The OneUP Self-Riding Mountain Bike

7/13/2021 : sicklines

OneUp continues its innovation with a self-riding mountain bike. Check it out 🙂

PRESS RELEASE – How To Make a Self-Riding Mountain Bike

Go Behind the Scenes
This spring, we worked with local Squamish filmmakers Blair Richmond and Kyle James to create the OneUp Self-Riding Mountain Bike, a stop motion short. A lot of our friends wanted to know how it was made. So here’s a behind the scenes look at what it took to bring this idea to life.

VIDEO 1: Raw Stop Motion

For those of us who don’t know, what is Stop Motion?
Stop motion is an animation technique that uses a series of still photographs to create a video. Typical video plays back at around 24 frames per second, but stop motion is closer to 12 frames per second. At less than 12 frames per second, stop motion starts to look more like a slideshow than an animated video.

So, how many individual photos are in the video?
The video is 47 seconds long and made from roughly 564 unique photos. Every second of video is made from 12 individual photos and each one has to be carefully staged to give the appearance of realistic motion in the final video. For each photo, everything had to be moved slightly: wheels rotated, suspension squashed and even the dirt and rocks had to move. The shots took anywhere from 5-45 minutes to set up, some took even longer. Another big factor was lighting, which had to stay exactly the same for the whole 7-day shoot.

VIDEO 2: Timelapse

How did you build a trail in a studio?
We built a conveyor belt system that allowed us to have a trail that we could move, while keeping the bike centered as it “rode” down the trail. In reality, the trail was moving and the bike stayed still.

For the jumps and skinny, we prepped each section off-screen and then placed them in the correct order as the ground moved into place.

How did you make the bike look like it was moving?
After some testing, we settled on a conveyor belt speed of 20 centimetres of trail movement per frame (at 12 frames per second that’s roughly 8.64 km/h). It seemed slow on paper but looked great on camera. When the bike slowed down in the crash and then accelerated afterwards, we changed the speed incrementally to make it look more realistic.

We controlled the bike with pulleys from a canoe storage system in Blair’s garage, a big C-Stand to further stabilize the bike and then we used fishing-line for the more dynamic moves.

What was the process to set up each shot?
B&K: It wasn’t exactly the same for every shot, and some were more complex than others, but we mostly followed the same six steps.
Steady the bike or lift the bike off the ground if necessary.
Pull the conveyor belt to create ground movement.
Reposition the bike to match the last frame and create natural movement.
Add loam, rocks and sticks to the front of the conveyor to create the next section of trail
Sit back down into the same seats so that lighting changes would not be picked up.
Take a photo.

VIDEO 3: Final Cut

What was the biggest headache of the whole shoot?
There were a few times where things went a bit haywire, but one time during the crash sequence it took us two hours to get a single frame.
We had the bike doing a forward flip and to keep it fully vertical everything holding the bike in place was cranked super tight. The pulley cords were taught, the C-Stand was bending like crazy because we had all the sandbags we could spare stabilizing it, and we had tons of fishing keeping the wheels in place. It was a tense moment! Then a piece of fishing wire snapped and the bike swung out of place… Totally crushed.
At that point we just had to stop, set the bike down and regroup. Ultimately we ended up needing to switch our mounting position around and after almost 2 hours of trying to make it work and readjusting the setup we got the shot. 2 hours for 1 photo (or 0.08 seconds of video).

By the Numbers
Number of images – 564 (650 including deleted shots)
Number of Pizzas – 3
Number of Donuts – 24
Number of Coffees – 27
Number of Meltdowns – 1
Number of Logs – 16
Volume of Loam – 340 litres
Baby Interruptions – 5

Video created by: Imperial Post and Husky Films

OneUp Components, Squamish, BC.


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