F/X MACUL 2009

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This is the “handout” for my Makin’ Movies: Special Effects session at MACUL in Detroit 3/19/09.

My home made F/X are at homepage.mac.com/jbtv. Look for the clips that begin with “FX.”

The”Ken Burns” effect which can be used in iMovie and PhotoStory on a PC, lets you move around a still picture. Bring the same picture in a few times to get multiple moves. My daughter met her husband in pre-school.

You can make a movie rating screen in any program that you can put a transparent table over a green background.

Black and white is a great way to show a dream sequence or a memory. You may also have access to other color filters to get more video effects.

Morphing can be as simple as adding a cross dissolve between two similar pictures. It’s also a way to bring movement to still pictures or just have some fun. This video was made with still pictures taken via the built-in camera on a Mac and Photo Booth. The key is the camera DID NOT MOVE. You can do a lot when the camera remains fixed and you just cut pieces of time out.

A fixed camera is the foundation to many F/X shots. Put it on a tripod and make sure it doesn’t budge. People only see what the camera sees AND what slices of time you choose to let them experience.
…as in this passage of time (P.O.T) shot
…or in this “Field of Dreams” shot
…or in this “beam me up, Scotty” kind of shot where the Dr. just appears between the parents
…or ghosting where a long cross dissolve can make a specter appear

Reversing a clip takes a bit of planning and is a very attention getting way to make a point.
…as in this chase sequence from the California Student Media Festival
…or this recycler’s best friend

Green screen or chroma key probably goes beyond simple except in iMovie ’09. Make the green screen a character or prop by putting the key color in the foreground. The computer doesn’t care where the pixels that it is replacing are. There are plug-ins for iMovie HD6 (old, old post but I think all the links still work) and for MovieMaker. Mac users with Leopard should look into the effects in Photo Booth.
…as in this clip from Eastwood H.S. in El Paso
…or this one from my kitchen

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