HC Effect

Butch Moore wrote on 6/14/2008, 11:35 AM
I'm watching "The States" on the History Channel. I've noticed they're using lots of stills, many with the normal "Ken Burns" movement techniques.

Occassionally, they also use a "warping" technique, particularly on older photos, that adds a sense of 3D to the movement...as if the warp of the photo changes slightly as the movement changes. The effect is subtle, but works well within the context of the fast moving program.

Can anyone jumpstart how to reproduce this effect?


jrazz wrote on 6/14/2008, 1:28 PM
Somebody did it a while back and posted a tut for it. Basically you have to cut out the object you want to draw attention to and then enlarge it enough to cover the cut and amount of distance it is to travel (to give the 3D effect). You will then place these on 2 tracks and offeset the movement ever so slightly.

j razz
Butch Moore wrote on 6/14/2008, 3:31 PM
The effect you're describing, foreground and background moving at different rates, is not quite what I'm trying to describe.

Imagine using warp in Photoshop to slightly expand the left side of a photo. As the camera pans right, the warp slowly corrects itself to the picture's original shape. Or think of the picture pasted to the inside of a globe. As the camera pulls back, the picture flattens to it's original shape.

The effect was ever so subtle, but was quite effective in giving life to the old photos. Subtle is the key word. The effect is barely noticeable. Only slight, not dramatic warping. It was the first and only time I've seen the effect used. It's the type of effect that would be useful when sandwiching a still between two video clips.
farss wrote on 6/14/2008, 3:52 PM
Simplest way that might get you what you want would be to use a bump map. A simple horizontal gradient should do as the map.
The more optically correct approach could be to use a simple 3D app. Create a 3D surface and map the photo onto that then animate a camera move and render out.

[edit]: I haven't seen the effect you're describing so I could be way of the mark of course.

TGS wrote on 6/14/2008, 3:55 PM
Can't say this will work, but reading what you described, as best as I can remember, may be simulated using keyframes with the Sony Pinch/Punch effect. You'll have to experiment to maybe get what you want.
Remember, I said maybe.
TheHappyFriar wrote on 6/14/2008, 4:29 PM
a pinch FX & track motion could be what you're looking for. like tgs said, it will just take some time to get what you want.
StormMarc wrote on 6/14/2008, 6:45 PM
I remember seeing an interesting effect (which may be what you're talking about) applied to photos in Photoshop and then animated in After Effects. I saw it on the Lynda.com tutorials by Chad Perkins. He was able to create a slight 3d effect on regular stills but I can't which tutorial other than that it was the CS3 series. You can get a free 7-day pass to Lynda.com by googling "Lynda.com coupons".
michaelshive wrote on 6/14/2008, 8:03 PM
I think you're looking at images being moved in 3D space rather than 2D. This can be done with track motion set to 3D but I find it a bit clumsy. Much easier to do this in After Effects or Motion and create a camera to move along the picture.
PumiceT wrote on 6/18/2008, 7:38 AM
I found this thread because after months (years?) of searching, I've finally found how to do this with Adobe Photoshop & After Effects.

3D Picture Trick

I'm a complete expert with Photoshop (not boasting, just been using it since v3.04) but I don't know much about After Effects, so I'm wondering if the same technique could be applied in Vegas. I've only done very limited 3D work in Vegas (animated a logo fipping around coming into and out of frame—simple stuff).

Anyone know if this can be done in Vegas, or would it be easier to just follow Adobe's tutorial and do it in After Effects?

I have the Adobe CS3 Master Collection at work, so maybe I should just learn After Effects—another tool in the belt wouldn't hurt, eh?
TheHappyFriar wrote on 6/18/2008, 8:05 AM
that could be done in vegas with 3d parent track motion. setting up the images seems to be the hard part. :)
TheHappyFriar wrote on 6/18/2008, 9:49 PM
spent an hour or so figuring this out in vegas, with nothing but vegas. Yes, no gimp/pshop used.

PumiceT wrote on 6/18/2008, 9:59 PM
Impressive and similar, but not quite the motion / 3D effect that can be done with other methods.

If I ever have the need to use the "real" technique, I'll post a clip.
TheHappyFriar wrote on 6/19/2008, 4:31 AM
i'm not 100% sure what the effect looks like so if you have a clip i'd love to see it. the adobe tutorial didn't have a video & never described what it was supposed to look like.
PumiceT wrote on 6/19/2008, 9:24 PM
Good point!


Examples from the History Channel / Travel Channel Quicktime from Alper Nakri

Apparently, Alper Nakri is the guy who does the work for History / Travel Channel. Great work, nice gig he's got there!
farss wrote on 6/19/2008, 10:05 PM
What's been done there is more difficult. The object(s) have been separated from the background / one another as previously shown then the parts behind are painted in, by hand I'd guess.

For example, you could separate a person standing in front of a wall using Beziers and move them forward onto another plane. However as the camera moves you might see the hole left behind in the wall. By painting in the hole in the wall or at least enough of it to cover what the camera sees, the illusion works.

When it gets to something more complex such as the battle shots I'd think considerable time and skill is involved.

