Early high-speed billiard video

Bob Jewett

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Here is a video from 1968 with a very basic shot of pool balls. It would be pretty hard to pull measurements off the screen, but that seems to be what it was intended for. The second run seems to be from the side.


Here is the copyright registration card for it...

CropperCapture[260].jpg
 

Keith E.

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Here is a video from 1968 with a very basic shot of pool balls. It would be pretty hard to pull measurements off the screen, but that seems to be what it was intended for. The second run seems to be from the side.


Here is the copyright registration card for it...

View attachment 585182
Dr. Dave's going to have to step his game up now. 😎

Keith
 

Bob Jewett

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Dr. Dave's going to have to step his game up now. 😎

Keith
I think anyone with one of those smarty-phone things can probably step high enough.

From the reference to a text book publisher, this seems to have been part of a physics course. I remember (vaguely) in high school physics that we had some kind of experiment that involved small steel balls colliding -- probably testing the 90-degree rule. I suppose careful measurement of the film could have determined things like the coefficient of ball-cloth friction and maybe verified roughly the moment of inertia of the balls, but without a grid on the screen to help the measurements it would have been more irritation than learning.
 

justnum

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I think anyone with one of those smarty-phone things can probably step high enough.

From the reference to a text book publisher, this seems to have been part of a physics course. I remember (vaguely) in high school physics that we had some kind of experiment that involved small steel balls colliding -- probably testing the 90-degree rule. I suppose careful measurement of the film could have determined things like the coefficient of ball-cloth friction and maybe verified roughly the moment of inertia of the balls, but without a grid on the screen to help the measurements it would have been more irritation than learning.
different cameras record at different frames per second

sounds interesting i will post later
 

RabbiHippie

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There was a high speed camera sequence taken of Willie Hoppe in the late 1940s or so that was published in a popular magazine like Look or Life. I’ve got a PDF of a contemporary science paper done using this photo sequence to analyze Hoppe’s stroke that is extremely thorough and a bit over my head, at least as a casual read. I downloaded it off the internet and imagine it’s in the public domain from a university collection.
 

RabbiHippie

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The research paper is entitled "Mechanics of Billiards and Analysis of Willie Hoppes Stroke" by A. D. Moore, Professor of Electrical Engineering at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and was published on January 17, 1942. I'm uploading the paper as an attachment to this post.

At a quick glance, the original photo sequence on which the study was based was published in Life magazine and captured 25-70 snapshots of a single shot.
In the Mili-Life Magazine flash photographs of Hoppe's play, the total flight of the ball is flashed, or pictured, from perhaps 25 times at the least to perhaps 70 times at the most. Thus, a wealth of information about the course of the ball is available. Some of it is used in Section IV.
 

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  • Mechanics of Billiards and Analysis of Willie Hoppes Stroke by A. D. Moore.pdf
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iusedtoberich

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Yeah 3000 frames per second is nice. It was actually pretty clear even by today's standards. The latest iPhone is limited to 240 fps by comparison in its "slow-motion" setting. I have no idea if the android phones are any better.

At my last dayjob we designed and manufactured car seats for infants. We had a crash test lab in-house. It had a bunch of high speed cameras on it, and a bunch of super bright lights. I want to say it was either 10,000 or 100,000 frames per second. I was not on that team so was not intimately familiar with the crash test setup.
 

Bob Jewett

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Examples of the multi-flash images that Prof. Moore used are in Hoppe's book. Here is an example:


A couple of other examples are in the book.

In the update to Prof. Moore's paper on the second page, he stated that his analysis was based on the assumption that the flash rate was constant for each scene. He later learned that Mili (the multi-flash photographer) adjusted the flash rate so it was faster when the ball was moving faster to get a better image to publish. Variable time scales are really hard to deal with.

The copy of Moore's paper above is from an original that I ran through an OCR program to extract and replace the text, which makes it searchable. The equations and tables are original. The program I used is FineReader by ABBYY.
 
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RabbiHippie

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Examples of the multi-flash images that Prof. Moore used are in Hoppe's book. Here is an example:


A couple of other examples are in the book.

