Amazing Water Trick: How did they do this?

A video floating around show a guy pouring water into a cup then carefully placing the cup upside down on a flat counter top. Then it shows him quickly spin and pull off the cup. Miraculously, the water holds the shape of the cup. It holds long enough for him to go around the counter to get the camera and hold it closer to the water. Then he hovers his hand above the water for a couple seconds before the whole thing collapses in one giant splash.

It is not without edits, so we don’t see him go straight from pouring to the actual event. The theory is that the water has been frozen. Some are trying to claim it’s all CGI, but I for the life of me can’t see how that’s possible. With all the camera movement and changes in focus, it would be hard to duplicate so seamlessly. I’ve inspected it closely and I don’t think it was a CGI effect, but I am not an expert.

I agree that it is probably ice, but how did it collapse into a puddle like that so suddenly? I would have expected to see some ice chips or cracks before it finally liquefied. Usually it doesn’t happen so uniformly.

Anyway, here is the video:

What do you think?

No idea, I suppose I’d go with frozen as well. Frozen as in just barely frozen. Just the very outside layer. It was probably in the freezer for 30 minutes or so and I’d guess the inside of the cup had a non-stick spray in it. If the ice was thin enough you’d likely not see the little shards when it broke.

Well, real water doesn’t act like that, so obviously the thing is fake. I’d go with CGI, too. It doesn’t have the appearance of frozen – you can see oscillations and/or rotations there, like the water is jelled. But gelatine won’t look like that.
This looks like it’s designed to make a lot of people spend a lot of time spilling water all over their counters. “a towel”, indeed. Lotsa towels, more like it.

Thin cup made out of sugar/candy and filled with water. Ice wouldn’t hold up.

100% CGI (in my completely uneducated opinion.) Water doesn’t do that. Clever practical joke, though. I predict major spillage. :wink:

I suspect this was actually a high-budget viral something-or-other meant to look lo-fi, and that somebody spent a boatload on really good CGI.

Considering most of his other videos are showcasing CGI, I’m going to go out on a limb and say it was CGI.

Aww, man. If I hadn’t watched the “transformers train” video that second or third time, I could have beaten you to this.

Under “Interests” in his Youtube profile, he lists, “Believe it or not, CGI”

I can’t see it from work, but two possibilities come to mind:

Non-stick spray in the cup, then a thin layer of frozen gelatin inside the cup, spin and return to freezer to coat the sides. Fill with lukewarm water, then play until the gelatin gives way.


Carefully choreographed high speed photography.

ETA: Oh, CGI. Well that’s not nearly as much fun! :wink:

No. A really thin layer of gelatine wouldn’t support the water. A thicker coat wouldn’t be transparent. And, in any case, there’d be residue left on the table when it finally broke down.

It’s CGI, pure and simple.

You’d be surprised. Some of the big advances in CGI in the last few years have been the capability of taking a computer generated object in and out of focus, and have it tied so well to a surface so it doesn’t shimmer out of place if the camera work is shaky. Witness Cloverfield.

I’d say that those elements you cite as being evidence against it being CGI are exactly what a maker would add in on purpose to show off how good they are.

I’d also say if this didn’t defy the laws of physics and was somehow real, if the surface of the water was frozen, you wouldn’t see the spin lines and when it collapsed, there’d be little chunks of ice; and if it were jello, when you removed the cup, it wouldn’t be firm enough to hold the shape so perfectly and would sag and bulge, and when it collapsed there would be chunks of jello.

That’s definitely 100% computer graphics. Quick reality check, there’s no reflections or refractions of the guy as he moves around the “water”, only when he is actually in the frame right after lifting the cup.

That would be called “tracking”; tracking an out of focus footage is a fools errand so what’s normally done (and I bet this is the case), the footage is blurred in post processing.
That doesn’t keep some sadist directors to shift focus like there’s a monkey swinging on the lens focus ring. Not fun to track trust me on that.

Another vote for CGI. People who do CGI for a living could do this little clip easily and cheap. You’d just have to have access to the software and know what to do with it.

I’m about 99.9% sure someone invented this little video to frustrate the hell out of gullible people who are cursing and mopping their countertops as we speak.

And possibly to showcase how easy and cheap CGI can be. Hint: Watch his hand as he goes to touch the “water” right before it collapses. He never actually touches it.

Allow me to interject with a curmudgeonly rant.

20 years ago, we’d have been left amazed and baffled, wondering how the hell he did that.
10 years ago, told it’s CGI, he’d have said, “No way! You can’t make CGI look that real!”
5 years ago, told it’s CGI, we’d have said, “Wow! That’s incredibly good CGI!”
Today, we say, “Meh. It’s CGI.”

Technology has taken away our ability to be impressed.

</curmudgeonly rant>

But that’s the general progression of special effects, in any form.

And it’s not that we’re unimpressed with the CGI. We’re annoyed that they’re passing this off as something real. And getting a lot of people wet in the process.

Well, I’ve attempted it 57 times so far, and it hasn’t worked for me yet, so I’m guessing CGI.

This has the makings of a great pickup line.

I’ll try it on Pepper Mill tonight.

Definitely CGI. Watch the end where the water really splashes out of the glass, then back up to the CGI and observe the “splash.” It doesn’t match the volume if you watch it closely. Still looks neat, though.

Pah. Speak for yourself. The only thing that annoys me is that there are idiots out there who will try it, thinking it’s real. I have no problem with either the CGI (it’s impressive to look at) or the practical joke implicit.