Step 6: Shutter Cable Hack

The next step is control. We need to be able to fire all the cameras at the same time and control each one individually. Luckily, the Olympus SP-510 UZ was chosen in part because it has an optional external shutter release cable that allows you to trigger the shutter, hold it open and close it all through the USB port. But to make this cable work in the matrix you need to:

1. hack the cable
2. extend the length of the cable

To Hack the Cable:
Open the the plastic casing on the remote cable release with a small phillips screwdriver. You will see three spring steel metal "fingers" stacked above one another with a small offset between each one. These fingers are conductive. Each finger has a single conductor connected to it. When you presh the button a plastic feature applies a pre-load on the spring fingers, which in turn bend to touch one another in series; First the top finger touches the middle, then the middle and top fingers both make a connection with the lowest finger. This action corresponds to three states of action in the camera: (1)Open circuit -- when the fingers are not touching, the camera is asleep (or awake if you recently took a photo, but the camera is inactive); (2) Half-trigger -- when you partially depress the button, the top finger touches the middle one and triggers the half-release mode; (this allows you to trigger auto-focus or wake the cameras from sleep without taking a photo) and (3) when you fully depress the switch you open the shutter and begin taking a flick. When you release the button the shutter closes and the camera is ready for another photo.

so this means:

- The top conductor is the half-trigger control wire.
- the middle conductor is power (a multimeter confirms).
- The bottom conductor is full-trigger control wire (i.e. take a photo dog!).

Now label those conductors and cut cut em. You can toss the plastic housing right in the landfill. Don't cut the small usb connector on the opposite end of the cable. We need that.

For our purposes we can connect the half-trigger and the full-trigger release leads together.
We will control the camera by "pulling up" the half/full trigger wire(s) to the power bus (which is 5VDC provided by the USB port of the camera).

You can still use the half-trigger function by quickly closing and opening the circuit from the control box. There is a ~1 second lag between flipping a switch on the control box and the actual triggering of the camera.
(see drawing below for more detail on the inside of the cable release housing.)

Extend the Cable:

I used a 24 AWG twisted pair of stranded conductors in a single insulated cable for each camera.

To solder this together I used:
- a Weller soldering irona
- wire stripper
- wire cutter
- pliers
- solder
- liquid flux
- shrink tube
- electrical tape
- wire ties

These parts all commonly available in a hardware store or a radio shack (see materials list in step 1 for links).

This next part of a pain in the ass (cuz the insulation on most consumer equipment is cheap and not heat resistant and the conductor are typically small):

1. strip the half trigger and full trigger leads
2. twist the the half trigger and full trigger conductors together, flux and solder them.
3. solder the half/full trigger bundle to the one of the twisted conductors.
4. strip, tin and solder the power lead to the other twisted conductor in the cable
5. Use shrink tube and tape to add strain release on both wires. Use wire ties to create a "service loop" for strain release.
6. cut back the cable insulation and expose the two conductors on the opposite side of the cable. You can strip the wires as they will need to fit into a screw-down terminals.
7. Repeat for N number of cameras. This gets real old real fast.

ON the other end of the cable you will have two leads: camera control (thats the half/full trigger bundle we soldered together) and camera power. I soldered all the camera power leads together in a big solder ball, with a single wire jumper i could plug into the box, the i covered it all with electrical tape. Bad form right, but i had some people breathing over my shoulder. The camera control leads will plug into the control box and the screw-down terminals. Label these cables with tape and a sharpie now and save yourself a little grief.
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 ;-)
mmm tasty
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
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