Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Tracer Pool Table

Lights under the felt trace the balls positions as they move
  [vote for,

For effect only, some sort of mechanism, possibly magic, senses where all the balls are on the table and turns on an led under it bright enough to shine through the felt.

As a ball moves from that position, the led fades out over a second or two and as subsequent leds are activated and faded out along the balls path an illuminated "tracer" effect is achieved for all the ball's trajectories.

Safer than dropping acid.

doctorremulac3, Oct 05 2010

Halfbakery: Touch Activated Glowing Wallpaper Touch Activated Glowing Wallpaper
"Safer than dropping acid." - possibly [marked-for-tagline]? [zen_tom, Oct 05 2010]

(?) An overhead projection option http://bharat.insta...-to-the-pool-table/
"Obscura CueLight adds projected glamour to the pool table" [Gallus, Oct 06 2010]

Pool heat traces & slo-mo http://www.youtube....watch?v=avFjRgzTL-w
Found it! [Jinbish, Oct 06 2010]

Not to be confused with Electric Pool Electric_20Pool
[theircompetitor, Oct 09 2010]

Or Electric Balls Electric_20Balls
[theircompetitor, Oct 09 2010]

Big Baller Pool Table https://www.youtube...watch?v=oupsSH_g05A
Lit via overhead projector tracking the balls. [Freefall, Sep 18 2014]

These guys say they "thought of it" in 2012. https://www.youtube...watch?v=oyzt6hajcVM
[doctorremulac3, Dec 25 2021]

Another tracer pool table https://www.faceboo.../?v=727837108102140
[doctorremulac3, Jan 09 2023]



       a "predicted path" would be good too, when you are lining up your pool/snooker cue - not sure how that would be achieved though.
po, Oct 05 2010

       Magic. (Or some kind of sensor in the pool cue's tip.)
doctorremulac3, Oct 05 2010

       I like this - it caused me to spawn one of my own.
zen_tom, Oct 05 2010

       I've seen slow motion footage of snooker, taken with a heat-sensitive camera. It looked just like this would...
Jinbish, Oct 05 2010

       Ya know what? You could do a very simple version of this by having two layers of clear film with some kind of liquid between them that when disturbed changes color. You could do that by having a heavy and a light liquid of dark and light color respectively that when touched mixes up for a second before separating back to their density determined layers.   

       Or you could just have a dark viscous liquid that's pushed out of the way for a second as the ball passes over and have a bright light underneath that shines through the thinned bit until it closes up.   

       The thing about the lights though is you could have them sparkle, have different colors for the different balls, generally put on a pretty crazy lightshow.   

       And while you're at it sensing balls anyway, why not add sound effects? "bing" "Pow!" "BOOM!!!" Depending on how hard you hit them. You could also have riccochet sounds as well.   

       Yup, it would be pinball meets pool.
doctorremulac3, Oct 05 2010

       Or just play on a very large flatscreen. It could display any image - green as a background; ball-traces; how-the-shot- should -have-been-played, etc etc.   

       Instead of a regular plastic screen, you could have a softish transparent polymer to mimic the feel of baize.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 05 2010

       Yea, you could basically play on a touchscreen and open up all kinds of possibilities.   

       For that matter you could despense with the real balls all together and just have a virtual pool table activated by sensing something in the tips of the cues. Having digitally created balls would allow you to do stuff like have them explode or.. ok, that's the only thing that comes to mind.
doctorremulac3, Oct 05 2010

       This would so very cool on the break. Fireworks, almost! [+]
Boomershine, Oct 05 2010

       Use a normal video projector and a camera pointed at the table from above. If the zoom is carefully set, you should be able to minimize or eliminate the tunnel effect.   

       Each frame will be slightly behind real-time, and should self-mix with past frames giving a fade-away ball trail.   

       (OK, I just have to try this when I get home...)
Freefall, Oct 05 2010

       No, that's the genius of it. Damn elegant.
mouseposture, Oct 06 2010

       Brilliant, [doc]! I give it two buns up! [+][+]
Grogster, Oct 06 2010

       I get the real tracers without the acid.
Not quite fireworks off the break, but still cool. Being able to see tracers left by each ball teaches you trajectories at a gut level and made learning to play pool very easy. (+)

       This would go great with the tone of a deep bell being struck every time a ball hits the wall or another ball.
DrWorm, Oct 06 2010

       //Each frame will be slightly behind real-time, and should self-mix with past frames giving a fade-away ball trail.//   

       This sounds cool...except each recursive image gets smaller and smaller...doesn't it?
Boomershine, Oct 06 2010

       No - not if the projector is set up to give a 1:1 image. It's a very nice idea!   

       Similar effects were used on TV back in the ?70's? before complex special effects were cheap. The effect was often used in music videos, where the moving performer would be followed by a trail of perhaps a dozen delayed and progressively dimmer images.   

       Good thinking, [Freefall].
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 06 2010

       As a side-effect, you should be able to dispense with the usual overhead lighting. The general effect is that each captured frame adds to the one before, eventually blowing out to full white at the cue ball. If the camera has auto white balance, it should cap the video level, resulting in an interesting contrast-enhanced lighting of the table.
Freefall, Oct 06 2010

       JUST DO IT. Someone? Awesome idea. Thankfully the anno's supplied some halfbaked how too's.
Zimmy, Oct 23 2010

       Kicking an old idea, but just saw something like this on Youtube. See link.
Freefall, Sep 18 2014

       [Freefall] not quite how I imagined it.
po, Dec 29 2021


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