Dr. Dave's answers to frequently-asked questions (FAQs), mostly from the AZB discussion forum
Austrian high-speed footage
Where can I find that awesome high-quality, slow-motion video footage from that group in Austria?
Here's a collection of the clips, along with some cool music:
It shows various super-slow-motion carom, jump, and kick shots filmed at 2000 frames/sec with a very high resolution, full color, high-speed camera. The video also includes infrared footage showing how temperatures change dramatically on the ball and cloth during various types of shots. Here's an isolated clip of the close-up of the cue tip hitting the cue ball:
The video collection was provided by the Billiard SportKlub Union out of Austria (www.bskunion.at).
Dr. Dave's instructional video DVD collection
Where can I find information and purchase instructional DVDs offered by Dr. Dave
Detailed information and purchasing advice can be found here:
Dr. Dave's Product Info and Purchasing Advice
And all of them are available for purchase here:
Dr. Dave Billiards Instructional Products
They are also available for streaming via YouTube here:
Dr. Dave's streamed DVDs
Dr. Dave's online video collection
Where can I find all of Dr. Dave's free online instructional videos?
They are all available at:
Billiards and Pool Principles, Techniques, Resources
Dr. Dave's video production methods
How does Dr. Dave create and post all of those videos online?
People often ask how I make and post videos on this website, so I thought I would share the procedure with others that might be interested:
1) Shoot raw footage with a mini-DV digital video camera mounted in a 4-way adjustable tripod. For overhead shots, I either have the tripod fully or partially on the table, with the help of bar stools; otherwise, it stands on the floor. I often shoot multiple "takes" of the same shot because of missed shots, narration errors, bad lighting or camera views, etc.
2) Download the video from the camera to my PC through a firewire interface, using Pinnacle Studio software. Video requires lots of disk space (about 3-4 MB/sec ... that's megabytes per second!).
3) Use Pinnacle Studio to edit out the bad "takes" and trim the beginning and end of the best take. I also remove pauses and errors made (and later corrected) in the middle of a "take." That's why you sometimes see jumps in the middle of a clip.
4) Use CorelDraw to create table-diagram illustrations. I export images as JPEGs and insert them into the video within Pinnacle Studio.
5) Use Pinnacle Studio to store the edited video clip as a compressed Windows Media Video (WMV) file so it won't take up so much disk space and so it will be easily downloadable via the Internet. An uncompressed AVI video file can take up 50-100 more space than a compressed WMV file! In other words, if I didn't compress the video, it would take 50-100 times longer to download it via your Internet connection. The downside (because there are no "free lunches") is that the video image size and quality is not as good.
6) Use Dreamweaver software to edit the website and add links to the new video clips. Upload selected videos to YouTube and embed these into pages on the website.
7) Use Dreamweaver to upload the new website and video files to the web server so they can be viewed by anyone in the world.
That's it ... difficult to learn at first, but very easy once you have done it for a while. It also helps being at a university where there are people around that know how to do all of this stuff and are willing (and excited) to show you how.
The super slow motion video clips are filmed with a special, and very expensive, high-speed camera. Other than the camera, the other steps in the process above are the same.
Jacksonville Project and other high-speed video studies
What was the Jacksonville Project?
This was a high-speed video study of pool physics stuff carried out by Bob Jewett, Mike Shamos, and others in Jacksonville, Florida in 1998. Here's a list of the original questions they hoped to answer with the study:
These articles describe the study and the results:
"Uncovering the Cue Mysteries" by Mike Shamos (Billiards Digest, April, 1999)
"Freeze Frame" by Bob Jewett (Billiards Digest, April, 1999)
"Don't Grip It and Rip It" by Bob Jewett (Billiards Digest, June, 1999)
Here's a summary of some of the main results:
Dr. Dave has also performed lots of high-speed video analysis of a wide range of pool physics effects. All of his clips can be viewed here:
and here are some articles and info pages describing some of the results:
A group in Austria has also captured some amazing footage with high-resolution, full-color and infrared high-speed cameras. For more info, see:
Austrian high-speed footage
A group in Russia has also captured some really high-speed footage and done some experiments with a cue-testing machine. For more info, see:
Cue Testing Unit
reviews of Dr. Dave's DVDs
Information about Dr. Dave's "Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards" DVDs can be found here.
see also: reviews of Dr. Dave's book
see also: reviews and testimonials for the "Video Encyclopedia of Pool Shots" instructional series by Dr. Dave and Tom Ross.
I finally bought Dr. Dave's DVD and book "The Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards".
And WOW! The DVD is fantastic! This should have been the first DVD I bought. I learned many new *basic* things from watching this DVD.
By fantastic, I mean that it is short, to the point, and clearly demonstrates many fundamentals of shots.
-Shots like a ball near the side pocket, how to shoot it so you will not scratch in the side. And why it works. (Why speed is the key.)
-How not to scratch on shots. And why it works.
-How similar shots can radically change where the cue ball will wind up depending on speed of hit. And why it works. (Not what you would obviously think.)
-Why some shots hit hard don't work, but hit softly, they do work - and why.
-Things the other players in the pool hall don't tell you, but seem to know.
The most interesting part is the "And why it works" part. He explains some very basic things which I have not seen/read elsewhere, but which should have been mentioned in any basic book on pool. Everyone keeping this stuff a secret or something?
And these basic things are easy once you see how and why.
Everybody says practice fundamentals, but they don't say what fundamentals are exactly. Now I finally know and have fundamental shots to practice.
I will admit that I had this book/DVD on my wish list for quite some time, but put off buying it. I mistakenly thought it would be quite scientific/technical in nature. I thought it would explain what is going on, but not necessarily improve my game much. I was very wrong. It is simple shot basics explained in simple terms which anyone can easily understand.
I would recommend this DVD and book for everyone. Beginner, advanced, and pro.
"The Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards"
(Should be called Fundamentals something or other...)
movies with billiards themes
Where can I find information on billiards movies and the shots in the movies?
The following articles describe the movies and show and explain most of the more interesting shots:
"The Hustler," "The Color of Money," and "Pool Hall Junkies" are featured, and some other movies are mentioned and described. Here are demonstratations of classic shots from the movies:
Another interesting movie with a billiards feature is Disney's "Donald in Mathmagic Land." Starting at the 16:40 point is an entertaining introduction to the Corner-5 System for aiming 3-cushion kick shots.
Video Encyclopedia of Pool Shots
What is included on the DVD series: "The Video Encyclopedia of Pool Shots (VEPS)"?
Here's a trailer showing examples shots from all five DVDs:
Video excerpts and complete lists of shots for each DVD can be found here:
Video Encyclopedia of Pool Shots (VEPS)
How can I easily find free online videos of pool and billiards instruction, matches, trick shots, and interviews?
The online video collection resource page has links to many free online videos in all categories.
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