Tag Archives: pll

iPhone 240fps Slo-Mo (H Perm)

Another slo-mo PLL iPhone video? Maybe this will become a series, after all....

HH was the very first one-look PLL I learned. It forced me to learn M slice flicks for the four M2′ combos, each of which I executed as two single M’ flicks. Soon thereafter I learned double-M’ flicks (pulling back to front across the bottom with my ring then middle finger), allowing much faster execution. Although I also learned double-U flicks, I couldn’t get my right hand fingers into position for those doubles while holding the cube in a way that allowed for the double-M’s. So, I would do double M’s and paired single Us. I eventually learned the M-based U Perms which relied on a mix of U and U’ as shown in this slomo video. Last week, a lot of folks commented that my Ub push/pull finger trick on the U layer was innovative.

What if I used that same trick for the H Perm, like so:

M2′ U’ M2′ U2 M2′ U’ M2′

Turns out, it works quite well.

(music: TAUK, “Sweet Revenge”; cube: Maru CX3)

My left hand index finger executes the U’ by pulling left to right across the front. That puts the index finger in a position to push right to left for the U2, and in a position to do the second U’ like the first. The only challenge was that muscle memory kept telling my left hand to move the M layer as though I was doing a Ub perm. A couple days in, the synapses have adapted and separated the two. My execution is good, but there’s speed to be gained.

iPhone 240fps Slo-Mo (U Perms)

It seems that iPhone 6 slo-mo videos are all the rage these days. Why not jump on the bandwagon? No doubt slow-motion is useful for teaching new algs and finger tricks. Here’s a quick proof of concept based around my execution of the U-Perms:

(setup: iPhone 6 tripod-mounted with Charger City adapter; music: Kung Fu, “Loose”; cube: Dayan Zhanchi)

Not bad for a phone, eh? Although this was shot under the same light as my other videos, it does appear darker and noisier (with the sensor trying to compensate). It seems that the 240fps frame rate does drop the total light processed by a good 50%. I’ll need to blast it with light next time.

I have an ambitious plan up my sleeves for a video based around the slo-mo feature. But with the clunky workflow (needing to pass the video through the iMovie app before offloading for editing in FCPX), it might be a while before I find a solid uninterrupted block of time for it.

P.S. I just recorded a similar video for the Nb Perm (z D’ (R U’ R2′) D (R’ U D’) (R U’ R2′) D (R’ U R) z’):

(setup: tripod-mounted iPhone 6; music: Kung Fu, “Paragon”; cube: Moyu AoLong v1)

Maybe I’ll consider a series of these....

R Perms Multi-Cam

Following up on my V Perm post, I thought I’d give another go at doing a multi-cam of a couple other long PLLs — the two Rs:

(music: Grateful Dead's “The Eleven” played by the Phil Lesh Quintet (9.26.03); cube: Dayan Zhanchi w/ Cube Specialists fitted bright stickers)

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V Perm Multi-Cam

v permIt’s not weird to have a favorite algorithm, right? I mean, look at unboxing or review videos, and each cuber seems to have a go-to move. For a while now, mine’s been the V Perm — the PLL that (a) swaps opposite corners and (b) swaps the adjacent edges next to them. I hated the V Perm, as I first learned it: R’ U R’ d’ R’ F’ R2 U’ R’ U R’ F R F. That algorithm was clunky, without a good flow.

Enter jskyler91, who posted this “non-standard” V Perm execution, which flows smoothly with no re-grips:

z D’ R2′ D (R2 U R’) D’ (R U’) (R U R’) D (R U’) z’

Since it’s one of the more complicated executions in my repertoire, I thought it would lend itself to a multi-angle video. I did something similar, when I was still learning the algorithm, and I wanted to update it:

(music: “Dinah,” Thelonious Monk (solo); cube: Dayan Zhanchi w/ Cube Specialists fitted bright stickers)

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Maru CX3 / 60-Second PLL Time Attack

It’s been a little while since my last post — that monster parity article that still has my head hurting.  I’ve got a couple things in the works, but I put them aside when I got a Maru CX3 the other day.  I’m really impressed with the cube, and I found my turn style and speed improving with it.  On a whim, I thought I’d give a sub-60 PLL Time Attack another go with the CX3.  I came awfully close, at 60.65 seconds.  Here’s the video (with apologies for some of the out-of-frameness):

(music: Lettuce, “Outta Here”; cube: Maru CX3 w/ stock stickers)

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Adventures in ‘Minxing

megaminxA friend and I have a unspoken tradition of buying gag gifts for each other off our Amazon wish-lists, which amounts to us placing a bunch of random stuff on the lists to see what the other orders. Traditionally, it’s been music or movies, but we’ve definitely had some weird things come up — digital home thermostats, drill bits, and the like. Long ago, I placed a stickerless Dayan Megaminx (a dodecahedron shaped puzzle) on my list and forgot about it. I had no real interest in it, had no expectation of ever being able to solve it (I was a 2-minute 3×3 solver at the time), and, more than anything, thought it would be a funny item for the wishlist. Lo and behold, it arrived at my house last December. I messed with a few times, got frustrated, and stashed it on my shelf.

A couple days ago, my 19-month-old brought it over to me, having scrambled it on his way. My OCD thusly challenged, solve it I had to. Which meant learning how to solve it.

I approached it entirely intuitively after realizing through a couple web searches that it’s essentially a complicated 3×3 — with 12 faces (rather than six), each with 5 edges and 5 corners (rather than 4). I experimented a couple times and then, on my third, decided to give it a go on video. Here is the result — a 10-minute solve (excluding the last layer), presented at 3x speed: Continue reading

PLL Time Attack (72 seconds)

It’s been a little while since I felt like I’ve accomplished much in terms of cubing, especially after plateauing at about 30-35 seconds on 3×3 solves. So, I decided to revisit PLL time attacks, and, after a few days of practice, got a good outcome: an on-camera 72-second PLL attack that started and ended with a solved cube:

(music: Dexter Gordon, “Scrapple from the Apple”; cube: Zhanchi w/ ModCuber fitted full-bright stickers)

By way of brief background, PLL is the last step in CFOP — once you have a solved bottom face, solved bottom two layers, and solved top face. All that’s left is to get those four edges and four corners in the top layer rejiggered into their proper position. There are 21 PLL cases (22 if you count solved), each named after a letter that somewhat resembles the pattern of the edge and corner swaps. More detailed background and the PLL algorithms can be found on the speedsolving.com wiki.

A PLL time attack is the performance of each of the 21 PLLs in a stream without stopping. Completing it in a minute is respectable, but not amazing; forty-five seconds is really good; and better than that is truly impressive. When I first learned PLLs, I did a quasi time attack — quasi because it was truncated (I did the Gs separately), because I did each PLL individually (not in a single stream), and because I used my best of three attempts per PLL. The sum of the 21 parts was 66 seconds. Continue reading