Structure of slit-scan

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8 Responses:

  1. asan102 says:

    Despite somewhat grokking slit-scan, I've never quite been able to piece together how it was used to create the effect in 2001. Turns out it's simply dollying the camera in/out in sync while moving the artwork past the slit.

    But now I'm not clear how the result is any different from simply trucking the camera along the artwork at an oblique angle...I suppose you can get the full frame in focus without needing to use an aperture prohibitively small for film sensitivities? Though that would require another synchronized movement for the focus and I'm not clear if Trumbull actually did that, to my eye it looks to have a deliberately soft focus.

    I think he also adjusted the tracking speed such that the artwork is stretched out in a way that adds to the trippy, high velocity feel, and I suppose wouldn't have been trivial to do otherwise pre-photoshop.

    • tfb says:

      They dollied the camera (and panned it in fact) for each frame, and yes they also adjusted focus during the exposure of each frame.

      If they had simply moved the camera past a picture (or, perhaps easier, moved a picture past a camera) then, subject to diffraction limits and having to sort out reciprocity failure (which you can get tables for or sort out experimentally if you don't have tables and can burn film, which I am sure they could), they could have likely got enough DoF by stopping it down very far (if movie lenses stop down far enough which I don't know) and making each exposure long enough. But if you want 5 minutes of film at the end you need a really, really, long picture: slit scan can stretch a reasonably-sized thing to be essentially unboundedly long, which is what they were doing.

  2. frandroid says:

    This has a very demoscene feel to it.

  3. Seth says:

    My favorite related work is the Khronos Projector.

  4. jwz says:

    One of the interesting properties that this presentation reveals is that it is symmetric: if your input is the YT stack, the XY stack pops out. Which makes me wonder if the 2001 stargate sequence could be reversed to see the things that they were actually looking at.

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