If you're taking a photo or video and you plan to do this with them then take a photo of the background, say the wall and then the person in front of the wall. You must have the camera absolutely still and in manual eveything and pray the lighting doesn't change. You can then subtract the shot of the blank wall from the shot of the person in front of the wall to create the two plates for your 3D camera move. To see how to do this search for "difference mask".

Spot|DSE wrote on 6/20/2008, 5:34 AM
Technique is mentioned in the Vegas Editing Workshop.
Easiest way is to make two copies of the same image in Photochop, one that is the main subject only, made transparent, the other the full photo/image.
Full image on track two
Subject w/transparency on track one
Use 3D track motion on track one, and Pan/Crop on track two.
Use 3D to move the subject camera, and use Pan/Crop to move the main image. Use a warping tool if you wish, I'd use the Spherize or Pinch/punch to make create any desired "wrap." Small amounts make this work.....zooming into the subject on track one using TM is a very cool and effective technique; background remains the same but the subject shifts in size and perspective.
Rich Harrington has a full length DVD on the subject, that also goes into the phenomenon of parallax and eye movement.
farss wrote on 6/20/2008, 6:37 AM
Thank you!
I'd pondered this for some time and had myself convinced that in the Youtube video that Pumice provided the link to, that digital painting was being used as well but that didn't seem right. That'd mean taking quite some liberty with the original materal.

Looking at it again, several times, I can see that the key lies in the very skillfull way it's done. Pushing the camera in enlarges the closer objects providing greater oclusion of the hole, then you can truck across etc.

TheHappyFriar wrote on 6/20/2008, 7:35 AM
that also goes into the phenomenon of parallax and eye movement.

another good resource for parallax info is any 2d game website. Parallax scrolling is still used in nearly every 2d game out there (lots of them even though the popular ones are 3d) and it's all on the same principle as what you'll do in Vegas.
PumiceT wrote on 6/20/2008, 9:57 AM
Repainting the background doesn't have to be impossible, but you're right, it takes skill / talent.

You could (as I think someone alluded to) take some spare background photos whenever you're taking photos you might 3D-ize. When you overlay your isolated subject, your background photo doesn't need to match the angle 100% perfectly, as long as the light is the same it'll match up nicely.

Another way would be to isolate the subject(s) and put them on a different background altogether, yet one that matches the look / feel of the original.

I really think doing this in Vegas would be a LOT harder than bringing it into After Effects. I realize not everyone has both programs and AE is not cheap, so the Vegas solution may be the only way for them. I've never used AE, but I'm always open to learn new apps.
TheHappyFriar wrote on 6/20/2008, 10:51 AM
I really think doing this in Vegas would be a LOT harder than bringing it into After Effects

any particular reason?
farss wrote on 6/20/2008, 3:51 PM
any particular reason?

Have you watched any of the hundreds of AE tutorials on Youtube?
Apart from many other things real time preview of what you're doing would have to be a big factor. Change something and see how it looks as you move it. Then scrub the T/L for instant preview of the sequence.

Cheno wrote on 6/20/2008, 7:20 PM
"any particular reason?"

The single biggest issue is the difference in how AE and Vegas treat the media. AE works as an actual camera, it moves in on the media and you retain the quality of the media. 3D track motion in Vegas doesn't move in on the media, it enlarges it and you don't get true 3D (okay, AE isn't "true" 3D either... ) and in most cases you can't get a good stable resolution to the images you're working with. Yes there are benefits but I've not found anything that 3D effects in Satish's old plug-in pack can't take care of in Vegas. Much cleaner 3D in the plug-in pack than using 3D track motion as well.

The other issue is in AE you can select a top view and look at all of your media in relation to each other. VERY helpful when placing elements in 3D space. Can't do this in Vegas without going back to each asset and opening it up to see where it's placed.

It's a nice novelty in Vegas but sure has a lot to be desired to function as a decent 3D tool.

TheHappyFriar wrote on 6/20/2008, 7:31 PM
i'm aware of many of the things AE can do, but I'd like to know his basis on why this particular FX would be easier in AE vs Vegas. It looks like all the same work to me, vegas just doesn't have multiple camera's to view from. Then again, if I was getting that complex I'd throw it in a 3d app anyway, but that's just me.

The other issue is in AE you can select a top view and look at all of your media in relation to each other. VERY helpful when placing elements in 3D space. Can't do this in Vegas without going back to each asset and opening it up to see where it's placed.

for that clip I made I used parent 3d track motion. I just rotated the parent track, saw want I needed & then hit "ctrl+z".

Might even be just me. I think of nearly everything in 3D & don't need a visual reference all the time. Years of shooters do that to ya. :)
DJPadre wrote on 6/20/2008, 9:54 PM
PumiceT post with the cmpositing in question is something thats quite easy to achieve on AE, the issue however is TIME>..
aside from sepearting each level and redrawing BG elements form those seperated pieces, you then have to put the entire lot back together.

in AE, with the camera, its easy, Vegas is another story...u CAN do it, but its not "global" in the sense where EACH action, each frame, each level within the image must be set manually..

Its not hard, its jsut very tedious
alltheseworlds wrote on 6/21/2008, 12:04 AM
Separating the layers is a huge job. Here's a 3D effect while keeping all the pics as simple 2D images. You won;t see the effect on all the images, but watch especially the second shot of the Three Gorges Dam, solar panels shot; the man in the mudfield etc:

Climate video