To turn the McLaren 12C — one of the fastest production cars in the world — into the kind of camera car needed to film the world's fastest zoetrope, you need some serious calculations. We're talking about a supercar tasked with accurately capturing 680 still images while driving 80, 100, and 120 miles per hour in different stretches on a single track. Being off by even a fraction of an inch can cause some jumpy results. When it boils right down to it, success depends on math, plain and simple. But how can you possibly capture perfect pictures when your car's going that fast?
The Phantom Flex digital cinema camera was the perfect choice for the job. In fact, it was pretty much the only choice; the Phantom can shoot up to 1,455 frames per second at a resolution of 2560x1600 pixels. Thanks to its high-speed capabilities, the crew was able to calculate the right shutter speed to capture each image whizzing by like it was standing still.
All of that hard work went into Forza FilmSpeed, a short film produced by Microsoft that documents the challenge. Now imagine how the same kind of hard work translates over to developing Forza Motorsport 5 for Xbox One, out November 22. The developers behind the game have souped it up so much that driving a McLaren 12C on a virtual track is uncannily similar to sitting behind the wheel of a real one.
Take a look at the video up top to see how Microsoft is capturing the speed of Forza Motorsport 5 in real life. Then check out Forza FilmSpeed right here before you pick up Forza Motorsport 5 when Xbox One launches on November 22.
Can't wait? Feel free to ask your burning questions about the math of this huge project below!
Andrew Kardon is a professional freelance writer who covers everything from video games to health care.