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Extreme slow motion

Posted: Mon, 17th Jan 2005, 6:52am

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Squid

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Im sure the subject of slow motion has been brought up many times, but I am in need of some information, and it would be nice to end the entire subject right here. Forgive me, I have alot to say.

When shooting a movie with a digital video camera, smooth slow motion seems to be difficult to do. If you only need to adjust the speed to a small degree, it is quite easy to just do so in whatever editing program you use. If you wish to go a step slower perhaps, it becomes difficult to retain picture quality, and flow, without using some other technique.

From what Ive gathered, there are 3 main techniques for capturing slow motion footage. 1. The standard, and always availible, conversion of normal footage to slow motion in post. 2. Slightly higher end, often very expensive, use of 3rd party applications in post production to morph normal footage into smooth slowmotion. 3. High end, always expensive, use of actual film camera, or specialy slow motion camera rig to obtain authentic slow motion footage.

The kind of slowmotion I wish to achieve can not simply be done by slowing normal video footage down in post production, so we can eliminate that possibility right now. Renting a real film camera, or a slowmotion rig, is simply out of my price range, so this option is also eliminated. It seems then, that 3rd party applications may be the best option for someone such as myself.

At this point, I feel I should mention that I have 0$ to my name, and am attempting to find a way around that....tiny...obsticle. So, programs such as Twixtor are out of my meager price range.

And now the segment of the post making everything before it completely worthless, my main question. Would it be possible using a program like winmorph, to take normal video footage and morph every single frame individually by hand? Would this wield an impressive result? Very smooth slow motion?

If this would not work, would look obviously fake, or be impossible, what then should be done for myself (and every other person) to obtain clear slowmotion?

Thanks in advance for reading my overly wordy rant.
Posted: Mon, 17th Jan 2005, 7:45am

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ari

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ya it can be done in winmorph or another morphing application.


ari
Posted: Mon, 17th Jan 2005, 9:03am

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Mellifluous

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My digitial camcorder has a feature called "frame", where basically when I film in the viewfinder it's filming at a jittery rate (a bit like some of the action scenes in Gladiator). When I play that back into my pc with slow motion setting actually selected in the camera, it gives superb quality slow motion. Your camera may have something similar - may be called "strobing" or something like that.

What model is your camera?
Posted: Mon, 17th Jan 2005, 2:34pm

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obidean

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Hey, that sounds cool. My camcorder model is a Sony DCR-TRV70...could mine do the "jittery movements"??
Posted: Mon, 17th Jan 2005, 2:47pm

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TheRenegade

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How about MotionPerfect. I know its not free but you could download the demo and try it out if you are working on a PC. http://www.dynapel.com/index.shtml , https://www.softwarehouse.biz/cgi-bin/product/P11367/reg=US
Posted: Mon, 17th Jan 2005, 4:44pm

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ssjaaron

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hey i have done morph maney times! just watch my fxvideo, and watch when i jump up and point the gun at the camera.
http://www.cpostudios.com/initialproductions/fxtest2.mov
you have to watch it all the way so you will see what i mean.
its just when i run and jump, and thier is a rock wall behind me.
Posted: Mon, 17th Jan 2005, 5:06pm

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TheRenegade

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What did you use to morph? Is it Mac compatible?
Posted: Mon, 17th Jan 2005, 5:09pm

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er-no

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Interestingly enough.
Have you tried actually moving really really slowly...then slowing it down even more?

The results can be quite fantastic, if you pull off the 'slow' movement.

smile
Posted: Mon, 17th Jan 2005, 5:25pm

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jstow222

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My camcorder has an option to playback the footage in slow motion. You could try capturing it while using that option and then slowing it down even more in post.
Posted: Mon, 17th Jan 2005, 6:56pm

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Squid

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Good suggestions so far. The camera I "had" was a JVC GR-DVL517U, but I broke it during my last film. I had been using this camera for like 3-4 years or so, and I can tell you straight away there were no fancy features for shooting "jittery" film. I will be buying a new camera within a few months though, not sure which one... probably something in the Gl2, Xl2, etc.. Range.

In regards to your suggestion er-no, I have attempted to move slowly, and then slow it down more, and it worked great. However, for the kind of shots I want to achieve this time around... I dont think that technique will work.

ssjaaron, the morphed slowmotion shot from your film was impressive. How long did it take you to morph that shot? What program did you use?

