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Butterflies & Slow Motion

Here's is one of the spots we worked on for Send A Cake, a company specializing in mail-order cakes with a surprise inside: open the lid and wind-up butterflies explode out of the box. Man, it's fun filming exploding boxes.

We filmed the action at 600 frames per second using the Phantom Flex 4k. Our motion control robot was triggered in sync with the release of the butterflies. The action all takes place in about two seconds real-time, so it would be impossible to have a camera operator repeatedly perform a perfect, smooth camera move and expect an AC to nail focus every time. Ain't gonna happen. When you're filming at 600fps, two seconds becomes 50 seconds and every camera shake or out-of-focus moment is 25x more obvious.

Using Dolores we could run the same camera moves on repeat with zero downtime or focusing hiccups. The hardest part about these shoots is working with human talent and trying to trigger the robot move to happen precisely at the right moment. The move happens so quickly if anyone is a quarter-second too slow or too fast the shot often becomes unusable. The solution to that? Replace all people on Earth with robots....

Here's the BTS:

And here's the final video:


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