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Thread: How to Get This Effect?

  1. #1

    Default How to Get This Effect?

    I'm not even sure what this effect is called but you will know what I am talking about when you see the exaggerated behavior of the guitar strings in this video (Michael Lucarelli playing Malaguena):

    How can I achieve this effect in either Premiere Pro or After Effects?

  2. #2


    This isn't an effect. It's an optical illusion as a consequence of the shutter speed along with the vibration of the string. You would have to experiment with different shutter speeds to see which works best on which strings as they will all vibrate at different rates. Notice how the lower strings E & A strings show it more than the others as they are vibrating slower than the others. Being in focus is also very important.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3


    paulears and Midnight Blue, thank you for the very prompt and informative responses.

    I never even thought of aligning the shutter speed with the base frequency. paulears, rather than increasing the base frequency, why not set the shutter speed to 440 or 880 (instead of 500 or 1,000)?

    Unfortunately, I am using very amature equipment - a Sony HD camcorder (your standard tourist type), a Nikon D90, and GoPro HD cameras. I'm continuing to do research but it appears shutter speed is outside of my control on these cameras.

    I'm wondering if I can reduce the framerate to create a quasi high shutter speed effect?

  4. #4


    Might the same effect/illusion occur if the guitar strings were deliberately detuned downwards (e.g. by at least half an octave), and then filmed by miming against a pre-recorded track)?

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by paulears View Post
    Ramp the shutter speed up high and the phenomena appears. It can occasionally be seen on electric guitars, but the action is far lower, and the maximum excitation of the strings far less - which hides the effect. Indoors, it's difficult to get the light level up enough to use higher speed shutters - outside far easier.
    Also bears mentioning that the flamenco style of play is far more percussive involving sharp attacks which lend itself well to this sort of effect. You will likely not see this level of oscillation on classical pieces.

    Unfortunately, I do not have high end equipment that allows me to control shutter speed on video. Is there a workaround effect (like "posterize time" in Premiere Pro) that might work?

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