Animated Stills

My first attempt at Tom Woodward’s video assignment – taking a still image and animating it using camera motions. I feel that the effect of the camera motions adds a greater sense of narrative to the photograph. It effectively creates a series of events that occur one after the other, which is basically a ‘story’ (or an ‘anecdote’ if you use Ira Glass terminology).

The clip begins with a single duck in close up, the camera pans to reveal a bunch of ducks, then pans up to reveal that they’re being fed, then finally the camera pulls back to reveal that the ducks are being fed by a couple of children.

In terms of tools and techniques used to create this clip, I used Adobe Flash and simply resized and tweened the photo, exporting the result as an .avi video file for upload to Youtube. I could have used a number of different tools – Premiere Pro, After Effects, other video editors or even a slideshow tool. Apparently this technique is known as The Ken Burns Effect, named after the American documentary filmmaker who used the technique.


About colinmaxwell

Creative Industries lecturer. Photographer, designer, game developer, film maker. Scotland.
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One Response to Animated Stills

  1. Jim says:

    I like this, because it does make you think about the micro-stories within one photo, and the way you move makes it a little different than the Ken Burns which are smooth, and have become somewhat of a cliche with iMovie. These actually travel around the photo and study it. And I wonder if this won’t be an interesting assignment for analyzing a photograph.

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