23 October 2015

Coffee with a Googler: Bullet Time with the Cloud Spin Team

Posted by Laurence Moroney, Developer Advocate

As part of Google Cloud Platform’s Next roadshow, the team decided to make a demo that anybody could get involved in, and the concept of Google Cloud Spin was born. The idea, influenced by the ”bullet time” scenes from The Matrix was simple -- build a rig of cameras, have them take a number of pictures, and stitch them together into an animated GIF that looks like this:

Coffee with a Googler caught up with the team responsible for this demo to talk about how they built it, what technical challenges they faced, and how they used the cloud to managed the number of camera and create an animated GIF like the one above.

There was so much great information for developers in the exploration of this project, that we’ve split our interview into two episodes. The first, with Ray Tsang, Developer Advocate, who tells us about the ins and outs of setting up a number of phones to take a pictures to create a spin. From their original prototype (having lots of googlers holding up selfie sticks) to their final version (shooting videos that are synchronized on an audio signal, controlled by events in Firebase), it’s a fascinating conversation. In Part Two of our conversation, we will talk about how those videos had the right frame extracted, and the frames assembled into a cloud spin is coming soon!

To learn more about this project, visit the Google Cloud Platform blog.