Lets say hypothetically I am trying to do a scene where someone throws a chair at full speed, at it slams right into someones torso and face, the legs break off, and pieces go flying in every direction. I want to slow this down to the point where you can see the chair impact very slowly on the person, and go to pieces, and really feel the force of it. Not semi slowmo, super slowmo....If that makes any sense. Although this is not a scene I am planning on doing, there are others similar to it, and some are even more intricate.

Is it possible to morph a scene well with tons of debree? With winmorph? Would it be difficult? Would it wield an impressive result? Or would you be able to clearly tell that it was morphed?
Posted: Mon, 17th Jan 2005, 7:25pm

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Arktic

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Squid - I think I know the effect you're going for.

Do you mean like the debris flying everywhere in slowmotion during the infamous Lobby scene in the matrix?

Though I think you'd be able to acchieve an intresting result by morphing each frame individually, I just don't think that a camcorder will be able to pick up enough detail with it's (relatively) low frame rate to be able to emulate that effect particularly well. Those sort of shots are done with specifically designed high-speed cameras, so I'm not sure how well you'd be able to replicate the effect with an ordinary consumer model camera.

But hey, it's worth a try! Let us know how it turns out smile.

Cheers,
Arktic.
Posted: Mon, 17th Jan 2005, 7:46pm

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Squid

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Not necessarily that much debris... But I want all my options open.
Posted: Mon, 17th Jan 2005, 7:53pm

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ssjaaron

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hey i am glad you liked it, well i used Re-flex plugin for Adobe after effects. if you need help contact me on AIM or MSN. it takes like 2 days for like 2 hours a day. but the results are great. i have already helped out sidewinder with his next film, with a morph. just contact me.
OR
if you are doing the slow motion debri, just turn your FPS really really high. and then slow it down. it all depends on what you want.
Posted: Mon, 17th Jan 2005, 9:14pm

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VisualFXGuy

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I've encountered this limit too. I need to shoot some glass shattering for a music video project coming up in Febuary. I want to film it at a slower rate, so when it's played back it looks great. The best solution i've come up with is the one everyone seems to be suggesting which is morphing the frames, but the end result may not be the greatest. There's always the CG route, but as it's a professional product, I don't know if i'm capable of generating a compleatly photo-realistic prop to match a live action one at this point in time. Ahh well.

Be so nice if DV and Betacams had the options of shooting at highspeed.
Posted: Mon, 17th Jan 2005, 9:44pm

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jstow222

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jstow222 wrote:

My camcorder has an option to playback the footage in slow motion. You could try capturing it while using that option and then slowing it down even more in post.
Ok, forget I said that, it dosn't work, I just tried. Sorry.

Does anyone know of any free morphing plugins?
Posted: Mon, 17th Jan 2005, 9:54pm

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VisualFXGuy

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I just use the morphing and warping build right into Combustion. Are there similar tools built into Alarm DV or After Effects? If so, there's your answer. smile
Posted: Mon, 17th Jan 2005, 10:04pm

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jstow222

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I own After effects and have access to Vegas Video 4 and Premiere at school.
Posted: Mon, 17th Jan 2005, 10:43pm

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Squid

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It seems like the only sure fire way to achieve stunning slowmotion, is to actually use a slowmotion camera. Hmm.... From what everyone has suggested thus far, it seems like morphing each individual frame in winmorph would be extremely time consuming, but would work on most things except when there are large amounts of debris and such, correct?

I wish there was some easier way... But apparantly not. If anyone has anything else to suggest, that would be great. Thanks everyone.
Posted: Mon, 17th Jan 2005, 10:45pm

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aargh

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I know everyone is saying, "Who is this guy?" And "where did he come from?" Although I've never submitted a film are really posted anything on this site for a whole year +, I have been observing the films, looking at post and what not. But I do have knowledge in cameras and postproduction. I am a freelance videoagrapher and I'm still paying a ridiculous amount of money for the time I spent in school. Anyway, with that aside, let me help and try to shed some light onto this subject.

In NTSC the standard video is generally shot at 30 frames a second. This is not new news to everyone here, but I am going to talk about SHUTTER SPEEDS. The standard and default shutter speed is 1/60 second (for PAL/SECAM, the standard is 25 fps; 1/50 second shutter speed). Many video cameras are equipped with an adjustable high-speed shutter, which can shorten the length of exposure for each frame. Some shutters are capable of shutter speeds up to 1/10,000 second or faster.

Why use a higher shutter speed? In a normal film or video image, any movement in the frame (whether caused by camera or the subject moving) will have a certain amount of blur. This blur looks natural at normal playback speed, but if you "plan" to slow the footage down or display a still frame, you can make each frame crisper by using a higher shutter speed.

