GAP Khaki Ads - What technique is used for the freeze-frame?

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Mark Monroy

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May 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/6/98
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There are these GAP ads on the air with a bunch of people dancing in khakis
('Khakis Swing' and 'Khakis Groove'), and there are a few shots where the
action is frozen but the camera continues to move (for lack of a better
description, it's like looking in into of those 3-D Viewmasters you had as a
kid, but a little more dramatic.) How is this effect accomplished?

Mark Monroy
m...@ucla.edu

Chris Pierson

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May 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/6/98
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In article <6ip306$7oc$1...@uni.library.ucla.edu>,

I can't remember the name of the technique, but it uses a whole bunch of
still cameras, all timed to go off at the same instant; the "camera
movement" is actually switching from one camera to the next, giving a 3D
moment-frozen-in-time effect. Damn cool, isn't it?

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fon...@usa.net

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May 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/6/98
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Hello,

I'd like to know for sure, but I think you are dealing with a Morphing
tecknique. The background is filmed seperately and composited. The two dancers
a shot by at least 2 cameras and the images are morphed. I saw this technique
in a Rolling Stone MV. The camer moves in a mechanical way but the action is
frozen. Very impressive.

Mac


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Joseph L Cordaro

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May 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/6/98
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In rec.arts.movies.tech Mark Monroy <m...@ucla.edu> wrote:
: There are these GAP ads on the air with a bunch of people dancing in khakis
: ('Khakis Swing' and 'Khakis Groove'), and there are a few shots where the
: action is frozen but the camera continues to move (for lack of a better
: description, it's like looking in into of those 3-D Viewmasters you had as a
: kid, but a little more dramatic.) How is this effect accomplished?

: Mark Monroy
: m...@ucla.edu

There was an idiotic article in American Cinematographer a few years
ago about a setup which used many cheap disposable cameras arrayed in a
horshoe to capture the action. I saw the Gap commercial too and also the
Van Halen ? video where the chick breaks the ice or whatever and I asked a
guy who works in video production about this, and apparently this isn't
the setup they use. Apparently some of the effects packages for
non-linear editors have the ability to interpolate frames *very*
effectively, so they have maybe 3 cameras close to each other and video
the thing simultaneously, and then in software fill in the missing frames
between the cameras, giving it that "frozen action pan". I suspect we
will see a lot more of this, but for the time being it looks pretty darn
cool.

Mark Monroy

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May 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/6/98
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FYI - As I found out in this newsgroup (but the thread may have disappeared),
there's a whole web site about this patented process. www.virtualcamera.com.
Check it out, very interesting, with diagrams and some video clips. Enjoy.

Mark Monroy
m...@ucla.edu

Darren Mills

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May 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/6/98
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follow the link ... all will be revealed!
http://www.virtualcamera.com/

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Email...
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Josiah Gluck

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May 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/6/98
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In article <6ipvbu$f...@news-central.tiac.net>, cpie...@tiac.net (Chris
Pierson) wrote:

((schnippage performed)))


->
->I can't remember the name of the technique, but it uses a whole bunch of
->still cameras, all timed to go off at the same instant; the "camera
->movement" is actually switching from one camera to the next, giving a 3D
->moment-frozen-in-time effect. Damn cool, isn't it?


WAY nifty freakin' damn cool.

The above method is correct. There's a good article about it (as it
applies to the VH music vid) in the April issue of "Film & Video"
magazine. The company is called ReelEFX. According to the article, it's
an array of 100 Canon EOS Rebel cameras tied to an IBM PC that fires all
the shutters at once.

Basically what happens is, that when you string the individual shots
together you create a 'flip-book' effect of a single moment frozen in
time. The motion is frozen but you 'glide' through 100 slightly different
angles.

When I first saw it I was REALLY stumped as to how it was pulled off. My
first thought was morphing, too. But if you look at the GAP ad closely (I
was lucky enough to have caught it time-shifting some socially relevant
and responsible show like BH 90210"), you will notice the frozen dancers
'catch-up' in time when the action becomes full motion (after the effect).

