14 Replies Latest reply on Mar 1, 2008 7:45 AM by Joey Morelli

    Ken Burns Effect

    Level 1
      Just wondering if AE8 does a Ken Burns effect, the slow zoom out and pan at the same time. When I try to do that manually in my AE it sizzles. Thanks.

        • 1. Re: Ken Burns Effect
          Level 1
          Isn't "sizzling" a good thing? ;)

          There is no canned Ken Burn Effects option in AE CS3, as iMovie has (and I think Premiere Pro) but it's fairly easy to do.

          The 3D method is the best of course, but it takes some extra preparation with the layering and compositing of the high-res still image in Photoshop... I also recommend (as does Bob Donlon) watching "The Kid Stays In The Picture" to see the many different ways it's done, as well as "Dogtown and Z-Boys" ...

          See Bob's famous tutorial here:

          • 2. Re: Ken Burns Effect
            Level 1
            If by sizzle you mean that the edge detail in the photos looks weird then you're either moving at the wrong speed (because some speeds cause stroboscopic effects in edges that cannot be voided but can only be masked by motion blur) or your images just contain too much detail or are scaled down too much.

            My standard workflow is to apply the dust and scratches filter in Photoshop to every image that has a high amount of detail, to make sure that each image is at or near 100% scale at some point in the composition. If the project is using 3D layers then I make sure that the distance between the image and the camera is at or near the zoom value at some point in the composition. All of this takes a little planning. You can't just bring in a bunch of 16 megapixel images, drop them in a comp and start animating. You'll end up with a mess.

            One other thing, you have to also consider whether or not you want to interlace the output. Interlacing causes problems with highly detailed images, especially if it's horizontal detail, that don't exist in progressive output. The critical pan and scan speeds are also different for HD and SD material and differ depending on frame rate. Knowing how to handle all of these requirements is how you make the big bucks in motion graphics.
            • 3. Re: Ken Burns Effect
              Joey Morelli Level 1
              "...it sizzles"?
              • 4. Re: Ken Burns Effect
                Navarro Parker Level 3
                Check out FotoMagico http://www.boinx.com/fotomagico/ if you need to do a lot of that. It's like Ken Burns on steroids. It outputs to anything (web to HD) with motion blur and lots of easy canned effects.
                • 5. Re: Ken Burns Effect
                  Joey Morelli Level 1
                  This is one of the best tutorials for layered PS files using AE / PS / FCP:

                  http://www.digitaljuice.com/djtv/segment_detail.asp?sid=185&sortby=&page=6&kwid=0&show=all _videos
                  • 6. Re: Ken Burns Effect
                    Level 1
                    Thanks for the info. I need to look at animating a camera!

                    • 7. Re: Ken Burns Effect
                      Joey Morelli Level 1
                      ...and you can always add the "Reduce Interlace Flicker" plug-in to a pic to slightly soften tiny hard lines - keeps them from "sizzling" ;)
                      • 8. Re: Ken Burns Effect
                        Dag Norum Level 2
                        A little "rant", but...

                        It's on time to forget the Ken Burns effect. Not that it is not fine, but it seems that everybody wants it or using it.

                        I want to say this: Plan when you shoot stills! The transition between planned stills can be effectfull, and it's not done that often.

                        Here is a little example:


                        Oh, if that way doesn't have a name, I wouldn't mind it to be called the Dag Norum effect :)

                        • 9. Re: Ken Burns Effect
                          Joey Morelli Level 1
                          Dissolves between stills / hand drawings are as old as the hills and are done all the time...especially in animatics. There is nothing new here:


                          Sorry, Dag. Somebody else thought of it first ;)

                          • 10. Re: Ken Burns Effect
                            Dag Norum Level 2
                            Dissolves was not my point, planned stills for slideshows was.

                            I know that's not new either, but I am just so tired of the Ken Burns effect. Please do something else.

                            Maybe I'm just old :)

                            • 11. Re: Ken Burns Effect
                              Joey Morelli Level 1
                              I bet I'm older than you ;)

                              I am tired of the label "Ken Burns Effect". Ken Burns did not "invent" this effect. He just created awareness of it through public distribution of his films. I was doing camera moves on wedding photos by hand in the late 80's / early 90's and never once heard of Ken Burns until recently.

                              This is why I break stills into multiple layers and move them into Z-space to give them a 3D look & feel. Ken Burns effect...it is not.


                              • 12. Re: Ken Burns Effect
                                Dag Norum Level 2
                                >I bet I'm older than you

                                Hmmm, many many hairs ago, actually late 70's, I worked in a B&W lab. Early 80's I got my electronic education and my first child.

                                Now, this went way OT...

                                Anyway, let's "bury" Ken Burns.

                                I like the depth/3D look though, when used with moderation. A good photograph is able to "talk for itself".

                                Yup, in my age, peace is what I need a lot of.
                                (says one who's youngest child is 4 :) )

                                (young and dynamic)
                                • 13. Re: Ken Burns Effect
                                  Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional
                                  Well, just to say my piece - I too refuse to call it the Ken Burns effect. I've been doing camera moves on stills since way before I could do it digitally.
                                  • 14. Re: Ken Burns Effect
                                    Joey Morelli Level 1
                                    Amen, brothers...here's to NOT calling it the "Ken Burns Effect" anymore!

                                    BTW - Dag...I'm just jokin' with you...but I can still remember when my Jets won the Superbowl in 1969. They don't call me "silversurfer" for nothin'...it's the hair :P