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Toronto, Ontario
Canada

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The portfolio of Adam Schoales, Toronto based video editor, geek, and tea drinker.

Adam Schoales : : Blog

Thoughts, process, and other ramblings.

 

Imperceptible Transmutations

Adam Schoales

A short animated piece inspired by the early works of silent cinema. Taking both its title and its inspirations from the groundbreaking works of Georges Méliès and his early experiments with special effects, Imperceptible Transmutations  is a love letter to silent cinema and the visionaries behind it.

Designer/Editor: Adam Schoales
Photography: Nathan Storring
Music: Arthur Collins with Vess L. Ossman

2009


Title Card

Title Card


Original photograph, pre-processing

Original photograph, pre-processing

Rather than use video and try to replicate an animated look, I opted to take a series of stills using the camera's burst mode and stitch the photos together in post. This gave not only a much higher quality image than a standard definition camcorder would provide, but also made it much easier to move into Photoshop for the editing process.


Post Photoshop processing; to erase the elements and mary to the background plate.

Post Photoshop processing; to erase the elements and mary to the background plate.

Once the images were transferred to the computer they were brought into Photoshop. I combined the original image with a clean background plate and began to erase the original image to give the illusion that the character was erasing himself. This process was then repeated for each individual frame. 


Post Final Cut Pro processing; combining real film elements with the stills to give the illusion of aged Silent Era film

Post Final Cut Pro processing; combining real film elements with the stills to give the illusion of aged Silent Era film

Once all the images were processed in Photoshop, I brought them into iStopMotion to stitch the photos together. I experimented with varying frame-rates and quickly discovered that while 24 fps was too fluid, 12 fps was too slow. After researching common frame-rates of early cinema I settled on 16 fps with each frame doubled. When played back at 29.97 fps the result was perfect.

Next I took this final video output into Final Cut Pro where I layered in various scanned film elements over the footage to give it an aged, silent-era look. A combination of film effect plugins were also used to enhance the look with gate weave, and slight jitter. The end result was something that looked as though it had been captured decades before and that evoked the wonder of silent cinema.