MAR 20, 2019 11:14 AM PDT

Virtual Time Lapse Captures Fast-Occurring Phenomena

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

What do drops of water, a bouncing rubber ball, and a tear running through fabric have in common? They are all fast-occurring phenomena’s worthy of catching by camera. However, conventional cameras are not quick enough to capture such images and high-speed cameras break the bank.

Now, researchers have created a new imaging technique known as Virtual Frame Technique (VFT) that can produce thousands of images of such phenomena as they occur step by step. VFT can be used from any device including a smartphone and has been shown to perform better than high-speed cameras.

Watch this video of a water drop impacting surface:

"If you use a regular camera to take a picture of a drop of water hitting a dry surface, the water's movement will cause the picture to be blurry. But these blurred areas are precisely where the phenomenon is taking place, both spatially and temporally. That's what our technique uses to piece together the underlying phenomenon," says John Kolinski, a professor at EPFL's School of Engineering.

The VFT methodology begins by analysis of a conventional photo before deconstructing the blurry portions of pictures. "This initial illumination step must be done correctly so that the blurry parts of the picture contain the right information and can be used. At this point the object must have a quantifiable instantaneous state of either completely blocking the light or completely letting it through," says Kolinski. The next step is to employ advanced image-processing methods to improve the conventional picture's temporal resolution and specific illumination scheme, and then turn it into a binary image -- that is, containing either black or white pixels.


A drop of water impacting a dry surface.

Credit: © 2019 Jamani Caillet

VFT is advantageous because it doesn’t require intensity values—it depends on amount of information the sensor of a camera can obtain. "It's like taking time-lapse photos of a nearly instantaneous phenomenon," says Kolinski.

Source: EPFL

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
JAN 07, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
JAN 07, 2020
Saliva Test for Early Detection of Mouth and Throat Cancer
“OPC is one of the fastest rising cancers in Western countries due to increasing HPV-related incidence, especially in younger patients. It is paramou...
JAN 03, 2020
Neuroscience
JAN 03, 2020
Natural Smells Effective in Reducing Stress Levels
For some time now, studies have been abound on the benefits of nature for both physical and mental health. Now, however, research shows that smells derived...
JAN 23, 2020
Technology
JAN 23, 2020
New Stretchable Battery
Electronics are everywhere on our laps, in pockets and purses and, know they are slowly sneaking up our clothes and skin. The adoption of wearable electron...
FEB 11, 2020
Earth & The Environment
FEB 11, 2020
The mark of a contrail on the atmosphere
Do you know what an airplane contrail is? Have you ever looked up into the sky with that azure blue backdrop and seen the elegant white tail slowly evapora...
APR 07, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
APR 07, 2020
Computers Predict Diabetes with 94.9 Percent Accuracy
"Currently we do not have sufficient methods for predicting which generally healthy individuals will develop diabetes," says Akihiro Nomura of Ka...
APR 05, 2020
Space & Astronomy
APR 05, 2020
NASA Installs the Perseverance Rover's Wheels and Parachute
NASA engineers have been racing against the clock to finish building the Perseverance rover in time for the opportunistic launch window that opens up this...
Loading Comments...