Step 11: Ghetto Matrix Operations Quick-Start Guide

Because we were experimenting with open shutter photography ambient lighting was kept to a minimum. Operationally, we used the camera as follows:

Step 1:
Get everything set in place (eg. subject is on the mark, camera trigger person is ready, and graf writers are standing by with light writing implements).

Step 2:
Turn off all of the lights so that it is as close to pitch black as possible. The person on the Ghettro Matrix control box gives a count down to zero and then opens the master switch so that the shutters on all of the cameras open.

Step 3:
The subject (aka person on film you want to see) stands very still in the dark as the people doing the light writing draw imagery and trace the subject using anything ranging from LED Throwies to flashlights.

NOTE: LED Throwie Mod #374
Most of the writing done in our shoot was done with a modified LED Throwie. Make a Throwie and leave one of the LED legs loose (by putting tape underneath the leg creating an offset, but leaving an exposed area on the battery contact surface under the raised LED leg) so that when pinched the LED turns on. You can easily craft something that works using electrical tape. This allows the graffiti writers to quickly and easily turn the LED on and off when writing.

Step 4:
Once the graffiti writers have completed writing they quickly exit the frame and yell "we out hackers".

Step 5:
Before the camera shutters are closed the subject is hit with a single flash from a strobe or camera flash, exposing the subject. If you want to emphasize the light writing instead of the people then minimize or skip the flash all together.

Step 6:
Flip the switch on the control box closing all of the camera shutters. The entire process from Step 2 to Step 6 should only take about 5 - 20 seconds (depending on the amount of ambient light and desired result).

Step 7:
Look at camera display of resulting shot. Based on the preview image you should be able to adjust the writing, exposure time, subject position, and lighting quickly and re-shoot.

Step 8:
Repeat till dope!
This Instructable <strong>won the $15,000 laser cutter!</strong> Read more about it<strong> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.instructables.com/forum/Graffiti-artists-replicate-The-Matrix-on-Instructa/">here</a></strong>.<br/>
sup mah niggah you want some kool-aid??
Brilliant work!
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?
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Or you could just do it with 2 cameras, Photoshop and AfterEffects like they did here at the 1:32 mark: <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.hadlowpro.com/">http://www.hadlowpro.com/</a>. 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.<br/>
&nbsp;That video is SICK! did they just go frame by frame in photoshop? that would take forever.....
Safety tip, kids: Keep your fingers out of the path of the moving saw!
Aw, no fun...
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: <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzL6fH-P0w8">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzL6fH-P0w8</a><br/>
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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
TYPE IN CAPS..........not good
Again congrats guys...
very nice work
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
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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.
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.<br/><em>I love italics in this font. I'm getting addicted! Help! 1234567890qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmQWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</em><br/>
haha, i'll try to get it up after school tommrow
*June 2nd rolls around*
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 ;-)
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anyone got a spare small fortune so i can make one of these. my spare film crew needed something to do
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
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
I agree
wowa! this is intense
Do they have to keep saying fuck and mother fucker? And, not to whine too much, but the beauty of the bullet time effect is that in the Matrix, they go from movement, to stoppage, to movement. I watched the whole video and didn't see one instance of movement/stoppage/movement.
just throw a video recorder at the end of the line of cameras
I somewhat agree, they did actually a chieve a very nice low budget bullet time RIG, but I am a little disappointed that it wasn't used to full advantage. Since I haven't done an instructable yet, I assume I'll get some attitude for making a negative comment... This is not to knock Grafitti Research Lab at all. I'm a big fan of their inventive projects and daring and all, but with that rig, I would just want to make some footage that really rocked our collective world. The effect as GRL used it in this film (the bullet time shots) I believe I could do a similar thing with one video camera and a handful of still images, and Adobe's sick new Creative Suite... and leave some money in the kitty for the wrap party's supplies. In fact, I guess I am just gonna have to see what I can do to put up an instructable about it,. All my comments notwithstanding, I think this was an excellent project, maybe not Grand Prize material, but really up there in the winning zone.
i agree and posted to the likes. i like what they did but can we say overkill.
i think it woulda been cheaper to just make a track and a high speed camera and just have to roll start to finish like how it was actually done. seems like a lot of extra stuff for how to do bullet time. its a great concept probably the easiest for the basic user to make, to do this effect and the most expensive. and i agree with russ nelson. thats not the matrix effect at all. i think this instructable is 100 percent over kill. ive seen a group called digital visions do this effect first hand a few times with a much simpler rig for the 420 outlaws. and i thought this guide would be along the same lines as there rig. and as i saw it my first and only remaining thought is. why would you do it with so many cameras. it worked but the question is not if it would work. its with that many cameras dang how couldnt you get that effect to work.
I've seen people made this 4 times... It was presented at a mall once. its pretty cool when they show the results. they charge 2 bucks though...
Wow.... you guys have done outdone urselves again! I friggin love it!

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Bio: Agent 005 of the Graffiti Research Lab
More by fi5e: DOUBLE KEYBOARD USA - USB: American Flag USB Memorial How to Enter the Ghetto Matrix (DIY Bullet Time)
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