the proletariat (below):



Or see how the higher-res live here.

Before we even get started I'd like to throw out some shout outs to PIPS:lab, Pikapika and Picasso/Man Ray for their inspiration on this project. Humbly, all the GRL did was create a tool that would enable the director Dan Melamid to remake the Matrix with Neo as a rapper from Yonkers, NY surrounded by the best graf writers in the city using a mash-up of several existing light-drawing techniques and their own hand-styles.

This project started for us when Dan called and asked if we wanted to get involved in a project combining light, graffiti, bullet time, Brooklyn, and rappers on a small budget to create a video for Styles P's the Hardest. Dan explained that to rent a bullet time or time slicing rig in NYC, it could cost as much as $100,000 per day. Luckily for him graffiti writers and graffiti engineers work for coffee and snickers bars. So we all worked together to make a system that only costs $5000-$8000 and takes just two days to make.

For photos of the video shoot travel here.
Big thanks to Dan for inviting us in and allowing us to open source the process in this tutorial.

(More thanks, credits, and shout outs in Step 14... )
The GRL is a F.A.T. Lab Production.

Now let's jack into the Ghetto Matrix...
 
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This Instructable won the $15,000 laser cutter! Read more about it here.
jiffycoil2 years ago
Brilliant work!
IdealL3 years ago
DUDE! You look like the Fresh Prince of Bel Air!
Holy crap how much did this cost?!?
How did you do the light drawing 180?
palmettosky5 years ago
Or you could just do it with 2 cameras, Photoshop and AfterEffects like they did here at the 1:32 mark: http://www.hadlowpro.com/. They do it many more times in this video too. I know for a fact that they did it with only two cameras and some rotoscoping and morphing.
 That video is SICK! did they just go frame by frame in photoshop? that would take forever.....
MVD5 years ago
Safety tip, kids: Keep your fingers out of the path of the moving saw!
iTraceur MVD5 years ago
Aw, no fun...
artseed5 years ago
This is definitely a great project, amazing results. While some of the costs may be out of reach for some you could still get interesting results if you used less cameras, it is still DIY. I made a few versions using 35mm film cameras photographing a whirling dervish, I hope to have time to post an instructable in july on my camera rig but until then you can see the results here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzL6fH-P0w8
flashrings.jpg
GRL is the dopest crew I have seen rolling other yet... my homeboy rolls with them and for whatever reason they need a laser cuter....... so I voted and you should too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
dopiest?
NOT A FAN OF RAP, BUT THATS A PRETTY SWEET RIG. BUT SEEMS LIKE A PRETTY STEEP PRICE TAG TO BE A "GHETTO RIG". LOW COST MAYBE, GHETTO, NOT BY A LONG SHOT. IMPRESSIVE TO SAY THE LEAST.
TYPE IN CAPS..........not good
Fasteners5 years ago
Again congrats guys...
Fasteners5 years ago
very nice work
setmefree6 years ago
I agree with a lot of you. This is not DYI. It actually looks professional, is too costly and is the same way done in the matrix. Nothing new, but i like the light effects around the guy.
Absolutely this is DIY. That's what you do when you don't want to drop $100,000 to do it professionally... you "do it yourself"
I'm confused ;) When did "looking Professional" and cost take a project out of the definition and realm if DIY? Respectfully all the comments in this vein sound no different than the sour grapes overheard at any event, when someone is judged to be a winner
nicenice6 years ago
wow!! Stop Motion? matrix :-))
after effect!
Adobe family lesson and stop motion =>www.newzatcekim.tr.cx

turkey in ege
ım sorry not spaek english ım speak turkish

Tıpkı matrix filminde olduğu gibi.(stop maotion)
Bu yanında matör kalmış...
Bizim stop motion çalışmamızı görmek isteyenler
www.newzatcekim.tr.cx adresine bakabilir.
(adobe ailesi tüm programları için ders verilir.)
You could do bullet time if you used cameras that have the multi-shot option where they take multiple photos over a short period of time.
ultrauber6 years ago
Um...24 $300 cameras? That's a bit out of my league. And probably many others' leagues as well. That's like, what, $7300? Plus $150 for the light stands, and maybe $500 for all the other pieces and tools? You could buy a car for that much! Not saying it's a bad 'ible, but...whew! Pricey!
im thinking of a different way of doing the same thing, but with one camera...
You could just record a video and have the camera roll on a track as suggested below or you could use a pulley system.
You could but the camera would have to move really fast to create a bullet time effect. Also the frame rate would have to be high.
Well, it'd still probably top off less than this.
That's true.
You could always try green/ blue screen
yeah, but i stuck with just taking pictures, the instructable will be up in a little while
Can't wait for the 'ible.
I love italics in this font. I'm getting addicted! Help! 1234567890qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmQWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM
haha, i'll try to get it up after school tommrow
*June 2nd rolls around*
masterme1206 years ago
You know, this wasn't really bullet time. In bullet time, each camera fires within a fraction of a second of each other, so that the actor doesn't even have to slow down. That's how they do it in the Matrix. It has an easter egg in the DVD version that explains this when you select an image of the red pill somewhere in the menus.
wooo! now go to the place of a sun banks ;-)
mmm tasty
scottbates6 years ago
anyone got a spare small fortune so i can make one of these. my spare film crew needed something to do
alex26i6 years ago
The only thing ghetto about this is the film they shot. The way the built the system is the same as anybody with money would build this system. Same as the HP commercial they have been showing.
Anybody know of any interpolation software? ( Just to fill in the in between frames/pictures?) Thanks
Kimster6 years ago
Can´t believe this won the 15k laser cutter! I know I havn´t posted any instructables myself and therefore it might be conceived as arrogant of me to criticise this. But I am a fan of this site and I do think that its a site for and made by regular people. And in the spirit of ingenuity, outside-the-box-thinking and DIY it is my firm believe that giving the prize to this "instructable" is a slap in the face to the sites regular contributors. I mean, the bullet-time rig isn´t really different to the ones used by (more) proffesional filmmakers - basically its a copy of the one used in the Matrix-series.....only difference being cheaper cameras, no blue (i.e. green) screen and less postproduction - but the setup of the cameras is nothing more than what anybody could learn from seeing the "making of" part of the Matrix dvds. And furthermore the cost of the materials used makes this instructable useless for most (if not all) of the sites regular users - really, how many guys and girls who spends their time building stuff out of garbage and old pc-equipment has a budget pushing 10k for building a bullet-time rig? The point being that this instructable isn´t really that great - most people in here could have and probably would have built this if they had the budget. And I would argue that a lot of the cheaper projects in here would be far more obvious candidates for the first prize - certainly in terms of ingenuity and DIY-ness.... If a bullet-time rig was to be the winner, the prize should have gone to the guys from The Matrix :-) Best regards Kim
m-arijn Kimster6 years ago
I agree
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