1000fps for free – using Motion Optical Flow instead of Twixtor
We were inspired by Oton Bačar’s incredible bmx videos on Vimeo to experiment with retiming 60fps video shot on the Canon 60d. Specifically, we were interested in whether an obscure feature of Apple Motion called “Optical Flow” could achieve results that were comparable with Twixtor.
After a lot of experimentation, we came up with a workflow that yields pretty solid results. As is the case with Twixtor, Apple Motion handles some shots beautifully while other shots get turned to ripply mush. Which is better, Motion Optical Flow or Twixtor? It seems to be more or less a draw, with Apple Motion having the distinct advantage that it comes bundled with Apple Final Cut Studio and is therefore free if you already use FCS. Either way, you’ll need to pick and choose the best bits with the smoothest motion and the least mush.
For our test, we used a Canon 60d with a Tokina 11-16mm f2.8, 59.94fps 1280×720, shutter at 1/1600. It’s important to mount the camera on a tripod, turn off AWB, and pick a scene with a relatively simple background (like…snow).
The basic workflow is to 1) Shoot at 59.94fps 2) Bring the footage into Motion and retime to 15%, 3) Export from Motion and conform it to 23.98fps using Cinema Tools. Then bring into FCP and edit.
Here is a tutorial that shows the nuts and bolts:
Note that I say we shot on a 7d, but it was actually a 60d. Sorry. And here is the final result:
That’s Jed at CrumplePop on the bike, and also playing the music that’s in the video. Jed engineers most of our effects, so if you have ever had technical problems with one of our products, you should especially enjoy the sight of him hitting the ground.
The bike is a Surly 1×1 with Nokian tires.