March 29, 2015

This Nifty Rig Is Bringing Badass 360 Degree Slow Motion Shots to the Masses

OrcaVue 360 Degree Slow Motion Rig
Remember the bullet time effect?

Of course you do. It's only the coolest visual effect to emerge from the cinema of the 1990s. However, shooting a bullet time sequence is traditionally very expensive to pull off because it requires a veritable plethora of cameras (maybe 50 or so), and although DIY solutions exist, it usually requires a large crew, tons of extra gear, and a whole lot of work in post production.

But what if you could achieve a similar effect with a single camera and a nifty twirling high-speed camera rig? Well, now you can. A startup called OrcaVue is producing a kind camera movement platform that will bring bullet time-esque shooting capabilities to a much wider audience:

https://youtu.be/57f5UHP9P6M

And here's another example of the OrcaVue rig in action:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_qbc2YYb0g

The OrcaVue rig will come in two sizes depending on who or what will be on top of the platform and what kind of camera you're using.

OrcaVue 360 Degree Slow Motion Rig Specs

OrcaVue 360 Degree Slow Motion Rig Recommended Cameras

OrcaVue 360 Degree Slow Motion Rig

As of right now, you can purchase the OrcaVue Life for $2500 and an OrcaVue Life Travel Package that includes a custom Pelican case, an airplane-friendly battery, and some other accessories for $2800. No word yet on how much the XL version is going to cost. The OrcaVue team is also going to be providing rental services that include an experienced operator. 

Personally, I see the OrcaVue as a specialty item that may be worth renting on a project by project basis. The visual effect it produces definitely looks great, but it doesn't change the fact that this rig is a one-trick pony. For certain types of corporate, wedding, and sports videography, the OrcaVue is almost certainly going to find a niche. For everybody else, however, it may be difficult to justify the cost, cool though it may be.

If you have any questions about the OrcaVue rig, feel free to post them below.     

Your Comment

30 Comments

I remember creating something like this long time ago. Of course I used a string. It gets short after a couple of spins but it did the work.

March 29, 2015 at 12:58PM, Edited March 29, 12:58PM

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Edgar More
All
1072

jesus. i got halfway thru that demo video, and my head started to pound. at the very least, you have to slo-mo it, or your audience will puke. i just see using slices of the 360 panorama, not the whole thing .... so you can get THAT effect pretty easily with your 3-axis gimbal.

March 29, 2015 at 1:31PM, Edited March 29, 1:31PM

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stephen knifton
owner / creative director
243

this is fuckin sweet

March 29, 2015 at 2:11PM

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Max Ciesynski
Gaffer
653

This effect is nice, but it's going to get really old really fast. $2500 is a bit steep for a one trick pony.

March 29, 2015 at 3:12PM, Edited March 29, 3:12PM

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Wouldn't it be easier, and cheaper, to make a rig you could suspend over the subject's head? That way they could even walk into it.

Do it in a green studio and add your background later...

Reminds me of the rig used in the U2 video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yrch66gdjjk

March 29, 2015 at 3:44PM, Edited March 29, 3:44PM

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Karel Bata
Director / DP / Stereographer
542

been done already, with a cheap ceiling fan...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTQjIZR6xHA

December 1, 2016 at 9:37PM, Edited December 1, 9:37PM

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Matt
111

Mmm...

Photogrammetry possibilities abound.

March 29, 2015 at 4:20PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2889

Give me a break.
You could pair this price with the initial 1000 dollar iphone 4k app.

There is no way it's costing them that much to make a turn table with a stick.

March 29, 2015 at 4:56PM

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Film GRIT
Host With The Most
375

Several issues from the ad: --must shoot upward --subject must balance on that little disc and try to make it look natural --can't show subject's feet --in wider shots the subject appears to be levitating two feet above the ground --hope you enjoy having the power cord in your shots.

In my opinion the DIY rigs crush this thing and for close to free.

March 29, 2015 at 6:13PM

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Can you share a link of that DIY rig? The best one, of course :)

March 29, 2015 at 7:38PM

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Moosa Saleem
Director, Director of Photography
547

this one is $90 - you could probably add a carbon fiber boom pole to it with a counter weight and a pelican for a total cost of $500

March 29, 2015 at 7:41PM

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Ed David
Director of Photography
1412

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=1053245&gclid=Cj0...

... Uhh, no, that has a 25 pound limit, you can't stand on it, it's only good for small non-human subjects.

March 29, 2015 at 10:36PM

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For my money, some version of the ceiling fan DIY would be the way to go (linked in the article).

March 30, 2015 at 1:39AM, Edited March 30, 1:39AM

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Fire Guy, It really not all that complex at all. Yes, it is more complex than a turntable. But it's just a platform with a rod in the center and special ball bearing that probably has two attachment to it, one for the camera and the other for the counter weight. Its not anything different than how a skateboard wheel and axle work.

