Monday, November 30, 2009

Harpoon and Ballistics Gel Outtakes

On the last two tests of the harpoon and gel, Lori and I took over 500 photos and videos. Many of those were action shots with 20 or 30 images making up a second or two of movement. Here's some that show things going wrong or almost working, like this mostly toggled harpoon head.

The video above is the closest we have to a showing a toggling harpoon head toggling. By this time in the experiments the gel had been stabbed 5 or 6 times and there was a pretty well defined channel running down the middle. The skin layer had also seperated and the entry hole had stretched, so the harpoon head started to back out of the hole while it was toggling. Then the camera stopped recording. In the end, the harpoon head did stay lodged, caught on one of the basal barbs and partially toggling beneath the skin.

This video illustrates two of the biggest problems with the current set-up; the wobbly target and my lousy aim. I like the size of the two litre pop bottle mold because it gives enough room for the harpoon heads to operate, but its a little too tall and skinny and is easy to knock off balance when my aim is perfectly perpendicular to the target surface. Something the size of an ice cream bucket might be more stable, but the gelatin gets opaque so fast that I think a lot of the interesting detail would be much less visible on the surface of a bigger block of gelatin. One idea to cut down on the wobble would be to find a more sturdy pop bottle sized clear container to build the model in. To help with the aiming, it might be necessary to use some sort of drill-press aparatus to guide the harpoon. That seems like less fun to me though.

Photo Credits: Lori White

Photo Captions:
Top Photo: Badly toggled harpoon head, which partially worked its way out the entry hole.
Top Video: The test strike that created the poorly toggled harpoon head in the top photo.
Bottom Video: A failed attempt with the barbed harpoon, bending and dislodging the harpoon head after breaking through the skin.

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