Blog Home

This ‘burger drop’ machine captures the perfect shot

Arduino TeamAugust 18th, 2016

If you’ve ever seen a TV commercial for any fast-food chain, then chances are you’re familiar with the burger drop shot–you know, that scene where ingredients like ketchup, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, bacon, beef patties and sesame seed buns fall from above and then stack themselves upon landing. Well, photographer/Maker Steve Giralt wanted to try capturing a shot like this on his own without the use of CGI or an expensive post-production process.

To accomplish this, Giralt created a rig with an Arduino-based timing control system (named P.A.T.R.I.C) that triggers the camera motion, as well as the drop of the burger’s ingredients so that everything falls perfectly. 

As he explains:

The final video is a synchronized work of art. In the half second of real time, multiple Arduino controlled servo motors with custom 3D printed scalpel blades cut through elastic bands holding up the top bun, pickles, onions, lettuce, tomato, bacon, meat, and lower bun while a 3D printed air powered catapult launched ketchup and mustard blobs into each other.

This all happened while the Phantom camera was moving down on the motion control robot arm at high speed, adjusting focus, as it raced the ingredients and gravity down to the landing.

When we got a perfect landing of the burger, I had a hand model slam down a freshly poured beer down next to the burger to finish off the shot. It was so much fun!

You can read all about the build here, and get a behind-the-scenes look in the video below!

(Photos: PetaPixel)