March 30, 2015 at 1:13PM

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Bert Beltran
Filmmaker | Editor | Motion Graphics | Drone Op
124

I'm planning to DIY one for myself.
Here is what I have in mind:
1 Plywood Wire/Cable Reel with Fiber Drum
1 Lazy Susan Bearing 5/16 Thick Turntable Bearings
1 Tamiya 72008 4-Speed Worm Gearbox H.E.
PVC Pipe or Metal Tubing

March 30, 2015 at 7:04PM

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Paul Usungu
Writer / Director / Producer
102

This rig is ridiculously way over priced.

March 29, 2015 at 8:40PM

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Paul Usungu
Writer / Director / Producer
102

This thing is awesome!!! But seriously.... $2500 hahaha! Brilliant idea, but all this thing is, is a pedestal with a rotating arm. We will definitely be seeing other companies making these and selling them for a couple hundred dollars. I love the idea tho. For a few hundo I'd definitely pick one up. This effect would look great in music videos.

March 30, 2015 at 2:16AM

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Kaster Troy
Director, DP, Editor
759

Srsly? To be honest this does not look like the bullet-time effect at all. It looks more like a circular dolly movement shot in slow-mo.

March 30, 2015 at 5:10AM

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After watching all of the Good Eats episodes available on Netflix, I am reminded of what Alton Brown calls a uni-tasker. This rig seems to fit into that category. It does one thing only, and based on their examples in the promo video, the angle is basically the same for each shot you create with this. I can see it getting old very fast and that's not something I want in a product that costs $2500.

March 30, 2015 at 9:58AM

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Brendan Plake
Freelancer
105

Jeep wheelhub, bike innertube, wood, a drill (18v+) and some mounting hardware. Add some square tubing if you wanted the cam attached. Probably wouldnt break $800 if you bought the tools brand new and the wheelhub wasnt available locally.

March 30, 2015 at 11:38AM

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Chris Hackett
Director, Director of Photography, Writer
1060

To control speed, hook up a harbor freight motor speed controller as well. Doubles as a cheap 1000w dimmer!

I'd consider attempting a DIY version of this, but the effort and cost involved would be competing with several other projects.

March 30, 2015 at 1:09PM

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Chuck McDowell
1st AC
520

The price for it is way to high for indie consumers. I see only special effect houses carrying these, or maybe certain production companies. I would only rent this product not buy it. They say at the end of the video the ultimate selfie. Who's going to carry this around and pull it out at a location to take a "ultimate selfie". Now theirs a parody video I would like to see.

March 30, 2015 at 1:04PM

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Bert Beltran
Filmmaker | Editor | Motion Graphics | Drone Op
124

I created nearly the exact same thing a couple summers ago using a heavy duty lazy susan bearing, plywood, and pipe. Mine could hold a tripod and camera, and yes it could support a person on the platform. It was not motorized, but it could still easily do 360's, but I never really envisioned it for that. I thought it would be great for 180's around a singer in a music video, or even some very easy to set up moves around an actor in a narrative. I think there's is kind of a one trick pony. Mine was not.

March 30, 2015 at 1:22PM

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Jonesy Jones
Storymaker
728

This is fucking sweet! I would use this for all my music videos!

March 30, 2015 at 2:12PM

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Kyle Lamar
Director Producer DP
1143

Skiers with a PVC pipe, a bolt, and some bearings have been doing this on their helmets for $20 for years...

March 30, 2015 at 3:59PM

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Pat Heine
Producer.
348

Today you could buy a DJI Ronin for $2,500 instead and not be restricted to having your subjects and rig be in one position. Bullet time utilizes different heights and angles, not just one angle in a single circular motion at an equal distance

Using a gimbal like the Ronin can achieve the same effect this does. And you won't be limited to using an action camera. Or one position. Or one movement. This Orcavue seems to be a very expensive one trick pony.

March 30, 2015 at 4:03PM

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I've been playing with this idea for a couple of years. I guess it was just a matter of time that somebody built a product out of it.

Here's a test I did with DIY slider being thrown as fast as we could while shooting at 240fps. Clearly not the same effect on a straight path: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKwX4pgLdS0

Here is a collection of Bullet Time experiments including one of the first ones created with FILM by the inventor of the effect!
http://www.artworknotavailable.com/timeslice/

March 30, 2015 at 4:31PM

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$2500 for the model that can't hold anything bigger than a pocket camera? Pass.

March 31, 2015 at 1:32AM

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William Stewart
Director of Photography
548

Nah... guys, c'mon.. 2.500USD and an even more expensive version if you want something better (heavier) than a GP on it?

Doesn't the price seem a bit excessive to you?

April 1, 2015 at 9:55AM

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Terrence Klaverweide
Art Director
154

on top of those 2500$ have to consider the insurance for the subject should he fall from the platform into the chopping rotating camera...

December 1, 2016 at 9:39PM

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Matt
111

I WANT TO BUY THIS OrcaVue 360 Degree Slow Motion Rig WITH ALL THE ACCESSORIES BUT DON'T KNOW HOW. PLEASE HELP. THANKS

July 17, 2018 at 9:24AM, Edited July 17, 9:24AM

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OTONO AZEMHOBO LAWRENCE
WRITER, PRODUCER, DIRECTOR
1