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  • Video from a Still Image

    Posted by Robert Gilbert on February 7, 2023 at 5:57 pm

    As a filmmaker I’d be so glad if someone could help me understand why a still photo, or one frame of digital video, when “stretched out” (by mulitiplication) on a timeline never looks like live video (even when the subject is a totally motionless still life). Is there really no way to make a still photo into a convincing video clip? To make the pixels dance?

    It would obviously be a tremendous help for an editor to be able to use a still photo as an establishing shot, or to lengthen a precious fragment of a close-up ruined by blinks, for example. Impossible?

    Robert Gilbert replied 11 months, 3 weeks ago 5 Members · 12 Replies
  • 12 Replies
  • Eric Santiago

    February 8, 2023 at 3:25 am

    Are you watching it in Interlace or Progressive?

  • Robert Gilbert

    February 9, 2023 at 12:17 am

    I’m only referring to my past experience. I always used progressive. I’d be so happy if they came up with a way to do this now. Thanks.

  • Ted Bragg

    June 7, 2023 at 2:27 pm

    Faking motion footage requires two things: a backplate image and a foreground matte. Take a look at Video Copilot’s DVD menu tutorial…he shows how to use layers of images in After Effects to fake a camera crane and dolly. It’s not point-n-click easy but a VERY handy trick to know! The method can be done in Premiere or any other NLE that you can keyframe motion in.

  • Robert Gilbert

    June 7, 2023 at 4:30 pm

    Thank you very much, Ted!

  • Simon Ubsdell

    June 9, 2023 at 11:23 am

    The key to getting the pixels to “dance”, as you put it, and look like live action video is to add grain (also known as noise). Even if you are adding some form of animation, grain is still needed. Our brains are very receptive to when it is absent and that’s why stills always look like stills without it.

  • Robert Gilbert

    June 9, 2023 at 2:15 pm

    Thank you very much, Simon. I think I must have tried that in the past with poor results. Would you have a particular method/parameters to achieve that? Thanks.

  • Eric Santiago

    June 9, 2023 at 4:52 pm

    Okay now were talking Motion Graphics.
    I thought the original question was working with a solid static image.

  • Robert Gilbert

    June 9, 2023 at 7:38 pm

    Really it’s about making a motion clip from a motionless still. I once tried it by duplicating the still into many frames on the timeline but it lacked the grain and feel of a live clip, and adding noise or grain didn’t help (at least I wasn’t able to make it work).

  • Paul Carlin

    June 9, 2023 at 7:48 pm

    You may need to remove the noise from the clip first before adding it back in. Otherwise, you are adding noise on top of noise. Let’s use your example of freezing a clip at the end. You would wan’t to remove the noise from the moving clip and the freeze at the end first. Then add the noise back in, being careful to match the noise signature of the original clip. This is a subjective skill and requires attention to detail. This is a common technique used for compositing new elements to a scene and making them look convincing.

  • Robert Gilbert

    June 9, 2023 at 7:57 pm

    Thank you very much, Paul. Would there be a tutorial on that process somewhere? Does it have a name? As you’ve probably guessed, I’m not a professional in this area. I wonder if it’s something I could attempt or not.

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