Digital tools like 3D animation and motion capture helped revolutionise the visual effects industry, but there’s still plenty of room for practical effects to help bring the impossible to the big screen. Solo: A Star Wars Story’s VFX supervisor Julian Foddy revealed to the BBC that one of the film’s most memorable explosions was actually inspired by a popular YouTube channel.
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One of the hardest video effects to fake is slow motion. It requires software to stretch out a clip by creating hundreds of non-existent in-between frames, and the results are often stuttered and unconvincing. But taking advantage of the incredible image-processing potential of deep learning, Nvidia has come up with a way to fake flawless slow motion footage from a standard video clip. It's good thing The Slow Mo Guys both have day jobs to fall back on.
Video: In Durham, North Carolina, there's an internet famous train trestle bridge that's been shearing the roofs off of tall trucks for years now. There's a lot of footage of the 3.5m bridge eating trucks, but none as spectacular as this recreation the Slow Mo Guys created, which was captured in super-satisfying, super slow motion.
A real fireworks show requires trained professionals to handle the explosive materials, and a location that's safe for fiery debris to rain down onto. But as The Slow Mo Guys discovered, you can get a similarly satisfying explosive experience with a high-speed camera and a couple of fruit-blasting cannons.
Video: Everything is cooler in slow motion, and when the Slow Mo Guys point their high-speed cameras at a pair of massive sumo wrestlers with a combined weight of over 450kg, you can actually see the shockwaves rippling through their bodies as the two near-immovable competitors collide in the ring.
Tired of waiting weeks for the Slow Mo Guys' latest experiment with their high-speed cameras? Over the next 12 weeks, the duo's new YouTube Original series Super Slow Show is going to deliver an almost daily dose of slo-mo goodness with bigger explosions, celebrity guests and bigger risks, all recorded at thousands of frames per second.
Can you really split a bullet with a sword? The Slow Mo Guys tested the logistics of such a feat, but using a safer approach that involved a giant super-sharp knife and a pellet gun firing tiny projectiles to minimise any undesired results -- like one of them getting hit, or their incredibly expensive slo-mo camera getting destroyed.
Video: The odds of two paintball projectiles colliding in mid-air during a match are incredibly slim. And even if they did, the resulting explosion would happen so fast your eyes would barely see it. But with some clever timing, even more luck, and a Phantom V2511 high-speed camera recording at 28,500 frames per second, you can capture spectacular footage like this.
Video: Despite an endless list of fascinating and destructive experiments you can try, microwaves should really only be used to heat food. Not lightbulbs, not highlighters, and definitely not an airbag from a car. Unless you have a high-speed camera to record the microwave's door turning into a high-speed missile.
Video: If the internet has taught us anything, it's that everything is cooler in slow motion, and bigger is always better. So if you're going to the trouble of making a monstrous water balloon measuring 1.8m across, you better make sure you get some awesome high-speed footage when the whole thing goes kaboom.
Video: High-speed cameras help make cars safer, factories run smoother, and athletes improve their performances. But The Slow Mo Guys have found an even better use for the technology: Capturing the explosive chain reaction after diving onto a trampoline covered in 1000 armed mouse traps.
Video: As fun as building your own 1.8m model rocket might be, launching it is nowhere near as impressive as watching one of NASA's towering rockets blast into orbit -- unless you point a high-speed camera at it. At 28,000 frames per second, a wonderful pyrotechnics show is revealed as it leaves the launch pad.
Video: If you're finding it hard to wait until Sunday for the big game, The Slow Mo Guys have something that should tide you over: They used a Phantom V2511 high-speed camera to film a severely overinflated football at 28,000 frames per second.
Video: Inside nearly everything made of concrete, you'll find reinforced steel rods that compress the material, making buildings, bridges and other structures even stronger. The rods aren't designed to break easily, but when they do, the best way to watch the destructive results is through the lens of a slow-motion camera.
Video: It's one of the oldest tricks in Hollywood: If you want a tiny model to look like a full-size vehicle, you just need to film it with a high speed camera. As The Slow Mo Guys demonstrate in their latest round of experiments, a couple of Traxxas XO-1 RC cars suddenly look like there's a Hollywood stuntperson behind the wheel when filmed doing stunts at 1000 frames per second.
Video: There are endless documentaries that explain the clever technology that allowed World War I fighter planes to fire their machine guns through their propellers without hitting the blades. But The Slow Mo Guys use their high-speed cameras so you can finally see exactly what's happening.