My guess is that the most difficult part of the work is making the
exposure and angles match so that you can seamlessly cut in and out of the
effect. The article goes into some detail about common focal lengths on
the still-cameras and the fact that the film loaded in them is
"...identical to the film in the motion picture camera."

ok
bye

--
Josiah N. Gluck
Audio Production Services
New York, NY USA
http://www.users.interport.net/~josiah

Kiah Morris

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May 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/6/98
to Darren Mills

On Wed, 6 May 1998, Darren Mills wrote:

I think that is like a effect that they used on a new vanhalon video where
they set up a hole bunch of 35mm still camras in a perfict circle around
the singer, and set them off all at once. then the string them to gather
going clock wise or counter clock wise. I think that they scaned in all of
the slides and asembled it on some thing like an avid

Kris DeMeester

GenXFilm

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May 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/7/98
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I also saw this tecnique in some watch commercial which was
actually more impressive because it gave you a view of "frozen" water and it
zoomed in on the watch. Did anyone else see this commercial?

Steve Kraus

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May 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/7/98
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Josiah Gluck wrote:
> When I first saw it I was REALLY stumped as to how it was pulled off. My
> first thought was morphing, too. But if you look at the GAP ad closely (I
> was lucky enough to have caught it time-shifting some socially relevant
> and responsible show like BH 90210"), you will notice the frozen dancers
> 'catch-up' in time when the action becomes full motion (after the effect).

Hmmm...I'll have to watch again to see what you mean. But if the
effect is done how I understand it is then there shouldn't really
be anything that needs to catch up. You're filming motion pictures
from two angles and have a bridge between the two points of view of
a large number of still cameras which are all fired at once. So
there is a transition between a motion picture frame from the first
m.p. camera to the simultaneously shot frame of the second m.p. camera
and in between you display each successive frame from the still cameras,
also all shot simultaneously. So for a second or so--depending on
how many still cameras you have--action freezes although the point
of view changes. Then action resumes, right where you left off but
now from the new angle. Not sure what you mean by catch up.

> My guess is that the most difficult part of the work is making the
> exposure and angles match so that you can seamlessly cut in and out of the
> effect.

That's probably not too tough as the eye is somewhat forgiving.
But they have to put some thought into how many cameras
(=length of transition) and properly spacing them. It looks
like a constant, very mechanical, virtual dolly shot. Perhaps
in the future they will vary the spacing of the cameras and
place them closer together near the two motion picture cameras
and more widely spaced in between so the shot will accelerate
and deccelerate more naturally. And then someone else will
put the still cameras on something that is moving during the
snap so as to give it motion blurring. Now wouldn't THAT
be something.

> The article goes into some detail about common focal lengths on
> the still-cameras and the fact that the film loaded in them is
> "...identical to the film in the motion picture camera."

Yup, I'd say both of those are a given!

Trapper

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May 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/7/98
to

Tbe exact effect was also used in the film "Lost In Space", which I saw
only a few weeks ago. They only incorporate it once, when the ship
jumps into HyperDrive. Its a great effect, hats off to the technicians.

Trapper

sil...@gte.net

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May 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/8/98
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On 6 May 1998 17:13:14 GMT, Joseph L Cordaro <jleo...@utdallas.edu>
wrote:

>In rec.arts.movies.tech Mark Monroy <m...@ucla.edu> wrote:

>: There are these GAP ads on the air with a bunch of people dancing in khakis

>: ('Khakis Swing' and 'Khakis Groove'), and there are a few shots where the
>: action is frozen but the camera continues to move (for lack of a better
>: description, it's like looking in into of those 3-D Viewmasters you had as a
>: kid, but a little more dramatic.) How is this effect accomplished?
>

>: Mark Monroy
>: m...@ucla.edu
>
>There was an idiotic article in American Cinematographer a few years
>ago about a setup which used many cheap disposable cameras arrayed in a
>horshoe to capture the action. I saw the Gap commercial too and also the
>Van Halen ? video where the chick breaks the ice or whatever and I asked a
>guy who works in video production about this, and apparently this isn't
>the setup they use. Apparently some of the effects packages for
>non-linear editors have the ability to interpolate frames *very*
>effectively, so they have maybe 3 cameras close to each other and video
>the thing simultaneously, and then in software fill in the missing frames
>between the cameras, giving it that "frozen action pan". I suspect we
>will see a lot more of this, but for the time being it looks pretty darn
>cool.

