First Log

A project log for 1050mph Virtual Rocket Camera

Warning! No Rocket involved! Collaborative Open Art Project.

frankstripodfrankstripod 03/12/2015 at 02:259 Comments

First Log: Original description and mixed thoughts.

I want make a moving (1050mph minimum) time lapse video of a sunset at ground level, but fireing rockets at high speeds over populated areas inside controlled airspace is kind of illegal. This could be faked by having cameras set up in a straight line, evenly distributed over a long distance, but impossible for one person.

This will require thousands of volunteer photographers. Anyone interested?

The long boring confession: I have been doing photography for a very very long time. I love watching the sunrise and sunset, even more than robots. One day I was traveling west between 300-400mph (not exact, I was not paying attention at the time), and staring at a beautiful sunset unfolding through my window. Because I was chasing the sun on the horizon, I thought this will be the longest sunset I have seen. This is not a desired thing among most humans, because I have only encountered a handful of people with enough patience to sit through an entire sunset, let alone a sunrise. I wondered how fast I would need to go to make it last indefinitely.

Set Up:

Need to set up volunteer map:

Got four already! I am looking for a straight line, but will take what I can get.

Need to set up equipment and video requirements:

Orientation: It would be nice if everyone had the same camera on the same settings, but I think that would be impossible.


zakqwy wrote 03/16/2015 at 14:57 point

Seems like a good excuse to buy a decent video camera; I've been using my Galaxy S4 for Youtube stuff and it isn't the best. 

Thoughts on transferring raw video? Dropbox or something else?

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frankstripod wrote 03/16/2015 at 16:09 point

Dropbox it is! For now at least. There are still a lot of details
missing, and I am hoping to get a lot of community input as it gets
larger. I also think that posting minimum equipment requirements right
now would scare a lot of people away, so just looking for warm bodies
(robots also welcome,) then figure out what they have. I have been
suffering with my ancient HTC phone for videos, so I will need
something better also.

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esot.eric wrote 03/17/2015 at 01:40 point

I agree on the minimum-requirements-aspect... I'm glad to do what I can with what I've got... I do know that my cameras tend to take better photographs than videos, so I might prefer to fiddle with the settings until I get them right, and do dozens of photos instead... (?)

When the thousands start rolling in, it may be the case that a straight-line is not only possible, but *multiple* straight-lines could be... Again getting way ahead of myself, but am thinking along the lines of a choose-your-own-adventure-style "video"... remember QuickTime VR? (something like it, I'm sure, exists now, but I can't think of what... maybe something like Google's Street-View...?)

I, again, dig the thousands on one day, at one time, aspect... but there may be something in doing a couple rough test-runs with 40 or so and potentially-shoddy cameras... then work up to something big.

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esot.eric wrote 03/17/2015 at 01:42 point

HAH! I just had a really weird visual....

What if there were thousands aligned along a highway, say... all taking that shot... and in the shot you could see the other person taking the next shot.

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frankstripod wrote 03/17/2015 at 05:22 point

Test runs will be necessary. I would hate to approve "dozens of photos" right now, but I will have to take what I can get. I will post more guide lines as we go. This will be a can of worms like no editor has ever seen before, but I am determined to make this work. The photographer in me is dying because of the inherent problems with compatibility and quality, but I promised myself to "just deal with it" and "trust in people." I fully expect that no matter how hard I try to avoid it, I will get at least one video so far above 4K, that my computer will crash just by looking at the file name, AND also get one reused Sony Betamax video cassette from 1975, by mail with postage due.

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frankstripod wrote 03/17/2015 at 05:23 point

This could later develop into another project where each town or city could be a "fork in the road," or be done in other locations like Europe. I actually already imagined your idea of seeing the next person, but that also would be another project where even the sunsets are faked.

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frankstripod wrote 03/17/2015 at 05:26 point

@esot.eric.wazhung - Seriously, I always look forward to your comments, because they are bubbling with ideas. :)

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esot.eric wrote 03/17/2015 at 06:10 point

hah, I hope I can keep that up for yah ;)

Can of worms... yes. I did think about the camera compatibility, different whosamawatzit settings, lenses, etc. It'll be interesting, and likely a lot of work. Maybe, plausibly, some of that could be automated with scripts... e.g. equalization, etc... maybe some'll have to be customized. Ground-level, of course, will contain trees, etc, that'll flash-by in a single frame... It sounds like you've been thinking about all that, as well, and have some great ideas on making it flow.

I dig it.

The sunset-along-a-highway led to convincing a bunch of bikers to do this... Sometimes those groups can contain thousands... spread 'em out about a mile each... some of those groups seem to like charity-runs, etc... could be entwined somehow, along Route66 ;)

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frankstripod wrote 03/17/2015 at 07:13 point

This project has been haunting my brain for years. I am so glad to
get it all out, and is here to make it all happen at the right
time! (I knew you would like the Beta ref :)

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