Japan's NHK develops robot camera array for Matrix-like effects

The public broadcaster has built a linked camera array that will shoot scenes from multiple angles and create rotating shots.

A cameraman shoots video using an experimental camera system from Japanese broadcaster NHK, which links multiple cameras to provide multiple angles of the same scene.

A cameraman shoots video using an experimental camera system from Japanese broadcaster NHK, which links multiple cameras to provide multiple angles of the same scene.

Japan's public television broadcaster, NHK, has developed an array of video cameras that are synchronized to create "bullet time" shots like those popularized in the film The Matrix.

Video shot using the system can be used to create an effect where the subject freezes and the camera angle pans around it, commonly called "bullet time" after a famous Matrix scene. NHK has used the system with a dozen cameras synched together.

(See a video of the system on YouTube.)

The system links its multiple cameras, each on motorized mounts, so that they can be operated by a single cameraman. One of the cameras is chosen as the master, which the others use for positioning and auto focus. Once the video is shot it is sent directly to a computer system, which can generate a clip in about a minute.

NHK is planning to initially use the system at sporting events, allowing key moments in the action to be frozen and viewed from multiple angles. The broadcaster demonstrated the system using basketball players dunking on an indoor hoop at its research facility outside of Tokyo earlier this month.

The system can also potentially be used for filming in 3D, using the slightly skewed perspective provided by the cameras' offset location.

NHK is also working on a new type of camera to make it easier to film scenes that shoot subjects against virtual backgrounds. Such systems need to constantly track the location of the camera in three-dimensional space, and some solutions involve bulky hardware that can only be used indoors.

NHK has developed a portable camera mounted with a downward-pointing laser rangefinder on a motorized mount that allows the camera to be carried by hand and swung around for shots from various angles within the virtual space.

Tags popular scienceNHKindustry verticals

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?