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Old April 23rd, 2002, 06:18 AM   #1
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Shooting Documents/Photos in Motion

We've all seen documentary footage with slow movement over photos or documents. Often it's a zooming out (or at least I assume so) while the camera drifts in one plane.

My question is: what's the best way to do this kind of shot? My experiments suggest that getting nice smooth movement in two directions is not so easy. There are four obvious choices. Moving the camera, moving the documents fixed to some kind of support, moving both camera and photos, or do it in post as a motion effect.

Also not so easy is lighting this kind of shot, esp. with glossy photos.

Anyone have ideas or experience with this kind of shot and the XL1s? Comments on lenses - lighting? Thanks.
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Old April 23rd, 2002, 06:42 AM   #2
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Peter,

doing it post is the best way. That way you can have complete control over the image from when you scan it to how you move it. I'm not sure how to do it in FCP but I'm sure there is a tool for it in there somewhere. Even Premiere has that
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Old April 23rd, 2002, 06:45 AM   #3
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It is best done in post buy using a motion editor. Take a still image with a digital camera and size it larger than your project them take it into your motion editor of your editing software and pan in there setting keyframes to pan and zoom
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Old April 23rd, 2002, 08:58 AM   #4
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In Final Cut Pro, simply keyframe the center of the photo. By changing the location of the center point accross various keyframes, you get the motion effect you are looking for.

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Old April 23rd, 2002, 09:49 AM   #5
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If you choose to shoot the photos live as most film documentarians do, you can find a good resource on lighting the copy set-up in Ross Lowell's book Matters of Light and Depth.

The approach (either digitally keyframed, or shot live) may be dictated by the nature of the photograph. Very fine lines in the photo may pose problems if resizing/digitally zooming in post.
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Old April 23rd, 2002, 09:57 AM   #6
 
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doing it in post is SO much easier.....easy to match time scale to needs and center of focus to the voiceover
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Old April 23rd, 2002, 10:39 AM   #7
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I would agree with every one else.

I shot a corporate video just before Christmas, where some of the shots would be composed of still images already taken by the client. I thought about doing a rostrum set-up, but in the end decided to use technology.

Scan the image in at a high res, the higher the better if planning to zoom in and use part of the photo, plug it into the timeline, and then go to your motion control panel, where every thing should be possible (zooming, moving, rotating etc).

If you have Premiere there are already about 10 preset motion settings, ranging from: leaf drop, zoom left, zoom right, bounce etc, etc, etc.

All the best,

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Old April 23rd, 2002, 10:51 AM   #8
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There is a nice little piece of software out there called Moving Picture that does a great job manipulating still images. I think it is a lot easier than trying to do it in an NLE or After Effects. I've done it both ways and I like using Moving Picture better. Instead of messing with the picture itself like you would in AE, you move and resize the "camera's" view. Plus it is (depending on your NLE software) available as either a standalone program or as a plug-in.

Check it out at www.stagetools.com

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Old April 23rd, 2002, 11:12 AM   #9
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Bill's post led me to the stagetools Web site, which led me to a review of Moving Picture by Ken Stone, which led me to Stone's article on doing a Pan and Scan in FCP, which of course answers my original question very nicely (ain't the Web just great, or what?).

I've really got to read that @#$%! FCP manual someday.

Here's the link to the pan and scan article:

http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/basic_pan_scan.html

BTW Ken Stone's Web site has a pile of interesting FCP articles

Thanks all for your responses and kind advice.
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Old April 23rd, 2002, 11:23 AM   #10
 
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For people on a PC, Vegas Video 3's Track Effects module will do pan, scan, zoom, and rotate with a very easy, intuitive user interface that works thru keyframes on the timeline. This module is included in the VV3 software.
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Old September 8th, 2002, 02:24 AM   #11
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I agree with everyone's opinion that creating motion is easier in post, but I just thought I'd mention another option which is available: A moving baseboard, such as the one made by Bencher (www.bencher.com).

They call it the "Motion Picture Maker" -- it's a motorized table on which you place the photo, then you can pan, scroll, arc, etc. while you control the zoom manually.

Like I said, it's easier to let the computer do this stuff, but the product is out there, and I thought I'd mention it.
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Old September 8th, 2002, 07:56 AM   #12
 
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A moveable bench??? I'm still laughing!!!
Kinda like turning the ladder to screw in a light bulb.
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Old September 8th, 2002, 09:31 AM   #13
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Wow, the info & web sites on this thread will help a lot with a project I have comming up. Buck I found your info very interesting. Bencher makes some of the electronic equipment in my amateur radio "shack".
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Old September 24th, 2002, 07:42 PM   #14
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I find the keyframe feature in FCP to be the most painless and easy method. You just drag the picture from "point A" to "point B" (start to end) and the little green line shows the path it will take. I use this for instance when I don't have B-roll to cover up funky jump cuts or whatever, just take and scan in some stills or get JPEGs e-mailed to me. They look so much better if they are not static on the screen.
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