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Old February 23rd, 2017, 07:44 AM   #1
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Best Way to Show Old Photos and Articles

I am currently working on a project that will require old photos and articles to be shown on screen and I was wondering what the best way to show those on screen would be.

I could obviously be simple and put the photo up and do a slow Ken Burns zoom on it, but I'd like to do something a bit different so it's a bit more visually appealing.

Anyone have any suggestions?
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Old February 23rd, 2017, 08:48 AM   #2
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Re: Best Way to Show Old Photos and Articles

First, Ken Burns doesn't just do zooms, and neither should you!

Pans, tilts, reveals, zoom-ins, zoom-outs, all of these should be in the toolbox, all moves should be motivated by the content of the photo. Is there an action? Is somebody reacting? Which would you start with? Which would you reveal, with a pan, tilt, or zoom? Is there a big story in a photo, and a small story? Which would you start with and zoom to reveal the other?

What I'm saying is that there's an art to this! In my not so humble opinion, the worst approach is to zoom in on the odd-numbered photos, and zoom out on the even-numbered. Good filmmaking is (in part) about making camera moves that are motivated by the subject, the content... the interview.

Second, there are many methods of transition and display of photos. Many times the best choice is an on-camera interview that cuts to a still, perhaps with camera movement. Maybe the interview subject is leafing through a stack of photos, or looking through a book. Maybe a walking interview on campus, that pauses at a classroom.

Then there are compositing methods with graphics of book pages, in which you are taking 2D photos and doing 3D moves with them. 2D composite layouts. GGI frames. Pictures at an exhibition.

Somebody in your other thread suggested you spend some time with others' projects. That's a really good idea. There is some great work out there to inspire your ideas. This is about telling a story...
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Old February 23rd, 2017, 01:04 PM   #3
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Re: Best Way to Show Old Photos and Articles

Seths post is right on to be sure.

I have found Vegas really simple to do these things in and you can composite them with out having to go to other software. Not as good as after effects, of course, but very efficient in a single program.
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Old February 23rd, 2017, 01:13 PM   #4
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Re: Best Way to Show Old Photos and Articles

You can get by in most editing programs as long as you're not doing too many photos. Otherwise you're better off with a specialized software or you'll be there all day. I used to use iPhoto until they removed the ability to control start and end points.
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Old February 23rd, 2017, 05:09 PM   #5
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Re: Best Way to Show Old Photos and Articles

You can even get a plugin for Vegas that will automate the Ken Burns effect. It's really quick if you do that and then adjust things manually to optimize it.

Regarding photo motion, think about where you want viewers to look initially and over time. Then use motion to direct their focus as you intend.
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Old March 3rd, 2017, 06:31 AM   #6
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Re: Best Way to Show Old Photos and Articles

I have used MOTION with FINAL CUT PRO to zoom in and then scroll documents, then zoom out to the original image size after the scroll ends.
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Old March 3rd, 2017, 12:29 PM   #7
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Re: Best Way to Show Old Photos and Articles

Seth - Good thread, good post. I have this question too. I’ve got a mish-mash of various items to put in a video: Old 8mm silent film, 35mm negs, pictures, and slides, and even paper documents, all family related stuff. While some people would write a family history, diary, eulogy, etc., for some occasions like major aniversaries, birthdays, etc., it is nice to have a video that looks at the past. Ditto for documentaries.

Old “still stuff” is easy to come by but old video is not. So the question becomes about how to include all this still stuff and not make it look, what?, amateurish?

I really get what you’re saying here and it “kinda” sounds easy; however, after reading this, for me at least, it comes under the heading “easier said than done.” I really do “get it”, but ….

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
First, Ken Burns doesn't just do zooms, and neither should you!

Pans, tilts, reveals, zoom-ins, zoom-outs, all of these should be in the toolbox, all moves should be motivated by the content of the photo. Is there an action? Is somebody reacting? Which would you start with? Which would you reveal, with a pan, tilt, or zoom? Is there a big story in a photo, and a small story? Which would you start with and zoom to reveal the other?

What I'm saying is that there's an art to this! In my not so humble opinion, the worst approach is to zoom in on the odd-numbered photos, and zoom out on the even-numbered. Good filmmaking is (in part) about making camera moves that are motivated by the subject, the content... the interview.

Second, there are many methods of transition and display of photos. Many times the best choice is an on-camera interview that cuts to a still, perhaps with camera movement. Maybe the interview subject is leafing through a stack of photos, or looking through a book. Maybe a walking interview on campus, that pauses at a classroom.

Then there are compositing methods with graphics of book pages, in which you are taking 2D photos and doing 3D moves with them. 2D composite layouts. GGI frames. Pictures at an exhibition.

Somebody in your other thread suggested you spend some time with others' projects. That's a really good idea. There is some great work out there to inspire your ideas. This is about telling a story...
The big question is, is there something somewhere that can expand on your ideas here? Book? Tutorials?

I’m even looking at using fonts and colors that were popular in the time periods of the particular items. Old magazines like National Geographic are usually available and their ads typically use the font and colors du jour but otherwise to find what fonts were popular for a certain year is not that easy.

I totally agree with the “this is about telling a story.” Do you have any resources or does one just have to use their own artistic talent. Hopefully not the latter because then I have a problem!
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