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Bullet time? Variable speed? What to call this?

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Rosa JurjevicsBullet time? Variable speed? What to call this?
by on Apr 30, 2012 at 8:04:46 pm

Hello, all!

I've been driving myself nuts searching the forums for the technical term for an effect in which one subject moves in realtime and others move in fast or slow motion (usually slow). My google search terms have not yielded many search results... Probably because it takes me a paragraph to describe it!

I've tried "bullet time" (which gets me links for tutorials involving camera motion, which is not what I'm looking for) and "variable time," which gets me slow and fast motion tutorials (only half the battle). It's been about an hour and I A) feel supremely silly and B) still have no answer. What IS this effect called? (And, what are some down and dirty ways to do it/set up for it?)

For an example, see 00:01:00 of this:


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Benjamin AusmithRe: Bullet time? Variable speed? What to call this?
by on Apr 30, 2012 at 8:14:50 pm

I guess the technical term is variable speed, but there might be a flashier name. The easiest way to do this in After Effects is probably to right click on your layer and select 'enable time remapping.' Then you can control the speed of your clip using keyframes. If you're going this route, make sure to turn on frame blending, and hopefully After Effects can smooth your motion out a little if you're slowing your footage down.

Benjamin Ausmith
Post-Production Assistant
Monadnock Media, inc.

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Rosa JurjevicsRe: Bullet time? Variable speed? What to call this?
by on Apr 30, 2012 at 8:18:55 pm

Hi Benjamin!

Thanks for your reply. I've got the time remap down, but I'm not sure how one would set this up. Masks, I'm guessing, but there's so much going on in the video, and some of the elements (plant, water) are slowed down when he is holding them (plant) or when they fly across him (spilled water). So I'm stumped!

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