Friday, October 26, 2012

Vertigo Effect/Dolly Zoom in AE

One of my previous posts was about a tutorial I had found that I really liked and implemented in my music video.  Today I am back again with another effective tutorial with a fairly simple application.

I am sure you have seen the famous Vertigo effect (aka dolly zoom), which originated from famous Alfred Hitchcock movie, Vertigo.  Interestingly enough, Hitchcock gets all the credit when in fact it was one of his cameramen who figured it out.  It works by having the camera dollied forwards while the camera zooms out.  If done at the correct pace for both, the z-axis is expanded upon thanks to zooming out while the object stays in the same place.  This interesting shot is effective for showing a moment of intense calamity for a character, like seen in this scene from Jaws.

The tutorial explains how this can be made possible in After Effects and it takes advantage of a tool we seldom use, but I now know its true power.  This small tool is none other than the ruler.  You can expose the ruler with Command-R on your keyboard.  I had known of its existence just by accidentally hitting Command-R in the past but I did not know you can make guidelines to use on your screen by clicking and dragging away from the ruler while you are hovered over them.  In my music video I am using the dolly zoom with a camera based in After Effects in combination with a photo on stage, but the science still works the same.  Maybe you can find a neat application of the dolly zoom in your future works.

Tutorial: Creating a "Vertigo-Effect" in a Timelapse Shot with After Effects from T-RECS Timelapse Recordings on Vimeo.

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