Ropesight - developer blog

13 March 2016

Since the Vimeo On Demand version of Ropesight was not particularly popular, we have decided to go with a more cost-effective 'Digital Download' system instead. This is our permanent, long-term solution for distributing Ropesight. The DVD version of Ropesight has been discontinued.

Digital Download

11 November 2014

Ropesight is now available in high definiton on Vimeo On Demand.


6 June 2013

The DVDs have finally arrived. All orders to date have been sent out.


22 May 2013

Finished compiling the trailer which can now be viewed on the main page of this website. Manufacturing the DVDs is under way at Sony DADC via Multi Media Replication Ltd. The website is being updated.

12 May 2013

The master DVD is ready! We've also made a 20 page supplement, which will include coursing order transpositions, recommended touches, and a whole bunch of exercises.

DVD menu

29 April 2013

Completed audio post-production. Since the ringing is demonstrated in slow motion, the sound of the bells had to be re-created in post. Two sound samples were recorded for each bell (handstroke and backstroke), then arranged with music composition software. The beginning of Bob Minor can be seen on the image below.

bell music

19 March 2013

Finished assembling a touch of Bob Minor for the 'Conducting' chapter, now waiting for it to render. Even with two computers working together as a renderfarm, it takes about 15 hours to complete. This is partly due to the fact that the film is in slow motion, having twice the frame rate (50fps) of regular video footage.


10 March 2013

The second part of the film, 'Ringing Methods' has been completed. This chapter features full courses of Plain Hunting, Bob Doubles, Bob Minor and St Clement's, all in slow motion with optional narration. Each method is also analysed separately, showing key points to look out for. Additional tutorials include how to learn advanced methods and how to use the Treble as a guide. A lot of minor improvements have also taken place, making the animation much smoother and easier to take in. I'm now moving on to the final chapter of the film, 'Conducting'.

St Clement's Bob Minor

9 February 2013

The first big segment of the film has been completed. This contains an explanation of how bells work, learning the handstroke and backstroke separately, combining the two and mastering bell control, ringing up and down, ringing rounds, striking, leading and ringing call changes. Additional stills from the film can be viewed on our Facebook page.

How bells work Call changes Backstroke

19 January 2013

Finished assembling and retouching the panoramic recording of St Clement's (see image below). The red mask covers the area where the footage from the two cameras overlaps. This mask is animated in conjunction with the hand movement of the bell ringers. I will now concentrate on editing the first chapter, 'Bell Handling', which shouldn't take too long.

St Clements

29 December 2012

Finished assembling and retouching the panoramic recording of Bob Minor. Below is an example of roughly 90 corrections that needed to be made. Here I'm replacing some problematic footage (see image on left) with similar footage by using a motion morph (i.e. creating a transition between the original and the replacing footage). The goal is to remove any distracting artifacts. Moving on to St Clement's!

morph needed morph

11 December 2012

I was out of action for the past week because of some work on a different project. Spent the last three days redesigning this web site. Added a better menu system, photo and video gallery, and this Developer Blog. I'll be getting back to Bob Minor from tomorrow.

27 November 2012

Working on Bob Minor. After every phase of retouching, the footage needs to be rendered in order to see how it plays out in motion. Two computers are connected, working together as a renderfarm. It takes about an hour for the two PCs to render 1 minute of footage, so in the case of Bob Minor, that's three hours and 50GB of disk space. Looks like more hard drives will be needed...

23 November 2012

Finished the retouching and animation of Plain Hunting and Bob Doubles. At the moment, I'm going with this brownish colour for the on-screen display. The numbers of the bells can be seen at the top of the screen. The bell we are about to ring after is highlighted in green. The red X displays the bells we can disregard. The method is displayed at the bottom of the screen, next to the number showing us what place we're in. The rotating Circle of Work shows us what we are about to do next. I'm quite satisfied with the results, I'm hoping this video will benefit a lot of ringers. I think I've managed to achieve the first person perspective of bellringing that I was aiming for. Still, much work lies ahead.

Bob Doubles

10 November 2012

Plain Hunting panorama video assembled. Unfortunately, I've encountered a couple of problems. As you can see, if the rope of the No.6 bell moves to far into the centre, it will be in the frame of the camera recording the left side of the image. In the footage of Plain Hunting, this usually happens at every handstroke. This will take a lot of time to retouch for every method. With my current rate of editing 8-10 hours during weekdays, I would say this will add an extra month to post production. The image on the left shows the problem, the one on the right is retouched.

Error on Retouched

28 October 2012

Filmed a super interview with Chris Lawrance, tower captain at Bromley Common. Colour correction to this footage will be added later.

Chris Lawrance

27 October 2012

Filmed a demonstration of bell handling in the morning, panorama recordings of various methods and touches in the afternoon. My dad, who also took part, was worried we might get complaints from the neighbours (as we were ringing the bells for most of the day), but fortunately we didn't. :) We tied the clappers for a couple of shots that didn't require sound. Filming was done with two Sony HXR-NX70E cameras, capable of 50fps slow motion in High Definition. The footage from the two cameras will be combined to produce the panoramic effect. The first hour of filming was spent getting the cameras in exactly the right position and angle. Because the film will be in slow motion, the sound will have to be reconstructed in post production for every method. We also shot background plates that will come in handy during the post production phase. This required the ropes to be out of the frames.

ShootingBackground plates Bell chamber

26 October 2012

Set up the lighting (3*500W spotlights fixed to the ceiling) and cleared the ringing chamber at Addington. Unfortunately I didn't take any photos to document the making of the film, so all I have are the images recorded with the videocameras.


18 October 2012

Filmed an interview with Eric Godfrey, tower captain at Addington. After the interview I tested my theory of how I will be able to achieve a panoramic recording from behind the No.2 bell. Looks like there's not much margin for error. One camera will record one side of the ringing chamber, while the other will record the POV angle from behind the No.2 bell. The area circled in red is where the two images will be blended together. I'll have to make sure the ringers don't stand there under any circumstance!

Panorama test

September 2012

The idea for making a panoramic recording of bellringing.

The Plan