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Thread: Slow motion experiment with After Effects Pixel Motion

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Helsinki, Finland

    Default Slow motion experiment with After Effects Pixel Motion

    Hello again. This part of the forum does have "for critique..." in description, but this one is more of an experiment/demonstration instead of something I'm hoping to receive critique on.

    We got slightly sidetracked at Midnight Blues tit-thread (that didn't sound right...) with various slow motion methods. I didn't feel like further stealing away the topic from Midnights video, but I did want to do a simple test with Pixel Motion again. I usually have used it only for background effects like smokes that would otherwise flow too fast, but I wanted to see how far it could be taken with human movement. I chose a short shot from Doppelgänger that features both smooth and linear movement (the shooter) and bit more random flailing around at higher speeds (the one being shot at). There are various time streches between 200% & 1000%.

    (Pixel Motion is one way After Effects uses to "calculate" the inbetween frames if you slow down footage and don't just want to repeat the 25/30/something frames your camera originally caught. It makes estimates of what kind of movement should be between those frames and is reasonably good at it. In short, it can in some cases be used as replacement for real high speed camera)

    Slow Motion with After Effects Pixel Motion - YouTube

    I was positively surprised on how far you could go before it wen't too blurry and messy. 400% could still be good enough for me, but 1000% really starts to show the downsides. Fast moving parts like falling down cellphone blurs background, overall scene is slightly more blurred etc. Going even slower would only make the situation worse.

    The bullet wounds are not properly tracked in the slowed down versions as the tracking was done only for the normal speed version. I didn't think tracking them all again would be worth the time for experiment like this.
    Last edited by SSCinema; 06-13-2013 at 03:45 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Helsinki, Finland


    Really? Damn it. Everyone with link should have right to view it. I edited the link, you can try again.

  3. #3


    That was interesting.

    The highest possible percentage before the viewer sees something wrong will depend, I think, on:

    a) how well the moving item can be discriminated by the background,
    b) how much the object changes (other than position) during its movement (e.g. size or colour changes due to lighting or shadows),
    c) having the least amount of blur of the object moving.

    It would be interesting to see how well it might work with a moving object against a plain blackground, perhaps one, (as with green screening), that does not contain any colours which appear in the moving object.

  4. #4


    That's an interesting experiment. It reminded me of an experiment I did with slow mo. This is more to do camera settings and slow mo. I found that when filming at 25fps at a normal shutter speed of around 50 slow motion would look very blurred but if you use a high shutter speed 1000-2000 it created a strange "missing frames" look. Similar to having a stills camera shooting on burst mode. The example at around 0:37 shows the water fountain slowed down, I can't remember how much but it was a lot, This makes it look like a series of stills rather than motion but the water droplets are rather sharp.

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