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Old December 8th, 2003, 03:41 PM   #1
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Ken Burns technique?

Ken Burns has done a LOT of acclaimed work and successful films. A technique I have always wondered about was the slow pan and zoom done on still photography. I worked with a program like that while at community college but have forgotten the name of it. What are some of the programs that do that?
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Old December 8th, 2003, 04:11 PM   #2
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iMovie (on the Mac) has a dedicated effect to perform some of this. It's really not difficult to perform pans and slow zooms on still images from within most current non-linear editors such as Final Cut Pro/Express and Premiere.

Do a Search here, as I recall a lengthy thread on this subject perhaps a year ago.
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Old December 8th, 2003, 07:10 PM   #3
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Hi Alan,

Panning and zooming on still photography can be done in any compositing program--Adobe After Effects, discreet combustion, Canopus Imaginate, etc., as well as many of the popular NLEs.

There are also hardware devices that physically pan photographs, but this really isn't the best way to go about doing this.

Twisted Mojo's Real True History has a great parody of this documentary style.
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Old December 8th, 2003, 09:46 PM   #4
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Twisted Mojo's Real True History has a great parody of this documentary style.
Haha, that was hilarious! I knew it was going to be good when the narrarator said "This is his only known photograph."
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Old December 9th, 2003, 12:21 AM   #5
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Image Panning

Premiere uses a filter called Image Pan to achieve this effect. You simply pick your in & out points with key frames. VH1 uses this effect extensively in their Behind The Music and Driven series. The downside to this manipulation is that when the image is zoomed in electronically instead of optically, video pixels become magnified and edges dance until it zooms out to normal framing. Of course this is less evident with higher end broadcast formats I'm thinking because of resolution. If it's a quick move, you don't have much time to see any problems in either format.
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Old December 9th, 2003, 09:00 AM   #6
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The problem James refers to is "aliasing"--but the compositing programs listed above antialias resized still images.

Do be sure to scan in your images at a sufficiently high resolution.
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Old December 9th, 2003, 09:24 AM   #7
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If you use Premiere for this, resize all stills to Premiere's maximum of 4,000 x 4,000 pixels, and import them as TIFF files, not JPEGs. I get liquid smooth pans, and can zoom in up to 5x without pixelation.

An alternative to Premiere is a program called Imaginate, which allows such things as acceleration and deceleration, curved movement paths, perspective shifts, etc.
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Old December 9th, 2003, 09:33 AM   #8
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Image Resizing in Premiere for Image Panning

Paul. In Premiere where do you resize the image as you described? For instance if I export a still from video in the timeline as a .tif, then what do I do? Can you give me a step by step if it's not too much troubled? Thanks!
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Old December 9th, 2003, 09:46 AM   #9
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James, sorry, I should have been more clear. I use a stand-alone still imaging editor (Photoshop) to do the resizing. I found that this is the only way to get really smooth Pans in Premiere.
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Old December 9th, 2003, 09:54 AM   #10
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Resizing

Okeedokee. Well that makes sense. If your image is high res to begin with, then when you zoom in (blow up) it will still look good. What happens if you try to go higher than 4000x4000. What does Premiere do? Thanks.
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Old December 9th, 2003, 10:02 AM   #11
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If you try to use something larger, Premiere will choke (elegantly -- you get an error message) when you try to import the still. The higher res is not solely for zooming. Premiere's interpolation routines for scans aren't too good. If you don't resize, pans will jitter. The only problem with resizing is the timeline takes forever to display. My India video has a couple of montage sequences consisting of 20 or 30 stills in a row, all of which were resized and given the Ken Burns treatment. It can take several minutes for the timeline to display on my machine.
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Old December 9th, 2003, 10:08 AM   #12
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And note that Paul is suggesting that images be downsampled in your still image editor (from a larger original scan size) to the Premiere size limit.

There's no sense in upsampling them to that size if they are smaller to begin with.
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Old December 9th, 2003, 10:09 AM   #13
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Choking Premiere

Yes, I know all about Premiere choking. It has happened to me in other situations, sometimes for no apparent reason. Thanks for the info.
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Old December 9th, 2003, 11:30 AM   #14
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This is also an integrated effect in Sony Vegas called "Pan & Crop". You can set in, out, and as many integral keyframes as you'd like. You can pan, zoom, and spin.
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Old December 9th, 2003, 01:07 PM   #15
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There's also Moving Picture (www.stagetools.com). Costs $199 but handles pix up to 8,000x8,000 pixels and also has a Rotation Option will allow you to spin your moves as well as pan and zoom. There's plugins for every editor plus a standalone app.
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