The current issue (or perhaps one issue old), with Lost in Space as
the feature article, mentions how the effect was done. IIRC, they
used several still cameras, but nowhere near the figure of 100 cited
elsewhere in this thread. Of possible signifigance is the fact the
the motion picture cameras were 8-perf sideways running film cameras
(Vistavision?), so the negative area exposed from the motion and still
cameras should be very close, if not the same. The AC article also
mentions that the still cameras did not go off at exactly the same
time, as that looked odd, but rather in very close sequence.

Jason
sil...@gte.net
Camera Assistant, IA 600

Erik Utter

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May 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/8/98
to

Ok here is the deal on the effect.

I have worked with a DP in Seattle that actually invented "Circle Cam". It may
very well be in the magazine article cited below. I have seen it used, and I have
seen the finished job, which looks great.

There were about 100 cheap 35mm still cameras setup in a circle that was about 25ft
wide. They were all modified and wired together to trigger at the exact moment.
The slides were transfered in a telecine and the slight differences between pan and
tilt were fixed.

I am a video engineer at a high end post-production house and I can tell you that
the effect could not be done any other way.

Steve M

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May 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/8/98
to

These ad just plain suck ...camera tricks or not!
steve

Steve Kraus (gkr...@BLOCKERgovst.edu) wrote:

Scott Norwood

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May 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/9/98
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In article <6ivmqc$8hu$1...@coranto.ucs.mun.ca>,

Steve M <st...@hebert.pharm.mun.ca> wrote:
>
>These ad just plain suck ...camera tricks or not!
>steve

Don't hold back, tell us all how you really feel.

<grin>; I haven't seen the ad (or had time to watch TV at all in the last
month...), myself

--
Scott Norwood: snor...@nyx.net, snor...@redballoon.net, sen...@mail.wm.edu
Cool Home Page: http://www.redballoon.net/
Lame Quote: Penguins? In Snack Canyon?

ak...@_nospam_best.com

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May 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/10/98
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In rec.arts.movies.tech Erik Utter <er...@nwlink.com> wrote:
: There were about 100 cheap 35mm still cameras setup in a circle that was about 25ft

: wide. They were all modified and wired together to trigger at the exact moment.
: The slides were transfered in a telecine and the slight differences between pan and
: tilt were fixed.

: I am a video engineer at a high end post-production house and I can tell you that
: the effect could not be done any other way.

^^^^^ ^^^ ^^ ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^ ^^^

Really? Cinesite did it on LiS with 10 cameras, digitized the images, and
interpolated them to create 10 seconds worth of footage (from ten frames!).
With fewer cameras there is less worry about having the cameras lined
incorrectly (not to mention the pain and expense of dealing with 100 cameras
on set). Plus, during post they could make the shot as long or short as it
needs to be.

The LiS shot was actually composited (the actors were shot against green
screen using the virtual cam, background plate was shot motion control with
a VistaVision camera) so they could control the different parts better.

- Isaac =)

Geoff Boyle

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May 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/11/98
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There's a page about this technique on the CML website.

Some very detailed explanations from people who've worked with it
extensively.

Cheers

Geoff Boyle...personal website http://www.saccard.com
Cinematography Mailing List info http://www.cinematography.net


K274

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May 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/21/98
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It's a set of still images that are essentially "morphed" together. The hardest
part is actually the framing.

MGamlin

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May 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/22/98
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>It's a set of still images that are essentially "morphed" together.

They aren't morphed. there's nothing hi-tech about this effect which is also
not new...but is now trendy. It's simply a bunch of still cameras all fired at
once. The frames are then combined in sequence to create a "dolly shot".

Molu

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May 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/22/98
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FROZEN TIME EFFECT ........hitpaws.com and contact company which produces
frozen time efects

sadasdasd

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May 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/22/98
to

It seems to me these wouldn't 'have' to be the case. Say it was one
camera moving (orbiting) around the very fast shooting at 300 fps.
Played back at 24fps. The object would appear to be frozen.

__________________________________________
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Comcast Online Communications
http://www.inorangecounty.com/
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