When one of our clients came to us needing a product comparison shot we loaded up, went to their lab and shot it...
... and while the shot looked great, the message failed. Miserably. We needed to dump out 3 different powders (by hand) to show how each of them might spread if they spilled on a factory floor. The problem was: The manner in which you dumped out the powder so completely changed the results that it completely distorted the message they were creating.
However, we had a way to fix that. If you've ever stopped by the Productive Media offices, Seth's edit suite. . . often looks like a lab. Hard drives stacked, servers taken apart (sometimes still running), circuit boards in a pile to one side and often a bread board or two waiting to go under the soldering iron strewn about the console.
So one trip to Microcenter, a trip to You-Do-It Electronics, a bread board, a computer power supply, 2 open source libraries and some custom code later, Seth had removed the variable human element from the drop without changing the parameters of the shot. We can tell you that each of the beakers follows the same path over the same 2000 milliseconds of time.... Seriously.