Time-Slice Films – Photography Meets Cinematography

Sometimes people call it Bullet-time, but more properly it is called time-slice – freezing a moment in time, but from multiple views – an effect made most famous by the Matrix series of films.

The team behind the effect

I met the Time-Slice Films team at the Canon Pro Solutions Exhibition, and recorded this intverview with Tim Macmillan. The company was established back in 1994 by Tim, who originated the effect in his days at Bath Academy of Art, using film-based cameras and manual compositing. A far cry from today’s rig, here’s the interview:

The set up at the show

Time-slice films are at the leading edge of 2D/3D animation, with an impressive portfolio that includes work for the BBC, ITV, Capital FM and a host of other household names. These are a few stills (taken with a Canon 5D mk II and aloaned 35mm F/1.4L  prime lens at the show – nice one Canon!):

The set up at the show consisted of 55 Canon 450D’s, with stock lenses. The set up is modular and can scale to a much larger number of cameras, and the rail tracks can be configured to almost any shape. Keeping it less than a 120′ arc is essential to reduce post processing (more than that and you have to edit the cameras out of the shot). Each camera has to be aligned, zoomed and focussed. A bit of a job! You can check out their gallery of film clips shot at the Canon show here.

Adverts Film and Wildlife

I’ll leave you with this piece from Time-Slice Films, produced for Cat Clothing, which includes both Time-Slice(R) shots and high speed video:

Cat Clothing from TimeSlice® Films on Vimeo.

Cat Clothing from Time-Slice® Films on Vimeo.

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