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Thread: Zoom and move camera position

  1. #1

    Default Zoom and move camera position

    There seems to be two ways to make a subject change size. Either using a Zoom or changing the distance between the camera and the subject.

    I suspect this is may be difficult for users of handheld cameras, but probably easy for with dolly based cams.

    Can anyone point me to any examples where the two effects are used in conjunction (e.g. such that the main object remains the same size; but the background appears to move further away); and what is the effect called?

  2. #2

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    There was a thread the other day about this. It's called a dolly Zoom.

  3. #3
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    Try "contra-zoom" which is the more common term.

  4. #4

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    You could call it a "contra-zoom" but my term is much more "street" and down with the kids.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post

    down with the kids.
    Good Motto to have.... and I was born in a town with no streets.

    (seriously, a part of West London with "avenues" "roads" "crescents" "circles" "lanes" but no "street".
    Last edited by Rembrandt Rob; 04-04-2010 at 03:37 PM.

  6. #6

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    I'm so sad that I find facts like that really interesting.

  7. #7

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    Hichcock seemed to be the pioneer of this effect.
    Zoom out as you move in or zoom in as you move out.
    I used to do these hand held at 'appropriate' weddings, for the dramatic look, just before they went into the crowded reception party.
    My opinions are just that . . . Mine. It's not personal, but is based on my emotional and professional reaction to requested critique. If you choose to ignore constructive comments, I'll just assume you're a vanity poster and not posting to improve your filming and editing skills.

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  8. #8

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    Having been pointed in the right direction (thank - MB & GF), it seems there are many names (Dolly zoom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). But 'contra-zoom' appears to be the best description.

    I have now had a chance to try it (using the maths on the wiki page) using animation. But, on reflection; I may not use the effect immediately. I think I need to study 'perspective' a bit more first.

  9. #9
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    It's best if done sparingly. Unfortunately it's now seen on everything from regional news to Strictly Come Singing and has lost the impact it once had. Steadicam operators learn it on day two of their five-day course and insist on trying to impress by using it at every opportunity.

    Using it once for effect (like Zero's tension before the hurly-burly of the reception) it works well, but using it just to liven up some otherwise boring situation makes it look daft. Using it more than once in a production screams unoriginality and lack of imagination.

    Edit: You don't need to study perspective, just practice a few times. Ignore the Wiki mumbo-jumbo (as with many things wiki is not always the best source of accurate or practical information) and try it out for yourself. The goal is simply to keep the foreground object the same size in the viewfinder as you do your buggering about.
    Last edited by Rembrandt Rob; 04-05-2010 at 10:16 AM.

  10. #10

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    Sorry, I was not clear. I was considering using it in an animation (no walking required, just lots of coffee). Whilst possible to manually add keyframes for the different distances and field of view angles, to get a perfectly smooth movement either requires lots of keyframes or just a maths formula. When I learn a little more, I shall find a simpler way.

    I have taken good note of Gaffer's warnings about this effect.

    And one day, I might buy a cam (I only own a cheap Flip); and will certainly want to add this physical exercise (along with other hints about holding and panning cams) to my list.

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