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Old February 16th, 2006, 08:02 AM   #1
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The Switch Pan

If you have seen Casino (1995, Scorsese), where the camera switch pans to different parts of the Casino, you will understand the effect I am trying to get right.

How would I go about achieving this? To switch from one shot to the next? I know most is achieved in editing (obviously). Yet on my HDR-FX1E, how would I achieve the rapid motion of movement? Not just turning the camera to the right or left - the shot has to look blurred, so the two shots blend.

Any ideas guys?
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Old February 16th, 2006, 08:49 AM   #2
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Ahh grasshopper, you have answered your own question within your post...

The two shots have to be blurred, within the pan.

So, you PAN OUT of one shot, and PAN IN to the next shot. In post, you have to do a DISSOLVE between the pans. Since it is moving really fast, there is no way for the eye to discern where the dissolve takes place. If the background material is similar IE the same location, crowds, trees, city streets, then they will blend fairly seamlessly.

The hard part, is panning FAST to a STOP on the incomming scene. Takes good practice to hit your frame without drifting around or jiggling.

And the term is SWISH PAN not Switch Pan.
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Old February 16th, 2006, 11:56 AM   #3
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One suggestion I can make having done more of these than I can care to count (on my two years at "Scrubs" these were frequently used as transitions between scenes): avoid having a light fixture or other very bright object in the shot during the panning part (BTW, I usually refer to them as "whip pans"). This is because it will be more noticeable during the dissolve as it fades out, will draw attention to itself. If you have lights just outside the frame, the best thing is to place a flag between yourself and the light to block it.

Otherwise, you don't have to worry about seeing crew members and gear in the pan assuming you do it quickly enough, it will just blur out. Just avoid having bright highlights there and you will be fine. I usually use a 2-5 second dissolve between shots.

One of my favorite whip pan sequences I've done was in "Roland" (see here, or here). About 30 seconds from the end of the film.
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Old February 16th, 2006, 01:33 PM   #4
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Nice tip Charles. I've only ever done it in a 'natural' lighting situation... outdoors. Good to know about the lights issues. Thanks
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Old February 17th, 2006, 11:10 AM   #5
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Thanks guys.
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Old February 17th, 2006, 11:20 AM   #6
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Charles - Roland was pretty funny lol.
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Old February 24th, 2006, 03:10 AM   #7
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I've always called them whip pans too. It seems they are used alot in sports montages. Just zoom into the crowd and do a quick long lens zoom across the people. The way I discovered how it was done was by simply slowing one down frame by frame where the changes actually take place. Another way to do this is to perform a fast wipe into the next shot at the tail end of the whip pan. That's a good way to be able to do a slow and accurate pan in to land a perfect frame on the subject. If it's done right, it looks like one long ramped down whip pan from 100 to 0 landing right on target and you can't tell it was a wipe added to the pan.
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Old February 24th, 2006, 06:19 AM   #8
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Confusion...

The technique described above uses terms that seem to indicate a pan or quick left to right movement. Someone mentioned zooming. Pan Zoom or both? Is this technique done with either, only one, or both at once?

Thanks in advance from a shooter of mostly non-moving objects that have no pulse.
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Old February 24th, 2006, 07:11 AM   #9
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I mentioned zooming just because you need to go in tight for your framing and then perform a whip pan. The long shot helps to exaggerate and smear the pan too. Zooming is NOT part of the finished shot.
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Old February 24th, 2006, 07:23 AM   #10
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Thanks James.

Gotcha.

There is a commercial up here that is now about 3 years old, but continues to get alot of play. The scene is 2 storefronts separated by about one city block. The transition between the 2 locations is rapid trucking back and forth (obviously accomplished in post) between the little old lady walking slowly and the entrance to the bank that has extended hours. The ironic music during the very slow pace of the lady walking is the theme from Batman of old. Very nice combination of "swish trucking" if there is such a cinematic term.
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Old February 24th, 2006, 07:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy McKenzie
Gotcha.
Very nice combination of "swish trucking" if there is such a cinematic term.
Hahaha! Now that's funny, swish trucking! That type of transition is probably one of the most overused these days. There's a show called Blind Date that actually uses the full screen silhouette of a CG waiter that seems to walk through the shot every now an then. It's really used to cover the cuts in the dialogue. I have to admit that I fell for it at first but it became too often and to similar each time. That show is known for some very funny and creative graphics anyway.
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Old February 24th, 2006, 07:36 AM   #12
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...and the motion control of the cartoon guy with the pipe offering his insightful peek into the psyches of the participants is nauseating. The producers must think it lends credibility to the cast of narcissists who populate the screen.

I hope I didn't offend anyone with the above observation if BD happens to be your favorite show.
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Old February 24th, 2006, 07:51 AM   #13
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To be honest with you, I don't like any of those type shows but I think it's the best of it's kind. I don't regularly watch it but will stop and watch it if flipping through the channels and happen to see it. Those ridiculous but clever animations are worth it! Their animators have come up with some really creative interactivity with the cast.
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Old February 24th, 2006, 04:50 PM   #14
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As annoying as the show is personally, I do have to say that one or two of those ani's have had me rolling on the floor.
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Old February 27th, 2006, 08:05 AM   #15
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Another way to perform a whip in one complete move with a perfect landing on the subject is to do one in reverse. This will only be usuable if there's no dialogue to follow or course unless you cut away and then come back for that. Just start on the framing that you would have wanted to end with and then quickly pan out as many degrees as you want and as fast as you want. Then play it in reverse and you will land perfectly on your subject!
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