Stunning Slow Motion:
Slow motion and/or extreme slow motion can be a great dynamic to any film. Today it is getting easier and cheaper to produce stunning quality slow motion effects with even entry level cameras. One of the most easily accessible ways to do this is using applications given in the Final Cut Studio Suite. Here’s something I made as an example of what you’ll be able to do after reading the contents of this article.
To achieve the best looking slow motion it is important to shoot at 60 Fps ( Frames Per Second), with high shutter speeds 1/1,000 or higher, and with final output as 24 Fps. None of these are necessary but if you can do all of the above then you will increase your chances drastically for achieving flawless slow motion. After all the goal is to emulate slow motion shot with a camera that is actually shooting 1,000, 2,000, 3,000 Fps or higher. The steps below are meant for those of you shooting at 60FPS and conforming to 24FPS.
Firstly you should be a bit familiar with Apple Motion, Cinema Tools, and Final Cut Pro.
- In Motion, Simply import and isolate the clip you want
- Click the clips Properties tab
- Navigate down to the Timing section
- Adjust to your desired speed and set Frame Blending to “Optical Flow”
- Export Ausing Apple ProRes 422 (LT) or whatever works for you
- Open Exported Clip in Cinema Tools
- Click Conform, and set to 23.98 FPS
- Import the clip into your Final Cut Pro 24p timeline and Shazamm! Have your way with it.
You may ask “Why do I need to conform 60fps into 24 fps?” Well doing so will drastically increase your slow motion capabilities. Standard frame rates that your eyes are used to seeing are roughly 60, 30, and 24. So when you take a 60 frame per second video and conform or expand it into 24 frames per second, the slower frame rate changes the duration of the clip to 2.5 times the original length. So visually this will make your video almost three times slower than the actual speed percentage input you chose back in Apple Motion.
And obviously if you change the speed of your 60fps video to 5%, then change the frame rate into 24fps, the video is actually no longer 5% speed. To account for this and/or determine your final emulated frames per second, please view my “Slow Motion Frame Conversion Chart” in the previous article by clicking here.
Unfortunately you can’t expect for all of your shots to work, there’s nothing to control in Motion beyond the speed and blending type so you will be at the mercy of the computer that it gives you clean looking slow motion. For further control you will need a program called Twixtor or something on par.