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Realtime and Slowmotion in the same shot. How do you do that technique?

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Oliver Demingoy
Realtime and Slowmotion in the same shot. How do you do that technique?
on Jan 11, 2011 at 7:52:22 am

I'm filming a music video some time around late February or early March and I'm thinking about getting some shots where the singer/rapper is saying his lyrics and moving in regular motion while everything else around him is in slow motion.

If anyone can help me out and explain how to do the technique, I would greatly appreciate it!

Here are some examples of what I'm talking about:

(Effect starts at the 0:11 mark)






(Effect starts at the 1:10 mark)






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Oliver Demingoy
Re: Realtime and Slowmotion in the same shot. How do you do that technique?
on Jan 11, 2011 at 9:29:09 am

The second video is a better example of the kind of shot I'm trying to do. The artist is moving around in normal speed and interacting with the people around him who are frozen (except in my video I want the people moving in slow motion).

The effect is shown more at the 1:52 and 2:03 marks of the video.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Realtime and Slowmotion in the same shot. How do you do that technique?
on Jan 11, 2011 at 3:22:54 pm

The classic way this is done is to make a version of the audio track that has been sped up. Your singer lip synchs to the chipmunk track, then you slow that video down and the singer appears to be singing at normal speed, while everything else that was in the shot seems to be in super slo-mo. You can also do the trick in reverse, where the singer has been slowed WAyyy down, so when you re-set his timeline playback speed to normalize him, everything else in the shot is going super-fast.

And one more variation, popular in the high school "lip dubs" you can see on youtube, is to play the track normal speed but in reverse, staging appropriate visual actions to coincide with the backwards world. Typically your singer would walk backwards while singing for this.


A much more complicated way to do the effect is to composite two versions of the performance; using a locked-off camera that doesn't move, or using motion-tracking software and/or a motion-controlled robotic camera, you shoot the same frame multiple times, then rotoscope your talent into the composition. Now you have control of the various layers and can alter the speed and other effects of each layer to taste. There's some examples of this in the Spike Jonze Director's showcase DVD.


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Todd Terry
Re: Realtime and Slowmotion in the same shot. How do you do that technique?
on Jan 11, 2011 at 5:49:56 pm

Mark is exactly right, as usual, as to how this is usually done.

As he said, the lipsync track is usually played back faster (or slower, depending on the effect you want) and the footage is either over- or undercranked to bring the principal's speed back to normal.

I'll note though, that if you did, for example, a 2x playback that while all of the extras' slow-mo would look good and appropriate (providing you overcranked the camera by 2x or slowed it in editing to 50%), the principal talent's motions would probably look a little bit weird and artificial.

One of my favorite usages of this is the "backwards" style that Mark mentioned, which was used in a Fruit of the Loom video "Blue" (with a cutdown version of it used as a broadcast commercial)... you can see it here...







In that instance, all of the motion (other than the apple) was shot normally, but the actor playing Apple had to do everything backwards... even lip-sync the song backwards. As you might imagine, he fell down several times during the shoot while walking backwards in that giant costume.

In the examples you gave, though, it was done much much lower tech. Watch the second video and you'll see that all the extras are merely "frozen" and doing the mannequin routine holding their positions. Most do it pretty well, but look closely and now and then you'll spot one or two of them struggling just a little bit to stay frozen in place.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Mark Suszko
Re: Realtime and Slowmotion in the same shot. How do you do that technique?
on Jan 11, 2011 at 6:00:25 pm

Now I know what brand of briefs Coldplay wears:-)


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Mark Suszko
Re: Realtime and Slowmotion in the same shot. How do you do that technique?
on Jan 11, 2011 at 6:03:33 pm

You want a really good example of a "slo-moment" sequence, look at the whole title sequence for "Watchmen". It uses a combination of techniques.


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Oliver Demingoy
Re: Realtime and Slowmotion in the same shot. How do you do that technique?
on Jan 11, 2011 at 10:34:35 pm

Thanks guys!

All of the replies were very helpful. I too have heard about the technique about playing the song twice as fast and then putting the footage in slow motion in post, but I didn't really understand the whole process until now. Thanks for the explanations!

The backwards lip syncing seems interesting, too. I'll experiment with some test shots to see if I can incorporate that trick into the music video.

If anyone else has some more input about the technique feel free to share! Thanks again!


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Todd Terry
Re: Realtime and Slowmotion in the same shot. How do you do that technique?
on Jan 11, 2011 at 11:09:00 pm

Here's another version of the "Blue" commercial... but following the spot there is a little bit of behind-the-scenes footage that starts at about 2:20. You can see how hard it must be to actually lip sync backwards. Apple did a darn good job...



T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Mark D'Agostino
Re: Realtime and Slowmotion in the same shot. How do you do that technique?
on Jan 12, 2011 at 4:32:43 pm

.ddoT taht gnitsop rof sknahT .eciN

Mark D'Agostino
http://www.synergeticproductions.com


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Bob Cole
Re: Realtime and Slowmotion in the same shot. How do you do that technique?
on Feb 3, 2011 at 2:08:38 pm

Don't see the "Blue" video link - just a black box. Is there another link to this?

re: Chipmunk effect. Where the singer winds up being normal-speed, while the crowd is in slow-mo, I understand the concept of playing back the audio 2x, so the camera overcranks and plays back normal speed. But I'd think the crowd should be reacting to the normal speed playback. Does the principal singer wear an earwig with the sped-up track, while the crowd is hearing the normal tempo so the crowd can dance in apparent slow-mo?

There are a couple of shots around 1:05 in the second video where the camera moves around a frozen crowd. They've included headset wires that are frozen in place, in nice curves, not limp - so was this done by asking the crowd to stay still, along with stiffened fake headset wires, or was this done with a "Matrix" style set of synced DSLR's in a semi-circle?

Bob C


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Todd Terry
Re: Realtime and Slowmotion in the same shot. How do you do that technique?
on Feb 3, 2011 at 8:31:46 pm

[Bob Cole] "where the camera moves around a frozen crowd. They've included headset wires that are frozen in place, in nice curves, not limp - so was this done by asking the crowd to stay still, along with stiffened fake headset wires, or was this done with a "Matrix" style set of synced DSLR's in a semi-circle?"

Those are definitely real people just frozen and trying to stand still. The "floaters" like the headset wires etc. were either practical stiff props shot on location, or elements added in post. No bullet-time DSLR rigs at work there.

Sorry Bob that the two videos don't show up... they still show up on my computer in this thread.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Bob Cole
Re: Realtime and Slowmotion in the same shot. How do you do that technique?
on Feb 3, 2011 at 8:49:38 pm

[Todd Terry] " No bullet-time DSLR rigs at work there."

Just curious - how can you tell? At least that one shot looks pretty convincing to me.


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Anthony Marzilli
Re: Realtime and Slowmotion in the same shot. How do you do that technique?
on Jan 14, 2011 at 2:51:15 pm

The Kid Cudi video is pretty simple. It was shot twice. Once is normal speed with him singing... and a second time for all the extras where they can speed them up. The shots are all lock down so all they did was put a little junk matte around him. You can see a edit of this at 3:49 where he passes the other people. Looks to me like that was an easy fast way of doing it. Nothing passes in front of him so masking it is simple.


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