Friday, February 5, 2010


Slow motion can be a very effective means to highlighting an action or enabling a detailed look at an otherwise impossibly fast set of actions. An good example is the frenetic action of common city sparrows flitting back and forth to birdfeeders in wintertime. First, their flying actions are downright beautiful when slowed down by a factor of five, plus the viewer can better detect the subtle interactions between individual birds on the feeding trays.

SPARROWS IN SLOW MOTION from David Rilstone on Vimeo.

Adobe's Premiere Pro CS4 provides several ways to generate a slow motion effect. I chose to explore adjusting the timeline itself as it easily allows the slow motion effect to be precisely administered at the exact time frame(s) desired, the degree of slow motion (as a percentage of real time; real time = "100%), plus the ability, if desired, to gradually introduce the slow motion effect and/or gradually return back to real time.

As with so many things I'm finding with PP CS4, everything is actually easy to do once you know's gettin' to know how that's difficult! That said, the rewards of learning these different techniques are huge. I just wish Premiere Pro CS4 was a little more intuitive.

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