Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What Happens When the Bubble Bursts?

We're not usually fans of special effects, because when they are not well-done, they are cheesy. Let's face it. That's more the norm than the exception. But every now and again, an extraordinary special effect perfectly suits a situation. That's the case with this 90-second commerical with very cool slow motion effects. It was shot with a special high speed video camera.

Over a century ago, Eadweard Muybridge completed one of the first scientific slow motion studies. He was commissioned by Leland Stanford Sr, then governor of California, to photograph his race horse Occident to find out whether the horse ever had all four feet off the ground at any one point in time. Today, you can apply super slow motion as an artistic device. The frame rate of the camera that captured the scenes in this commercial was 2000 frames/second. For comparison, standard video is shot at 30 frames/second. In order to see every tiny movement of the water droplets exploding from the burst balloons in a continuous series of perfectly sharp images, you need a camera capable of very high frame rates.

Oh, and the horse was completely airborne for a fraction of a second.

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