Brooklyn Brewery Mash tour – or how to ‘mash’ thru 3000 photos to make a stop motion film

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A few weeks ago, we re-opened the ‘planet5D videolog' – a place where you can share your HDSLR or other large sensor videos – and one of the first things that came in was this video about the Brooklyn Brewery Mash tour and I was very impressed and wanted to share it with the folks reading the blog!

Paul Trillo and Landon Van Soest did some amazing work on this to “mash” together a bunch of sequences of stills into a stop motion tour of the borough – and they thankfully provided some behind the scenes info to go with it – because frankly, I couldn't wrap my head around how they accomplished it. Some very amazing planning went into this.

So I wrote to Paul Trillo who had submitted it and he sent me to this blog post on vimeo where they'd provided some more insight and he asked me to share some of that with you.

Brooklyn Brewery Mash – A trip through BK in 3000 photos

To promote the Brooklyn Brewery's MASH tour, filmmakers Landon Van Soest and Paul Trillo, created a stop motion tour of the borough using over 3000 still photos.



Here's an excerpt from Vimeo Video School where Paul Trillo and Landon Van Soest explain how they compiled over 3,000 still photographs to create a one-minute stop motion tour of Brooklyn.

Creator Q&A: Breaking down a stop motion tour of Brooklyn

VVS: The video is comprised of over 3,000 still photos. Give us a brief rundown of the process.

Paul Trillo: The basic process is stop motion, but with the camera moving with every snapshot. Instead of something like 15 or 18 frames per second, we used 24 frames per second to give it a more fluid feel.

VVS: What programs did you use to put it all together?

Landon Van Soest: First we just went through our stills in a finder window to find the best sequences—like a flipbook to make sure the motion made sense—then imported groups of stills as image sequences in After Effects.

Paul Trillo: Once in After Effects, just about every frame had to be repositioned, rotated and scaled in order for it to play back in a fluid way. Once the basic camera motion looked right, the image sequences were exported as video and time remapped. Motion blur and frame blending were added to make it feel more like a video and less like a series of still photos.

VVS: What camera(s) and rigs did you use?

Paul Trillo: All the stills were shot with the Canon 5D using 20mm and 50mm lenses. The slow-mo was shot at 450 frames per second with the Sony FS700. Most of the stills were shot with a monopod so we could quickly move but keep the height constant. For the exterior traveling shots, we'd count our steps — between five to eight — to make sure the camera was moving at a consistent rate. The sequences that were handheld were a little tougher to smooth out. I don't think I've ever used the viewfinder cross hairs as much as I did on this project. They helped us keep our focal point so when the camera moved, the eye would have a similar resting place. This was especially helpful for the bridge and bike sequences.

Landon Van Soest: We used a mafer clamp on the seat of the bicycle at one point, awkwardly reaching around it to give the illusion of the bike being ridden. We mounted the camera on a gobo arm for the record shot. Because we didn’t have a monitor and had to stand on furniture to focus the overhead shot, we didn’t realize that we were getting an obvious reflection of the camera in the record and had to mask it out in post frame-by-frame. We used a large ladder to give the illusion of a sweeping crane shot coming into the brewery, which would have been an incredibly expensive shot on a film set, but we made it work with a handheld 5D.

Here's a shot breakdown of the video

More from Paul and Landon

The post on vimeo has much more info on how they made this!

What do you think?

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)

planetMitch

chief astronomer at planet5D LLC
Mitch "planetMitch" Aunger is the creator and mastermind behind planet5D.com

He's incredibly happy running planet5D and sharing so much joy of photography and filmmaking with his readers.

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