Slit Scan

Lately there’s been a resurgence of the Slit-Scan technique made famous by Zbig Rybzcynski’s The Fourth Dimension. Having been curious, yet ignored it once, I figured I shouldn’t let it slip by.

This is my first attempt at it, using people:

As you can see, there are several imperfections to the video. Most noticeably the pixelation/aliasing. At first I thought this had something to do with my technique in After Effects, but it later became clear that it’s because the spatial change from frame to frame is significant enough that it causes that jump from field to field.

My next attempt was using inanimate objects, then slowed down to about 400% (after the initial 60fps > 24 fps). The pixelation/aliasing was considerably diminished, but still noticeable in bigger motions (when foreground objects extend out towards the camera). The end result was this:

I’d like to say that the reason for the overly wide frame was strictly compositional, but it was more of being frugal with rendering.

All in all, interesting technique. Felt good to be able to achieve it, however one thing has been made abundantly clear: human subjects are very much more dynamic and interesting than inanimate objects.


  1. kim

    First time I saw live action being slit scanned was in an Alice in Wonderland video back in the late 80s/early 90s. In a digital edit suite. Richard Wilding, I think it was, made several hundred edits to achieve the effect. He’d wanted to do it for a while but the technology wasn’t available. To much degradation in analogue cutting.
    That aliasing is a tricky one, isn’t it.

    • Oh nice, I can imagine all the cutting, regardless of it being a digital edit suite, being quite tedious. I’d be interested in checking it out.
      And yes, the aliasing is a very tricky one with this technique, and insanely taxing on the computer’s processors.

      By the way, I really like your panorama’s and your flora photography is superb.

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