In the update to Prof. Moore's paper on the second page, he stated that his analysis was based on the assumption that the flash rate was constant for each scene. He later learned that Mili (the multi-flash photographer) adjusted the flash rate so it was faster when the ball was moving faster to get a better image to publish. Variable time scales are really hard to deal with.

The copy of Moore's paper above is from an original that I ran through an OCR program to extract and replace the text, which makes it searchable. The equations and tables are original. The program I used is FineReader by ABBYY.

Sorry about not crediting you as the source for the PDF version of Prof. Moore's paper, Bob. I must have downloaded it from your site at some point. I used to do a lot of research using historical documents in the public domain at sites like HathiTrust, InternetArchive and different university collections and just assumed that's how I found it.

Moore's paper reminds me a lot of Eadweard Muybridge's motion studies in the 1870's that led to early motion picture technology. I believe he was able to resolve a debate at the time regarding whether a horse was ever completely airborne while galloping. Did Prof. Moore discover anything similarly noteworthy through his study or were his conclusions invalidated by the variable timing discrepancies in the Willie Hoppe photo sequence?
 
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Bob Jewett

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... Moore's paper reminds me a lot of Eadweard Muybridge's motion studies in the 1870's that led to early motion picture technology. I believe he was able to resolve a debate at the time regarding whether a horse was ever completely airborne while galloping. Did Prof. Moore discover anything similarly noteworthy through his study or were his conclusions invalidated by the variable timing discrepancies in the Willie Hoppe photo sequence?
I think the most important info we have from Moore's study was his measure of the efficiency of tip-ball contact. He also showed that the ball ends up travelling faster than the incoming cue stick, which many people still believe is impossible. Of course anyone who was paying attention during high school physics could predict the result.

Moore did not reference any of the previous works specifically on the physics of billiards, including Coriolis, Stoddard and Hemming. Some of the mechanics text books he referred to may have sections that use billiard balls as examples. The students at the time (early 1900s) could relate to billiards and the details of the physics are reasonably challenging.

Muybridge was working for Leland Stanford, the California railroad robber baron, when he did the galloping study. He used one camera per image. He later did a lot of other subjects and I don't think he ever moved to film strip.
 

hang-the-9

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Interesting table setup, looks like a GC with rounded corners but pocket size seem to be more for pool than snooker. Seems a mix of US pool and snooker, which would be appropriate for Canada.
 

kling&allen

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I think the most important info we have from Moore's study was his measure of the efficiency of tip-ball contact. He also showed that the ball ends up travelling faster than the incoming cue stick, which many people still believe is impossible. Of course anyone who was paying attention during high school physics could predict the result.

Moore did not reference any of the previous works specifically on the physics of billiards, including Coriolis, Stoddard and Hemming. Some of the mechanics text books he referred to may have sections that use billiard balls as examples. The students at the time (early 1900s) could relate to billiards and the details of the physics are reasonably challenging.

Muybridge was working for Leland Stanford, the California railroad robber baron, when he did the galloping study. He used one camera per image. He later did a lot of other subjects and I don't think he ever moved to film strip.

I'm curious Bob if you've ever encountered research using radar (as opposed to optics) to study billiard ball movement and spin. This Doppler technology for golf is now a cheap commodity found in launch monitors (https://flightscope.com/). But perhaps slow motion photography is the best solution for the controlled environment of a pool table.
 

Bob Jewett

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I'm curious Bob if you've ever encountered research using radar (as opposed to optics) to study billiard ball movement and spin. This Doppler technology for golf is now a cheap commodity found in launch monitors (https://flightscope.com/). But perhaps slow motion photography is the best solution for the controlled environment of a pool table.
I don't see anything that radar could tell you that cameras can't show more clearly. Radar guns have been used to measure break speed but those give a single number and seem to have been replaced by apps that use smartphone microphones and a little calculation to do the same thing.
 

Bob Jewett

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That would be good for double hits and 3 cushion ball or rail first?
Not very good compared to other ways of deciding. The modern solution would be a smart phone, but you would have to be ready and have the phone recording for the hit. Usually, you aren't sure when it will be needed. Many shots you have to be right on top of the shot to see what's happening.

The film clip above was probably very expensive to make and likely required a special camera and special lighting.
 

justnum

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Bob have you ever performed tests of billiard ball collision in the presence of gases?

My interest is in the displacement of air during shots.
 
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