But, if you use a higher shutter speed, you cut down the exposure time. So you will need to compensate by using proper lighting.

Anyway, I hope this helps. The best advice I can give is to just try it your self. Trail and error, that's my motto. I will try and post more these days and hopefully get something up in the cinema. Take care and feel free to contact me is you want or need anymore information.
Posted: Mon, 17th Jan 2005, 10:46pm

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Serpent

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Use Twixtor right here, AE plugin, try the demo. http://www.revisionfx.com/rstwixtor.htm
Posted: Mon, 17th Jan 2005, 10:53pm

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jstow222

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hey aargh, that was very helpfull, my camera goes all the way up to 1/8000 which pretty much renders everything black. I have never altered my shutter speed, its always on auto. Now maybe Ill play around with them a bit.
Posted: Mon, 17th Jan 2005, 10:54pm

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Mellifluous

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He points out in a previous post that he can't afford Twixtor...

I think morphing is your best bet, timeconsuming though it is (if youi don't want to shoot it again with faster shutter speed). Winmorph is free, so I suggest just getting to grips with that
Posted: Mon, 17th Jan 2005, 11:08pm

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Squid

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Yeah, I think what im going to do (when I get another camera, or with my partially destroyed camera) is go outside and just film a close up of this huge sparkling cider bottle breaking. I am then going to attempt (using winmorph) to morph each frame.... I have used winmorph in the past, but I think morphing all that glass is going to be nearly impossible... If I can do that though, I should be able to do anything.

If anyone else has already done something like this and can tell me the results, that would be great. I would prefer not to spend 2 weeks working on a 10 sec test clip.
Posted: Mon, 17th Jan 2005, 11:29pm

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Serpent

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Oh, sorry about that guys. Maybe there's a demo somewhere on the web.
Posted: Wed, 19th Jan 2005, 4:39am

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Axeman

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Rating: +3

Here is a technique that can be helpful for slowing down footage. I've found that about the slowest I can get footage and still be ok is 35% to 40% of original speed. Here's how to get it slower.

Start an interlaced project in Chromanator, and import your interlaced footage. Now, double the length of the clip on the timeline. You can do this by right-clicking on the clip and setting the speed to 50%. In interlaced mode, chromy splits the 2 fields of each frame into seperate frames. The fields are shot by your camera 1/60th of a second apart (in NTSC, 1/50th in PAL), so there is actually a noticeable difference in the movement from one field to the next. The faster the onscreen movement, the more noticeable it is. Anyway, when you render this out, you will end up with a clip running half as fast as your original, but with no frames duplicated, because when it re-interlaces on the render, it will re-interlace field 1 with field 1, then field 2 with field 2, etc. The result is the same as if you shot the scene with a 60 fps camera. Now take that clip and slow it down, and you can get much slower slowmo without getting the jitters. You should be able to get down to 20% of the original speed, or more, which is pretty slow.
Posted: Wed, 19th Jan 2005, 2:56pm

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Mellifluous

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Sweet, thanks Axeman. I thought of this technique but didn't think it was that easy in Chromanator biggrin
Posted: Wed, 19th Jan 2005, 4:35pm

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sidewinder

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I use that technique all the time. With simple frame-blending, it looks perfectly fine when the clip is being played at 25% of it's original speed.
Posted: Thu, 20th Jan 2005, 11:34pm

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Squid

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Wow... That sounds awesome. Can any one put a clip up of the results? Maybe even the before and after? May be just the thing im looking for... Plus, it will give me even more of an insentive to buy Chromanator. Thanks.
Posted: Fri, 21st Jan 2005, 7:21am

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CMBmovies

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Hi, You have a good grasp of all the technical details and all the possible soloutions i can think of have been mentioned here already.

The only thing i can suggest is shoot a lot of test footage and use technique mentioned to slow it down in various ways then watch them back to back and see which you like the best.

Im looking into slow motion techniques in preperation for the action seqeunces in my catwoman film. A test I really liked (tho still a bit rough) was this

www.cmbfilms.co.uk/plane_test.wmv (1.75mg)
Posted: Fri, 21st Jan 2005, 9:50pm

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ssjaaron

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that was cool. but it looked like a normal slowmotion to me. you should do a Super Slow mo. that looked awsome, what did you use?

Last edited Sat, 22nd Jan 2005, 1:12am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Fri, 21st Jan 2005, 10:01pm

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Pooky

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Ooh, sweet.

How do you do that in AE?