Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Look At Using Pan and Zoom Effect

You can use a Rostrum camera or software that invokes the Ken Burns effect, the results are the same; brings motion to a still photo. Conceptually that is done using a Pan and Zoom Effect.

It isn't just for family photography, it can be used for a variety of purposes. Below is an example from the Biography channel. They have a series of mini-biographies on historical and contemporary people.

This is a mini documentary on Alfred Hitchcock.



If you take a step back, you can see that they use talking heads, historical photos and a wee bit of title animation.

Which is what Ken Burns did in 1990 with his documentary series on PBS. Hmm, come to think of it,  it has been a while since I've seen the series; not sure if there was animation in it. I could be wrong.

Anyway, his use of historical photos, professional voice actors and a great story, The (U.S.) Civil War, entranced a nation with what seemed to be at the time a new kind of storytelling.

It wasn't. Before computer editing software there was a device called a Rostrum camera where you would put a photo on a rail system and move the image on a table as the film is moving through the camera. Talk about labor intensive.

Today, there is software options for all skill levels:
  • Photo editing software that has an animating photos effect and saving them as a video
  • Video editing software that has Pan and Zoom effects
  • On-line services like Animoto, Masher or One True Media
  • Smartphone and Tablet applications for iOS, Andriod and Windows
 It can be as simple or as detailed as you want it to be.

Other Posts of Interest

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