vc017: Rubber Man Slit Scan Shuffle

This dance to original music is an example of the “slit scan” technique, created in post production using After Effects. (#17 of my #100videoclips project)

The Inspiration

The video above is a good overview of the slit scan process, along with the accompanying tutorial at filmmakeriq.com.

What I Did

Slit scans can go in any direction, but it is most common to have the time displacement go from top to bottom, so horizontal movement gets bizarrely stretched and distorted.

You can also move vertically, as I did in one point in my video (with split-bodied three-headed consequences), However, most of the time you get better (weird but not completely disjointed) results by moving carefully and slowly in a mostly-horizontal way.

In other words, don’t lift your feet too high as you walk, or wave your arms up and down.

I speak from experience: In my previous slit scan experiment a few months ago, I wasn’t as careful, and the result wasn’t nearly as satisfying.

Of course, going around something (often two people going around each other) is always fun, as is turning in place.

I didn’t anticipate how cool it would look to walk directly away from and towards the camera, but that is one of my favorite parts. The long, flowing black overcoat is also a boon.

In terms of the editing details, I recommend the tutorial above, which is where I learned the basics.

I filmed at 24 frames per second, but I moved very slowly, so in post (AfterEffects) I sped up the footage 4x (400%) and experimented with various time delays.

What I Learned

From this experience and the previous one:

  • If doing a “traditional” slit scan from top to bottom, move slowly and deliberately in a horizontal direction with a minimum of vertical movement, unless you want an even-more-bizarre disjointed result.
  • Try coming directly towards or away from the camera.
  • Experiment with different time delays to see what looks best.
  • Allow extra time for editing, since you may need to render each experiment to see how it looks, and the rendering can take a long time.