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#1 Morgan Peline

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 05:47 PM

Hi,

I recently watched a film directed by Sally Potter called 'Yes' which had many different scenes which used different types of step-printing - some of the scenes brought to mind 'Chung King Express'.

I'm shooting a short soon on 16mm which will most likely go straight to video (though we might get a print made eventually...) and am toying with the idea of using step-printing for a scene where a man collapses on stage after he has a stroke during a gig. At the moment we are discussing using a speed ramp from normal motion to slow motion to show his fall to the ground. Most likely from 25fps to 75fps.

But recently I've started thinking of maybe using step-printing to show the man's confused state of mind either when we are looking at him or when we see his POV.

However, I've never done step 'printing' before so I have no idea what kinds of things are achievable.

During a brief conversation I was told that you can shoot at 25fps and then quadruple every frame to create a strange kind of motion (blur?) in real time e.g. in terms of frames you show : Frame 1 x 4 times, then Frame 5 x 4 times, then frame 9 x 4 times etc.

I've also been told you can achieve a fake speed ramping effect in the transfer (if we can't get a speed ramping motor for the iris) e.g. you shoot at 75fps and then you can transfer the same footage at 75fps as well as 25fps and then do a cross fade in the edit to do a sort of budget speed ramp effect.

What else can you do? What other effects can you achieve?... I haven't had a chance to see 'Yes' a second time to pay closer attention to the different types of effects that you can achieve.

Thanks for any new techniques you might be able to explain to me!
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#2 Dominic Case

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 06:04 PM

Since you say you will go straight to video, I presume you are using the term "step printing" to mean a video effect that reproduces the proper optical printer effect. If that's the case, be careful about saying "we may get a print made eventually", as you will be obliged either to reproduce all those video effects on an optical printer (or in digital), or to transfer the finished video back to film (which at SD will give you a disappointing result).

That said, there is a lot you can do. Repeating every fourth frame four times and skipping the other three will give you a slow stroby sort of look: like shooting at 6fps but with only as much motion blur as you get at 24 or 25fps. Quite effective and disorienting. You can simulate a bit more motion blur by filling in the inbetween frames with a second pass running normally, frame for frame. Getting the right mix between the two will give you anything from a slight hint of the movement between the 4th frames, to a strong image of the entire movement with a bit of a more solid feel every 4th frame.

On an optical printer you can also run the image several times, each time delayed by a frame or two and with a reduced exposure. THis will give a very strong decaying tail effect to any moving objects.
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