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High-speed camera sequences

...of stuff being destroyed/damaged by insanely large electrical currents

I was recently lucky enough to get access to a high-speed video camera to record what was happenning when bending & destroying things with the Destruct-o-tron.
Myself and artist Mark Anderson spent a day filming various things being being warped, destroyed and generally blown up.
Many thanks to Mark for providing this opportunity (and making the tea), Wysing Arts for putting up with the noise, and Panavision for supplying the camera and lights. 

Notes on video clips
I don't have a lot of experience with doing videos for web download. I used Mpeg format as (a) I had the software to do it, (b) I didn't need to decide which AVI codec to use, and (c) it didn't complain about odd frame sizes, which some of the AVI codecs did.
If you have trouble viewing these, I'm sorry but I probably can't help - they play fine in my Windoze Media Player....!
However if you are an expert on this sort of stuff and have any constructive suggestions on better ways to produce movies for efficient web download (without spending any money), I'd appreciate any input. I have uncompressed AVI versions of these files, so I can easily recompress with different codecs if this would be worthwhile.
These videos were recorded from the composite output of the high-speed camera's framestore onto a Toshiba RD-XS32 HDD/DVD recorder, copied to DVD, converted to uncompressed AVI using Max DVD to AVI, chopped and cropped using Virtualdub and converted to MPEG using AVItoMPEG1.

Media Player is not very good at single-stepping etc. - if you want to look at these video sequences in frame-by-frame detail I'd suggest using Virtualdub to view them.

General notes
On the camera info border, the figure under 'REC' on the right is the recording speed in frames per second. Most are 1000fps. The camera could do higher rates, but only with partial frames, so the higher-speed sequences look like very-widescreen movies!
The figure at bottom-left is the frame counter (positive or negative depending on how we triggered the camera), and the one at bottom-right is actual time in seconds. When you single-step some of the sequences you will see some blurring of these figures - this is due to catching the wrong phase of the interlacing at some point in the transfer process, and the image will also be correspondingly blurred. There are also a few sequences we forgot to transfer at 25fps (i.e. one video frame per recorded frame) so the frame counts do slightly odd things. Some of the early sequences were done before we fully understood the various camera modes, and were using external sync in an attempt to get >1000fps. I'm pretty sure the sequences with 'Sync' on the right are are 1000fps for full-frame and 4000fps for part-frame.

In many sequences, a dark band is visible right at the start of the action - this is almost certainly caused by the intense electromagnetic pulse interfering with the camera.

Many of the sequences took place inside a containment vessel consisting of ten-inch polythene gas pipe. The inside diameter is 215mm, so you can estimate/measure the distances and speeds involved.


We need a faster camera! Most of the actual shrinking/bending was happenning just too fast to observe in any detail even at speeds of 6000 frames per second (166 microseconds per frame!). If anyone in the UK has access to a faster camera & suitable insanely bright lighting I'd be happy to bring the destruct-o-tron along for further playing research.

However we did get some pretty interesting and often spectacular footage - If you look at nothing else, check out the first vid on the CD disintegrating page. 

More high-speed stuff here

Subject Click image for frame sequences and movies
Can Crushing - both directly via a coil,
and by smashing with a hard disc platter into it..!
wpe5A.jpg (18231 bytes)
Warping hard-disc platters at extreme velocity wpeCA.jpg (19713 bytes)wpeCB.jpg (18574 bytes)
Disintegrating CDs wpe8F.jpg (20456 bytes)wpe80.jpg (21689 bytes)wpe90.jpg (29305 bytes)
Shrinking wire rings wpeD0.jpg (7064 bytes)wpeD8.jpg (2377 bytes)
Exploding wire wpeEC.jpg (30414 bytes)

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