Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ball Pocketing Using Reflections

I see the question coming up once every 6 months or so:  "How do I aim/bank using light reflections?"  I seem to be posting the same stuff over and over so I thought I'd make a blog post (man, it's been a LONG time since my last post!).

The main thing is knowing how to determine the shape of your reflection (since all lights have a different shape and configuration/location, etc).  The image above shows multiple bulbs.

Fluorescent lighting will create a crescent(s) on the balls.  Something like this:

So, depending on the shot/bank, you have to do one of the following:

[*]Align the edge of the CB shape to the edge of the OB shape
[*]Align the edge of the CB shape to the center of the OB shape
[*]Align the edge of the CB shape to the opposite edge of the OB shape

Now, which edge of the CB shape to which edge/center of the OB shape depends on the shot.  This only really works if there is one single light source and it should be centered over the table.  I used to think it didn't matter if the lights were centered until I played on a table where the lights REALLY weren't centered--- and then you can see the difference big time in results.

When you're aligning the CB shape to the OB shape, you have to do so on the same vertical plane... something like this:

I think if you're on a particular table / equipment where this works well, I think you can swear by it.  Coming from someone who has put a TON of time into this system, I can say it "works" really well --- but only under certain conditions.  Therefore, I've come to the conclusion:  "Why base your game on a technique that can't be used ANYWHERE/ANYTIME?"

Banking w/ reflections is a great baseline for your body alignment.  If you're not using a systematic psr method for aligning shots and/or banks, this is worth exploring.  There are, however, much stronger systems/methods such as CTE, Pro1, 90/90 or SEE that work under any lighting conditions.

In conclusion, this is great information to have and another tool in your toolbox.  You can also use the shadows under the balls--- and that's an entirely different method.