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Using Ken Burns Effects in the New Style

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Joined: 31 Dec 1969
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Product: 3D-Album PicturePro Plantinum

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:22 am    Post subject: Using Ken Burns Effects in the New Style Reply with quote

What is Ken Burns Effect

The Ken Burns Pan and Zoom Effects has been used successfully in many cinematography applications. Ken Burns is a film maker who has been making award winning documentary films for over two decades with his Academy Award nominated "Brooklyn Bridge" in 1981. Burns has become widely known forhis flair for making documentaries that are both insightful and audience-captivating and was "the most accomplished documentary film maker of his generation". In dealing with mostly historical material, Burns uses many still images in his works. Yet, he employed a technique of panning and zooming with a dynamic impact to those still images, bringing the historical stills to life.

Many popular slideshow software including Apple's iPhoto and Microsoft's PhotoStory are dedicated to this effect. They allow you to define the starting and finishing focus area and a motion path will be automatically created to turn still photographs into a movie as if they were actual film clips.

For most casual uses, defining only the starting and finishing focus areas is sufficient. However, it may not be enough for professionals to create sophisticated pan and zoom effects as Ken Burns used in his film. For example, with an initial zooming into the still image to make room for the subsequent camera panning motion, you may want to zoom further into several areas to bring the viewers' attention to particular subjects of interest, and then zoom out from a tightly cropped area reveals the context of the image, enabling the viewers to take a step back and view the big picture. The full featured version of our Pan & Zoom styles allow you to define 4 panning and zooming points in the camera motion path, so you can define a panning and zooming motion to follow a predefined path to showcase every interesting aspect of an image. See demo:

Photograghy of London

How to Apply the Effect

Click on the photo you want to define the camera motion path at the right panel in the 3D-Album. Click the Camera button in the style??s setting frame. The dialog is illustrated as below:

Initially, you will see two boxes, the starting (Start) and the finishing (End), displayed on the photo, reflecting the default panning and zooming setting. Drag on the Start or End label to move the box to a different position. If you cannot move the box in a certain dimension, the box already touches the boundary of the photo - you cannot move the box to the outside of the photo. Drag on the small square at the bottom right corner to resize the box. Please note, the box retains the aspect ratio set in your preview window. If you cannot make the box bigger, either the width or the height has reached the maximum value.

In full-featured version, you can add more zooming boxes by enabling the Middle frame#1 and Middle frame#2 options at the bottom of the dialog window. Remember, the smaller the box, the more tightly cropped (or the more detailed) area reveals.


If you intend to show detailed areas in you photo, do not resize you original high resolution photos too small. The photo size rule of 512 or 1024 commonly applied to other 3D-Album styles does not apply here. There is no general principle, it all depends on how much detail, or how much close, you want. In our demo video, we use photos around 1500 to 2048 pixels.

If you have any questions in regarding to how to use these styles, feel free to contact us at support@3dtime.com.

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