Actors may soon say good-bye to those humbling Lycra body suits commonly used in the visual effects industry, thanks to a group of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Informatics (MPII). They've formed a start-up called The Captury that is set to deliver its proprietary markerless motion capture software later this year. Their software can even capture a costume's surface detail in three dimensions, like the draping folds in a ballroom dress.
Although not everyone may remember it, there was a time when if you wanted to make a professional-looking film, you needed either a 16mm movie camera or something along the lines of a BetaCam. Compact professional video cameras and video-capable DSLRs have changed that, although slick-looking videos still require more than just a good camera – it helps if you have a way of performing nice camera movements, too. The Red Rocket Slider is designed to get you some of those moves, without requiring a big gear truck or a big budget.
The skyrocketing popularity of smartphones and compact video cameras over the past several years has resulted in a certain class of products starting to show up a lot
on Kickstarter – rigs for stabilizing video shot with the devices. We’ve recently covered models such as the Circle Thing
, the Stabil-i Case
, and the SteadeeGo
. One of the latest such products, Steadibitz’ amazingly-named MojoFloCam, looks like it does a pretty good job at smoothing out the shakes.
In a development sure to send conspiracy theorists into a tizzy, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics (MPII) have developed video inpainting software that can effectively delete people or objects from high-definition footage. The software analyzes each video frame and calculates what pixels should replace a moving area that has been marked for removal. In a world first, the software can compensate for multiple people overlapped by the unwanted element, even if they are walking towards (or away from) the camera. See the incredible video demonstration after the break.
Viewers of televised football games can now see footage from video cameras mounted on the players’ helmets and the coaches’ heads ... what else could one ask? Of course, let’s see what things look like from the ball’s point of view! Actually, that’s no longer as far-fetched as it once was. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and Japan’s University of Electro-Communications (UEC) recently unveiled their BallCam system, which can provide relatively smooth video from a spinning, airborne football.
Last night's Academy Awards marked a number of achievements in film history, but there was one noteworthy accomplishment that wasn't mentioned on stage. While many people were focused on the high-profile Best Picture nominees and Hollywood stars, the low-budget film Searching for Sugar Man
received the award for Best Documentary. Aside from earning plenty of acclaim for its director, Malik Bendjelloul, the film also became a technological milestone as the first movie partially shot with an iPhone to win an Oscar.
As can be seen by the increasing number of stabilizing rigs available for DSLRs and small camcorders, people don’t like shaky hand-held video. Most of those rigs are inspired by the Steadicam Smoothee
, utilizing a counter-weighted arm that extends below the gimbal-mounted camera. It’s an effective set-up, but one that’s also kind of fiddly. Fabricator and machinist Robert Stone has created something much more simple, in the form of the SteadyWheel.
Although it may seem like it was just yesterday that actioncams came into common use, already people are getting frustrated with the limitations of the “here’s what I was looking at” viewpoint. Thanks to innovations such as the 3rd Person View
, however, adventurous videographers can now include themselves in their self-shot videos. One of the latest such camera-on-a-stick gadgets is the backpack-mounted VuPackPole.
If you like to shoot point-of-view videos of your “extreme” endeavors, perhaps you sometimes get people saying “How come we never get to see you
in any of these?”. Well, you can address that by using something like the BoomPro
– both devices suspend your camera from your helmet, allowing it to get a shot of you. Soon, however, you may be able to get something a bit fancier, in the form of the 3rd Person View.
If you've ever tried changing focus between subjects while shooting a video with your DSLR, you'll know that auto-focus will often leave you with a stuttering and noisy clip, while using your hand on the lens in manual focus can be tricky. Follow focus systems try to make this easier and better by adding a handle to change focus smoothly, and marker points to move between. The newly-launched FocusMaker is the latest example, which promises the fastest and most accurate focusing of any affordable rack focus system.