Slow Motion on a Budget

For a while, achieving quality slow motion video was a real challenge for videomakers on a budget. Often, the only option was to slow down your footage in post-production, which resulted in an effect that left much to be desired. Fortunately, in recent years more consumer and pro-sumer cameras have begun to incorporate 60p video, which can be played back at 24, 25 or 30 frames per second (fps) to achieve true slow motion.

As awesome and welcome as this development is, it is still somewhat limiting for anyone who’d like to take their slow motion to the next level and slow it down even more. Other than buying a Phantom, which retails for anywhere between $50,000 and $150,000, there aren’t very many affordable options to get beyond the 60p threshold. There are some tricks that yield pretty impressive results, though. Here are a few:

Using a photo-burst: With any camera that shoots multiple photos per second (the more the better) you can create an image sequence in After Effects with those photos and then allow After Effects to interpolate the frames between each photograph. For subtle movements, this method works very well. In this tutorial, Michael DeVowe explains this method, which is remarkably straight-forward:

Slow Motion From Pictures! [After Effects Pixel Motion Tutorial] from ☞ Michael DeVowe on Vimeo.

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